WAR HORSE Gallops Into Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, 11/20-12/2

The National Theatre's epic War Horse, winner of five 2011 Tony Awards including Best Play, will make its Philadelphia premiere for a two-week limited engagement beginning Nov. 20 through Dec. 2 at the Academy of Music, kicking off the 2012-13 Broadway Season presented by The Kimmel Center and The Shubert Organization. The press opening is Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Tickets starting at $25 are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at kimmelcenter.org/broadway, at the Kimmel Center box office, Broad & Spruce Sts. (open daily 10 am to 6 pm) or at the Academy of Music box office, Broad & Locust Sts. (open during performances only). Groups of 10 or more will receive discounts for select performances by calling 215-790-5883 or 866-276-2947.

Performances include: Tuesday – Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm; Friday & Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm; Sunday evenings at 6:30 pm; matinees Saturdays at 2:00 pm and Sundays at 1:00 pm, with an additional weekday matinee on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 2:00 pm. No performances are scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day.

Michael Morpurgo's novel, War Horse, is also the inspiration for Steven Spielberg's feature film of the same name, which has garnered six Oscar nominations including Best Picture.

War Horse is the powerful story of young Albert's beloved horse, Joey, who has been enlisted to fight for the English in World War I. Joey is caught in enemy crossfire and ends up serving both sides of the war before landing in no man's land. Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. What follows is a remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, filled with stirring music and songs and told with the some of the most innovative stagecraft of our time.

The tour of War Horse, based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo and adapted by Nick Stafford, will be directed by Bijan Sheibani based on the original Tony Award-winning direction by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, and presented in association with Handspring Puppet Company. At the heart of the show are life-sized puppets which bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.

In addition to Best Play, War Horse received Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Play (Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris), Best Scenic Design of a Play (Rae Smith), Best Lighting Design of a Play (Paule Constable), and Best Sound Design of a Play (Christopher Shutt). A Special Tony Award was given to Handspring Puppet Company for their integral work on the production.

War Horse received its World Premiere in a limited engagement at the National's Olivier Theatre in 2007. The play returned to The National Theatre for a second run playing from in 2008-2009 before transferring to the West End's New London Theatre in Spring 2009 where it continues to play an open-ended run. War Horse has been seen by almost 2 million people worldwide.

The lead producers of the National Tour of War Horse are Bob Boyett and The National Theatre of Great Britain.

Lincoln Center Theater and The National Theatre of Great Britain in association with Bob Boyett and War Horse LP, are the producers of the American premiere of War Horse, which opened April 14 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater where it is currently playing an open-ended run. Future productions of War Horse are planned for Australia and South Africa, as well as a UK Tour.

The 2012-2013 Broadway Season is presented by The Kimmel Center and The Shubert Organization with productions at the Academy of Music, Forrest Theatre and Merriam Theater. Season ticket packages are still available by calling 215-893-1955 or online at kimmelcenter.org/broadway1213.

In addition to War Horse the new 2012-13 Broadway Season includes: MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET (Dec. 11 – 16); JEKYLL & HYDE (Dec. 26 – 30), both at the Forrest Theatre; CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (Jan. 15 – 20); PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT (Feb. 26 – March 3); The Addams Family (March 19 – 24); and SISTER ACT (April 2 – 7), all at the Academy of Music. The new season will also feature additional shows including: LES MISÉRABLES (Jan. 2 – 13) at the Academy of Music; CIRQUE ÉLOIZ iD (Dec. 26 – 30), Green Day's AMERICAN IDIOT (Feb. 12 – 17); BLUE MAN GROUP (March 5 – 10), ROCK OF AGES (June 14 – 16), all at the Merriam Theater; and the return of WICKED (June 26 – Aug. 4) for an extended summer engagment at the Academy of Music.

The Broadway Season is presented by The Kimmel Center and The Shubert Organization.

KIMMEL CENTER, INC., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, owns, manages, supports and maintains The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio and the Merck Arts Education Center. Kimmel Center, Inc. also manages the Academy of Music, owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and the University of the Arts Merriam Theater. Our mission is to operate a world class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience which includes providing arts in education, community outreach and a rich diversity of programming. The 2012/2013 season is sponsored by Citi. For additional information, visit kimmelcenter.org.

The Shubert Organization owns and operates 21 theatres in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC and continues its involvement in the presentation of distinguished theatrical productions. Under the leadership of Philip J. Smith, Chairman and Robert E. Wankel, President, the firm continues its tradition of producing distinguished theatrical attractions. These include Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway, Sister Act, That Championship Season, Passing Strange, Equus (w/Daniel Radcliffe), A Steady Rain, God of Carnage, Cats, SUNDAY IN THE Park with George, Dreamgirls, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, Lettice & Lovage, Passion, the original production of Amadeus and many others. The Shubert Organization is dedicated to the revitalization of the American theatre. Its activities include the restoration and modernization of its theatres and participation in civic and community affairs. Shubert Ticketing provides superior box office, call center and marketing services, as well as online products for live entertainment venues across the country.

Photos © Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

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