Catch romance if you can | VailDaily.com

Catch romance if you can

EAGLE —Not all romances are the kissy-kissy kind.

While some romances detail the quest for true love, others tell tales of people who chase their dreams. This February, as the Porchlight Players stage their annual Valentine's Day dinner theater performances, downvalley community theater troupe members have embraced that second type of romance. They have opted to present the romantic tale of Frank Abagnale Jr .— the protagonist of "Catch Me If You Can."

"One of our board members, Shelby Keys, brought the idea to perform this show to our attention. After listening to the 60's style, Frank Sinatra-esque swinging soundtrack and reading the script, we felt it was a good fit for our company," said Porchlight Players President Ann Olin.

Judging by ticket sales, her assessment was correct. All shows are currently sold out, but the Porchlight Players are accepting names for a waiting list.

"Catch Me if You Can" is a musical based on the 2002 film that starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Nominated for four Tony Awards, including best musical, the show tells the story of how Abagnale runs away from home to begin an unforgettable adventure. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer. He enjoys living the high life and even romances the girl of his dreams. When Frank's lies catch the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, Carl pursues Frank across the country to make him pay for his crimes.

Production challenges

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It is no small feat for the Porchlight Players to stage "Catch Me If You Can."

"Since we have limited space at the Brush Creek Pavilion, we have a relatively small cast — 14 people — for this show, so most cast members play more than one character, which requires a new costume each time," said Olin. "There are many costumes needed and that requires the cast, especially the ensemble, to make numerous costume changes throughout the show."

That being said, Olin said the cast has embraced the material.

"This is a fun song and dance show, so both the music and the choreography have been exciting," said Olin. "And as always, the camaraderie among the cast makes rehearing fun."

Dinner with the show

For the past several years, the dinner part of the Porchlight Players dinner theater production has been provided by Fork Art Catering.

"Fork Art is are based in Eagle, and owned by Roger and Lauren King," said Olin. "Roger has been a chef at several Vail Valley restaurants as well as a banquet chef, senior sous chef and executive chef with Marriott. Lauren has worked in food and beverage all her life, heading Marriott's Food and Beverage department and most recently at Vail Cascade Resort & Spa."

This year's entree choices are coq au vin with roasted carrots and boiled potatoes; shrimp and grits with corn, zucchini and cherry tomatoes'; and vegan Cuban black beans and rice with collard greens and fried plantains.

"Fork Art's focus is on fresh, local and seasonal ingredients in their meals," said Olin.

With this year's performances sold out more than a week before opening night, the annual dinner theater event has become a Valentine's tradition for many downvalley residents. Olin noted that the popularity of the annual musical performances highlights local support for live theater.

"We hope that someday, Eagle will have a designated performing arts center with a permanent stage, so that we can have the space to involve more people in productions," she concluded.