Seth Numrich to Lead War Horse on Broadway; 35-Member Cast Announced
By Adam Hetrick
Casting has been announced for the U.S. premiere of War Horse, Nick Stafford's imaginative London stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's 1982 novel, which will gallop into Broadway's Vivian Beaumont Theater March 15, 2011.
Seth Numrich, who currently appears as Lorenzo in Broadway's The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino, will step into the role of Albert, the young man who shares a deep bond with his horse, Joey. The World War I-set story will officially open April 14, 2011.
The 35-member cast will also include Stephen James Anthony, Zach Appelman, Alyssa Breshnahan, Richard Crawford, Sanjit de Silva, Matt Doyle, Austin Durant, Joby Earle, Joel Reuben Ganz, Ariel Heller, Peter Hermann, Alex Hoeffler, Brian Lee Huynh, Jeslyn Kelly, Ian Lassiter, Tom Lee, Jonathan Christopher MacMillan, Jonathan David Martin, Boris Mc Giver, Prentice Onayemi, Bhavesh Patel, David Pegram, Katy Pfaffl, Stephen Plunkett, Leenya Rideout, Liam Robinson, Jude Sandy, Hannah Sloat, T. Ryder Smith, Zach Villa, Elliot Villar, Cat Walleck, Enrico D. Wey and Madeline Yen.
Members of the company are also employed to inhabit a series of equestrian puppets. The evocative creatures are manipulated by an on-stage crew of puppeteers who give life to Joey, as he grows from a skittish foal into a full-grown horse. War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris.
Stafford (The Battle Royal, The Snow Queen) adapted Morpurgo's novel for the National Theatre production, which incorporates lifelike puppets created by Handspring Puppet Company. LCT has aligned with the National Theatre and producer Boy Boyett to import the poignant drama.
War Horse won the 2007 Evening Standard, Critics' Circle and Laurence Olivier Awards for the set design by Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company; Toby Sedgwick received an Olivier Award for his choreography.
Here's how LCT bills the work: "At the outbreak of World War One, 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."
The production features designs 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. The production also features music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.
War Horse began performances in October 2007 at the National's Olivier Theatre where it continued in repertory through March 2009. The production transferred to the West End's New London Theatre March 28, 2009, where it continues to run.
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