Home / Events / Theater / Arms and the Man

Arms and the Man

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through Jan. 20., Sunday January 06 | $18-$20.
Shoebox Theater
2110 SE 10th Ave.
 
In the first minutes of George Bernard Shaw’s anti-militarism comedy, a Swiss mercenary named Bluntschli crashes through a stranger’s window after fleeing a battle in the Serbo-Bulgarian War. Sleep-deprived and grubby, he begs the room’s beautiful young Bulgarian occupant, Raina, to hide him. And upon learning he’s the sort of soldier who crams his pockets not with cartridges but with chocolates, she fortifies him with a box of chocolate creams. From there, Shaw, who was a pacifist and socialist, debunks not only romantic illusions of war, but also the hypocrisy of class differences, the immorality of keeping servants and the posturing xenophobia of patriotism. It’s a systematic, satirical takedown, stacked with biting one-liners. This Northwest Classical Theatre Company production, directed by Alana Byington, turns in numerous crowd-pleasing moments. But Arms and the Man is a deceptively difficult play, requiring director and cast to balance frivolity, didacticism and irony, and it’s in this juggling act that the production sometimes stumbles. As Bluntschli, Jason Maniccia is appropriately levelheaded and practical. Other characters are more outsize, namely Sergius (Tom Mounsey), Raina’s blustery buffoon of a fiancé. Though Bluntschli is Shaw’s voice of reason, he gave Sergius many of the punchiest lines, both serious (“Soldiering, my dear madam, is the coward’s art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak”) and droll (“I could no more fight with you than I could make love to an ugly woman”). But with a cast that walks a fine and sometimes clumsy line between naturalism and caricature, these lines feel more like Russell Stover candies than like fine Swiss chocolates: They might provide a quick kick of flavor, but the delight is unlikely to linger for long.

Where: Shoebox Theater
Phone: 971-244-3740
Address: 2110 SE 10th Ave.
Website: http://www.nwctc.org/

 
 
Other events in Theater

New York Salon

Wednesday, May 06, 2015
After a recent trip to New York City, Mark Woolley rounded up five New York artists who work in photography and curated them into an invigorating group show at his Pioneer Place gallery. In addition t ...
Mark Woolley Gallery @ Pioneer 700 SW 5th Ave., 3rd floor, Pioneer Place Mall Portland Web | Map

Static

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Sound is its own character in this introspective drama from Third Rail about a woman whose deaf husband unexpectedly dies, leaving her a perplexing mixtape. A message from beyond or an unfortunate ...

7:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 2 pm Sundays, through May 24 | $24-$47.
Imago Theatre 17 SE 8th Ave. Web | Map

Steven Quartz

Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Go ahead and claim that your new smartwatch is a practical investment for your technologically driven life, but deep down you just want to be cool (by wearing a smartwatch?). Philosopher and neuroscie ...
7:30 pm | Free
Powell's City of Books 1005 W Burnside St. Portland Web | Map
Also At Shoebox Theater

The School for Lies

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Theatergoers sit in the social parlor of sharp-tongued widow Celimene (Stephanie Cordell) for Theater Vertigo’s update of Molière’s The Misanthrop ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, April 10 through May 9 | $20
Shoebox Theater 2110 SE 10th Ave. Map

The School for Lies

Friday, May 08, 2015

Theatergoers sit in the social parlor of sharp-tongued widow Celimene (Stephanie Cordell) for Theater Vertigo’s update of Molière’s The Misanthrop ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, April 10 through May 9 | $20
Shoebox Theater 2110 SE 10th Ave. Map

The School for Lies

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Theatergoers sit in the social parlor of sharp-tongued widow Celimene (Stephanie Cordell) for Theater Vertigo’s update of Molière’s The Misanthrop ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, April 10 through May 9 | $20
Shoebox Theater 2110 SE 10th Ave. Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close