Comedy meets mystery in the upcoming McKinney Repertory Theatre production of “Catch Me If You Can”

McKinney Repertory Theatre’s “Catch Me If You Can” runs from May 3-11 at the McKinney Performing Arts Center.

McKinney Repertory Theatre "Catch Me If You Can"
Dale Gutt as Daniel Corban and Kim White as Inspector Levine in “Catch Me If You Can” – Courtesy of McKinney Repertory Theatre

There’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to the latest McKinney Repertory Theatre production, opening May 3. It’s a combination of a classic French farce full of situational humor and a complex mystery that invites audiences to attempt to navigate its web of secrets and intrigue to learn the truth, if they can.

“Catch Me If You Can” takes audiences to a ski lodge where Daniel Corban is on his honeymoon with his wife, Elizabeth. At least, he was on his honeymoon until Elizabeth went missing. When a woman he’s never met shows up to the lodge claiming to be his missing wife, everyone around Corban seems to agree with her rather than him. That’s just the beginning as a detective attempts to get to the bottom of what’s going on while the mystery deepens moment by moment.

The McKinney Repertory Theatre show is a production of a 1965 play by Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert based on French playwright Robert Thomas’ “Trap for a Lonely Man.” In other words, the show is entirely different from the Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks movie of the same name, even if both have comedic takes on illusive identities.

“Every single character in this show has a secret,” “Catch Me If You Can” Director Kent Phillips said, describing how “it’s the audience’s job to figure out who’s got what secret” before the show’s conclusion. The expectation isn’t that audiences will necessarily have an easy time accomplishing that job either. Instead, Phillips suspects audience members will pick favorite characters they connect with, or feel are in the right throughout the show. “Hopefully, we give them different reasons to root for different people, and at the end, you’ll see if you rooted for the right person.”

One of the unique aspects of “Catch Me If You Can” is that it continues to add characters even beyond the initial setup, differentiating it from traditional whodunnit mysteries. “I look forward to the audience meeting the different characters along the way because each one is unique,” Dale Gutt, who plays Daniel Corban, said. “Each one brings something to the story and to the play in their own way.”

Gutt described his own character as a “put-together” and “structured” advertising account executive. He said the show takes Corban outside his traditional, buttoned-up comfort zone in the business world into an “unsettling” environment. Gutt tapped into that discomfort for his performance as Corban, aiming to capture a frenzied energy without going into a full craze.

The staging lends itself to creating that unsettled feeling too. “It’s framed as everything’s in disguise. Something’s going on,” Phillips said of the black box stage, which also includes more comedic elements like a brass moose head. The set allows the characters to come closer to the audience as they move about the scene as well.

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Gutt often shares the stage alongside Kim White as Inspector Levine, the show’s detective tasked with investigating Corban’s situation. White said she and the production updated her character for 2024, modernizing it from originally being a “very male-centered” role. “We changed a lot of lines,” White said, detailing the process for altering the traditionally male role.

Gutt described the dynamic between Levine and Corban as the back-and-forth between “an annoying brother and sister” who are constantly bickering and fussing with each other. White said she and Gutt had a natural chemistry with one another all the way back in the audition process when it came to bringing across that dynamic. She feels that she and Gutt can just look at each other onstage and know where to go with their humor, which Phillips amplifies through the show’s staging and blocking.

“I don’t put them on the other side of the stage. They’re always trying to get around each other,” Phillips said. He intentionally makes each actor move past one another to make their exits to increase the natural humor and tension that comes from all the awkward maneuvering, especially between Corban and Inspector Levine. “It helps feed that (dynamic) without them having to think much about it.”

Phillips hopes the show provides audiences not only with a laugh, but something to talk about after their night at the McKinney Performing Arts Center as they try to unpack all the twists and turns within the show. “What you hope is (the audience) had a good time, they applaud, laugh, and then they talk about it afterwards,” Phillips said, referring to shows that accomplish that thought-provoking conversation as the best kind of theater.

The McKinney Repertory Theatre production of “Catch Me If You Can” runs from May 3-11 at the McKinney Performing Arts Center. McKinney Repertory Theatre is hosting a Tickets for Teachers program for the production, with all teachers able to access free tickets using the code TEACHERS24TY. For more information about the show, visit

This interview has been edited for clarity. McKinney Repertory Theatre is an official advertiser with the Collin-Denton Spotlighter. Advertising does not guarantee coverage, nor does it affect the content of any coverage on the Spotlighter.


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