Review: Star Wars in Concert

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The Force is strong with the Nashville Symphony in this galactic gift to "Star Wars" fans of all ages.

Movies at the Schermerhorn presents:
Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert with the Nashville Symphony
July 5 – 8, 2018; All ages
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
1 Symphony Place, Nashville
615-687-6400 • nashvillesymphony.org
Remaining showtimes: Sat 7 p.m., Sun 8 p.m.
Tickets: $53 – $115

One of the most mesmerizing experiences of my childhood was seeing Star Wars for the first time in 1977. I had just turned 6 (the movie hit theaters the day after my birthday). From that jaw-dropping opening scene when the Imperial Star Destroyer overtakes the top of the screen to marveling at the cool lightsaber battle to the wonder of the droids, it was an epic movie encounter. Up until now, there’s been no parallel to that experience.

Even at a young age, I was struck by the bold music in George Lucas’ “space opera.” The great John Williams’ composition is to this day one of the greatest examples of movie music in the history of cinema. It establishes an emotional connection with the characters with themes of heroes and villains, life and death, adventure and romance. In fact, Williams’ Star Wars score became a new inspiration for other film composers.

It’s one thing to listen to the music in its recorded form while watching the film in a movie theater. It’s a much grander encounter to experience Williams’ masterpiece with a live orchestra performing it in sync with the movie. 

Your family can enjoy the mind-blowing experience yourself this weekend at the Schermerhorn as Conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos leads our Nashville Symphony in its Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert offering. If you have Star Wars fans in your family, this is an experience you must not miss!

A GALACTIC GIFT

Friday night’s enthusiastic audience — which included a variety of festively costumed fans of all ages — was whisked into a “galaxy far, far away” for an out-of-this world encounter. The giant screen hovering above the stage shows the iconic movie in high definition with English subtitles. On occasion, the volume of the orchestra drowns out the dialogue; however, it does not district from the experience (besides, die-hard Star War fans know all the lines anyway!).

The Nashville Symphony is in top form. One of the most remarkable aspects of hearing Williams’ iconic score live is being aware of just how intricate and layered it is. There are pieces of the music I’ve never fully realized until hearing it live — a definite WOW factor is prevalent throughout the evening, and it all kicks off with the crowd-pleasing “Main Title” during the film’s opening sequence.

What’s more is the heightened emotional journey the live music provides all throughout the movie. From the booming “Imperial Attack” and the danger of Vader to the softness of “Princess Leia’s Theme,” the music pulls you into all aspects of the adventure in a whole new way. In fact, this is how movies should be experienced!

The audience was a true cross section of Star Wars fans — from those of us who saw the movie in ’77 to a hefty amount of excited little kids. Everyone Friday night left the Schermerhorn full of galactic glee. You want to be sure to catch this as the Nashville Symphony is bringing the entire Star Wars universe to its stage. Next up is Empire Strikes Back (March 14 – 17, 2019; tickets go on sale Friday, July 20).

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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