San Francisco California USA
Written By Sharina Solares
Ah, the Christmas season is upon us, and what better way to get into the holiday spirit than watching Tim Burton’s devilishly fun film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and better yet, with SF’s best orchestra handling the musical score. That was the scene on Friday, December 1st, at Davie’s Symphony Hall. It was a chilly and foggy night in San Francisco and the perfect ambience for a Burton film. Many attendees wore warm attire, occasional super fans boasting their best Jack Skellington look or mockup Sally dresses. It’s always so much fun strolling through the symphony halls and seeing some fans going all out with their costumes.
Movie nights at the Symphony always create a magical vibe and big crowds as all seats are filled. The excitement in the air was contagious, and you could see the anticipation and excitement in people’s faces as they took their seats. Conductor Sarah Hicks is a gem and just as beautiful as she is talented. Her versatility as a vibrant musician, producer, and showman has earned her many accolades and awards and has made her an in-demand artist. She took the stage with poise and elegance, and off we went on a magical, nightmarish journey through the eccentric mind of one of cinema’s best and most creative filmmakers, Tim Burton. It’s been 25 years since the beloved cult film was released, but it still holds up as one of Burton’s classics. The movie seemed fresh and new, elevated to new heights with the symphony perfectly playing each note of super composer Danny Elfman’s original score. It was just a visual and audio sensory overload with every eye in the hall glued to the screen.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the only films to bridge the gap between Halloween and Christmas beautifully. The animated stop-motion film is a true masterpiece enjoyed by fans, young and old. Even toddlers were amongst the crowd, as families shared the musical excitement from beginning to end. From featured songs like “This Is Halloween,” “What’s This,” and “The Oogie Boogie’s Song,” fans sang along as the Symphony brought so much emotion to each scene. I’m sure many like me had to use the bathroom, but I didn’t want to miss one second of the classic tale of Jack Skellington on the big screen. The film tells the story of a leader of Halloween town who grew bored of the same festivities and decided to take over Christmas with disastrous results.
I have always been a big Tim Burton fan, and The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favourite of his films. To say that watching this film with SF’s favourite orchestra was otherworldly would be doing all involved an injustice. The one word that comes to mind is just “Wow.” While it was sometimes exciting to watch at home with family or friends, the film was injected with new life as though I saw it for the first time again as a kid. The film itself is not only magical but also mesmerizing, so much so that it just sucks you into another world where you almost forget where you are at times. It’s a surreal experience that can’t be described until you see it live in concert.
This wasn’t the first time the SF Symphony featured the film, and based on the reaction from fans, I’m sure it will not be the last. As the movie came to an end and Hicks winded down the last musical parts, most of us wished it wasn’t over. Throughout the hall, smiles were evident, and the jittery in-your-seat feeling could be felt by many. Fans were on their feet, and at that moment in time, we were all part of the same vibe, the same spirit as we celebrated a true American cinematic masterpiece in unified harmony. Of course, that would not have been complete without the best orchestra in the Country to guide us along.
For more info on the SF Symphony, go to: www.sfsymphony.org