'The Nightmare Before Christmas' Comes to Grand Rapids Pops Stage One Night Only

'The Nightmare Before Christmas' Comes to Grand Rapids Pops Stage One Night Only

Boys and girls of every age, wouldn't you like to see something strange?

Come with us and see the timeless Disney holiday classic, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas with music performed live by the Grand Rapids Pops

Jack Skellington of Halloween Town, voiced by Chris Sarandon, grows tired of all things ghastly and ghoulish and tries to take over Christmas. The worlds of yuletide and fear collide in a tale that is jam- packed with songs that will rattle your bones and warm your heart.

Associate Conductor John Varineau will lead the Grand Rapids Symphony in the one-night only live performance of Danny Elfman's classic Golden Globe-nominated film score and songs to accompany the full-length film.

Part of the Gerber SymphonicBoom series, The Nightmare Before Christmas will be presented Saturday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. in DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW. Tickets start as low as $18.

Just as Jack Skellington craves a life beyond the role as Pumpkin King, Danny Elfman also was seeking something new and different in his career at the time he composed the score for the 1993 film.

Having been the lead singer and songwriter for Oingo Boingo since 1974, Elfman felt that his time with the rock band was coming to a close. He told the Los Angeles Times, "They didn't believe me, but I felt like Jack from where I was in life ... I was writing from my own feelings of being the king of my own world and from which I wanted out."

Among his many accomplishments as a composer and musician, Danny Elfman has masterfully embodied Tim Burton's dark yet charming aesthetic in musical form in all but three of Burton's major studio films.

The idea for this film came to Burton after completing his 30-minute short film, Vincent, in 1982. With timeless holiday TV specials, stories, and Clement Clarke Moore's traditional holiday poem in mind, Tim Burton wrote and illustrated a three-page Christmas poem. But, with a cheeky Burton twist: "'Twas the nightmare before Christmas..."

The Nightmare Before Christmas was born of Tim Burton's imagination. But, due to schedule conflicts while directing Batman Returns, the role of director was handed to Henry Selick, director of James and the Giant Peach. Burton remained involved in the project as a co-producer.

Like other Tim Burton favorites, the otherworldly characters of The Nightmare Before Christmas are brought to life by the age-old technique of stop-motion animation, a sharp contrast to the new wave of computer animated movies that were beginning to dominate the silver screen at the time of the film's creation.

Through the painstaking process of shooting the 76-minute film one frame at a time, each scene, down to each rat, bat, goblin, and grisly beast, is visually stunning.

Disney initially had reservations about the film, as they feared it would be "too dark and scary for kids". When it was released in 1993, The Nightmare Before Christmas was issued by Touchstone Pictures, Disney's label for films for adults. But after its unprecedented success, the film was reissued under the Walt Disney Pictures label and re-released in October 2006.

Fans young and old are drawn to the uniquely eerie and elegant work of Tim Burton. For every grim and gloomy aspect of the film, there is an accompanying humor and child-like curiosity that makes for a fun and imaginative adventure.

Now in its 25th anniversary year, it is safe to say that The Nightmare Before Christmas will remain a favorite for years to come.

So, if there's an empty place in your bones that calls out for something unknown, come see the Grand Rapids Symphony as the orchestra presents Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, Saturday October 20.

Tickets for The Nightmare Before Christmas start as low as $18 and are available at the GRS ticket office, weekdays 9 am-5 pm 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 GRSymphony.org.

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