The new SHN production of “War Horse” in San Francisco is all spectacle: amazing lights, sounds, sets, song and staging, as well as some impressive life-sized horse puppets operated by multiple puppeteers. “War Horse” is the epic story of a boy and his horse before and during World War I and tells of how both sides took turns caring for and loving the horse; if you saw the Spielberg film last year, this is a less polished version of the story. The play, however, equals, if not exceeds, the extravagance and drama of the film.
When “West Side Story” opens, we are introduced to two New York street gangs: the Sharks and the Jets. And they’re dancing with fisticuffs. It takes a few minutes to get used to the fact that the stage-fights will be dance-fights, but once you do, you know you’re in for a ride. The cast of this Broadway revival tour in San Jose can definitely dance. This is a show with a story told largely through song and dance; it’s physical and visceral and, for the most part, it’s done pretty darn well.