Will the creative team who brought us Hairspray (Marc Shaiman, music and lyrics; Scott Wittman, lyrics; Jack O'Brien, director; Jerry Mitchell, choreographer; David Rockwell, sets; William Ivey Long, costumes) strike gold again at the Neil Simon with another adaptation of a popular film? Time will tell. New to the team is Terrence McNally, whose book captures the spirit of the film and is both entertaining and touching. The music and lyrics, while rarely memorable, move the story along effectively. The dance numbers are appropriately flashy. The costumes and sets are first-rate. Aaron Tveit, who looks like Matthew Morrison's kid brother, is sensational as Frank Abnagale, Jr. Norbert Leo Butz is just as good as FBI agent Carl Hanratty. Tom Wopat captures the pathos of Abnagale, Sr. and Kerry Butler as Frank Jr.'s fiancee makes the most of her big number.
While their combined efforts don't reach the heights of Hairspray, they do provide a very entertaining evening. My concern is that the lack of a bankable star might be an obstacle to the show's success. I hope not.