Part of the Broadway Across America series War Horse makes a stop at the Fabulous Fox through September 30.
Being an Auburn University man I am fully aware of War Eagle (our battle cry) but was intrigued by the title War Horse. I knew there was a Stephen Spielberg 2011 movie but much beyond that did not know what to expect.
The publicity ads were of dramatic looking horses in fine for. I expected it to be something in the nature of last years’ Cavalia Odysseo where seventy horses frolicked under the world’s largest unobstructed tent. There I marveled at the wonder of these large animals.
As I entered the darkened Fox Theatre, I was surprised to find no smell of wild horses in the full house on opening night. The stage has a multimedia stripe across it.
Then it began. The main character came out, the horse. It was strong and sleek and full of vigor but on closer examination, I discovered it was not a living horse, but a work of living art. With three puppeteers in tow, the straps, leather and springs made up a larger than life puppet horse.
I love all types of puppets and I am a frequent visitor to our own Center for Puppetry Arts in Midtown. This horse whose name was Joey was absolutely marvelous.
Like most good puppeteers, they are able to transform their puppets into living form. So about ten minutes into the production I shifted from seeing a puppet into seeing a living, breathing horse. Joey was rambunctious. He has attitude, sass, and a bit of love in his heart.
The story takes you back to the days before War War I, when living in England in the agrarian world, you literally had to fend for yourself. Joey was bought with the month’s rent and did not become a popular hit in his new home. But his tenacity and curiosity made him a multidimensional character.
We pride ourselves in living in the modern age but we still have fragile human institutions that fail us as war is one big letdown. The backdrop of War Horse is the start of the war that was supposed to end all wars, War World I.
Joey is recruited to participate in a horse brigade and he is no match for the tanks and artillery of modern war fare.
This story has highs and lows; it is about loyalty, love, and the stark cold realities of war. At times it seems you want to flinch because of the inhumanity of the violent dark side of man. But in the end, you discover that tough times never last but tough people do.
War Horse will transform you to a world full of wonder and hopefully give you a part of history that we have long forgotten.
Be sure to check out these “steam punk” looking creatures on the main stage at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. Don’t miss out on a magnificent opportunity to also enjoy the magic of puppets and enjoy an overall good tale.
For tickets and info visit: www.BroadwayInAtlanta.com