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'War Horse' is a spectacular adventure on stage

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War Horse, Handspring Puppets, Michael Morpurgo, The Artist Series JAX

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“Phenomenal”, that’s what my daughter said as we left the Moran Theater at the Times Union Center when we went to see opening night of WAR HORSE. Even though military appreciation night isn't until Wednesday, the theater was packed upstairs and down with young and mature alike.

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My five-year-old granddaughter stayed awake, enjoyed the puppetry even if she didn’t understand the entire narrative. The only things that disturbed her were the numerous sounds of gunfire. She would cover her ears and then let go when it was over. She was enthralled with the rest of the show.

After meeting Joey that morning, not having read the book nor seen the Steven Spielberg movie, I never considered anyone or anything other than the huge brown horse (oh, it’s only a puppet); nevertheless, there is much more to the stage presentation of War Horse. There are villagers, and soldiers portrayed from Brittan and Germany; besides other horse puppets and birds. As you view the movie trailer, you’ll wonder how such a spectacle could be done in such a limited space as a theater.

The question remains, would I go back to see it again? The answer is a great big YES!!! Take a little time and view the Slide Show & Video as you get familiar with the horse that’s driven by three men/women (Head, Heart & Hind puppeteers) in the stage presentation of War Horse in JAX. It depends on local that the puppeteers have to put on the show, if the same group of muscles in their body may ache or not. OBTW, Joey is ridden by another actor who has to be less than 170 lbs. It’s crazy how they make it all happen.

War Horse
DATES:          TIMES:
Tues. Feb. 18, 2014     7:30 p.m.
Wed. Feb. 19        7:30 p.m.
Thurs. Feb. 20       7:30 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 21         8:00 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 22     2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 23     1:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Times Union Center Performing Arts
      Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

TICKETS: Vary from $32.00 and are available at the Artist Series Box Office between 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, at (904) 442-BWAY {2929} or online 24/7. Discounts are available for groups of 10+ by calling (904) 442-2947 or groupsales@fscj.edu.

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