Full casting was announced today for City Lit’s season opener, George Bernard Shaw’s comedy ARMS AND THE MAN. Set during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian war, it satirizes the folly of armed conflict. City Lit’s production will be directed by Brian Pastor, Artistic Director of Promethean Theatre Ensemble and director of City Lit’s fall 2017 production of J.B.
Pastor’s cast will be led by Scottie Caldwell as Raina Petkoff, a young woman who falls in love with a pacifistic mercenary soldier during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War in spite of her being engaged to another man. Caldwell, currently understudying the leading role of Professor Arronax in Lookingglass Theatre's production of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEAS, appeared recently in Babes with Blades Theatre Company's THE GOOD FIGHT, First Floor Theater's THE AWAKE, and Cor Theatre's A MAP OF VIRTUE. Raina's love interest, the reluctant soldier Captain Bluntschli, will be played by Adam Benjamin, seen earlier this year as Devil Anse Hatfield in HATFIELD AND MCCOY with The House Theatre of Chicago and currently playing Master Page in MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR for The Arc Theatre.
The third player in the romantic triangle, Sergius Saranoff, will be played by Martin Diaz-Valdes. Diaz-Valdes last appeared at City Lit in FORTY-TWO STORIES and recently was in the casts of FIREFLY LOVE for Something Marvelous and OTHELLO for Invictus Theatre. Cast as Raina’s father, Major Paul Petkoff, is Adam Bitterman, who has twice played Dr. Watson at City Lit – in THE SEVEN PER CENT SOLUTION and HOLMES AND WATSON - and recently completed a run as Swifty Lazar and Mike Wallace in Redtwist’s FROST/NIXON. Raina’s mother Catherine Petkoff will be played by Eleanor Katz, who earlier this year handled several roles in BoHo Theatre’s CYRANO and is currently appearing in Oak Park Festival Theatre’s YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU.
The role of Raina’s servant Louka, who becomes involved in a secondary romantic triangle with Sergius and the Petkoffs’ manservant Nicola, will be taken by Chelsee Carter. Carter has played Olivia in Theatre Evolve’s TWELFTH NIGHT and appeared in BRINGING IRAQ HOME with Waltzing Mechanics. Nicola will be played by Linsey Falls, who was in the cast of City Lit’s PROMETHEUS BOUND this past spring and was seen in Babes with Blades’ THE LADY DEMANDS SATISFACTION, and in Factory Theater's FIGHT CITY.
ARMS AND THE MAN will mark the first time City Lit’s has produced a Shaw play. George Orwell called ARMS AND THE MAN “probably the wittiest play (Shaw) ever wrote.” Pastor notes, “The title comes from the opening words of Virgil’s AENEID (“Of arms and the man I sing”), which is an apt descriptor for a play about the folly of war and the frailties of human nature.” The play will open to the press on September 16.
Single tickets priced at $28 for previews and $32 for regular performances are on sale now at www.citylit.org. Senior prices are $23 for previews and $27 for regular performances. Students and military are $12.00 for all performances. Season subscriptions are available at $90.00 good for all performances or $68.00 for preview performances. Subscriptions may be ordered online at www.citylit.org.
ARMS AND THE MAN
By George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Brian Pastor
September 7 – October 21, 2018
(Previews Sept. 7-Sept. 15)
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3:00 pm.
Preview ticket prices $28.00, seniors $23.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
Regular run Sunday, September 16 - Sunday, October 21
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3:00 pm.
Regular run ticket prices $32.00, seniors $27.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
PRESS OPENING – Sunday, September 16 – 3:00 pm
Performances at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660(Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)
Bluntschli, a Swiss soldier fonder of chocolates than of bullets, hides in the bedroom of Bulgarian heiress Raina while escaping from battle—a development that disturbs her fiancé Sergius, a swaggering cavalry-officer from the other side. First produced in 1894, this comedy about the folly of war and the frailties of human nature was one of Shaw’s first popular successes in a career that produced more than 60 plays. Shaw called it “an anti-romantic comedy.”
Brian Pastor directed last fall’s acclaimed City Lit production of Archibald MacLeish’s J.B. He is the Artistic Director of Promethean Theatre Ensemble, where he directed THE LION IN WINTER, THE WINTER’S TALE, and GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE (all Broadway World Award Nominated- Best Director), as well as HENRY V, THE DARK SIDE OF THE BARD, and the upcoming remount of GROSS INDECENCY. His acting credits include HAUPTMANN for City Lit, FUTURE ECHOES for WildClaw, and THE LARK and A STUDY IN SCARLET for Promethean. Brian was the Executive Director at Raven Theatre for 3 seasons after serving 10 and a half years on staff at City Lit Theater, including nine as Managing Director. He is also a former board and company member of The Mime Company and a founding company member of Chicago dell’Arte.
ABOUT CITY LIT
For 39 years, City Lit Theater has been dedicated to the vitality and accessibility of the literary imagination. City Lit produces theatrical adaptations of literary material, scripted plays by language-oriented playwrights, and original material.
City Lit is in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue. It is a block and a half east of both the Bryn Mawr Red Line stop and the #36 Broadway and the #84 Peterson buses. It is one block west of the #147 Sheridan and #151 Sheridan buses. Divvy bike stations are located at Bryn Mawr & Lakefront Trail, and at Broadway & Ridge at Bryn Mawr. The metered street parking pay boxes on Bryn Mawr have a three-hour maximum duration and are free on Sundays. $10 valet service is available at Francesca's Bryn Mawr at 1039 W Bryn Mawr diagonally across the street on the SW corner of Kenmore and Bryn Mawr and is available whether you are dining at the restaurant or not. There are additional details about parking and dining options at www.citylit.org.
City Lit is supported by the Alphawood Foundation, the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Ivanhoe Theater Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation and is sponsored, in part, by A.R.T. League.
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