LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - You may have read the novel or seen the movie that made more than $177 million at the box office. Now, the Broadway musical War Horse is on the stage in Louisville.
In the film Joey, the horse enlisted to fight for the English in World War I, is a puppet and a feast for the eyes.
Back in August, Joey's handlers gave an audience a inside look at how they make him come alive.
With a mostly cane frame, handmade by 14 people and weighing in at 120 pounds, Joey is nothing short of puppetry perfection.
"The way this show is put together with the puppeteers is so that people feel the passion and the heart," said Leslie Broecker the President of PNC Broadway Louisville.
It's part of the reason why the Broadway production of War Horse, the story of a young English boy who loses his horse to war has won five Tony awards and been a hit all over the world.
Cast members explained to an audience at the Kentucky Center how three actors took on intense training to become the horse.
Broecker said, "The director wanted them to (portray) emotion, not that puppeteers can't, but actors combined with puppeteers can do that much more."
They have every movement down including a six count gallop.
Controlling the leather ears with bicycle break cables, the first actor is stationed at the head with a flexible neck created from carbon fiber glass.
A second actor is placed at the heart to control breathing and the animal's front legs. The final actor in the hind operates the back legs and tail.
For months, the National Theatre worked with the Handspring Puppet Company in South Africa to create the horse and it's stage magic.
Broecker said when she saw the show at Lincoln Center she knew War Horse had to ride into town.
"There was no question in my mind that War Horse belonged in Louisville."
Broecker said War Horse celebrates the Kentucky Center's 30th anniversary in a place where horse lovers crown the animal king.
"To have a production of this quality to celebrate a magnificent theatre in Kentucky," she said, "Who could ask for anything more?"
You can find tickets at www.KentuckyCenter.org or by calling 502-584-7777.
The show will be showing in Louisville from November 19 to November 24.