Unlikely as this may sound, I saw the stage production of War Horse last night at the Ahmanson. It’s still a children’s story and still (for me) manipulative and fake, but I liked the show more than the Spielberg film, at least. And I loved the songs, which aren’t integrated in a “musical” sense although they give the show a certain emotional lift. If Spielberg had used them he would have had a more affecting film, I think. It would have made the sentimental schmaltz aspect feel more soulful on some level.

L.A. City Hall, taken from the outdoor court in front of the Ahamnson/Mark Taper Forum/Dorothy Chandler Pavillion.