Monday, January 25, 2021

“Dogfight” Shows the Harsh Reality of the ’60s

Image: Coronado Playhouse

Dogfight is a romantic and comic musical adaptation of the 1991 movie with River Phoenix and Lili Taylor. Going into the theater, I heard a woman behind me tell her date to grab tissues as she had seen it before. The audience laughed, clapped, and cried.

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Perhaps it is coming off watching the season finale of The Bachelorette that made this feel particularly wrong. Spoiler alter- on this season of The Bachelorette Hannah B. got engaged and then dumped him when she found out he was a liar who was using her. In this play, Rose gave out chances time and time again to a man who she knew lied to her and used her. Living in 2019 makes it hard to watch how some women allowed themselves to be treated in 1963.

Director Teri Brown is brilliant. In her playbill notes, she explains to the audience that, “In today’s context, what you are about to see will make you uncomfortable. But amidst its profanity and machismo, Dogfight doesn’t condone the men’s treatment of the women, but rather shines a harsh spotlight on a long-standing ugly military tradition.” These feelings were shared between both my guest, Peggy, and myself. We felt very uncomfortable during the performance, but when it ended it led to great dialogue between us. We discussed life in a different era, how far we have come, and how far we still have left.

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Photo Credit: Ken Jacques

As for the acting, Sara Ah Sing is an incredible Rose. I felt like I understood the character (even if I didn’t agree with her) and her singing is beautiful. I wish there would have been more opportunity for Danica Waitley, who played the feisty Marcy. The two women shared an empowering duet that is more in line with present day opinions.

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The harsh reality Director Teri intended was experienced by Peggy. Peggy shares, “Overall, it was unsettling. Especially with women. Are we still at that point? The attitude of the men. The constant use of profanity. I felt sorry that’s how men are and how they treat women. But the performance was good- Rose gave an excellent performance.”

Dogfight opened July 26th and runs through August 25th.

Coronado Playhouse
1835 Strand Way, Coronado, CA 92118

Ticket Information

Purchase tickets through Coronado Playhouse’s Box Office at (619) 435-4856 or online at

Tickets for this production:

  • Thursday: $22.00
  • Friday: $27.00
  • Saturday: $28.00
  • Sunday: $25.00
  • Active Military, Student & Senior Discount & Great Group Rates.

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Alyssa K. Burns
Alyssa is a graduate of Coronado High School and was in the founding broadcast journalism class at CHS. She earned her BA in Communication from CSU East Bay and completed her MBA from CSU San Marcos. Her passion for writing and interest in the behind the scenes of business, leads her to write frequently about Coronado businesses. You can find Alyssa walking around the ferry landing with her husband and shih-tzu terrier or enjoying a cup of coffee at one of Coronado's favorite cafes.Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: