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'War Horse' theatre production coming to LA

February 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The tale of "War Horse" has been corralled for a national tour, and it's coming to Los Angeles this June.

It all began as an English children's book, then it took the stage in London, then New York. In December, director Steven Spielberg later filmed his version for the big screen.

"War Horse" will be trotting into the Ahmanson Theatre in June.

The Broadway version of a horse's odyssey from the pastures of England to the trenches of World War I earned five Tony Awards last year, including best play.

Spielberg's film is nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture.

The star of the play, "Joey," came to the Ahmanson Theatre on Wednesday for a meet-and-greet with fans.

Joey is 10-feet long, 8-feet tall and 120 pounds. He's also a puppet.

"We're creating a new way of telling a story and actually it is a way that a modern audience can really respond to," said Finn Caldwell of the Handspring Puppet Company.

Joey commands the stage, thanks to talented puppeteers Ariel Heller, Ross Green and Ian Piears.

"It's one part, but played by three people, which is where that whole trust aspect and the lack of ego comes in because we have to be one thing," Green said.

The actors give life to the head, the heart and the hind of this larger-than-life stage star.

"It's very specific to body type. I tried the head in the audition and it kind of it felt right in the hind of the horse. So yeah, it's a skill that you really have to develop over time," Piears said.

Advance tickets for "War Horse" went on sale Wednesday.