New staging of 'All Is Calm' brings clarity, power

by GRAYDON ROYCE, Star Tribune

December 17, 2015

“All Is Calm” was first performed in a church auditorium in 2007. The nine singers of Cantus and three actors under the direction of Peter Rothstein presented this slender, poignant story of the Christmas Truce of World War I as a piece for radio listening — a concert with spoken word.

Hennepin Theatre Trust was eager to have Rothstein bring his show to the Pantages Theatre in downtown Minneapolis the following year and with the smallest bit of tinkering — a dark firmament, some twinkling stars and falling snow — the actors began to stretch their legs as they orated and the men of Cantus ably filled up the larger psychic space.

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Andrew Leshovsky
All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

by DAVID VERNIER, Classics Today

November 14, 2008

If you're looking for a truly unique and engaging Christmas/holiday recording, you shouldn't miss this new release from the 9-member professional male vocal ensemble Cantus. Billed as a "radio musical drama", All is Calm presents songs, poetry, letters, and journal excerpts relating to the extraordinary World War I incident known as "the Christmas Truce", in which on Christmas Eve, 1914, soldiers from the trenches on both sides of the front lines in Belgium spontaneously initiated a cease-fire like no other, a celebration not only of Christmas — carols were sung back and forth, trees were lit with candles, food and drink was passed around, pictures were taken, a game of soccer was played — but also of the basic humanity all of these men shared, as they helped each other bury the dead that for days had lain unattended across no man's land.

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Michael Hefty
All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

by TAD SIMONS, Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine

December 19, 2008

An invention of Theatre Latté Da mastermind Peter Rothstein, All is Calm tells the true story of one of the most remarkable episodes in the history of warfare, a night during the first year of World War I when German and British soldiers laid down their weapons and sang drinking songs and Christmas carols to each other until dawn, then played a spirited game of soccer and buried each other's dead before getting back to the business of killing. 

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Michael Hefty
All is right with All Is Calm

by GRAYDON ROYCE, Star Tribune

December, 2008

The joy of "Peace on Earth" rarely has seemed so real as it does in this sweet story of a Christmas Day when enemies embraced each other.

The premiere of All Is Calm last Christmas season took place on a small stage in a church auditorium crammed with folding chairs. The intimacy heightened a poignant tale of enemies celebrating a one-day truce at Christmas, 1914, on fields rimed with blood and snow. So successful was the show that Theatre Latté Da and the vocal group Cantus moved into the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis this year.

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Michael Hefty
All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

by LANI WILLISMinneapolis St. Paul Magazine

December 24, 2007

All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 is an unstaged but still dramatic telling of an extraordinary event in human history, when during the first year of World War I, thousands of young men lay down their arms and celebrated Christmas together in no man’s land.

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Michael Hefty
All is Bright About All Is Calm

by GRAYDON ROYCE, Star Tribune

December 21, 2007

Tossed off with a chirpy smile and handshake, the clichés of Christmas greetings offer but a slight anodyne to winter's dreary fog. How lovely, then, to reclaim the meaning of the phrase All is Calm. A new work for spoken word and choral voices uses that title to commemorate an extraordinary moment when Christian peace trumped war in 1914.

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Michael Hefty