Catch Me in the Country

A high point of Broadway’s “Catch Me if You Can” is the sweet, catchy tune “Seven Wonders.” Aaron Tveit and Kerry Butler are tangled in hospital sheets, and Tveit woos Butler with this jet-setting ballad (jump to 1:50):

Did you catch Tveit’s little intro? “It’s kind of a country tune, if you can imagine that.” There’s a bit of swing, some softhearted lyrics, and a sturdy home fixation. (Beautifully accompanied onstage at the Neil Simon, “Seven Wonders” has even more of that percussive, catchy twang than this tiny YouTube clip.)

We shouldn’t be so surprised: showtunes and country music have a lot in common. For one, they’re scorned cousins of pop music, often mocked for their emotional, narrative content. Also, and unlike contemporary club music, they wear their hearts on their sleeves. (Katy Perry can smirk her way through “California Girls,” but that contempt would quickly wheeze and die in a theater or country song.)

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Spring Fever

It’s marquee season on Broadway — the moment just before spring shows go into full swing, and freshly postered theaters taunt their half-baked wares to hungry passers-by. Every new show is a potential hit, and this sense of promise makes a theater-lover giddy with ticket-buying anticipation.

What to see first is the real question: “How to Succeed,” starring a wandless Daniel Radcliff? Or “Book of Mormon,” whose workshops were such a smash that reviews might be irrelevant? (As the show’s pervasive ad material frequently reminds us, “Vogue” has already surmised that “Mormon” might be “the funniest musical of all time.”) Then, of course, there’s “Catch Me if You Can,” the new project from the team behind that most rapturous of musical-theater perfections, “Hairspray.” Can they live up to their poppy, Tony-gilded reputation? Let’s hope so!

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