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‘Dogfight’ to bow Off Broadway

Summer premiere at Second Stage set

New musical “Dogfight” — from a creative team that includes the songsmiths of “A Christmas Story” and the co-screenwriter of 2010 IFC indie “Breaking Upwards” — will world preem at Off Broadway’s Second Stage Theater this summer.

Joe Mantello (“Wicked”) is onboard to helm. Tuner, based on the 1991 film that starred River Phoenix, scored the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater last year.

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the rising songwriting duo whose credits include the musical adaptation of “Christmas Story” and a stage incarnation of “James and the Giant Peach,” penned the score and “Breaking Upwards” scribe Peter Duchan the book.

Set in November 1963, “Dogfight” centers on a group of Marine recruits who, on the eve of being shipped out to Vietnam, spice up their boys-night-out with a mean-spirited bet that eventually entangles a waitress they meet during their revels.

Second Stage’s recent track record with tuners has included “Next to Normal,” which landed on Broadway and picked up a Pulitzer, as well as “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” which transferred to the Rialto for a run of more than 2 1/2 years.

Dates, casting and further details for the preem of “Dogfight” remain to be announced. Theater’s latest production, a revival of Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive” starring Norbert Leo Butz and Elizabeth Reaser, is currently in previews ahead of a Feb. 13 opening.

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