By Adam Hetrick
08 Feb 2012
As previously reported, War Horse will launch its 20-city national tour at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles June 13-July 22. The production will first rehearse and preview at Boise State University’s Morrison Center. Public performances in Boise will take place June 7-9.
The dates of the Chicago engagement are Dec. 18, 2012–Jan. 5, 2013. Group tickets are now on sale. A single ticket date will be announced shortly.
Additional stops are planned in San Francisco, Dallas, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, East Lansing, Tampa and more to be announced.
A separate, sit-down Toronto production will launch Feb. 10 at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
The National Theatre production of War Horse began Broadway previews March 15, 2011, and earned five 2011 Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Direction. It is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris. Nick Stafford (The Battle Royal, The Snow Queen) adapted Michael Morpurgo's 1982 children's novel for the stage.
War Horse began performances in October 2007 at the National's Olivier Theatre where it continued in repertory for a sold-out run through March 2009. The production transferred to the West End's New London Theatre March 28, 2009, where it continues to play. Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of the novel debuted in December.
War Horse features a series of life-sized equestrian puppets, which have the capability of strikingly lifelike movement. Each evocative creature (created by Handspring Puppet Company) is manipulated by an on-stage crew of three puppeteers who give life to a horse named Joey, as he grows from a skittish foal into a full-grown horse.
Here's how LCT bills the work: "At the outbreak of World War I, Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Joey is soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a mission to find his horse and bring him home."