War Horse | Cadillac Palace Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 5 2013
Price: $30-$105
Based on the 1982 children's novel by Michael Morpurgo (who seems to have produced a new book every six months or so since 1974), Nick Stafford's play is basically an outsize puppet show. But what extraordinary puppets! In order to tell the tale of Joey—an English farm horse separated from his beloved master and forced to endure the worst horrors of World War I—South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company created aluminum-and-cloth steeds light enough to be easily manipulated yet big and strong enough to be ridden by actors. The narrative is by turns touching and grim—very much to his credit, Stafford doesn't soft-pedal the physical and emotional carnage. What really makes this touring show worth the 160 minutes, though, is the spectacle. Anyone who saw Handspring's Woyzeck on the Highveld at the Museum of Contemporary Art last September will recognize certain signature visual tropes used here, including projections of pencil drawings. Created by Rae Smith, those drawings are often as gorgeous as they are dramatically necessary. —Tony Adler



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