Kohler himself has a deep love of horses, going back to his childhood days spent on his grandfather’s farm. He thinks that audiences around the world (two million and counting) are coming out to see the show because horses are mankind’s other best friend.
“The horse is such a powerful animal, yet it tries to do the things people ask it to,” Kohler said. “It doesn’t judge.”
“War Horse” is based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford. The novel was also the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s 2011 feature film of the same name, which earned six Oscar nominations including Best Picture.
Spielberg bought the rights to the story after seeing the show in London a few years ago.
While flattered that the famous director liked the show and his work, Kohler did point out one significant difference between that production and the stage version.
“Spielberg had 16 different Joeys,” Kohler said. The stage version sticks to the one on stage.
The story focuses on Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been enlisted to fight for the English in World War I. Joey is caught in enemy crossfire and ends up serving both sides of the war before landing in no man’s land. Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home.
“People sent it into one of the worst hells imaginable, and it does comply,” Kohler said. “It has a tremendous trust in people.”
If you go
What: “War Horse”
Where: Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St.
When: Now through Oct. 21
How much: Tickets start at $33. Call 800-982-2787 or visit www.BroadwayInBoston.com