George Bernard Shaw’s “Arms and the Man,” the playwright’s satiric take on war, romance, and the glorification thereof, plays April 15-18 and April 22-25 at Wagner College’s Stage One studio theater, next to the football stadium. Curtain time each night is 8 p.m.
Directed by John Jamiel, the comedy features Danielle Roth, Matt Ban, Michael Pesoli, Lorraine Watson, Victoria Gillette, Jason Garrison, Donny Londano and Regan Featherstone.
“Arms and the Man” is set during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War. Raina Petkoff, an undaunted Bulgarian woman, is engaged to the valiant Sergius Saranoff, one of the newly acclaimed heroes of the war. Raina’s life takes an unexpected twist when Bluntschili, a soldier deserting from the Serbian army, storms into her home as he searches for a hiding place.
The pathetic Bluntschili cannot force Raina to comply because, unlike other soldiers, he carries chocolates instead of a bullets in his ammo belt. As the two begin a secret romance, Raina faces a difficult decision and must choose between her “chocolate-cream soldier” and her fiancé, Saranoff.
Join us for a light-hearted evening that is sure to be full of war, love — and chocolate!
General admission $5; Wagner College students get in free with ID. To reserve seats, call the Box Office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 718-390-3259.
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Thursday April 16, 2009
Staten Island theater news:
‘ARMS AND THE MAN’
by LISA ANN WILLIAMSON, Advance Theater Writer
Advance photo by JAN SOMMA-HAMMEL
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — This season’s final Stage One production — the classic romantic comedy “Arms and the Man” — is a historical event for the nationally ranked theater program.
It will be the first time the Wagner Theater Department — ranked number two by the Princeton Review for Best College Theater — has produced a work by George Bernard Shaw. The show continues through April 25. (Shows are at 8 p.m.; tickets are $5. Call 718-390-3259 for information.)
“I’ve always loved this Shaw, it punches up the insanity of war and is rather romantic and sophisticated and lots of fun,” said faculty director John Jamiel. “Shaw is as close to working on Shakespeare as you can get.”
Students will tackle the lyrical language from the award-winning Irish playwright while bantering about the defects of social issues, love, class structure and the wages of war. So far, the pre-sold tickets are hot with humanities students.
First produced in 1894, “Arms and the Man” takes place during the Serbo-Bulgarian war. After a battle proves Bulgarian Maj. Sergius Saranoff a hero, his fiancee, Raina, is visited by a Serbian soldier seeking refuge. In addition to being the enemy, the Serbian soldier also has an odd habit of carrying food — not ammunition — on his belt. Still, Raina hides the soldier, an act that calls into question everything she thinks she knows and values.
While Shaw didn’t achieve the commercial success with this play until a few years after its debut, he proved his gift for language, satire and humor.
“The speeches are like arias,” said Jamiel. In short, his work is just “smart. Shaw makes everyone smart.”
Wagner College is best known for its large-scale musical productions, while Stage One has become the spot for intimate plays. The “Arms and the Man” cast includes students Loraine Watson, Danielle Roth, Jason Garrison, Matt Ban, Victoria Gillette, Michael Pesoli, Regan Featherstone and Donny Londono.
(In the photo above are cast members Victoria Gillette and Laraine Watson.)