It’s no secret that Minneapolis is a city that’s known for its theatres.

With all those theatre seats to fill, there is nonstop entertainment from the Guthrie to Chanhassen Dinner Theatres and everywhere in between. This time of year, many of us look to the holiday classics like “A Christmas Carol” or the “Nutcracker,” but Hennepin Theatre Trust is offering something completely different this season with a Minnesota debut of “Catch Me If You Can” at the Orpheum Theatre Dec. 11-16.

Frank Abagnale Jr. is an expert on fraud, scams, deception and beating the system. Between the ages of 16 and 21, he forged and cashed $2.5 million worth of bad checks in the United States and 26 other countries, while successfully passing himself off as an airline pilot for Pan Am, a doctor, a college professor and a lawyer. He was ultimately caught, as he always knew he would be, and served time in French, Swedish and American prisons.

Abagnale’s adventures were immortalized, and somewhat fictionalized, in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film “Catch Me If You Can,” with Leonardo DiCaprio starring as the young con man and Tom Hanks playing the FBI agent who pursued him. The movie, based on a ghost-written autobiography, inspired a 2011 Broadway musical of the same name – score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, book by Terrence McNally, direction by Jack O’Brien and choreography by Jerry Mitchell – is touring the country, and lucky for us, stopping in Minneapolis.

Abagnale himself will be doing a question and answer session after the opening night performance for all ticketholders who wish to stay and hear more from the man himself. 

Abagnale’s life on the lam is the most entertaining part of his story – but it’s not the best part of his story. It may not even be the most remarkable part of his story. What Abagnale has done since leaving behind his life of crime is both mind-boggling and inspiring. He has used his knowledge as a counterfeiter and scam artist to stop criminals and protect law-abiding citizens, initially working with the FBI – which was part of his parole agreement – and then by developing a host of fraud prevention programs that are used by more than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations and law enforcement agencies.

Put your holiday traditions on hold for a night and spend it entertained by a musical straight from Broadway here on Hennepin Ave. Gift yourself as an early present. Make it a girlfriend’s getaway or a chance to break from the hustle and bustle at home by staying in Minneapolis for the night with a great hotel deal from plug).

Individual tickets for Catch Me If You Can are on sale now. Tickets start at $34 depending on performance time and seating preference. Tickets may be purchased in person at the State Theatre Box Office (805 Hennepin Avenue, Mpls., 55402, no service fees), online at or through Ticketmaster by calling 1.800.982.2787 or visiting a Ticketmaster Ticket Center. All prices include applicable facility fees. Additional charges may apply. Groups of 10 or more save, and should call 612.373.5665 for information and reservations.

Performance dates for Catch Me If You Can are Tuesday–Sunday, Dec. 11–16, 2012 at Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Orpheum Theatre (910 Hennepin Avenue, Mpls., 55403).

Performance times are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m.

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