Preview: ‘Home Alone in Concert’ & Holiday Nostalgia Again Coming to Disney Concert Hall Dec. 20-22

Macaulay Culkin (foreground) along with Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern in "Home Alone." Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios

Following a successful stint of shows last holiday season, Home Alone in Concert returns to the Walt Disney Concert Hall for three consecutive evenings, all at 8:00 pm, from Tuesday, December 20th through Thursday, December 22nd. The John Hughes-produced 1990 holiday classic will be screened alongside live musicians recreating John Williams’s joyful score, inclusive of all 19 tracks. Composer David Newman will lead the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Artistic Director John Sutton will guide the Angeles Chorale over the 103-minute running time of the Chris Columbus-directed film.

For over thirty years, the image of an 8-year-old Macaulay Culkin, aghast and with hands on his face to visually sell his consternation, has been emblazoned in the mind of everyone. The frightening notion of being accidentally left behind by one’s family during the holidays, alone and vulnerable inside a massive home, has also been nightmare fodder. But instead of prolonging such fears, the comedic cult movie reverses gears by ingeniously depicting how the wiles of a child, represented by Culkin’s Kevin McCallister, outfox two blundering would-be burglars in Joe Pesci’s Harry Lime and Daniel Stern’s Marv Murchins. McCallister makes the best of his unusually large family embarking on a Parisian trip without him, proving he’s not a sitting duck after all, but empowered as a precocious boy who transcends even his adult peers as a one-person wrecking crew capable of cunning ruses, decoys, and booby traps. It’s the redemption arc every child, or adult, fantasizes about and one that can be vicariously experienced through Culkin’s iconic performance.

(L-R) Macaulay Culkin, Daniel Stern, and Joe Pesci in Home Alone. Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios

Many of Home Alone’s climactic scenes — a potent mix of reality-based scenarios and improbable slapstick — provoke uproarious laughter. Yet as funny as the motion picture is, it is also renowned for its heart. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Festivus symbolize an end-of-the-year period where people ruminate on the previous 330+ days they lived in the past year — acknowledging the good and the bad — but grateful all the same. This gratitude comes through in an outpouring of love, acceptance, and refuge for even 8-year-old boys who seem like they have it all figured out. More than anything, the uplifting spirit of the film is communicated aurally with a soundtrack that skillfully balances the film’s farcical moments with an affecting tenderness. Consequently, due to its superbly acted scenes and a quintessential score, Home Alone successfully rises above other holiday offerings by striking a spectrum of emotional chords in the observer.

For these reasons, Home Alone in Concert is primed to become a recurring holiday staple at the Disney Concert Hall for years to come. The list of films — seasonally inspired or otherwise — that deserve the orchestral treatment is short, but Home Alone is unequivocally among those few (the sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York might be in that discussion as well). And best of all, it is an experience that beckons not just subsets of the population, but entire families, willing and eager to celebrate the holidays. Not to mention, concert hall-goers might even be inclined to be in a more giving mood afterwards, donating to those in need and, with a waggish smile, saying, “Keep the change, ya filthy animal!”

Note: Attendees are encouraged to wear their best ugly holiday sweaters. Those who arrive early can additionally take part in answering exciting Home Alone trivia questions in BP Hall. This activity will be hosted by the Scum & Villainy Cantina.

For more information about Home Alone in Concert, and to purchase tickets, please visit: laphil.com


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