Barbara B. Mann 'filled with joy and full of life' on 100th birthday

Barbara B. Mann celebrated her 100th birthday on stage with family and two sons, George Jr. 'Pat' and Franklin, on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, at her self-named building, the Barabra B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at Edison State College. The centenarian took stage for less than 10 minutes being handed flowers by former famed con artist-turned FBI agent Frank Abagnale Jr. and a cake made by local confectioner Norman Love. The cameo took place before the Broadway series presentation of 'Catch Me If You Can. 'How does it feel? It feels like I did when I was 90, filled with joy and full of life,' Mann said.

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Barbara B. Mann celebrated her 100th birthday on stage with family and two sons, George Jr. "Pat" and Franklin, on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, at her self-named building, the Barabra B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at Edison State College. The centenarian took stage for less than 10 minutes being handed flowers by former famed con artist-turned FBI agent Frank Abagnale Jr. and a cake made by local confectioner Norman Love. The cameo took place before the Broadway series presentation of "Catch Me If You Can. "How does it feel? It feels like I did when I was 90, filled with joy and full of life," Mann said.

Video from NBC-2

A vision in a long dress and sparkly white sweater, Barbara B. Mann celebrated 100 years of life Friday night at the Fort Myers performing arts center that bears her name.

"Today is January 4th, my 100th birthday," she told the audience, pretending to fall over in shock.

"How does it feel? It feels like I did when I was 90. Filled with joy and full of life," she said after the on-stage ceremony.

Mann's family honored her just before an 8 p.m. performance of the musical "Catch Me if You Can," the story of a famous con man and escape artist who at times posed as a doctor, lawyer, pilot and federal agent.

At the theater to celebrate with Mann was Frank Abagnale Jr., the man whose story sparked the feature film and play.

"I made a special trip to wish you a happy birthday and thank you for all you've done to the community," said Abagnale, who answered questions from the audience following the show.

Led by her sons Pat and Frank, the audience sang "Happy birthday" to Mann, who has lived in Southwest Florida since 1923. At intermission, those in attendance also were given cupcakes as part of the celebration.

The so-called "First Lady of the Theatre" in Fort Myers has long come to symbolize the local arts community. An actress, pianist, organist and choir director, Mann helped found the Fort Myers Community Concert Association in 1948, serving as president for half a century.

Mann's namesake building opened in 1986, with her son Frank Mann, a former state senator, helping secure the funding. Since that time, the performing arts center has brought major stars to Fort Myers, most recently comedian Jerry Seinfeld and rock band Heart in 2012.

Signs of Mann's 100th birthday were apparent almost everywhere in the center. TV screens in the lobby showed an interview with the centenarian, a flashing billboard outside the theater wished her a happy birthday and a program for "Catch Me If You Can" was plastered with her likeness.

"You are here on an incredibly special evening," general manager Scott Saxon told the audience.

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