Auditorium Theater reprises the yearly tradition of presenting Tim Burton's NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS accompanied by a live musical performance by the Chicago Philharmonic
Upon walking into the theatre, one is immediately met with the title image for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, which luminates brightly on a large screen high above. Below, the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra practices and tunes their instruments. All around were audience members of all ages – some in their finest concert attire, and others in various forms of Halloween costumes. Whispers of excitement could be heard in the midst of the violins, drums, and trumpets all working to find their sound. This event may have taken place on November 1, but the Halloween spirit was far from over, and it was easy for this writer to feel the amusement and cheer radiating throughout the space.
Auditorium Theatre presents Live Concert of a Tim Burton’s Halloween Classic
For those who are unfamiliar with the film, the story follows Jack Skellington – Halloweentown’s beloved pumpkin king. Bored with the typical routine of creating the most frightening experiences for the people in the “real world,” he finds inspiration after accidentally stumbling into Christmastown. Excited by the bright colors and holiday cheer, Jack sets out to steal Christmas and become Santa Claus himself. Much as one might expect, nothing goes according to plan, and Jack must figure out how to save both holidays before it is too late – learning important lessons about remaining true to oneself along the way.
Accompanying the film on Danny Elfman’s score was the Chicago Philharmonic, with Thiago Tiberio at the helm as Guest Conductor. Tiberio was full of spirit and charm as he led the orchestra through the classic score – featuring famous songs including This is Halloween and Jack’s Lament. Even the orchestra members showcased their Halloween spirit, many sporting costumes in and around the themes of the film. Some dressed as characters direct from the story, others as witches, and one violinist even dressed as The Punisher from Marvel Comics. It felt clear to this writer that the musicians were excited to be there – making the overall experience even more thrilling to feel unfold.
The Ambiance Around the Film
The film is a special experience in itself – showcasing Burton’s clear attention to detail in not only the stop-motion animation, but also the intricacies of the story itself. The movie is an experience for family members of all ages – and the Auditorium ensured that anyone attending the theatre on this given night had fun from start to finish.
Upon entering the building, staff members are waiting to greet audiences and give young people trick-or-treating bags. Around the lobby are tables with candy and coloring pages, as well as replicas of the movie characters ready for pictures in front of the movie poster. This writer saw young children in costumes running around the space – eager to see what they might find at each station.
As if the candy and games were not enough, the theater even held a costume contest – the results of which were presented at intermission. The winners were invited onto the stage, featuring folks of all ages for various awards – including some children as young as 6-years-old who had the opportunity to announce the best features of their costume characters on a microphone to the entire room. Entertaining a group of young people can be tough, but it was clear to this writer that the theater took special care to ensure that every audience member – no matter the age or connection to the film, could have a special night.
Full of spirit and fun, The Nightmare Before Christmas live concert event is a night to remember for the whole family.
Through November 1, 2019
Thursday, October 31 | 7:30PM
Friday, November 1 | 7:30PM
50 E Ida B Wells Dr
About the Author:
Lauren Katz is a freelance director and dramaturge, and new to the Chicago Theatre Scene. She recently moved from Washington DC, where she worked with Mosaic Theater Company of DC in Company Management, as well as directed around town with various theaters.
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