In just over an hour, this cast of ten men, all beautiful vocalists and actors, tells the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914. Created by Latte Da's Artistic Director Peter Rothstein, the show takes us from the soldier's excitement at going off to war and having adventures, to the realization that war is truly awful, to that one day of peace they found in the trenches, when both sides put down their weapons and celebrated their common humanity.**
|photo of last year's cast by Dan Norman|
The staging is minimal, with just a few crates to create some visual interest, and subtle lighting changes to help create the mood (designed by Marcus Dilliard). Real WWI soldiers wish they were dressed as well as this cast, in Trevor Bowen's chic array of layered black sweaters, coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and kilts. Everything about the show is thoughtful, simple, effective, and perfect.**
Last year, Theater Latte Da took All is Calm to a theater Off-Broadway, where it won a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience. In a few weeks, PBS will record a performance for national broadcast next year. This year's month-long run at the Ritz in Northeast Minneapolis is already approaching sell-out. Obviously, this is a message we all long to hear. All is Calm shows us the absolute horrors of war and violence, and that we can and must find different ways to resolve our differences. Whether those differences are between countries, between political rivals, or between an estranged father and son. We can do better. We can choose peace, like the men honored and remembered in All is Calm did.
*Click here to read about all of the holiday shows I've seen this year.
**Some text borrowed from what I wrote about last year's show.