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Gracie, meet Joey: Craig Volosing, right, of Spokane, and his quarter horse, Gracie, have a first-time meeting with a mechanical horse, Joey, and his handler, Tommy Luther, on Friday during a promotional gathering at the INB Performing Arts Center in downtown Spokane. Joey is the puppet star of the Tony Award-winning play “War Horse.” The play is launching its first U.S. tour, and Spokane is one of the cities where it will be staged, as part of West Coast Entertainment’s Best of Broadway series. “War Horse,” based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, is about a horse sold to the British cavalry and then shipped to the World War I battlefields of France. The production won five Tonys in 2011, including best play. Joey is one of two three-man puppets featured in the play, and there are 26 puppets in total, all created by the Handspring Puppet Co. of South Africa. “War Horse” will run March 5-9 at the INB.

Dan Pelle