"War Horse," the the World War I epic from the National Theatre of Great Britain, has galloped into San Francisco's Curran Theatre. Acclaimed as much for its theatrical spectacle and innovation as its sentimental boy-meets-horse story, the production won five 2011 Tony Awards including best play.
Based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford and directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, and presented in association with Handspring Puppet Company, War Horse tells the story of Albert and his horse, Joey, who was requisitioned to be a cavalry mount for England in World War I.
The national touring production is at the SHN Curran Theatre, 445 Geary St. (between Mason and Taylor). Tickets are $31- $100. For more information call (888) 746-1799 or go to shnsf.com. At 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 9.
In the tropics
Photographer Jay Spooner's new show "Heaven and Hell" features photos from his longstanding Tropical Church project. Photos for this exhibition come from trips to Moorea, Tahiti and the Hawaiian islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii. Spooner culled the exhibit from thousands of photos he has taken, with half of the work presented "naturally" and the other "treated" with effects in the studio. There is an opening reception 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday at Little Relics Boutique and Galleria at 908 21st St.
'Majestic' at the mine
Playwright Mark Medoff's smart, funny and underrated "The Majestic Kid" opens a summer run at the Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre in Jackson. Dean Shellenberger directs Matthew Moore, Dale Lisa Flint, Marty Brifman and Allen Pontes as the Laredo Kid. Moore's Aaron tries helping Apache Indians recover sacred land while he becomes involved in complicated romantic relationship. Luckily, the Majestic Kid comes on the scene, helping to explain all. The Main Street Theatre Works production runs Friday and Saturday nights through Sept. 8. Tickets are $12-$17.50. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for picnics, show starts at 8 p.m. Patrons should come early with picnics, chairs and jackets.
The Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre is on North Main Street in Jackson, next to the Country Squire Motel. The play contains adult language and content. For information, call (209) 295-4499 or go to www.mstw.org.
History on display
To merely state that the late Gerard A. "Doc" Larson was a professor of theater at Sacramento State from 1957 to 1994 massively understates his contribution to performing arts here. Larson taught and mentored countless theater students into theater professionals who now do much the same. With his legendary wife, Georgia, Larson traveled extensively, accumulating a remarkable collection of British theater history in the process. The Gerard A. and Georgia B. Larson Theatre Collection, which was donated to the university in 2011, contains over 300 separate pieces including rare playbills, programs, letters and posters associated with the history of British theater from the 18th century, with an emphasis on Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the Haymarket Theatre.
The collection is on display through next Friday in the CSUS University Library's Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.