A pitch-perfect manufacturing that grabs consideration
Musical Theatre / “Dogfight”. At Gungahlin Theatre till February 4. Reviewed by BILL STEPHENS.
THE premise is unsavoury ; the language usually coarse and confronting; but right here’s a poetic, pitch-perfect manufacturing that grabs consideration from the very first moments and doesn’t let go till the ultimate affecting denouement.
The musical issues three younger marines who, on their closing evening on the town earlier than being shipped off to struggle in Vietnam, enter a pact during which the winner would be the one who brings the ugliest date to a celebration referred to as a dogfight.
It was a observe apparently inspired by the American Marines as a casual train in dehumanisation to make it emotionally easier for them to hold out their violent orders.
Anchoring the manufacturing, within the central function as Eddie, Alexander Membership is riveting. He performs the younger marine who finds himself juggling his confusion over his loyalty to his mates and his rising emotions for Rose, the naïve younger waitress he’s satisfied to be his date.
He’s matched each second of the way in which by Taylor Paliaga’s charismatic portrayal as Rose, during which her each transfer and response feels completely plausible and genuine, making it unimaginable to not grow to be invested within the consequence of their story.
Supporting these two exceptional performances on this tightly centered manufacturing is a powerful ensemble of skilled performers led by Will Collett and Grayson Woodham as Eddie’s mates, Boland and Bernstein. Distinguishing themselves in crucial character roles, Equipment Berry is a standout because the goodtime lady, Marcy; Kirrily Cornwell is completely plausible as Rose’s involved mom; Liam Downing makes a powerful impression as Fector, and Pippin Carrol scores along with his sly cameo because the worldly lounge singer.
Charlotte Gearside brings aptitude to her cameo because the affected person restaurateur whereas Luke Ferdinands, Kara Murphy, Rachel Search engine optimisation, Frank Shanahan and Rachel Thornton all impress with their completely on-song contributions.
A very spectacular function of this manufacturing is the choreography of Nathan Rutups, who clearly understands that there’s extra to choreographing modern musicals than inventing intelligent dance steps.
For this manufacturing Rutups has created a dreamlike motion vocabulary for his forged of predominantly non-dancers who all take part in elegant scene adjustments during which furnishings swirls across the stage and mysterious figures all of the sudden flit via Chris Zuber’s fairly stunning summary setting, enhanced as it’s by the atmospheric lighting design achieved by Craig Muller and Grant Pegg .
Equally spectacular is the musical course of Caleb Campbell who, from his keyboard, confidently guided his orchestra and forged via the complexities of the Pasek and Paul rating reaching, with the help of James McPherson’s delicate sound design, a superb stability between the singers and his wonderful on-stage orchestra.
“Dogfight” is the newest in an extended line of spectacular productions introduced by Richard Block along with his Dramatic Productions, which he created particularly to current musicals within the Gungahlin Theatre. This manufacturing of “Dogfight”, with its very good mixture of polished course, musical course, choreography, wonderful set and costume design supported with very good sound and lighting design, is a manufacturing that will grace any skilled stage and, as such, regardless of its comparatively temporary season, is one to not be missed by anybody with even a passing curiosity within the artwork of musical theatre.
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Ian Meikle, editor