Blockbuster Holiday Film 'Home Alone' Comes To GR Symphony Stage

Blockbuster Holiday Film 'Home Alone' Comes To GR Symphony Stage

Full of clever antics and comical wit, Home Alone is sure to get everyone into the holiday spirit.

A modern holiday classic starring Macaulay Culkin, Home Alone is the story of an 8-year-old troublemaker, accidentally left behind by his family on Christmas vacation, who must protect his home from a pair of inept burglars.

See the full-length 1990 film with the Grand Rapids Pops performing John Williams' score with its hummable melodies that evoke a child's view of family, danger and Christmas in the Midwest.

Associate Conductor John Varineau will conduct this second concert of the Gerber SymphonicBoom series for one night only on Thursday November 29 at 7:30 p.m. in DeVos Performance Hall.

Screenwriter John Hughes had the idea for Home Alone while writing and directing the 1989 film, Uncle Buck. Macaulay Culkin played a starring role in the film, which inspired Hughes to create the precocious protagonist, Kevin McCallister.

Home Alone dominated the box office, making over $17 million in more than 1,200 theaters in its opening weekend and becoming the highest grossing film of 1990. For 27 years, the film held a Guinness World Record as the highest-grossing, live-action comedy in the United States.

Though the film is beloved for its hilarious catchphrases, stunts and mishaps, the comedic elements of Home Alone are offset by a delightful magic that only John Williams can bring to a film score.

Lukas Kendall, founder and editor of Film Score Monthly, told NPR, "[John Williams] has a breadth and depth of talent and career that really started before there were The Beatles; [today he is] essentially the dean of American composers. His themes sound inevitable. They sound like they fell out of his sleeves; they sound like they've always existed."

John Williams sets Home Alone apart from other live-action, comedies meant for the entire family with music that's imaginative and memorable, capturing both the rambunctious nature of the film and the essence of the holiday spirit.

Associate Conductor John Varineau, now in his fourth decade on the podium for the Grand Rapids Symphony, is our movie maestro who conducts most of the Grand Rapids Symphony's concerts featuring film plus live music. Later this season, he'll lead the Grand Rapids Pops in The Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl on March 8-10 in DeVos Performance Hall. Tickets are on sale beginning at $18 adults, $5 students.

John Williams is the second-most nominated person in the history of the Oscars and has received five Academy Awards and 51 Oscar nominations plus seven British Academy Awards, 23 Grammys, four Golden Globes, and five Emmys. In 2016 he received the 44th Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, the first time a composer was honored with this award.

He has composed the music for more than 100 films, including the themes used in the Harry Potter movies such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which the Grand Rapids Symphony will perform in February. Williams also has composed the scores for all eight Star Wars films and for the Indiana Jones series, as well as for Superman, Memoirs of a Geisha, and The Book Thief. His 45-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg has resulted in many of Hollywood's most acclaimed and successful films, including Schindler's List, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln, The BFG and The Post.

Williams served as music director of the Boston Pops Orchestra for 14 seasons and remains their Laureate Conductor. He also has composed numerous works for the concert stage including two symphonies, and concertos commissioned by many of America's most prominent orchestras.

Williams has composed themes for four Olympic Games, and in 2003, he received the Olympic Order, the IOC's highest honor, for his contributions to the Olympic movement.

In 2004, he received a Kennedy Center Honor, given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture. In 2009 he received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given by the U.S. Government to an artist.

Tickets for Home Alone start at $32 and are available at the GRS ticket office, weekdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 300 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 100, (located across from the Calder Plaza), or by calling 616.454.9451 x 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum.)

Tickets are available at the DeVos Place box office, weekdays 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. or on the day of the concert beginning two hours prior to the performance. Tickets also may be purchased online at

About the Grand Rapids Symphony

Organized in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Director Marcelo Lehninger, Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt and Associate Conductor John Varineau, nine concert series in a wide range of musical and performance styles plus educational and community outreach programs combine to offer more than 400 performances per year, touching the lives of some 200,000, nearly half of whom are students, senior citizens or people with disabilities. Affiliated organizations include the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus; Grand Rapids Youth Symphony; and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus as well as the biennial the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, which returns in 2019. GRS collaborates annually with Opera Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Ballet and semiannually with the Gilmore Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo.

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