Review: ‘Catch Me If You Can’ at the Montgomery Playhouse

In Montgomery Playhouse’s production of Catch Me If You Can, now playing at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn, Director Ed Starr has once again sprinkled fairy dust on an erstwhile gaggle of ordinary citizens whom the audience believes are caught up in a purely maniacal case of “What the heck…?”

Written by Robert Thomas, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, this Catch Me If You Can is a hilarious comedy-whodunit, not to be confused with the musical of the same name by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman or the Steven Spielberg movie.

Newlywed Daniel Corban (J. Christopher Penick) is distraught to discover that his new bride has mysteriously left their honeymoon suite and turns to local Catskill Mountain resort cop, Inspector Levine (Stan Rosen). Levine is at his wit’s end trying to piece together Corban’s convoluted and hysterical rantings. Things really fall apart when the local cleric, Father Kelleher (Mark Shullenbarger) delivers Mrs. Elizabeth Corban (Anne Vandercook) while consoling her husband. Except not really – or in today’s lingo, “just kidding!”

J. Christopher Penick (Daniel Corban) and Stan Rosen (Inspector Levine) in Catch Me If You Can by Montgomery Playhouse. Photo by Scott D'Vileskis.
J. Christopher Penick (Daniel Corban) and Stan Rosen (Inspector Levine) in ‘Catch Me If You Can’ by Montgomery Playhouse. Photo by Scott D’Vileskis.

Corban insists it’s not his wife. She claims he has mentally cracked due to her sudden departure. Levine insists if someone the likes of Elizabeth (in her perfect leopard print ensemble, designed by Megan O’Toole) showed up insisting they were married, he’d gladly agree. Longtime local resident and delicatessen owner Sidney (Marc Rehr) innocently delivers a carryout brunch and soon finds himself dying to make sense of the situation.

Once you are thoroughly confused, Corban’s boss, Everett Parker (David Robinson) – an elegant cad of a man and owner of the Catskills getaway – shows up to save the day. But guess what? He doesn’t! Even his companion “The Blonde” isn’t blonde. It’s all too perfectly psychotic, absurd, and unsettling and you better not miss a second of it!

The part of The Blonde is being played by Corrie Bolcik as a last minute substitution due to a sudden family crisis of cast member Kelly Wilburn. Prayers go out to Kelly and her family at this difficult time.

Absolutely nothing is as it seems except the set and the furniture, thanks to Montgomery Playhouse producer and jack of all trades David Jones. That said, I am certain you will have figured out whodunit several times before the intermission!

Running Time: Two hours, plus a 15-minute intermission.

Catch Me If You Can, presented by Montgomery Playhouse, plays through January 20, 2019, at The Gaithersburg Arts Barn, 311 Kent Square Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878. For tickets, call the Arts Barn box office at 301-258-6394, or go online.