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Tuesday, 31 January 2012 14:35

New Musical DOGFIGHT to Premiere at Second Stage Theatre This Summer

Second Stage Theatre to Present
The World Premiere Musical


Music and Lyrics by


Directed by JOE MANTELLO

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New Musical to Premiere Summer 2012

Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director) will conclude its 33rd season with the World Premiere of the new musical, DOGFIGHT,featuring music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, a book by Peter Duchan and directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello.  Winner of the prestigious 2011 Richards Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre, DOGFIGHTwill be performed at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre (305 West 43rd street) this summer.  Exact dates, casting, and complete creative team will be announced shortly.  For more information, please visit

{module ad_left_body}It’s November 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 meets Rose, 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.



BENJ PASEK and JUSTIN PAUL’s current 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), Sesame Street, Johnny & the Sprites (Disney TV series), Duck for President and If You Give a Pig a Pancake (Theatreworks USA).  In addition to the 2011 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre, which they received for DOGFIGHT, 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 "50 to Watch" from Dramatist Magazine. They both received BFAs from the University of Michigan in Musical Theatre.

Book writer PETER DUCHAN co-wrote the screenplay for "Breaking Upwards," released by IFC Films in 2010. He also served as Associate Producer of the movie, which premiered at South by Southwest in 2009. 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. DOGFIGHT received the 2011 Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. Peter graduated from Northwestern University.

JOE MANTELLO is currently represented by Wicked and Other Desert Cities.  He has also directed 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, Imagining Brad.  Film: Love! Valour! Compassion! As an actor, he has appeared in The Normal Heart (Tony nomination), Angels in America (Tony nomination) and The Baltimore Waltz.  He has received Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes, Clarence Derwent, Obie and Joe A. Callaway awards. He is a member of Naked Angels and an associate artist at the Roundabout.


Founded in 1979 under the leadership of Artistic Director Carole Rothman, SECOND STAGE THEATRE produces a diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America’s best contemporary theatre, including Tiny Alice and Peter and Jerry by Edward Albee; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; Little Murders by Jules Feiffer; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo’s Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; Painting Churches and Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants and On the Stem by Ricky Jay; Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; Living Out by Lisa Loomer; This Is Our Youth and The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan; Some Men by Terrence McNally; eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; Everyday Rapture by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott; Let Me Down Easy by Anna Deavere Smith; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Crowns by Regina Taylor; Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein; Spoils of War by Michael Weller; Before It Hits Home, Jar the Floor and Birdie Blue by Cheryl L. West; Jitney by August Wilson; Lemon Sky, Serenading Louie and Sympathetic Magic by Lanford Wilson; and Metamorphoses and The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci by Mary Zimmerman. 

The company’s more than 130 citations include the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Next to Normal, the 2009 Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Orchestrations, and Best Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley) for Next to Normal, the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed), 2005 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, ...Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, ...Spelling Bee), 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses), the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 26 Obie Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Clarence Derwent Awards, 12 Drama Desk Awards, nine Theatre World Awards, 11 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle Award and 15 AUDELCO Awards.

In 1999, Second Stage Theatre opened The Tony Kiser Theatre, its state-of-the-art, 296-seat theatre, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.  In 2002, Second Stage launched “Second Stage Theatre Uptown” series to showcase the work of up and coming artists at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre.  The Theatre supports artists through several programs that include residencies, fellowships and commissions, and engages students and community members through education and outreach programs.

Second Stage Theatre’s current season will continue with a new production of Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, How I Learned To Drive, directed by Kate Whoriskey and starring Norbert Leo Butz and Elizabeth Reaser.  Currently in previews, the production will officially open on February 13.  The season will continue this spring with the world premiere of Paul Weitz’s latest play, Lonely, I’m Not, directed by Trip Cullman. 


Second Stage Theatre has acquired the right to purchase the historic Helen Hayes Theatre, located at 240 W. 44th Street.  With this new home, Second Stage will be the only theatre company on Broadway dedicated exclusively to the development and presentation of contemporary American theatrical productions.  Second Stage will also become one of only four non-profit theatre companies that own and operate theatres on Broadway.  The company will continue to lease and operate their original theatres on the city’s Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan.

For more information, please visit

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