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War Horse Wows Them On Broadway

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MamasDoin'Fine
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War Horse Wows Them On Broadway#1
Posted: 4/14/11 at 2:21pm
War Horse Wows Them On Broadway
The National Theatres biggest ever box office hit hits Broadway tonight.

'War Horse' opens at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre for a 12 week season.
It will be interesting to see how the Americans take to this production.
Updated On: 4/16/11 at 02:21 PM
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Phantom of London
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joined:3/26/08
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Pigs And Horses#2
Posted: 4/14/11 at 4:10pm
This show is a through and through thorough bred. If you fancy a punt put you money on this one to romp home in the morning.
Updated On: 4/15/11 at 04:10 PM
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Phantom of London
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Pigs And Horses#3
Posted: 4/15/11 at 7:51pm
Warhorse has now been extended to an open run from its initial 15 week run.

Now I told you, this would romp home? It did by 10 furlongs!
Jonwo
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Pigs And Horses#4
Posted: 4/15/11 at 8:16pm
Glad to see War Horse do well on Broadway, I wonder if has a shot at the Tonys, the only other new play is The Motherf*cker in the Hat which got raves.

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MamasDoin'Fine
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joined:9/28/08
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Pigs And Horses#5
Posted: 4/16/11 at 4:09pm
The hit play that has New Yorkers blubbing in the stalls all began with a chat in a Devon pub a few years back.

Producers, investors, directors – none will have counted a single chicken. Throughout the long phase of previews in which 'War Horse' has been finding its hooves in New York, people have been emerging inconsolably into the neon-lit night, weeping outside the Lincoln Center.
The play about the horses taken to the trenches of Flanders Fields in the Great War is working its spell all over again.
But until the reviews are in, no Broadway investor can assume their money is set to multiply.
The last time a monster hit from London travelled across the ocean, it came back stuffed in the hold. 'Enron', a theatrical tale of corporate greed, überflopped in a city whose audiences did not take kindly to having a mirror thrust in their face.

'War Horse', though, is another story.
As soon as the curtain went up on this week’s official opening night, rave reviews popped up online. No one opening on Broadway goes to sleep happy without The New York Times’s imprimatur – but, in the end, everyone slept very soundly indeed.
“It takes a team of strong but sensitive puppeteers to bring Joey, a half-thoroughbred who is sold into a World War I cavalry regiment, to life-size life,” wrote The New York Times’s Ben Brantley. “And it is how Joey is summoned into being, along with an assortment of other animals, that gives this production its ineffably theatrical magic.”

Could the directors Tom Morris and Marianne Elliott, grafting through workshops for more than two years, ever have anticipated that their work would come to this?
“It’s been an amazing three months,” they said, “reinventing War Horse with a wonderful American cast at exactly the same time as our associate Alex Sims was rehearsing in our new cast in London. Now we are up and running in two cities!”

Thursday night in New York completed the latest stage of a remarkable journey for the stage version of the book by Michael Morpurgo.
That journey began in a Morpurgo’s local pub in Devon, where he struck up a conversation with a First World War veteran who had witnessed the terrible sufferings of the war’s horses.
The ensuing children’s novel was published in 1982.
It told of a horse sold to a cavalry officer, and its owner’s son Albert, who joins up in order to find him, little knowing that he has been lost behind enemy lines.
Morpurgo worked on a film version for five years before giving up. Horses may make good narrators in prose, but not on camera.
Then in 2005 the National Theatre pitched the concept that the horses could be brought to life by a company of South African puppeteers called Handspring.
There was a lot more to the production that opened at the Olivier Theatre.
The play by Nick Stafford put Morpurgo’s heart-stopping story into the mouths of humans. The inferno of the Great War was conjured up by designer Rae Smith. And two complementary directors – physical theatre specialist Tom Morris and text traditionalist Marianne Elliott –brought the vision to life. “I thought that’s just impossible,” recalls Elliott. “OK, let’s do it.”

The unanimous raves which greeted 'War Horse' in October 2007 were, yes, a response to an emotional heft which many (including New York critics) have found manipulative. But ultimately the accolades were earned by Handspring’s quadrupeds. Each horse and foal, animated by a trio of humans, could walk and stamp and nod with astonishing verisimilitude.

The interesting thing is that it is the adults in the audience who feel the full thwack of the play. Where children accept the wonder of theatre, adults are transported back to childhood, when wonder is organic. Handspring are nothing less than magicians: they make cynics bitten by life believe.

Will it work on film? If anyone can manipulate a multiplex into a state of emotional surrender, it is Steven Spielberg, who had no sooner been told about the play than he had optioned it.
Shot last summer, partly in Dartmoor rain, it finds the great director operating under a handicap. These days they can do anything on film, but they can’t turn horses into characters the way Elliott, Morris and Handspring have done. So on screen it will be real nags writhing in the corner of a foreign field that is forever England, and charging towards German machine gun, ridden by quixotic public-school chaps waving antiquated weapons.

There is a precedent for the spectacle of adults mopping up in the stalls. For almost the same reason, the faucets open in the overture of 'The Lion King', in which human-operated elephants, zebras and giraffes parade through the theatre. More than a decade since opening on Broadway, it’s still running all over the world, even as its director Julie Taymor tries to get her blighted 'Spiderman' up and running in New York.
But 'The Lion King' is for children.
'War Horse' supplies a cathartic moment of healing for adults. That, at its best, is the inimitable power of theatre.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

'War Horse' has been extended for an indefinte run in New York following its successful transfer from the the National Theatre.

The production had been scheduled to end on June 26 but has now been extended indefinitely at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

'War Horse', the visually arresting play about the bond between a young man and his horse set against the backdrop of the first World War, officially opened on Broadway today.
'War Horse', based on Michael Morpurgo's novel, was adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford and directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, but it's the horses, created by the Handspring Puppet Company, that bring it to life.
It's initial 15-week run was almost total sell-out.
Updated On: 4/16/11 at 04:09 PM
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MamasDoin'Fine
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joined:9/28/08
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Pigs And Horses#6
Posted: 4/17/11 at 5:36am
What the popular U.S press said...

"Ineffably theatrical magic.... much of 'War Horse' evaporates not long after it ends."
Ben Brantley for NY Times

"Runs full gallop with theatrical magic. It is by turns epic and intimate and compels you to hold your breath in anticipation."
Joe Dziemianowicz for NY Daily News

"What makes the show so powerful is the way the storytelling and the stagecraft are intricately melded."
Elisabeth Vincentelli for New York Post

"Abjuring fancy special effects, 'War Horse' still manages to be the great spectacle of the season. "
Jeremy Gerard for Bloomberg

"Gloriously theatrical and almost unbearably moving, this stirring testimonial to the power of honest sentiment is a never-to-be-forgotten theatrical experience."
Erik Haagensen for Back Stage

"One aim of theater is to take an audience to another time and place. 'War Horse' ... does that, superbly. But what’s really transfixing is how it gets there."
Robert Feldberg for The Record

"Offers masterpiece theatrics for the masses. Get those tickets now or wait until next year."
Michael Sommers for Newsroom Jersey

"Emotionally stirring, visually arresting and compellingly told."
David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter

"Pure theatrical magic."
Marilyn Stasio for Variety
Spotlight61
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Pigs And Horses#7
Posted: 4/17/11 at 2:25pm
It was interesting to hear Frank marshall, one of the producers of the Broadway play, say that the stage show will prepare the audience for the Spielberg film version later in the year!!

I cannot see his logic here!

It is a wonderful tale and beautifully told through theatrical magic. I'm glad it has been extended. The NT could well do with the money given the cuts in its arts subsidy!
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theatrepaul
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joined:1/29/10
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Pigs And Horses#8
Posted: 4/19/11 at 3:57pm
How could it fail to wow them - its utterly brilliant!!

Nick Hynter must be very thankful for this HUGE cash cow Pigs And Horses