Dogfight Musical Welcomes Godspell's Nick Blaemire
By Kenneth Jones
Nick Blaemire of Broadway's Godspell has joined the world-premiere production of Dogfight, completing the musical's cast at Second Stage Theatre.
The Joe Mantello-directed company (as previously announced) will feature Annaleigh Ashford, Becca Ayers, Steven Booth, Dierdre Friel, Adam Halpin, F. Michael Haynie, Derek Klena, Lindsay Mendez (Blaemire's fellow castmate from Godspell), James Moye and Josh Segarra.
The tender and brutal tale of young people meeting in a setup that is sure to hurt feelings is based on the film of the same name. It has music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and a book by Peter Duchan.
Blaemire also appeared in Broadway's Cry-Baby and wrote the Broadway musical Glory Days (cast album on Sh-K-Boom records). His sings in his band The Hustle.
Dogfight previews begin June 27 toward an opening of July 16 at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theatre, where Next to Normal and The Little Dog Laughed premiered prior to Broadway.
Christopher Gattelli, the 2012 Tony Award winner of Newsies, will choreograph Dogfight.
Here's how Second Stage bills the new musical: "It's Nov. 21, 1963. 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 maybe a little trouble. But when Corporal Eddie Birdlace (Derek Klena, who was Tommy in Carrie Off-Broadway) meets Rose (Lindsay Mendez, of Godspell and Everyday Rapture), 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."
Dogfight is based on the Warner Bros. film and screenplay by Bob Comfort. The musical is the winner of the 2011 Richard Rodgers Studio Production Award, administered by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Costume and set design are supported by a grant from the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund.
Dogfight will feature scenic and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Paul Gallo, sound design by Fitz Patton, hair design by Josh Marquette, and make-up design by Ashley Ryan. The music director is Bryan Perri. Orchestrations are by Michael Starobin.
Pasek and Paul's projects include A Christmas Story (national tour 2011, 5th Ave Theatre 2010) and James and the Giant Peach (Goodspeed 2010). Other works include Edges (licensed by Music Theatre International, with over 150 productions worldwide from South Korea and Australia to South Africa and the Philippines) and various TV assignments, as well as Duck for President and If You Give a Pig a Pancake for Theatreworks USA. In addition to the 2011 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre, they have received the 2011 Sundance Institute Fellowship, 2011 ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, 2011 ASCAP Songwriters Fellowship Award, 2007-2008 Dramatists Guild Fellowship, 2007 Jonathan Larson Award, 2010 Fred Ebb Award Finalists, Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, and were among the "50 to Watch" from Dramatist Magazine. They both received BFAs from the University of Michigan in Musical Theatre.
Book writer Duchan co-wrote the screenplay for "Breaking Upwards," released by IFC Films in 2010. He co-wrote a short, "Unlocked," an Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival, among others. His play, Lavender Scare, was presented as part of the Geva Theatre's 2011 Plays-in-Progress series. He graduated from Northwestern University.
Mantello's directing credits in New York include Wicked, Other Desert Cities, The Pride, Pal Joey, 9 to 5 the Musical, November, The Receptionist, The Ritz, Three Days of Rain, The Odd Couple, Glengarry Glen Ross (Tony nomination), Laugh Whore, Assassins (Tony Award), Take Me Out (Tony Award), Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Design for Living, The Vagina Monologues, bash, Love! Valour! Compassion! (Tony nomination), Proposals, The Mineola Twins, Corpus Christi, Mizlansky/Zilinsky, Blue Window, God's Heart, The Santaland Diaries, Snakebit, Three Hotels and Imagining Brad.
For more information, visit 2ST.com.
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