F/X Players Arms and the ManBy Cappies • Apr 24th, 2007 • Category: Cappies
“An incurably romantic disposition” was ever present throughout Arms and the Man, a melodrama chock full of love triangles, unusually comedic rebellion, and ‘chocolate cream’ Swiss soldiers conquering the hearts of southern belles. Written by George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion) who originally set the show during the Serbo-Bulgarian War, the F/X Players exercised artistic license to change the setting to southern Virginia during the Civil War.
The comedic moments could not have been timed more precisely. Every actor demonstrated individual quirks that added to their character’s madness, which grew from scene to scene. The love triangles present bred multi-dimensional characters, as they would act a certain way around their lover and an opposite way around their fiancé.
Roberto Carmona, who played Sergius Saranoff, the haughty young soldier, was the most dramatic in his movements. Carmona was the most unpredictable on the Fairfax Stage; his romantic moments with Heather Rae (Raina Petkoff), played as heightened and harlequin, served as a nice contrast to his charming and endearing relationship played opposite of Amanda Bloss (Louka). The “chocolate cream soldier,” (Captain Bluntschli) played by Jared Fortner, was hysterical in his suave and composed, yet undoubtedly romantic demeanor. The final culmination of the melodramatic situations in the last scene blended all of the quirks and emotions of the characters into a very powerful, effective and hilarious climactic bang.
The set was beautiful. Designed by Nik Taylor and Brittany Bustle, they were put on “wagons,” or rolling set pieces, and allowed for smooth and entertaining transitions. Lighting techniques used in the first act attempted to compliment the mood effectively. The lighting progressed as the play moved on.
On the other hand, having a microphone on every actor was somewhat detracting from the show. A buzz present in earlier scenes seemed to have been fixed at intermission, as Act Three was much more clear.
Altogether, Arms and the Man was a great challenge for the F/X Players, their efforts were not spent unwisely. The show turned out as a great composition of technical design and hilarious character creation.
by Margaret Spenneberg of Robinson.
This review was written by a Cappies high school critic. The Cappies were founded in 1999, for the purpose of celebrating high school theater arts and providing a learning opportunity for theater and journalism students. You can learn more at cappies.com.
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