BWW Review: DOGFIGHT at Eclipse

BWW Review: DOGFIGHT at EclipseHere's the premise, it's 1963 and the night before three soldiers are about to be shipped off to Vietnam. They've decided to hold a dogfight, a marine tradition where each guy tries to find the ugliest date possible. The winner takes the pot and the girl is never the wiser. Eddie Birdlace (Patrick Dinnsen) meets Rose, a waitress who he decides will work in a pinch, unfortunately she's more than he bargained for.

It's a popular show at the moment because its music and lyrics were written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the duo responsible for the Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen and songs from La La Land and The Greatest Showman. Their skill of crafting a heart wrenching story with songs is evident in this show as well.

The show is such a delight and surprises audiences with its heart and beautiful vocals. The cast is young, all veteran members of Summer Stock Stage productions, and they are so talented. Emily Ristine Holloway's direction highlights moments of tenderness between the couples and friends. She gives the performers room to connect while keeping the scenes simple and allowing the focus to stay on the characters' growth.

The chemistry of the two lead actors, Leela Rothenberg as Rose and Dinnsen feels raw and real. They share some beautiful duets laced with innocence and vulnerability. Dinnsen and his two best friends Joey Mervis and John Collins, are so naïve. Their idea of manhood has been distorted by the cliché of a former generation and decades of propaganda posters. Watching their earnest characters attempt to strut their way to war is hard to see.

The stage has two levels with a live band tucked away behind black curtain on the first floor. The sets are simple and the costumes are versatile, allowing the supporting cast o easily transition between roles. Because of the adult content and language I'd recommend this one for adults.

These rising stars are ones to watch and I can't wait to see you with this crop of new young talent does next.

Don't Miss the Show

For more information about the Summer Stock Stage, visit Dogfight is being performed at the IndyFringe

Theater is located at 719 E. St Clair Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Performances: The show until June 17 and offers four performances a week. Thursday shows begin at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.

Tickets: To purchase tickets visit Prices range from $20 to $30.

Photos courtesy of Eclipse.

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From This Author Melissa Hall

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