What do you get when you mix energetic dance numbers with an awkward affair and soldiers heading to war? “Dogfight,” winner of the 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, captures the violence and innocence of an era.
It’s 1963 and, on the eve of their deployment to Vietnam, a group of tough-talking Marines spend a last rowdy night on the town in San Francisco. On the agenda: drinking, debauchery and a cruel game called “Dogfight,” in which the players each bet $50 to see who can bring the ugliest date to their party.
PFC Eddie Birdlace invites Rose, a shy waitress who is an aspiring folk singer and budding pacifist, to the party. When Rose discovers the true purpose of their date, she is crushed and humiliated. But when she sees that Birdlace is genuinely remorseful, she gives him a second chance and an awkward romance unfolds.
Directed by Jessica Ryan. Music and lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. Book by Peter Duchan. Musical adaptation of Nancy Savoca’s 1991 film, “Dogfight.”