The Best of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Theatrical Unveils Dogfight: A Melodic Journey of Intimacy and Emotional Resonance

In the heart of Melbourne’s cultural scene, Theatrical takes the stage at Chapel Off Chapel, presenting its latest masterpiece, ‘Dogfight.’ Building on the success of past productions like ‘American Idiot’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ Theatrical brings forth a limited season of this emotionally charged musical, running from November 9 to 26.

The musical enchantment begins with the melodies of Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, known for their work on ‘La La Land’ and ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’ Guiding this captivating journey is Pip Mushin, a seasoned director whose recent acclaim with ‘Midnight’ speaks volumes.

Mushin shares his vision for ‘Dogfight,’ stating, “Theatrical’s production explores the complexities of human nature and ultimately, the redemptive power of love and empathy.”

Transported to 1963 San Francisco, ‘Dogfight’ unfolds on the eve of the Marines’ deployment to Southeast Asia. Three young soldiers seek camaraderie on a night of revelry. However, when Corporal Eddie Birdlace encounters Rose, a waitress with ideals that defy his callous bet, the game of love takes an unexpected turn.

“In 1963, America was only just coming to terms with seeing their sons go off to fight another country’s war,” notes Mushin. ‘Dogfight’ ingeniously marries traditional musical theatre aesthetics with original stylization and Broadway forms.

The small venue of Chapel Off Chapel provides an intimate experience between the actors and the audience. The cleverly executed set design effortlessly transforms the limited space into multiple locations, adding depth and richness to the performance.

A live band accompanies the stellar cast, with Daniel Nieborski (Eddie) and Antoinette Davis (Rose) leading the way. Davis’s vocal performance in the role of Rose stands out as a highlight, adding an extra layer of emotional resonance to the production.

The ensemble cast, including Tristan Sicari, Josh Direen, Maddy Pratt, Kael Serin-D’Alterio, John Ninis, Amir Yacoub, Olivia Linas, Cindy Yan, Ryan Etlis, Amber Sindoni, Andrew Mason, and Jessica Robinson, adds layers of depth and vibrancy to the production.

Choreographed by the brilliant Adriana Pannuzzo (‘Midnight’) and musically directed by Timothy John Wilson (‘Phantom of the Opera,’ ‘Spring Awakening’), ‘Dogfight’ stands as a testament to creative synergy, elevating the production to celestial heights.

In the intimate embrace of Chapel Off Chapel, Theatrical’s ‘Dogfight’ emerges as a beacon of emotions, a kaleidoscope of movement, and a celebration of the human spirit. This limited season promises to be a symphony of theatrical brilliance – an unmissable journey into the heart of love and redemption. 

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Written by: Michael Kent

Images: Nicole Cleary