Justin Paul, Peter Duchan — And Joe Mantello

Joe Mantello is a huge name on Broadway. Justin Paul and Peter Duchan soon will be.

Mantello — a very hot director, with 2 Tony Awards among his many credits — has just been announced as director of the world premiere of “Dogfight.” The musical is set for Second Stage Theatre in June.

Justin Paul

“Dogfight”‘s book is by Peter Duchan. The music and lyrics are by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.  Peter and Justin are Staples grads; Benj is very familiar locally, as a longtime collaborator with Justin.

Set in 1960s San Francisco, “Dogfight” follows Eddie Birdlace, a Marine about to ship out to Vietnam.  He and his friends hold a cruel competition — a “dogfight” – during which each man brings the ugliest date he can find to a party.

According to Playbill.com, “Eddie finds Rose, a diner waitress whose idealism and compassion challenge him on his last evening before he ships out. When he returns, a broken man, to a changed America, he may finally be ready for the redemptive kindness Rose offers.”

“Dogfight” won the 2011 Richards Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre.

Benj and Justin’s current projects include “A Christmas Story” (national tour 2011) and “James and the Giant Peach” (Goodspeed 2010).

Peter Duchan

Peter co-wrote the screenplay for “Breaking Upwards,” released by IFC Films last year. He also co-wrote a short, “Unlocked,” an Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival, among others.

As for Joe — the only person with non-Westport connections in this story — he is currently represented on Broadway by “Wicked” and “Other Desert Cities.” He has also directed “Pal Joey,” “9 to 5 the Musical,” “The Odd Couple,” “Glengarry Ross, “Take Me Out, “The Vagina Monologues,” “Love! Valour! Compassion” and “The Santaland Diaries” — among many others.

Now he’s got one more accomplishment: Working with Justin Paul and Peter Duchan.

2 responses to “Justin Paul, Peter Duchan — And Joe Mantello

  1. Congrats to Justin and Peter, and to the Staples Players program. It’s obvious that these two are destined for much success in the theatre world.

  2. Westporter4ever

    Thanks Dan! Dogfight sounds interesting…I will definitley pick up a copy!