Wednesday, July 18, 2018

STAR WARS - A New Hope IN CONCERT Event Review - 7/15/18

Star Wars - A New Hope
In Concert

Benaroya Hall
Seattle, WA


I saw the original Star Wars in the theater in 1977. I was either 7 or 8 years old at the time. Like millions around the world, the original trilogy holds a special place in my heart as, at the time, I had seen nothing like it.

Enter the Seattle Symphony's event! The original 1977 film shown (actually the special edition) with the score by John Williams performed live. There were four performances scheduled over the very warm summer weekend in Seattle at Benaroya Hall.

As soon as the house lights dimmed, after conductor Lawrence Loh made his entrance, the symphony started playing the 20th Century Fox fanfare. My goodness - I was sold! Hearing that fanfare was both amusing and awesome at the same time. The opening credits blend so the fanfare really has to be played to make any sort of sense with the timing of the film as it's shown.

Of course everyone knows the main Star Wars theme. The opening note of the theme garnered cheers from the audience and we were off!

The Seattle Symphony sounded wonderful! They are currently in the running for the prestigious Gramophone international award. You can go to to cast your vote for them - they are the only US symphony nominated so let's get them the win!

The movie played, certain characters and lines received applause from the audience, and as I said in my Jaws review, this is the way to see a movie. I wish every film could be shown with a live symphony the caliber of the Seattle Symphony. The crowd stood on their feet as the credits finished.

I can't recommend enough seeing one of these film events when the Seattle Symphony puts them on. I know they have two scheduled for next year (E.T. and Amadeus) but hopefully they schedule a few more before then. Suggestions would be something from Tim Burton/Danny Elfman in October or Raiders of The Lost Ark would also work well.

If you've never been to the symphony or feel its something you wouldn't like, these events are the perfect "starter" for the novice to get your feet wet. A popular culture film with a live performance of the soundtrack by the Seattle Symphony - do yourself a favor and go see what the fuss is all about - Seattle has one of the best symphonies in the world right here!

Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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