Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey presents Shaw’s ever-popular comedy ARMS AND THE MAN

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey continues its summer season with George Bernard Shaw’s comedy Arms and the Man. Arms and the Man begins performances on July 7 and continues through August 1. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit http://www.shakespearenj.org/. Discount 4 and 5-play ticket packages are also available.

Shaw’s 1894 comedic “confection” remains one of the world’s most beloved plays. The story’s hero, the sensible and war-weary “chocolate cream soldier,” is the catalyst for a hilarious and, in Shaw’s own words, “delightful firecracker of a play” which explodes the romantic notions of love, war and heroic sentiment.

With the opening of Arms and the Man, Shaw was recognized as a great wit, and the play became his first commercial success. A prolific playwright, Shaw went on to write a number of witty and pithy social comedies including Candida, Misalliance, Pygmalion, Major Barbara and Mrs. Warren’s Profession.

Nisi Sturgis plays Raina, the heroine of Shaw’s comedy. Sturgis last appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre as Stella in the acclaimed 2008 production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Sean Mahan plays Bluntschli, the distinguished soldier who carries chocolates rather than bullets. Anthony Marble plays Raina’s flirtatious fiancé, Sergius. Raina’s father, the high ranking Major Petkoff, is played by Bill Christ. Anne-Marie Cusson plays Catherine, Raina’s mother. Rounding out the cast are Ames Adamson as Nicola, the family servant; Helen Farmer as Louka, the servant girl; and Jason Edward Bobb as the Russian officer. 

Director Joe Discher celebrates his 20th Anniversary season with The Shakespeare Theatre where he serves as the Associate Artistic Director. Creating the world of Arms and the Man are set designer Charles Calvert, lighting designer Matthew Adelson, and costume designer Emily Pepper. Christine Whelan serves as production stage manager.

Full price single tickets for Arms and the Man are now on sale and range in price from $31 to $54 depending on performance day and time. Single ticket prices include a $2 facility fee not subject to discount. For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit http://www.shakespearenj.org/ or e-mail boxoffice@shakespearenj.org.

Special Performances

Preview performances for Arms and the Man are Wednesday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m; Thursday and Friday, July 8 and 9, at 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, July 10, at 2 p.m. These Preview performances offer opportunities for reduced-priced tickets while enjoying the excitement of the very first performances in front of an audience.

For no more than the cost of a regular ticket, three Symposium Series performances for each show include a post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff. Symposium performances for Arms and the Man will be Tuesday, July 13, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, July 17 and 24, at 2:00 p.m.

For each production, The Shakespeare Theatre presents the popular education program Know the Show. From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., artists from The Shakespeare Theatre will present a pre-performance talk that provides background information and an insider’s perspective on the production. Know the Show will be held on July 15 at 7:00 p.m. General admission is $5 for the general public, $4 for ticket package holders. Tickets to that evening’s 8:00 p.m. performance may be purchased separately for $43 balcony seating or $47 for orchestra seating.

The Saturday, July 24, 2 p.m. performance will be audio described for those who are blind or have visual impairments. Audio description enables patrons with visual impairments to hear, through an FM transmitter, a live description of the action on the stage. A pre-performance sensory seminar is offered that allows patrons to feel props, costumes and set pieces to further enhance their live theatrical experience. The service is offered free of charge. Tickets for the Saturday 2 p.m. performance are $43 and $47.