'War Horse'

No real horse pressed into showbiz service could have topped the appeal of Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones' cane-framed, 7-foot-tall Joey, the heart-stopping puppet at the heart of the theatrical version of Michael Morpurgo's simple children's story about a boy and his beloved mare, searching for each other on the French battlefields of World War I. That puppet is not only insurance for this production, a hit for years in London, against the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie (to be released Christmas Day with a real equine presence) but a reminder that popular audiences love to see empathetic beasts rise from the basic mechanics of theater. Even though the tale was sentimental, Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris know how to stage a metaphor for the death of agrarian innocence and the destructive dawn of a new, relentless age of mechanized war.
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At the Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 W. 65th St.; 212-239-6262 or warhorseonbroadway.com</b>

No real horse pressed into showbiz service could have topped the appeal of Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones' cane-framed, 7-foot-tall Joey, the heart-stopping puppet at the heart of the theatrical version of Michael Morpurgo's simple children's story about a boy and his beloved mare, searching for each other on the French battlefields of World War I. That puppet is not only insurance for this production, a hit for years in London, against the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie (to be released Christmas Day with a real equine presence) but a reminder that popular audiences love to see empathetic beasts rise from the basic mechanics of theater. Even though the tale was sentimental, Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris know how to stage a metaphor for the death of agrarian innocence and the destructive dawn of a new, relentless age of mechanized war.

At the Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 W. 65th St.; 212-239-6262 or warhorseonbroadway.com

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