Arms and the Man

With thoughts of spring occupying the mind of many a Minnesotan, the Guthrie Theater's latest production of George Bernard Shaw's romantic comedy Arms and the Man is likely to find an appreciative audience. Led by such assured comic performers as Peter Michael Goetz, Kate Eifrig, Summer Hagen, and Jim Lichtscheidl, the play is well poised to capture the breezy wit and romantic escapism that make Arms and the Man an ideal match for a season of rejuvenation. But while raising audience spirits remains a noble goal in and of itself, the work's incisive social critique reveals a far deeper level of relevance, especially at a time when violent clashes continue to wreak havoc around the globe. In his story, centered on a young woman whose adolescent notions of romance will be shattered by the supposedly cowardly soldier who evinces bravery by wielding chocolate instead of a pistol, Shaw challenges the assumptions that war is a virtuous enterprise or that bravery is earned by battlefield exploits. Staged on the Guthrie's McGuire Proscenium, Arms and the Man positions humanitarian principles as popular entertainment, heralding the end of a long, harsh winter with a refreshing armistice on jingoistic bravado. (Photo by Michal Daniel)
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: March 19. Continues through May 8, 2011

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