George S. Irving Headlines Chocolate Soldier Concert Revival in NYC March 29-April 10 | Playbill

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News George S. Irving Headlines Chocolate Soldier Concert Revival in NYC March 29-April 10 Musicals Tonight!, the shoestring-budget Manhattan company that presents piano-and-voice concert revivals of musical theatre gems and oddities, presents the Bernard Shaw-inspired Oscar Straus operetta, The Chocolate Soldier, March 29-April 10.

Veteran Broadway star George S. Irving will play Nadina's blustery father in the operetta based on Arms and the Man, Shaw's rumination on romance and pacifism — a soldier-lover keeps chocolates in his ammunition holder.

In the 1909 operetta, it's 1885 in Bulgaria and there is a war with Serbia. "These foes have been at each other on and off for quite some time but both are so incompetent that victory is ever in doubt," according to Musicals Tonight!

Lt. Bumerli (played by Paul Jason Green), a Swiss cook in the Serbian Army, tries escaping from the hostilities by hiding in an enemy home. He stumbles into the bedroom of Nadina (Morgan James for 12 performances, Rena Stober for four performances) and is discovered by her, her mother Aurelia (Neva Rae Powers), and her cousin Mascha (Lisa Trader).

"This ferocious combatant (with chocolates instead of bullets in his cartridge box) is so persuasive that all three women conspire to hide him from their returning Bulgarian 'warriors' – Nadina's blustering father (Irving), her conceited fiancé (James Sasser) and the head of the Bulgarian army (Doug Shapiro)."

The company also includes Jeffrie Allen, Ryan Dietz, Constantine Germanacos, John Frederick Herget IV, Julie Bell, Lauren Blackman and Susan Lewis. (Fans of the Shaw play will notice some character names were changed between the play and the operetta. The Straus operetta was seen in New York and was followed by a run in London.)

Thomas Mills directs. James Stenborg musical directs.

Performances play the Musicals Tonight! midtown theatre district home at The 45th Street Theatre, 354 W. 45th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

Tickets are $19 and can be purchased from Smarttix (212) 868-4444 or For more information, visit

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