"Catch Me If You Can" Shines Light on Artistic and Technical Talents
Congratulations to our Upper School students who dazzled audiences last weekend with their musical production Catch Me If You Can! Both the performers and the technicians had challenges to face, as Director Rick Garcia explains, “I am proud of all our work, but Catch Me If You Can was more challenging because the dancing was more complex and I also added a live television feed to the design. But, as always, the entire company of actors and technicians accepted the challenge and created an unbelievable work of art. I never tire of hearing audience members question in disbelief, ‘Is this a high school production?’”
Based on actual events, the story focuses on the relationship between con artist Frank Abagnale Jr., played by Stone Mountain ‘18 and FBI agent Carl Hanratty, played by Nicholas Topfer ‘18. Choral Director Cate Gasco remarks, “During auditions I listen for an ability to portray a character, and you could hear the potential in their voices. Stone Mountain is a triple threat, he takes feedback very well and seeks it out to be the best he can be. Nick Topfer has a beautiful voice, his character has layers, and there’s an honesty in his voice.”
Nicholas Topfer faced the challenge of portraying a real person with enthusiasm. He says, “I am honored to have portrayed Carl Hanratty. I found the strength, dry humor and the sensitivity in the character fascinating. Creating my own version of the character was another story though. That was the hardest part because I didn't want to copy Tom Hanks's version in the movie nor Norbert Leo Butz's version in the Broadway musical. I wanted to show my version of the character while adding small things [they] did.”
Nicholas credits his directors for his artistic growth during his Upper School years, “I feel blessed to have worked with all of these amazing directors. They have been my teachers, mentors, and friends. They all taught me to have humility, a strong work ethic, patience with myself, to always act in a professional manner, and to respect everyone for who they truly are. Throughout my four years, I kept working to improve both my vocal, acting, and choreography skills. Having this role is a memory that I will cherish for the rest my life.”
Many students describe the fall musical as a bonding experience, and Nicholas agrees, “In the musical, we are a huge family. We all love each other dearly. Everyone is so supportive of one another that it makes me smile every time I walk through those front doors. Whether you have had a good or bad day, the cast and crew always supports you and cheers you on. And I truly appreciate that.”
Preparing to graduate this spring, Nicholas plans to keep the performing arts in his life, “Honestly if there is a performing virus, I was infected at five years old. And trust me I am incredibly happy there is no vaccination. I am definitely looking forward to pursuing music as my major in college. I look forward to seeing where this path leads me in the years to come. St. Andrew’s, I thank you for having such a phenomenal focus on the arts.”
Stay tuned for a complete Catch Me If You Can photo gallery!
Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.