Symphony Executes Seamless Performance


The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra got everyone into the Christmas spirit before the holidays by performing a live score to the movie “Home Alone” the weekend of Dec. 14. The show appeared to be a hit, as Powell Hall filled with guests of all ages. There were grandparents taking their grandchildren, couples on dates and everything in between. It was a family friendly event that introduced the movie and the symphony to younger guests, and helped older guests reminisce about their younger days, watching the film that was released in 1990.

The movie was projected on a large screen in the center of the stage, the symphony left in the dark with only with their clipboard lights visible to remind the viewer they were there. One thing that surprised me while watching the movie was the fact that they did not have subtitles to accompany the film. I thought maybe with the music playing it would have been beneficial to everyone, especially those hard of hearing to possibly be able to read the lines of what was happening. It also could have named the song as it was played because the Playbill did not mention the titles of the songs in the film. Of course, it mentioned it in the credits but it would have been interesting to hear it and know the name of the song at the same time. All the viewer really knew walking in from the Playbill was that it was a score produced by John Williams, who’s famous for creating legendary scores such as “Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “Jurassic Park” and many more.

Overall, the show was amazing and the perfect word to describe it was smooth. The transitions and songs aligned perfectly to the film and half of the time you forgot the symphony was even below the screen of the movie itself. Not only was the symphony elegantly smooth, but I was surprised to see a live choir hidden behind the orchestra, which contributed nicely to the live music that was accompanying the film. The two worked as a team to completely entrance you into the movie that was playing before you. I almost felt rude at times because I forgot I was at the symphony and not at a movie theatre. That should be taken as a compliment, though, because the music and choir perfectly complemented and flowed with the show.

The big encore, which most people forget and don’t usually ever sit through, was the credits. As movie goers, we often get up and leave during the credits, unless someone has mentioned a bonus clip at the end of the credits or you’re looking for someone’s name in particular. But, for the symphony the credits were the finale itself. Some people instinctively got up to leave but sat back down immediately to finish the show. The end of the show was met with a standing ovation and a very pleased crowd leaving with tired kids and adults smiling fondly from their memories of when they first watched the film.

The symphony continues to offer live score movies. Most recently they did “The Nightmare Before Christmas” around Halloween. Upcoming shows include “Star Wars: A New Hope,” playing Jan. 24-27, and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” in mid April. I highly recommend attending at least one of these movie shows in your lifetime, because you will be blown away by what you experience. It will not be a traditional show, which is often what scares people away from the symphony. It is something that can get anyone from any age or background interested and get their foot in the door to start appreciating a St. Louis treasure.

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