Penn State Centre Stage Presents DOGFIGHT, Now thru 4/11

Penn State Centre Stage will present the award-winning musical, Dogfight, tonight, April 1-11 at the Downtown Theatre Centre. With music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and a book by Peter Duchan, the production will be directed by Richard Roland, music directed by Jordan Jones-Reese, and will feature an exciting cast of current Penn State students.

Called "an intimate little heartbreaker of beguiling freshness" (Newsday), Dogfight - a musical based on the 1991 film of the same name - tells a tender and brutal tale of young people meeting in a situation certain to end in heartbreak. On the eve of their deployment to a small but growing conflict in Southeast Asia, three young Marines set out for one final boys' night of debauchery, partying, and perhaps a little trouble. When Corporal Eddie Birdlace meets Rose, however, an awkward and idealistic waitress he enlists to win a cruel bet with his fellow recruits, she rewrites the rules of the game and teaches him the power of compassion.

The original production of Dogfight opened on July 16, 2012 at the Second Stage Theatre in New York City and concluded its limited run on August 19, 2012. Directed by Joe Mantello and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, the production starred Lindsay Mendez as Rose and Derek Klena as Eddie. The show received rave reviews for its writers and for Mendez's tour-de-force performance, and won Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Choreographer. The original cast recording of Dogfight was released on April 30, 2013, and in August of 2014, the musical had its European premiere at the Southwark Playhouse in London.

"I am very excited to be directing Dogfight for Penn State Centre Stage," said Richard Roland, a second-year candidate for Penn State's M.F.A in Directing for the Musical Theatre Stage degree. "Even though the show is set in the 1960's, the issues it addresses are still present today. While the characters and situations in Dogfight are indeed complex, they are intertwined with a powerful and moving musical score that ensures the show's accessibility to audiences."

Preview at 7:30 p.m.: April 1; Evenings at 7:30 p.m.: April 3, 4 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Matinee at 2 p.m.: April 4, 11. Evenings: $25; Preview/Matinee: $18; Penn State Students (with valid PSU ID): $12. For additional show information, visit Tickets are available at Penn State Tickets Downtown, Eisenhower Box Office, Bryce Jordan Center, or by calling (814) 863-0255 or 1 (800) ARTS-TIX. Generous student and group sales discounts are available.

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