Monday, November 02, 2015

Concert review: Tim Burton's 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' Live With Danny Elfman debuts at the Hollywood Bowl

Danny Elfman conjured up the past with an encore
performance of "Dead Man's Party" on Oct. 31, 2015.
Photo: Kelly A. Swift
I had planned on reviewing the Halloween night performance playing out at the Hollywood Bowl. The event, the world debut of the truly-anticipated Tim Burton's 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' Live With Danny Elfman at the Hollywood Bowl featured on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.

And truly folks, my review would have been glowing given the magic playing out on stage from start to finish. The wonderful orchestra under the direction of conductor John Mauceri playing Danny Elfman's terrific score as the film was projected on a giant screen overhead. On-stage, Elfman sang the part of Jack Skellington with technical skill and emotional zeal flawlessly. Other featured singers included actress Catherine O'Hara singing "Sally's Song" and Ken Page nailing "Oogie Boogie's Song" with the fire of his original recorded version for the 1993 animated classic. There was also a wonderful encore performance of "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" featuring not only Elfman and O'Hara, but singer/actor Paul (Pee-Wee Herman) Reubens that couldn't have been better.

From left, Danny Elfman, Catherine O'Hara and Paul Reubens
singing "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" on Oct. 31, 2015.
I was at Oingo Boingo's final performance at the Universal Amphitheatre on Oct. 31, 1995 - in fact I reviewed the 200+ minute legendary concert for The Orange County Register - and it was incredible to see Elfman close out the 2015 Halloween performance by having Boingo lead guitarist Steve Bartek join him on stage to perform a reworked version of "Dead Man's Party" for the cheering fans.The version wasn't perfect, but to hear Elfman revisit his Boingo legacy for one moment was truly special.

If the night was so spectacular, why did I not opt to file my review for publication? Blame it on a group of drunk idiots seated in the box next to us at The Hollywood Bowl. They arrived to the concert a bit after it started, but immediately started and kept on talking loudly and dropping bottles and generally got more and more rude as those around us asked them to please pipe down. When I went to two security staff members at intermission, very little was done and security would not remove them from the venue.

I don't understand why the Hollywood Bowl had no trouble forcibly removing people's drinking water as they came in (we're in a serious drought here everybody!), but did nothing about drunks who were ruining a special night.

Robert Kinsler


Christine said...

We also had a couple next to us who wouldn't shut up. It was so rude, and we gave them the stink eye several times. What is wrong with people? If you're spending $150 for a seat at this amazing show, why talk through it? Too many people think they're at home.

Thanks for the fantastic review. It truly was a magical show. I'm still floating...

tutu said...

One, unfortunately, has to come to expect bad behavior from others, while at an evening at the bowl. I have been to many bowl performances and have had the evening almost ruined by either rattling of snack packaging, snoring. or other obnoxious behavior. That said, one evening a performer sang Edelweiss and the group of teenage girls sitting next to me just broke out in full, sweet voice, singing along. That song always tears (both ways) me up, but this was so special. Hopefully, this can be your experience at the HB.