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  War Horse at Cadillac Palace Theatre

War Horse

Cadillac Palace Theatre
151 W. Randolph Chicago

Hailed by The New York Times as “theatrical magic,” WAR HORSE is the powerful story of young Albert’s beloved horse, Joey, who has been enlisted to fight for the English in World War I. In a tale the New York Daily News calls “spellbinding, by turns epic and intimate,” 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 follows is a remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, filled with stirring music and songs and told with the some of the most innovative stagecraft of our time.

Thru - Jan 5, 2013

Price: $67-$97

Show Type: Drama

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; one intermission

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  War Horse Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...There are those who have found the text simplistic and sentimental. For sure, it is not some knotted dramatic landscape of the kind fashioned by Edward Albee. But in this instance, it serves the theatricality of the production beautifully. "War Horse" avoided many common traps, not the least of which is the temptation of digital scenery. Even in this touring production, Rae Smith's design still explores the huge, three-dimensional objects that loom in a young man's consciousness, be they machine guns, plows or horses. The digital backdrop, created by a company called 59 Productions to resemble the kind of sketchbook that might have survived a war, is about the lightest and quietest such backdrop you ever will see, and thus among the most beautiful."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...The creatures now galloping onto the stage of the Cadillac Palace Theatre in "War Horse" - the heartwrenching theater spectacle and anti-war screed inspired by Michael Morpurgo's children's novel, and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford - might be referred to as "puppets." But these magical creations - devised by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler (master artists of South Africa's fabled Handspring Puppet Company), "choreographed" by Toby Sedgwick and brought to life by a team of extraordinary human performers - are not to be confused with inanimate objects in any way, shape or form."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...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."
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...We follow them for every hoofprint of their journey, too-vividly depicted through animated screen projections and a score of martial music. We clearly see the cane-and-fabric mannequins' operators (kokens for the foal Joey, later concealed beneath the prosthetic shell of the full-grown stallion), but so accurately does Toby Sedgwick's quadrupedal choreography replicate equine body language that from the first moments, we accept them-not like the adults we are, but with the primal affection of children-as the beasts they represent. Opening night audiences, stone-faced through scenes of soldiers fleeing artillery fire, wept shamelessly at Joey's entrapment by barbed wire and whimpered in fear during one terrifying moment when he faces imminent execution."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"...Galloping into Chicago for a limited engagement, Nick Stafford’s adaptation of British author Michael Morpurgo’s children’s novel is both poignant and breathtaking. The play tells of young Albert Narracott and his love for Joey, the foal who grows up under his gentle care to become his best friend. Set against the background of a lonely Devonshire farm and then the French killing fields of World War I, the one element that dominates is the beauty and strength of Albert and Joey’s enduring friendship."

Colin Douglas

Chicago Stage Review - Highly Recommended

"...War Horse is a brilliantly delicate and brutal ballet of staged inspiration. The National Theatre of Great Britain and Handspring Puppet Company have created more than just a theatrical spectacle and box office phenom. The have combined the visions and talents of so many magnificent artists to create a living-breathing masterpiece. Do not miss this dramatically resplendent triumph."
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Venus Zarris

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...But that jolt of wonder isn't enough to maintain two and a half hours of otherwise ponderous and sentimental storytelling. Nick Stafford's meandering adaptation gets lost in tangents as Joey traverses France, experiencing the absurdities and atrocities of military engagement, while his young owner enlists to follow him. Bijan Sheibani's staging of the touring production, based on the original direction by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, is flat and repetitive. The spectacular elements don't cohere into satisfying spectacle; the fog of war becomes subsumed by the fog of War Horse."
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Kris Vire

ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"...War Horse is an epic in every sense of the word (even moreso then the bland Stephen Spielberg film adaptation). This is reinforced by the National Tour's stop at the Cadillac Palace Theatre where War Horse is afforded the physical space to tell its tale as opposed to the much more intimate theatres in both London and New York. At the Palace, War Horse is a theatrical feast that takes your breath away from the first scene were a little foal Joey gets his bearings. The theatrical pacing is brilliant has this device allows the audience to become instantly invested in Joey's welfare. Thus when Joey bonds with his "owner" Albert (played to perfection by Andrew Veenstra) the humanity of the story is cemented and we are as much a part of the play as the actors themselves."
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Michael Roberts

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Lovers of the novel and the film will cherish the imagination and craft of WarHorse, the play. This tour is one of the best tours to grace a Chicago stage in years! I'd make WarHorse as special holiday gift to the theatre lovers in your family. It is something special."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"... With five Tony Awards on its pedigree, “War Horse” thunders into the Cadillac Palace Theatre for a three week run. This visually stunning play should not be missed. See these spectacular original show horses now, before they get away."

Lazlo Collins

Huffington Post - Highly Recommended

"...Adapted by Nick Stafford from the Michael Morpurgo's young adult novel, War Horse was originally produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain in 2007 before moving to its Tony-winning hit run in New York's Lincoln Center. And, quite simply, it's the reason theatre exists. This epic-yet-straightforward tale of a boy and his horse who are separated and united by a war (WWI, to be exact) is told with such craft, such magnificent theatrically, it's all you can do to sit and marvel."
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Bob Bullen

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"...The first word that comes to mind while watching "War Horse" at the Cadillac Palace Theatre is "impressive." The play is a triumph of all the theatrical arts-sets, lights, costumes, lighting, and acting. But the show also promises a tremendous emotional experience, and there viewers may differ."

Dan Zeff

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