War Horse, Airplanes, Painters, and Spelling Bees

- This week is the only opportunity Omaha residents have to see the 5-time Tony Award winning play War Horse, playing through April 13th at the Orpheum Theater. War Horse is the story of a young man named Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been enlisted to fight for the English in World War I. In the tale, Joey is caught in enemy crossfire and ends up serving both sides of the war before landing in no man’s land. Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home.

            What makes the show so unique (and quite different from the Steven Spielberg film adaptation) is the life-size horse puppets designed by the Handspring Puppet Company in South Africa. Each horse used in all War Horse productions has been handmade in South Africa from cane and then shipped out with to their respective companies. It takes three performers to work each horse (one controlling the hind, one controlling the heart, and one controlling the head). Each technician is microphoned and together the three of them create the horse’s sounds.

Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones, the founders of the Handspring Puppet Company, pointed out the dichotomy between an actor and a puppet on stage saying, “On stage, an actor is struggling to die while a puppet is struggling to live.”

War Horse has been seen by more than 4 million people worldwide and is currently playing in London and Australia on top of the North American Tour currently in Omaha. A German version of the play opened in Berlin recently and another major tour of the UK, Ireland and China is underway.

For more information on War Horse, visit http://www.TicketOmaha.com.

- The upcoming weeks will see numerous new productions from area theatres starting with Omaha Community Playhouse’s comedy Boeing, Boeing opening April 18th and starring Anthony Clark-Kaczmarek, Terri Fender, Jennifer Gilg, and Courtney Stein.

Also opening that weekend will be Shelterbelt Theatre’s production of Battle of Battles by local playwright Joe Basque. The show is about an artistic competition between Da Vinci and Michelangelo during a war in Florence.

Finishing out the openings that weekend will be UNO Theatre’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee running through April 26th.

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com

posted at 12:31 am
on Monday, April 28th, 2014

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