Home / Events / Theater / Arms and the Man

Arms and the Man

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through Jan. 20., Saturday January 12 | $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

Enter the Night

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015
In Enter the Night, playwright Maria Irene Fornes takes on big issues. One character mourns the loss of his lover to AIDS. Another visits a doctor for her worsening heart palpitations. The thir ...
7:30 pm Thursdays-Sundays through Feb. 8 | $15-$40
Shaking the Tree 823 SE Grant Ave. Portland Web | Map

The Snowstorm

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015
The Snowstorm begins with an intense concert. Sitting at a piano in the darkened theater, Eric Nordin looks calm and serene, but that belies the torrent of sound he’s producing. As the final, ...
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Feb. 7 | $15-$25
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

"Mom?" A Comedy of Mourners

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015

New ensemble Box of Clowns presents a slapstick- and acrobatics-filled clown show about three siblings wrestling with their memories of their mother.

9:30 pm Fridays; 7 pm Saturdays and 8 pm Sundays through Feb. 1 | $10-$12
Also At Shoebox Theater

The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015
Though its title might suggest something adorably uncomfortable, Lukas Bärfuss’ The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents is downright anxiety-inducing. For years, Dora (Shawna Nordman) has taken m ...
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Feb. 14 | $20; Thursdays "pay what you will"
Shoebox Theater 2110 SE 10th Ave. Web | Map

The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents

Thursday, Feb 05, 2015
Though its title might suggest something adorably uncomfortable, Lukas Bärfuss’ The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents is downright anxiety-inducing. For years, Dora (Shawna Nordman) has taken m ...
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Feb. 14 | $20; Thursdays "pay what you will"
Shoebox Theater 2110 SE 10th Ave. Web | Map

The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents

Friday, Feb 06, 2015
Though its title might suggest something adorably uncomfortable, Lukas Bärfuss’ The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents is downright anxiety-inducing. For years, Dora (Shawna Nordman) has taken m ...
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Feb. 14 | $20; Thursdays "pay what you will"
Shoebox Theater 2110 SE 10th Ave. Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close