George Bernard Shaw’s plays are performed so rarely on major New York stages that it’s hard not to feel grateful for a chance to see a first-class production of “Saint Joan.” Unfortunately, a dutiful gratefulness is about all the enthusiasm it’s possible to muster for the handsome and well-acted but stolid production from Manhattan Theatre Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. In bringing his acidic humor to bear on a series of celebrated historical events, Shaw was straying from his most comfortable turf: subversive contemporary comedy that turns the art of the drama into a form of, to borrow…

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