Shawnee Mission North Theatre’s winter musical “Catch Me If You Can” to open Thursday

Brenden Rennick, right, who plays Carl Hanratty, and Brahm Berry, who plays Frank Abagnale Jr., are two of the leads in SM North's winter musical "Catch Me If You Can," which opens Thursday night.
Brenden Rennick, right, who plays Carl Hanratty, and Brahm Berry, who plays Frank Abagnale Jr., are two of the leads in SM North’s winter musical “Catch Me If You Can,” which opens Thursday night.

For the past two months the Shawnee Mission North theatre has been practicing for their upcoming musical “Catch Me If You Can,” which opens Thursday at 7 p.m.

Based on the real-life events of Frank Abagnale Jr. — who was a conman when he was 15-21 years old — the lead part in the musical will be played by junior Brahm Berry, who watched the Broadway show, which was nominated for four Tony Awards, to prepare for the role.

“I tried to focus more on the play itself and then the story,” Brahm said. “I haven’t found myself with an access of the movie yet, but I do hope to watch it.”

The poster for the show was designed by alumnus Shafer Jonas.
The poster for the show was designed by alumnus Shafer Jonas.

Brahm will be trying to elude senior Brenden Rennick, who will play FBI agent Carl Hanratty. Brahm said while watching the Broadway show he took away body positioning and mannerisms of his character.

When he auditioned he had his eye on a few parts such as Frank Abagnale Sr. — played by Jacob Moyer — because they differed. However, he never made it passed the initial Abagnale Jr., audition.

Unlike Brahm, who eyed a few parts, Rennick only wanted to be Hanratty, which is Rennick’s first musical lead he’s been in. He’s been in more plays and minor musical roles.

“I love the movie,” Rennick said. “I really wanted this part. I had to look at some background information. I talked to Mr. (Chris) Palmer and he described Hanratty’s character as a very lame imitation of a noir film detective. I watched a lot of noir films and also the movie to try and get ready.

“A lot of it is melodrama where I try to make these things that very clearly are not cool, but I try to be mysterious about it and make it seem like it’s cool. There’s this one part of the show where it does become like a noir film with all the lights and I go, ‘It was hot even for August. So hot my butt was glued to the seat of a car like a fly on paper.’ It’s the stupidest thing in the world, but he make it sound like he’s this cool guy.”

While Brahm, Rennick and others will have all eyes on them, senior Darrian Rogers will be helping make sure everything runs smoothly from the booth up top. Rogers is the stage manager and is in charge of cast. She is essentially Palmer’s right-hand woman.

“I’ve done behind the scenes my whole high school career, and I like you can see what’s on stage, but then I love how there’s a whole other world back stage that people don’t get to see it,” Rogers said. “It’s like magic because you don’t see the works.”

The musical will be preformed Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and a 2 p.m., matinee on Saturday.