War Horse

By Abby Barr12th Grade, Bronx High School of Science A cavernous stage goes dark, and the only sounds that can be heard are whinnies. Out walks a majestic and endearing horse puppet, so intricately designed that it is easy to forget that there are three actors inside. Welcome to War Horse, a simple but gorgeous play that will strike a chord with any audience. The play is set in England during World War I and follows the basic structure of: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back – only replace “girl” with “horse.” Our protagonist, a poor boy named Albert, jumps over many hurdles (literally and figuratively) to get his horse back. The first act is the genesis of Albert’s relationship with Joey, his horse. The second act mostly takes place at war, in which both Albert and Joey fight. It is quite easy to tell that War Horse is based on a children’s book. However, its uncomplicated story serves as merely a background for the horses and beautiful production values. When Joey is abused or in conflict, a chain reaction of horror can be seen and felt throughout the theater. Human actors are almost irrelevant (though all are very talented) because the real star is Joey. His presence onstage is magnetic and thrilling, as all of his feelings are conveyed through putting a hoof on the ground, or turning his head. War Horse is entertaining, sweet, and powerful and is a treat for anyone looking to be moved by simple, beautiful theater. Sometimes, in a busy world, a nice night at the theater is all you need to feel happy. TICKETS: $30 student rush • Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 W. 65th St. website