From Director Paul Daigneault
Besides serving as the founder and Producing Artistic Director of SpeakEasy Stage, Paul Daigneault is perhaps best-known as one of Boston’s premier musical theatre directors. He has tackled some of the most challenging contemporary musicals, while bringing attention to the work of exciting new composers and lyricists.
This season, he continues that streak with Dogfight, an award-winning show about an unusual romance, featuring songs by two young writers heralded as “the heirs of Rodgers and Hammerstein.” (Vanity Fair)
MAY 7 – JUN 4, 2016
What’s the show about?
Dogfight is about coming to terms with the end of innocence, both personally and on a national scale. It’s no coincidence that it’s set during the 1960s and the Vietnam War, when Americans were deeply divided on questions of our identity and our responsibilities. Eddie and Rose both make serious discoveries about themselves, about their capacities for strength, for cruelty, and for kindness. It’s a story about when the person you want to be isn’t necessarily the person you see in the mirror, and how you decide to strive for something better.
What about the project excites you?
I was attracted to the show, in part, by the inventive and challenging score by up-and-comers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who adapted the film A Christmas Story for Broadway, and who also contributed songs to the second season of Smash. In particular, I like how they combine all the classic sounds of the early 1960s with strains of more contemporary American musicals for a complicated and evocative score.
I think what really spoke to me, though, is the show’s deep emotional core. It’s hard not to fall in love with the characters, particularly with Rose’s sense of hope and longing – and how she comes into her own during the course of the musical.
Why will SpeakEasy audiences like this show?
SpeakEasy audiences are always up for an ambitious new musical that advances the form while telling a rich and tender story. Dogfight does not disappoint. The show also provides some wonderful opportunities for a company of fine young Boston actors to really shine in a show that will amaze, surprise, and I think ultimately delight.