Writer Peter Rothstein conceived All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 as a radio piece, and first presented it as a concert with nine singers and three actors in a church auditorium in 2007. Rothstein used the soldiers' own words, and Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach arranged the 30-or-so songs, including traditional carols, popular tunes of the day, and songs which had emerged from the war itself. The show takes only an hour, but there is much to absorb and appreciate.

While the holiday decor was gorgeous, and festive songs abounded during dinner, I honestly wasn't ready for anything holly-jolly. We weren't past Turkey Day, or even Veterans' Day yet. Nonetheless, director and choreographer Ashley Becher, music director Ron May, and the cast, crew, and staff put on a show that could warm even the Grinch's shriveled heart.

Haus of Ruckus – the theatrical team headed by artistic directors T Green and Calvin Vo – is making some welcome noise onstage again.

In its five years in existence, the Black Box Theatre has gained a reputation for eclectic script choices and high production values with stellar performers. Its current offering, Motherhood: The Musical, is a fine continuation of that tradition.

For Augustana College's first show of its 2022-23 season, director and professor of theatre arts Jeff Coussens, his skilled cast, and creative staff have taken on Tartuffe – and have triumphed.

Geneseo's Richmond Hill Barn Theatre is currently presenting Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play, adapted by Joe Landry – another production canceled due to COVID, then rescheduled, with most of the original cast intact. It's a tasty helping of suspense and murder, with a sprinkling of humor.

Veteran venue director M. Seth Reines, accomplished music director Ron May, and the supremely talented cast and on-point crew are dedicated professionals. Unfortunately, the quality of Clue: The Musical's material did not approach the level of their talents.

Often, mass tragedies are best understood not through bare statistics, but through personal stories of those affected. My Brother's Gift, a play by Claudia Haas based on the real experiences of survivor Eva Geiringer Schloss, tells one of these stories. I saw it on Saturday at the Black Box Theatre, and director, designer, and Black Box co-founder Lora Adams and her cast and crew have put together a spare, straightforward production that serves both as a remembrance and a call to action.

A heckuva lot of talented people put this production together; see it now, while the duck's still in the pond.

Disaster!, created by Seth Rudethsky, written by Rudethsky and Jack Plotnick, and now at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, combines classic catastrophic-cinema elements with '70s pop tunes, and director/choreographer Amy McCleary, music director Ron May, and all involved came together to create this silly, music-filled diversion.

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