Last Friday evening, Doorstep Arts opened the Victorian premiere of the award-winning Pasek and Paul musical, Dogfight.
Dogfight follows the story of a young group of Marines, who have 24 hours in San Francisco before they are shipped off to fight in Vietnam. Eddie Birdlace and his two friends, Boland and Bernstein, who call themselves the Three Bees, are planning on attending the Dogfight that evening – a party where each Marine puts in $50 and whoever brings the ugliest date wins the pot. Eddie discovers Rose, a waitress with a kind and shy nature, and invites her to be his date to the Dogfight. Once Marcie, another date to the Dogfight, reveals the purpose of the party to Rose, she is furious. However, what follows proves that this isn’t your typical boy-meets-girl black comedy.
Throughout Doorstep Arts’ production, it was made clear that this version of the play was not portraying its female characters as victims, but as strong independent women. This is a message of extreme importance for both men and women, especially when witnessing a situation such as the Dogfight.
Olivia Charalambous brought the perfect balance of naivety and strength to the character of Rose. Her rendition of Pretty Funny was beautifully understated. It captured Rose’s strength and sorrow with raw honesty.
Alex Woodward’s performance as Eddie fleshed out the growth that this character goes through in a heartbreaking manner. His skills shone, particularly in Act Two.
An honourable mention must go to Jaclyn DeVincentis for her brutally honest performance as Marcie. Her portrayal of this character complemented Charalambous’ and reiterated that there need not be any pity for the strong female characters in this production. Brava!
Another honourable mention must go to the hardworking ensemble for their commitment and talent.
The design of this production was simple yet effective. The set was smart, and was easily transformed as the story required. The lighting complemented the production, specifically in Act Two. The costume design was wonderful and, once again, permitted time changes, as well as giving further insight into each character.
Dogfight plays at Chapel Off Chapel through the May the 15th.
Head to http://www.chapeloffchapel.com.au for all ticketing details.