By Adam Hetrick
29 Jun 2012
|Photo by Brinkhoff/Moegenburg|
Bijan Sheibani recreates the original stage direction of Tony Award-winning directors Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, who first helmed the lavlishly staged, emotional drama that incorporates life-size equestrian puppets. The tour of War Horse began previews June 14 at the Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre, where it will continue through July 29.
Tour cities also include San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta, Durham, Boston, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, East Lansing, Des Moines, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Tempe, Seattle, Portland, Spokane, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Providence, Minneapolis and Appleton.
Andrew Veenstra portrays Albert Narracott, who follows his horse Joey into battle on the fields of France. The cast is completed by Brian Keane as Arthur Narracott, Michael Wyatt Cox as Billy Narracott, Todd Cerveris as Ted Narracott, Angela Reed as Rose Narracott, Jason Loughlin as Lieutenant James Nicholls and Jason Alan Carvell as Private Schnabel.
Based on Michael Morpurgo's 1982 children's novel, War Horse premiered in London in 2007 and officially opened on Broadway April 14, 2011, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Lincoln Center Theater aligned with the National Theatre of Great Britain and producer Boy Boyett to import the acclaimed drama. It continues to play a celebrated West End run. The Broadway production, which earned five 2011 Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Direction, continues as well. A Toronto production also opened to raves and plays an extended run at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
War Horse features costumes and drawings by Rae Smith and original puppet design and construction by Adrian Kohler, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick. The puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler; video designers are Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer; and songs are by John Tams. War Horse has music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.
Here's how the creators bill the work: "England, 1914. As World War I begins, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He’s soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary journey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in No Man’s Land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, though not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home."
For tickets phone (213) 972-4400 or visit CenterTheatreGroup.org.