The National Theatre of Great Britain’s epic play War Horse, a heartwarming tale of loyalty and friendship, and winner of five 2011 Tony Awards, will make its anticipated Miami premiere at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County’s Ziff Ballet Opera House on March 4-9, 2014. Before that, the play will be making a stop in Orlando at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. The performance dates started on February 25 and will continue until March 2.
Before I saw War Horse last year at the Broward Center, I didn’t know what to expect. I had seen the movie and wasn’t sure how that would translate on stage. To my surprise I was taken aback by a show that is nothing less than genius and has definitely gone down in the books as one of my all-time favorite plays. The Handspring Puppet Company does such a good job with the horses that you don’t even notice the people operating them. So much of the puppetry impressed me, but the thing that made my body tingle was when the horses breathed, as it was so real! I really don’t want to say anymore as I don’t want to take away from the fabulousness of this show. However, I will say: This is a must see!
Hailed by The New York Times as “theatrical magic,” 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. In a tale the New York Daily News calls “spellbinding, by turns epic and intimate,” 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. Michael Morpurgo’s beloved novel, War Horse, is also the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s feature film of the same name, which earned six Oscar nominations including “Best Picture”.
The national tour of War Horse, which was adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s book by Nick Stafford, is 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 2008-2009 before transferring to the West End’s New London Theatre in spring 2009 where it continues to play an open-ended run. The American premiere was in spring 2011 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York’s Lincoln Center.
War Horse has been seen by more than four million people worldwide and is currently playing in London’s West End, in Australia and on the North American tour. In 2013, a German version of the play entitled Gefahrten opened in Berlin, and in early 2014 the play began a major tour of the UK and Ireland.
The performance schedule for War Horse at the Ziff Ballet Opera House, Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami is: March 4-7 at 8 p.m., March 8 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and March 9 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The remaining Orlando dates at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre have performance times of: 8 p.m. from February 27-March 1, 2 p.m. on March 1, 1 p.m. on March 2 and 6:30 p.m. on March 2.
Tickets for War Horse are on sale now and start at $26.00 in Miami and $38.50 in Orlando. For tickets in Miami, visit arshtcenter.org, or call the Box Office at (305) 949-6722. Groups of 10 or more should call (786) 468-2326. For tickets in Orlando, visit orlando.broadway.com, or call the Box Office at (407) 246-4262. Groups of 10 or more can request tickets via the Broadway Across Orlando website.