My Mom and I saw War Horse on stage last night, as it was part of Calgary’s Broadway package. It was the first time that our package had included a show that wasn’t a musical. We weren’t really sure if we would like the show or not. We even agreed that if we were bored out of our mind, we would leave at intermission. I had seen the movie previously, but my Mom hadn’t. I liked the movie, but I really didn’t understand how they would turn the story into a stage show. Of course, of the many things I have learned over the years, I should know that Broadway can do anything.
To say I was shocked with the show would be an understatement. I was honestly blown away. My jaw was on the floor quite a few times because I was so awestruck with what was happening on stage. I laughed, I cried, I jumped in my seat and I would see it again at the drop of a hat.
The storyline was good, but it was definitely not what kept my attention. The magic of this show was the puppetry. The horses were made of a wire frame work and were operated by 3 actors. Each movement was precise and imitated a real horse to a tee. The movements were so well thought out and every little detail was incorporated. A little movement to show breathing, a flick of the tail, a twitch of an ear, EVERYTHING was so realistic. The versatility of the animal was amazing. The sounds the 3 actors created were perfect and sounded like the real animal. Honestly, the performances had me feeling intense emotions of love, happiness and sadness for the animal. I forgot it was a puppet, but thought I was watching a real horse gallop around on the stage. My Mom said all she wanted to do was get up on the stage and pet the horse.
An acapella medley was sung throughout the show and it helped set the mood of the show. It sounded like an old irish lullaby to me. It suited the show so well and helped tell this story of a boy and his horse. It’s amazing how music can intensify what you are watching and bring about such strong emotions. Like I said above, this show with it’s amazing puppetry, acting and music had me in tears.
BRAVO Broadway for such an amazing play.
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