Last night I went to the historic Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis to see the stage production of All is Calm. The musical tells the story of the so-called Christmas Truce of 1914, when British soldiers from one side of the line and German soldiers from the other side put down their weapons and emerged from their trenches for one night to sing carols and interact as brothers rather than sworn enemies.
A production of Latte Da Theater, the show features 10 actors singing carols and war tunes non-stop for 65 minutes, punctuated with recitations from soldiers who had lived and written about the experience themselves.
The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. Out of the violence comes a silence, then a song. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, peace. A remarkable true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it. All Is Calm celebrates its homecoming after a highly successful Off-Broadway run in 2018, for which it won a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience.
Last year PBS broadcast the show, filmed live in the theater here in Minneapolis. I watched it, stunned. So when I heard over the weekend that it was playing in town, I jumped at the chance to see it on stage.
Here is the official trailer for the show, from Theater Latte Da:
The video of the full PBS production is available for streaming on PBS for members.
And if you are in the Twin Cities, the show is running until December 29. Don’t miss this opportunity to see it.
Image credit: Theater Latte Da