Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York
Dogfight was hailed as “the year’s best new musical” when it was staged in London in 2014 – and Pick Me Up’s production just a year later gave York audiences the chance to see why.
Holly Surtees-Smith and Conor Mellor were “terrific” (York Press) as Rose and Eddie, the young couple who fall in love the night before Eddie’s deployed to Vietnam.
Eddie and his fellow Marines have arranged a “dogfight” for their last night at home – a competition to bring the ugliest girl to a party. Eddie finds his girl in awkward, idealistic waitress Rose – but she rewrites the rules of the game and teaches him the power of compassion.
It’s a powerful and moving story with thrilling and beautiful music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul – and the Pick Me Up cast and Barbara Chan’s onstage band earned standing ovations for their performances
The production was a triumph for director George Stagnell and choreographer Matthew Hill – with one of the highlights a jaw-dropping battle scene with flashes, explosions and pyrotechnics by lighting and sound team Adam Moore and Ian Thomson.
Pick Me Up’s production of Dogfight followed straight on from Buddy The Buddy Holly Story, with most of the cast and band performing in both shows. Members of the audience attracted by the more familiar Buddy had come back to see Dogfight and left raving about the show and the sheer talent and versatility of the cast.
Dogfight premiered off-Broadway in 2012, winning the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, and earned five-star reviews when it was staged at the Southwark Playhouse in London last year. The Guardian called it “cleverly written and hugely enjoyable”, The Independent “one of the most enjoyable, moving and stimulating new musicals in ages”, and Libby Purves on TheatreCat said it was “warm, wonderful, wise … the year’s best new musical”.
August 13-15 2015
Music and lyrics by
Justin Paul and Benj Pasek
Gibbs, Waiter, Stevens' party date
Pete, Sarge, Big Tony