All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
Closed 1h 15m
All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 NYC Reviews and Tickets

(99 Reviews)
Members say
Great singing, Absorbing, Resonant, Intelligent, Profound

About the Show

Through new arrangements of European carols and war-songs, "All Is Calm" recalls the remarkable World War I truce between Allied Forces and German soldiers in No Man's Land on Christmas, 1914.

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Member Reviews (99)

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Great singing, Resonant, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if Beautifully rendered choral oratorio surrounding horrors of WWI Personalized portraits of soldiers well wrought & moving Artfully vocalized

Don't see it if Pacing can slow as Christmas "truce" approaches True horrors of war only glancingly told but still forceful Any faults minimal at best

Absorbing, Clever, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Powerful reminder about war.Very effective acapella singing. All male cast of 10 each performing 2 or more roles.75 minutes. MORE

Don't see it if No female roles ...Partner not as enthused...Seats at Sheen not modernized for raking but double armrests are great.. 75 minutes Read more

Absorbing, Great singing, Resonant, Sentimental

See it if Sentimental historical holiday wartime journey told only through affecting song.Beautifully blended all-male chorale of both Brits & Germans

Don't see it if No plot. No set. Just emotional all-male singing. Try not to shed tears during "Silent Night." A little over an hour.

Absorbing, Great singing, Masterful, Profound, Must see

See it if you enjoy a very moving play based on a real story about soldiers and a Christmas truce during WWI. Simple but wonderful staging.

Don't see it if you have no heart or like comedy only. Read more

Poignant. beautifully song and performed.

See it if You appreciate a lovely historical music piece.

Don't see it if You are not interested in history of war and holiday songs done accapella

Poignant, Sublime voices, Simple but effective staging, Profound, Haunting

See it if Deeply moving true WW1 story told thru song, letters, evocative staging. Music a pastiche of the era, plus traditional Christmas-lovely all.

Don't see it if Don't like a cappella choral work, war stories, or need more plot/production. This is 75mins of letting yourself fall under its spell.

Great singing, Riveting, Resonant, Relevant, Masterful

See it if You like beautiful songs and singing with a historic story behind it.

Don't see it if You don't like a loose story based around excellent singing

Excellent a capella men’s choir, Authentic costumes, Great ensemble acting

See it if True story of WWI Christmas truce told through popular period songs and Christmas carols in four-part harmony (some in German).

Don't see it if You don’t like Christmas music or celebrate this holiday. You aren’t interested in a historical story told mostly in music.

Critic Reviews (14)

The New York Times
November 25th, 2018

"The arc of 'All is Calm' coolly predictable, urging the men from enlistment to deployment to battle to détente to battle again, and the choice of song and excerpt aren’t so surprising either...More extraordinary is the beauty of the songs...The plangent tenors, lush baritones and rumbling basses are in excellent voice, and when they come together, the sensation is tremendous and the musical chill effect engulfing...A staunchly apolitical and warily genteel work."
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November 18th, 2018

“Hands down, the most emotionally moving Christmas show I've ever seen...Lichte and Takach's gorgeous a cappella arrangements of popular songs...underscore testimonies in multipart harmony, making the play feel like a live Ken Burns documentary...Rothstein stages it all with cinematic fluidity...A true ensemble piece...It's hard not to get choked up with performances as honest and unvarnished as these.”
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Lighting & Sound America
November 27th, 2018

“An extraordinary moment in twentieth-century history is the subject of this carefully wrought, deeply moving piece...That it is likely to be a familiar tale matters not at all: From the moment that the company of eleven emerges from the darkness - this story feels freshly imagined and deeply felt...Music is the thread that holds the evening together, providing an emotional bridge that crucially supports a story made up of a collage of anecdotes.”
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New York Stage Review
November 18th, 2018

“A touching musical tribute to that brief time when peace on Earth reigned over desolate battlefields...A sincerely affecting music-theater work that resonates with beautiful singing, 'All Is Calm' suggests how essential humanity can triumph—even if only briefly, as here—over the most horrible of circumstances...The actors confidently perform...and they make extremely handsome music together...An unusually inspiring musical event for the holiday season.”
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December 23rd, 2018

"In this deeply moving production, the actors give voice to the real-life words of a variety of soldiers who took part in the unorthodox celebration. After a character speaks his piece, he identifies himself by name, stating the division in which he served. It's a little like the tags in the narration of letters and diaries in a Ken Burns documentary. But these speeches are only a part of the soundscape. The production is suffused with music-all of it a cappella vocalizing by the cast. "
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Theater Pizzazz
November 26th, 2018

“’All Is Calm’ is the kind of work that makes you want to shout its greatness from the rooftops...It’s the studied minimalism of ‘All Is Calm’ that gives it its power, driving an emotional tempest that won’t soon be forgotten...As the story unfolds Rothstein reveals a work of visual poetry...The cast comprise a singular, well-oiled machine, their acting versatile and compelling. But it is their vocal prowess that’s electrifying. Every voice is a musical instrument.”
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New York Theater
November 29th, 2018

"The production is certainly polished and occasionally poignant. But 'All is Calm' strikes me as not quite the staged version of a Ken Burns-like 'docudrama' that its creators claim for it; it’s best appreciated as a beautifully sung, intelligent Christmas concert...There is no question that some of what they say hits home...For all the dramatically-lit haze and stoic faces, the 10 performers speaking the words of 39 men have little time to develop characters or create scenes."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
December 23rd, 2018

"One of the most special of the well over 200 shows I've covered this year…The company gives remarkably harmonious voice to song after song, with Lichte and Takach's exquisite arrangements...They also deliver their spoken lines with truth and theatrical force…The set is merely an arrangement of wooden boxes, allowing Rothstein to move his ensemble about in gorgeously arranged tableaux, given exceptionally beautiful chiaroscuro lighting by Marcus Dillard."
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Stage Left
December 10th, 2018

“A beautifully moving epistolary oratorio about the remarkable true story of British, French, and German soldiers emerging from their trenches and ceasing conflict on Christmas Eve 1914 to celebrate together. Gorgeously sung by an ensemble of ten men, and keenly structured and staged with gripping immediacy and emotion, this tribute to an unheralded moment in an increasingly forgotten war provides a glimpse of our common humanity at its greatest.”
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November 18th, 2018

"On a simple and stark black stage, with occasional jets of theatrical smoke to evoke the battlefield, the play intersperses popular songs sung by soldiers of the time with actors reading the memories and letters home of real soldiers and famous poets of the era...This fantastic company of actors sing beautifully in harmony and a capella...The superb 'All Is Calm' leaves us mulling the terrible futility and cost of war, while crystallizing a moment of beautiful humanity."
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Talkin' Broadway
December 21st, 2016
For a previous production

"Beautifully rendered, heartbreaking...It remains an achingly beautiful choral work and an articulate plea for peace among all nations and peoples...'All Is Calm' portrays this amazing story using songs from the era and actual words of the men involved...The cast of twelve singer-actors do both the dramatization and choral parts, every one of them singing gloriously and reciting with conviction. The spoken and singing parts glide into one another seamlessly."
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December 17th, 2014
For a previous production

"Rothstein’s telling of the tale accurately captures the nave giddiness with which these young men went to war in the autumn and the gut-churning reality that set in when it became clear that they would not, as promised, be home by Christmas Day...The real-life telling gets depth, texture and additional historical context from the songs, which are masterfully delivered by Cantus...A powerful and lovely story about an ugly time in human history."
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December 17th, 2015
For a previous production

"In atmosphere, integration of story and song, mood and dynamics, the story burrows even deeper into the heart with the power of myth, were it not so sadly true...This beautiful jewel has been made brighter, more precious in the best sense of the word. What is unchanged is its quiet power to illustrate peace on Earth."
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December 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"Peter Rothstein, a Minneapolis theater guru and music master who has created a part concert, part narrative and masterful merging of the two to tell the tale...This interspersing of narrative and musical delivery sometimes has an overlay of music behind the spoken word. The effect is quite imposing...Director Charlie Flynn-McIver has overseen all the details with élan."
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