Ross Valley Players to Present ARMS AND THE MAN, 3/14-4/13

Ross Valley Players to Present ARMS AND THE MAN, 3/14-4/13

Ross Valley Players presents the critically acclaimed romantic comedy, Arms and the Man, by George Bernard Shaw. Arms and the Man tells the story of a young Bulgarian woman who awaits the return of her fiancé from the Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885. One night when a mercenary soldier in the Serbian army sneaks into her bedroom and at first threatens her, but then begs her to hide him, it sets off a series of hilarious events that has her wondering if her war hero fiancée is the right man for her. One of Shaw's first commercial successes, Arms and the Man is filled with wit, irony, and charm and shows the futility of war and the double standards of human nature in a comedic fashion. Arms and the Man begins with a preview on Thursday, March 13 and runs through Sunday, April 13. Opening night is Friday, March 14 at 8PM.

Arms and the Man takes places in 1885 during the Serbo-Bulgarian War. Raina Petkoff (Kate Fox Marcom), the daughter of distinguished Major Paul Petkoff (Ron Dailey) in the Bulgarian army, awaits the return of her war hero fiancée, Major Sergius Saranoff (Peter Warden), whom she idolizes. One night, a Swiss mercenary soldier in the Serbian army, Captain Bluntschli (Philip Goleman), bursts through her bedroom window and at first threatens Raina, but then begs her to hide him so that he is not captured. Though she thinks the man is a coward, especially when he tells her that he does not carry pistol cartridges but instead chocolates, she agrees to hide him. When the battle dies down, Raina and her mother, Catherine (Stephanie Ahlberg), sneak Bluntschli out of the house disguised in an old housecoat. The war ends and Sergius returns to Raina but seems to have a wandering eye for a servant girl, Louka (Robyn Grahn). Raina begins to find Sergius' behavior both foolish and tiresome when out of the blue Bluntschli unexpectedly returns so that he can give back the old housecoat, but also to see Raina again. Bluntschli's return stirs several emotions in Raina and she starts to have feelings for her "chocolate-cream soldier." But who will she pick as her mate? Will it be her war hero fiancée? Or the practical coward who comes armed with chocolates instead of bullets? Arms and the Man is directed by Cris Cassell, and produced by Mark Toepfer.

Full cast includes: Kate Fox Marcom (Raina Petkoff), Stephanie Ahlberg (Catherine Petkoff), Robyn Grahn (Louka), Philip Goleman (Captain Bluntschli), Frederick Lein (Nicola/Russian Officer), Ron Dailey (Major Paul Petkoff), and Peter Warden (Major Sergius Saranoff).

Regular Thursday performances are at 7:30PM; Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM; Sunday matinees at 2PM. (Please note there is no matinee on Sunday, March 16.) All performances take place at the Barn Theatre, home of the Ross Valley Players - 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Ross, CA 94957. Ticket prices are $22 for seniors 62+; $13 for children (under 18) and student with valid ID; $26 general admission. Preview night ticket prices are $10 for children and students; $15 general admission. Thursday night tickets prices are $13 for children and students with a high school or college ID, $20 for adults (does not include Thursday preview night.)

Audience members are invited to participate in "Talkback" with the director and actors after matinee performance on Sundays, March 30 and April 6. Buzz at the Barn, a pre-show cocktail hour with hors d'oeuvres and wine, will take place on Saturday, March 15 at 7PM. To order tickets, call 415-456-9555, ext. 1 or visit www.rossvalleyplayers.com.

Now in its 84th year, Ross Valley Players, a non-profit arts organization, is the oldest continually operating community theater on the West Coast. Created in 1930 as a way to escape the hardships of the Depression, Ross Valley Players has introduced live theater to thousands of Marin residents over the years. Each year, RVP presents a regular season of six full productions, running a total of 30 weeks. RVP offers special events and short-term productions outside the regular season. Plays include recent Broadway material, popular plays, classic theater, and a selection of works by well-known playwrights from around the world. RVP features all genres: comedy, drama, mysteries, and musicals. Their Ross Alternative Works (RAW) program presents short run, minimal set productions of original scripts by Bay Area playwrights in two festivals each season.

Photo Credit: Robin Jackson

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