DOGFIGHT to Open At Cal State Fullerton Next Week

“Dogfight” runs April 21–May 6, 2023.

By: Apr. 15, 2023
DOGFIGHT to Open At Cal State Fullerton Next Week
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The final theatrical production of the Spring 2023 season, the musical "Dogfight," begins April 21, 2023 and runs through May 6, in the Young Theatre on campus. "Dogfight" is written by Peter Duchan with music and lyrics by Pasek & Paul, and is directed by Josh Grisetti with musical direction by Sarah Grandpre and choreography by Courtney Ozovek.

Based on the 1991 film starring Lily Taylor and River Phoenix, "Dogfight" is the winner of the 2011 Richard Rodgers Studio Production Award and 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical. It follows Eddie Birdlace and his fellow Marines who, on the eve of deployment to Vietnam, partake in the dehumanizing, sexist ritual of "the dogfight" where each man wagers on who can bring the 'ugliest girl' to a mock dance. Eddie's bravado is shaken when the girl he chooses, Rose Fenny, inadvertently awakens his humanity and challenges him to see the world in a more empathetic and compassionate light. Can Eddie escape the shackles of the toxic masculinity he was socially conditioned to accept, or is he destined to be destroyed by them?

Playwright Peter Duchan co-wrote the screenplay for "Breaking Upwards" (2010), released by IFC Films. He co-wrote the short "Unlocked" which was an Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival, among others. His play, "Lavender Scare," was presented as part of the Geva Theatre's 2011 Plays-in-Progress series. Oscar, Grammy, Tony, and Olivier Award-winning songwriters/producers Benj Pasek & Justin Paul are best known for their work on "La La Land," "Dear Evan Hansen," and "The Greatest Showman." Their songs "City of Stars" and "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" (co-written with Justin Hurwitz) from "La La Land" were both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, with "City of Stars" winning the Academy Award as well as the Golden Globe in the same category. Most recently, their prjoects include the live action musical "Spirited" and "Lyle, Lyle Crocodile."

The play is directed by actor, Assistant Professor and head of CSUF's musical theatre B.F.A. program, Josh Grisetti. Grisetti has starred in Broadway's "Something Rottten!," "It Shoulda Been You" (Clarence Derwent Award winner), and Neil Simon's revival of "Broadway Bound." Off-Broadway, he has starred in "Rent," "Peter and the Starcatcher," and "Enter Laughing" (Theatre World Award winner), among others. His television credits include a starring role in the ABC sitcom "The Knights of Prosperity," and appearances in "Nurse Jackie" and multiple series regular roles. He is currently appearing in the Amazon Prime series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Grisetti's many film credits include "The Immigrant," "Revolutionary Road," and "The Namesake." He recently directed "Something Rottten!" at Musical Theatre West, and "Shoulda Been You" at Musical Theatre Guild in Los Angeles, and has authored the book, "God in My Head" (Tantor Media, LLC). Grisetti holds an M.F.A. in performance pedagogy from Loyola Marymount University and a B.F.A. in musical theatre from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music.

The cast of "Dogfight" includes Spencer Sharp, Naya Ramsey-Clark, Gaby Garcia, Jackson Marcy, Ethan Davis, Brennan Trudel, Madison Shuck, Aaron Lister, and Owen DiSciullo, with Katie Mathers, Quinn O'Sonis, Olivia Amigo, Elise Ruvira, Avery Morton, Payton Homer, Jeremy Swofford, Jordan Simpson, Micah Nicholson, Erick Sanchez, Kellie Petrosian, Mikaela Ruiz, Braxton McGrath, and Paige Ragan.

"Dogfight" runs April 21-May 6, 2023, with performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm and Saturdays, at 2:00 pm in the Young Theatre at Clayes Performing Arts Center. An ASL translated performance will be offered on April 27 at 8:00 pm with talk-backs on April 22, 29 and May 6 after the 2:00 pm shows. General Admission tickets are $24/$22 (Titan Discount) and are available by calling (657) 278-3371, 12-4 pm, Tuesday through Friday, at the Clayes Performing Arts Center Box Office or online.

CSUF's award-winning dancers and choreographers close the season in "Spring Dance Theatre," featuring dynamic performances designed to challenge and engage. "Spring Dance Theatre" runs May 4-14, 2023 in the Little Theatre on the campus of Cal State Fullerton, with performances at 8:00 pm May 4-13 and 2:00 pm May 6, 13. General Admission tickets are $14/$12 (Titan Discount) and are available by calling (657) 278-3371, 12-4 pm, Tuesday through Friday at the Clayes Performing Arts Center Box Office or online.


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