Home / Events / Theater / Arms and the Man

Arms and the Man

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through Jan. 20., Friday January 18 | $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

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Northwest Classical Theatre Company is going out with an extravagant bang. The company will be dissolving after this last production, a comic re-imagination of its usual Shakespearian source materi ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, May 22-June 21. | $22.
Northwest Classical Theatre Company 2110 SE 10th Ave. Portland Web | Map

Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play

Sunday, May 24, 2015

When the apocalypse comes, only The Simpsons will remain. That's completely possible in Portland, where Simpsons creator Matt Groening and playwright Anne Was ...

8:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday through June 7. | $20-$36.
Portland Playhouse 602 NE Prescott St. Web | Map

Our Country's Good

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A crew of Royal Marines and its convict charges wax theatrical after mooring in the jailhouse colony Great Britain made of Australia. Optimism and comfort are hard to come by, so one aspi ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm Sundays through May 31. | $26-$30.
Venetian Theatre 253 E Main St., Hillsboro Hillsboro Web | Map
Also At Shoebox Theater
There's no more events in Shoebox Theater
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close