|(all production photos: Paul Kolnik for Lincoln Center Theater)|
Losing their light in the glorious sun
Thus shall we pass from this earth and its toiling
Only remembered for what we have done
These sung words begin the dramatic and epic play that is ‘War Horse’ which takes the audience back to August 1912. Based on the children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo and after becoming a runaway hit at London’s National Theatre and then on the West End (where it is running into its third year), ‘War Horse’ finally arrives on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center.
The plot has been criticized for being unsophisticated but since the story was written for children, it effectively captures those emotions of youth from memories of a pet to our first recollections of joy, heartbreak and betrayal. However the expense of telling the story of a horse is the cast become side characters with only Albert being fleshed out to see his growth from boy to man.
For example, in a scene where Albert finally tames the hunter Joey to plow the fields is the audience cheering Albert’s triumph or Joey’s skills to learn. It appears it’s the latter confirmed by the audience’s excitement when the young horse transitions to grand steed.
The thrust stage of the Beaumont is fluidly transformed from English countryside to the battlefields of France by not only the sets and costumes but projections of drawings from a sketchbook that serve as landscape backdrops enhanced by the stark lighting of Paul Constable. The music by Adrian Sutton and songs by John Tams appropriately accent the time and place.
The words “only remembered for what we have done” are again sung as the last lines of the play. It’s likely many will remember and embrace their experience at ‘War Horse’ and encourage other to take the journey. Like in London, its appeal to all ages will make this production not only the tearjerker of the season but also that rare entity: a blockbuster play.
- Website: warhorseonbroadway.com
- Where: Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center (seating chart)
- Location: 150 West 65th St, New York City
- When: Tue 7pm; Wed-Sat 8pm; Wed & Sat 2pm; Sun 3pm
- Running Time: 2 hrs 45 min (including intermission)
- Ticket Prices: $75-$135
- Opening: Apr 14, 2011 (previews from Mar 17, 2011)
- Closing: Open Run
- Book Online: telecharge.com
- Book by Phone: 1-800-432-7250
- CD: Original Music & Songs from the National Theatre Production of 'War Horse'
- Book: 'War Horse' by Michael Morpurgo
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