This Thursday, March 8, Westside High School will premiere their spring musical Dogfight. The setting of the musical takes place in 1963, centered around a group of young marines about to ship out for Vietnam. They have a tradition of hosting a ‘dogfight’, which is a dance for the marines and their dates, but with a little catch. The dance is really a contest as to who can reel in the ugliest date, winning the cash prize before they ship off. The premise of the story is around the main character Eddie Birdlace, whose date, Rose Fenny, manages to break through his shell and show him a new side of life.
“It’s a coming of age story but it’s also a story that’s pretty relevant in terms of gender politics, and what’s happening with the MeToo movement,” theater director Jeremy Stoll said. “We chose the show to speak to our students here at Westside.”
Senior Sam DeVries, who plays the male lead, said it was his first time auditioning and was thrilled to find out he had been selected as a part of the main cast. Senior Maddy Stark, who plays the female lead, has been in quite a few productions before, but said she is really looking forward to Dogfight.
“I think what’s really appealing about our show is that it’s really relatable and funny, and the music is divine,” Stark said. “I love it so much.”
The music in this production has been praised by many of the other cast members and the directors. The musical score was produced by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who have written music for the likes of La La Land, The Greatest Showman, and Dear Evan Hansen. Musical director Greg Woodin said a lot of work has gone into this production between the students in the cast, the behind the scenes crew, tech director Jon Allemang, Stoll, and Woodin himself. The idea of doing this musical has been in the works for about a year, and was finalized with the auditions this January. Overall everyone said that this production is definitely one to go see.
“There’s a lot of truth behind this show, and there’s a lot of connection behind this show,” Woodin said. “It really is a show for everyone.”
The show dates for this production are March 8-10 at 7 p.m. and March 11 at 2 p.m. The tickets are seven dollars for students and 12 dollars for adults.