War Horse, the 2011 Tony Award-winning Best Play and international sensation seen by more than 2 million people worldwide, will conclude its Broadway run today, January 6, 2013, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater as the longest-running, Tony Award-winning Best Play of the last decade. At time of closing, the production will have played 718 performances and 33 previews. Below, BroadwayWorld takes you through War Horse's battle onto Broadway and beyond with photos, video and more.
The National Theatre of Great Britain's production of War Horse, presented by Lincoln Center Theater (under the direction of André Bishop and Bernard Gersten), The National Theatre of Great Britain (under the direction of Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr) and Bob Boyett, swept the 2011 theater awards winning five Tony Awards including Best Play, the Drama Desk Award for Best Play, three Outer Critics Circle Awards including Best Play and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Play.
In New York, the cast of 37 features Stephen James Anthony, Toby Billowitz, Alyssa Bresnahan, Lute Breuer, Hunter Canning, Anthony Cochrane, Richard Crawford, Sanjit De Silva, Andrew Durand, Joel Reuben Ganz, Ben Graney, Alex Hoeffler, Leah Hofmann, Ben Horner, Brian Lee Huynh, Jeslyn Kelly, Tessa Klein, David Lansbury, Tom Lee, Jonathan Christopher MacMillan, David Manis, Jonathan David Martin, Nat McIntyre, Andy Murray, David Pegram, Kate Pfaffl, Jude Sandy, Tommy Schrider, Hannah Sloat, Jack Spann, Elliot Villar, Enrico D. Wey, Isaac Woofter, Katrina Yaukey and Madeleine Rose Yen.
War Horse received its World Premiere in a limited engagement at the National's Olivier Theatre in 2007. The play returned to The National Theatre for a second run playing from in 2008-2009 before transferring to the West End's New London Theatre in Spring 2009, where it continues its sold out open-ended run.
Set at the dawn of World War I, War Horse tells the powerful and uplifting story of young Albert, his beloved horse Joey, and the unimaginable obstacles they overcome both individually and together. At the heart of the show are life-sized puppets which bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage. Filled with stirring music and some of the most innovative stagecraft of our time, War Horse is a remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, and an unforgettable theatrical experience.
War Horse began previews in March 2011 at Broadway's Vivian Beaumont Theater. Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, and adapted by Nick Stafford with Handspring Puppet Company, the show is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris. In the following TED video, War Horse's creators discuss the construction of their famous horse puppet!
Leading up to War Horse's official opening on Broadway, BWW brought readers a first look at the epic production. Scroll below for photos and a performance preview!
The National Theatre of Great Britain's production of War Horse, presented by Lincoln Center Theater and The National Theatre of Great Britain in association with Bob Boyett, opened on April 14, 2011. Broadway Beat was on hand for the opening celebration. Click below for our interviews with the company!
Following its opening on Broadway, War Horse swept the 2011 awards season, having won numerous special awards, including a special Tony Award for the Handspring Puppet Company, a citation from the New York Drama Critics Circle, a special Drama Desk Award to the Creative Team for Thrilling Stagecraft and a special Outer Critics Circle Award to the Handspring Puppet Company. Michael Morpurgo's novel, War Horse, was also the inspiration for Steven Spielberg's feature film of the same name, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture.
BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge spoke with each of the show's 2011 Tony winners after the award presentations. Below, see reactions from Rae Smith (Best Scenic Design of a Play), Paule Constable (Best Lighting Design of a Play), Christopher Shutt (Best Sound Design of a Play), Handspring Puppet Company (2011 Special Tony Award for Puppetry Achievement), Marianne Elliot and Tom Morris (Best Director of a Play) and Nick Stafford (Best Play)!
On the tails of War Horse's success at the 2011 Tony Awards, the show's US tour opened in June 2012 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. When it has finished, the tour will have visited San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta, Durham, Boston, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, East Lansing, Des Moines, Chicago, Denver, Costa Mesa, Tempe, Seattle, Portland, Spokane, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Providence, Minneapolis, Appleton and more. Scroll below for stunning photos from the US touring production of War Horse.
War Horse shares its Broadway closing date with the Canadian production, which ends its run today at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The production has set a record in Canada as the longest-running professional drama of all time and will have played 368 performances at the time of closing.
In addition to New York, War Horse has major productions running in London, Toronto, and its continuing US national tour. Future productions of War Horse are planned for Australia and Berlin, as well as a UK tour.