City Paper is not for tourists
Right now in D.C., everyone and their theatergoing mother is raving about Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s new musical Dear Evan Hansen, currently playing at Arena Stage. After the show departs the District for an Off-Broadway stage, educate yourself on the pair’s previous work, Dogfight, which opens at the Keegan Theatre. Based on the 1991 film of the same name, this musical tells the story of three young Marines in the early ’60s. On the verge of deploying to Vietnam, the trio plans one more night of debauchery in San Francisco and makes a nasty bet to see who can find the ugliest date to bring to the party—the titular “dogfight.” When one of the men, Eddie Birdlace, stumbles upon shy folk singer Rose in a diner, he momentarily forgets the bet and invites her to the party. This coming-of-age musical has a lot of heart and hilarity as it explores the timeless quandary of whether bros should value one another before—well, you know. With a smartly written book by Peter Duchan and memorable songs by Pasek and Paul, this award-winning show provides emotional impact as deep as Evan Hansen’s, but with a much more affordable price tag. The play runs Aug. 22 to Sept. 19 at Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. $35–$45. (202) 265-3767. keegantheatre.com.