Dogfight, a new musical based on the 1991 Warner Bros. film of the same name, will receive its world premiere at off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre in the summer of 2012. Directed by Joe Mantello, the musical features music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and a book by Peter Duchan. Exact dates, casting, and complete creative team will be announced shortly.
Set on November 21, 1963, Dogfight follows three young Marines on the eve of their deployment to a small but growing conflict in Southeast Asia. The trio sets out for one last boys’ night of debauchery, partying, and maybe a little trouble. When Corporal Eddie Birdlace meets Rose, 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 film, which features a screenplay by Bob Comfort starred River Phoenix as Eddie and Lili Taylor as Rose.
Pasek and Paul’s current projects include musicals A Christmas Story and James and the Giant Peach. Other works include Edges, Sesame Street, Disney TV series Johnny & the Sprites, Duck for President and If You Give a Pig a Pancake. Duchan co-wrote the screenplay for Breaking Upwards, released by IFC Films in 2010, as well as the short film Unlocked, an Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. His play, Lavender Scare, was presented as part of the Geva Theatre's 2011 Plays-in-Progress series.
Mantello is a Tony Award winner for Assassins and Take Me Out, and earned nominations for Glengarry Glen Ross and Love! Valour! Compassion! His other Broaday directing credits include The Pride, Pal Joey, 9 to 5, The Ritz, Three Days of Rain, and he is currently represented on Broadway by Wicked and Other Desert Cities. As an actor, he earned Tony noms for The Normal Heart and Angels in America.