South Eugene Theater’s winter season continues next week with the fourth production of the year: Dogfight. This musical features music and lyrics written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who have composed music for La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen, and The Greatest Showman. The show takes place in 1960’s San Francisco, where a group of Marines celebrate their last night in the U.S. before shipping out to Vietnam. The Marines decide to participate in a dogfight, or a competition to bring the ugliest date to a party. With that goal in mind, Eddie Birdlace invites Rose, a waitress, to the party. What follows is a story of love, heartbreak, friendship and war.
Though the show may have a strange plot, the musical still offers a fascinating commentary on American society.
“I think Dogfight is a compelling show because it touches on the timely themes of how men in positions of power treat women. It also portrays the grim reality of life for someone preparing to go to war,” junior Sarah Parsons, a member of the cast, said.
Last year, South Eugene Theater made headlines when they performed Spring Awakening, a controversial and mature musical discussing issues such as censorship, adolescence and sexuality. This year’s musical is no different; it is similarly rated MA-14 due to profanity and sexual situations. However, the mature rating should not be a deterrent to any interested in seeing the show. Dogfight will make audience members laugh and cry with its moving story, but most of all, it will change the way they think about society and the people around them.
“This show is relevant to life in America in the 1960s and in 2018,” Parsons said.
Dogfight runs Feb. 8-10, 15-17 and 22-24 at 7:00 PM in the auditorium. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors, and $15 for adults. They can be bought at the box office or online at southeugenetheater.org.