Music by Kurt Weill
Folks Operetta Chicago Premiere 2017
It is World War I. The United States of America, having pledged to remain neutral, is pulled into the fight in order to make the world safe for democracy “over there.” Lowly American tombstone cutter Johnny Johnson, has been persuaded to enlist in the U.S. army both by his sweetheart, Minny Belle Tompkins, and by President Woodrow Wilson’s promise of “a war to end all wars.” But confronted by the horrors of the trenches in France, he is outraged at the absurdity of it all, and by dint of laughing-gas, he fools the Allied generals into callinga cease-fire. Johnny is arrested, shipped back to America, and locked up in a lunatic asylum for his “peace monomania.” Released some twenty years later, he makes a living selling handmade toys as the trumpets of war once more sound in the distance.