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A Christmas Miracle In Fields Where They Lay

A Christmas Miracle In Fields Where They Lay
Spencer Davis Milford

Spencer Davis Milford

If you are ho hummed about Christmas and the real meaning and strength of this holiday, head on down the New Ohio Theatre and take in Ricardo Pérez Gonzalez’s In Fields Where They Lay. I did not know the true story of the Christmas Eve truce of 1914 that broke out between the British and the German troops. Mr. Pérez Gonzalez’s play not only immortalizes that moment but, shows us a period of history that still is plaguing us today. This play commemorates the 100th year anniversary of this remarkable Christmas Truce.

Equiano Mosieri

Equiano Mosieri

Set in the British trench on the Western Front during World War I, five soldiers sing while marching in place. As letters are read we learn who each of these characters are and as an audience we bond with the illiterate Private Pfeiffer ( Stephen James Anthony), who lives for the moments when he can relive in his mind moments with his beloved wife (Christine Perrotta). Childhood friends Private Andersen (Nicholas Carter) and Private Jones (Spencer Davis Milford), lie about their ages to get the shilling of pay and stay together. The snarly Private Dietrich (Jeff Gonzales), who insists he is Alsatian but the rest of the soldiers know, is German. Private Osbourne (Equiano Mosieri), a Jamaican who is considered not trusted enough to carry a gun and whose name will be erased from the history books. Sergeant Woodward (Zack Calhoon), the Cockney who keeps them in line and Lieutenant Jeffries (Joe Kolbow), who is in over his head and has to make do.

Jeff Golzalez , Stephen James Anthony

Jeff Golzalez and Stephen James Anthony

As each of these stories are played out, we learn of the tortures of daily life in the trenches as bombs go off and life is held in a precarious balance. Right before Christmas eve the fighting gets close to home and Private Anderson loses his life. On Christmas Eve Private Jones meets Jerrie (Nicholas Carter), a young German soldier. They exchange cigarettes while singing “Silent Night.”

Mr. Anthony, Mr. Milford, Mr. Carter, Mr.Gonzales and Mr. Mosieri all bring across distinct personalities and we feel as if we know them personally. Brad Raimondo, directs this emotionally honest play that will touch your heart and reminds you how human everyone in war is. You will also learn that how Brits treated people of color with disdain, how illiteracy was commonplace and how anger at its deepest level will stop all peace. Ricardo Pérez González’s beautifully crafted play captures this moment in time. If only we could embrace this moment, let go of our fears and see each other as equals as they did in that moment in 1914. In Fields Where They Lay is a gift of hope.

In Fields Where They Lay: The New Ohio Theatre, 154 Christopher St.until Dec. 27th.

In Fields Where They Lay was made possible in part by the Puffin Foundation and with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, as well as public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Entertainment

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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