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 December 30 | $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

Impact

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

It’s not all Cinderella stories and George Balanchine classics for Oregon Ballet Theater this season. This month’s performance, Impact, sees Oregon’s premier ballet company embrace the contem ...

Various times. April 16-19 and 24-25. | $25-$160
Newmark Theatre 1111 SW Broadway Portland Web | Map

Miss Kennedy's Theater of Burlesque: The Twilight Zone

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

Taking things all the way to the fifth dimension with a Twilight Zone

9 pm Sunday, April 19 | $12-$20
Dante's 350 W Burnside St. Portland Web | Map

Soul Harmony

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

In the late 1940's, America's music profile was shifting from Ellington and Sinatra to a little something called R&B. The movement largely rode on the soul-wrenching ballads of a black Baltimor ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Friday, 2 pm and 7:30 pm Saturday, 2 pm Sunday through May 3. | $29.65-$43.95
Brunish Theatre 1111 SW Broadway Portland Map
Also At Shoebox Theater

The School for Lies

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

Sharp-tongued verbal jousting is best taught in 17th-century Parisian parlors, especially young widow Celimene's. She's basically Hugh Hefner in petticoats. That is, until Frank, the only suitor ab ...

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

Thursday, Apr 23, 2015

Sharp-tongued verbal jousting is best taught in 17th-century Parisian parlors, especially young widow Celimene's. She's basically Hugh Hefner in petticoats. That is, until Frank, the only suitor ab ...

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, Apr 24, 2015

Sharp-tongued verbal jousting is best taught in 17th-century Parisian parlors, especially young widow Celimene's. She's basically Hugh Hefner in petticoats. That is, until Frank, the only suitor ab ...

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