Kick Off The Holidays With HOME ALONE Plus The Grand Rapids Symphony

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Kick Off The Holidays With HOME ALONE Plus The Grand Rapids Symphony

Full of clever antics and comical wit, the heartwarming family film Home Alone is sure to get everyone into the holiday spirit with a hearty laugh or two along the way.

Back by popular demand, the modern classic starring Macaulay Culkin returns to the Grand Rapids Pops stage for one night only at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in DeVos Performance Hall.

Home Alone, which for 27 years held the Guinness World record as the highest-grossing, live-action comedy in the United States, 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.

Associate Conductor John Varineau will conduct the concert that's part of the Gerber SymphonicBoom series, which continues in December with the Old National Bank Cirque de Noel on Dec. 18-19. Gerber is the series sponsor for both programs.

For the second year in a row, the Grand Rapids Pops performs John Williams' score with its hummable melodies that evoke a child's view of family and Christmas in the Midwest.

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

Released in 1990, Home Alone dominated the box office, appearing in more than 1,200 theaters and earning over $17 million in in its opening weekend. Though the modestly-budgeted film was expected to be a sleeper, it held the No. 1 spot at the North American box office for 12 consecutive weekends and remained in theaters for nearly 200 days from November 1990 to June 1991. By the time it was bumped off the top of the-time, U.S. box-office draw list in October 2017, it had grossed more than $285 million.

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.

Now in his fourth decade on the podium for the Grand Rapids Symphony, John Varineau is the Grand Rapids Symphony's 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 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Feb. 21-22, 2020, and Up on March 20-22, 2020. Clark Hill is the sponsor of the Grand Rapids Symphony's Popcorn Package of movies plus live music.

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 principal themes used throughout the Harry Potter movies. Williams 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.

In 2004, Williams 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 $18, available by calling the GRS ticket office at (616) 454-9451 ext. 4. Phone orders will be charged a $3 per ticket handling fee ($18 maximum per order). There are no fees for tickets purchased in person at the GRS ticket office at 300 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 100, (located across the street from Calder Plaza). Ticket office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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 may be purchased online at

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