REVIEW of Northwestern University Arts Alliance Presents: DOGFIGHT

Peter Duchan and Northwestern Arts Alliance production of DOGFIGHTOne of the great joys of being a parent is to watch your child grow into an adult. It’s not what they usually talk about — society typically focuses on the joy of children as innocents, but from my standpoint it’s a 100x more rewarding to create a contributing human who can change the world. It really makes everything else seem … ordinary.

I have the unique pleasure of having TWO high-functioning children who are doing amazing things with their lives. Trinity, our youngest, is well-chronicled in these pages with her diving adventures. Myrna, our oldest, is at Northwestern in the Musical Theatre (MT) program, and it’s amazing to watch her grow and mature.

This last weekend, Myrna played the role of Rose Fenny in the Arts Alliance’s 2014 production of DOGFIGHT.

This musical features Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; and Book by Peter Duchan. What was especially cool is that Peter Duchan was at the closing performance, and then spent some time with the kids afterward.

The work is based on the 1991 film which was directed by Nancy Savoca and starred River Phoenix and Lili Taylor, this show explores the love between an 18-year-old Marine, Corporal Eddie Birdlace, on his way to Vietnam, and a young woman, Rose Fenny. It is set in San Francisco, California, during the Vietnam War (1963 – 1966).

Obviously, I’m not going to do an actual review here, but I do want to say that I’ve never been prouder of Myrna and the brave performance she delivered. I was blubbering like a fool at the appropriate moments, and cheering her on as she taught Birdlace a lesson. It was inspiring; it was emotional; it was incredible. Thank you Myrna for delivering such joy and passion into the world, and I want you to know how proud I am to be your father (at least I think I am … haha, just kidding).

As a wrap-up to the DOGFIGHT experience which seemed over too quickly, here’s Myrna solo on the song “Before It’s Over” … I ONLY wish DOGFIGHT weren’t over, because I could see it a 100 times:

And here’s Myrna and Kyle Sherman doing their duet from the show: