Adapted by Daniel Buckroyd from the novel by Michael Morpurgo, Farm Boy is currently performing at The Matrix Theatre. This play is a sequel to the acclaimed War Horse. Directed by David Fofi with original music by Katrina Wood, the show stars Lawrence Pressman and Simon Lees.
In 1982, Michael Morpurgo’s novel for young readers War Horse was first published. A sequel, Farm Boy, followed in 1997. Last year, Buckroyd, artistic director of New Perspectives Theatre Company of Nottingham, England, brought his stage adaptation of Morpurgo’s novel Farm Boy to off-Broadway.
This year it is being presented by Katrina Wood and Barney D. Neeley, whose seasonal entertainment last winter, Bob Cratchit & Mr. Tightwad, played to full houses and laudatory reviews.
Farm Boy concerns itself with the adventures of Joey the horse (and his mate, Zoey). But the main characters are the son and great-grandson of World War I hero, Albert. The focus is on the great-grandson and the bond that he forges with his grandfather and with the land that sustains the family through the generations.
After World War I, the arrival of machinery changes the face of the rural landscape. As part of a wager, Joey and Zoey are pitted in a competition against a massive tractor in a contest vaguely reminiscent of the American folk legend of John Henry.
Pressman stars as Grandpa (the son of Albert). Best known nationally for his role as Dr. Canfield on the TV series Doogie Howser, M.D., he has appeared in hundreds of other television episodes and in 30 feature films. He appeared on Broadway in Play It Again, Sam and The Man in the Glass Booth. He is a founding member of the Antaeus, Matrix and Inkwell Theatre Companies.
The youth is portrayed by Lees who graduated from New York Conservatory of Drama and also trained with Steve Railsback. Farm Boy marks Lees’ Los Angeles stage debut. A member of a show business family, he is the grandson of the late British film actor Percy Herbert.
Farm Boy performs 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday through Sunday, August 26, 2012. There will also be 3 p.m. Saturday matinees August 18 and 25. Admission is $34, $25 seniors (65+), $20 students and $22 for groups of five or more. Call 800-838-3006 or visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/254780.
The Matrix Theatre is located at 7657 Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles.
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