Three marine buddies headed for Vietnam in 1963 participate in a “dogfight” game where each contributes $50 to a pot to be awarded to the one who brings a party date judged to be the ugliest “dog.” Eddie (Patrick Harney) flatters shy, folksinging waitress Rose (Jayna Katz) into her first date for this twisted event. These two are both excellent. Patrick conveys Eddie’s conflicting emotions; Jayna is a perfect Rose, with a wonderful voice and sincerity, naiveté and charm — not “conventionally beautiful” but doing a gorgeous job in this role.
All the voices are good with impressive group numbers. Matthew Bill and Joe Quick are great as Eddie’s two marine pals. The men’s chorus rocks — with appropriately macho and fun choreography by Karyn Perry. The versatile women who play the “dogs” and others are wonderful, too. Amanda Harvey is affecting as the hardened “Marcy.” Karol Garrison is a particularly versatile chameleon.
Katy Kettles’ costumes transform the many chameleon characters and also set the era so we know when four years have passed. Edric Haleen leads a wonderful, well balanced 6-piece orchestra; with the help of Sound Technician Bill Bartilson, (and a little help from the actors) the lyrics are clear.
The set is amazing in its versatility and rustic beauty — with the Golden Gate Bridge rising like a cathedral over a series of platforms and movable beams that allow for seamless scene transitions — kudos to designer/builder Jeff Boerger.
Despite the serious topics, this is an entertaining show with catchy music and a good sprinkling of humor. Director Chad Badgero can be rightfully proud. Well worth a trip to the south side!
Dogfight continues Thurs-Sat at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm through March 29.Miller Performing Arts Center on Curry Lane off Miller Road, next to North Elementary School