If you wanted to see the Pumpkin King live after over a year inside, Los Angeles is the place to be, as a live-to-film concert experience of The Nightmare Before Christmas will be performed in October. Danny Elfman, composer, lyricist and voice of Jack Skellington, will reprise his role with additional guest stars to be announced at a later date. Conductor John Mauceri will lead with a full orchestra and choir, with all of the songs performed live in sync with the Henry Selick film produced by Tim Burton. There will also be pre-show activities like a costume contest and trick-or-treating (watch out for Lock, Shock and Barrel).
Though the stop-motion animated film is fun all around, the soundtrack is what makes it so memorably, and will certainly make the live-to-film concert experience one not to miss. Elfman is an extremely talented composer, but he’s also a wonderful singer, and does not get to show off his singing prowess as much as he should. Hearing him live will be a treat, and hopefully Catherine O’Hara will also make an appearance, who voiced the lovesick rag doll Sally. There might even be some appearances from famous bands, as an album called Nightmare Revisited (2008) featured covers from some of the most popular artists (of the day).
Although there are only a few songs in the entire musical, each is memorable in its own way. “This Is Halloween” is probably the most popular, as the opening song is sure to be on everyone’s Halloween playlist. But slower songs like “Jack’s Lament” and “Sally’s Song” are easily just as enjoyable, capturing the character development in the tonally resplendent way that only musicals can. Additionally, the villain songs are always a hoot too, as “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” and “Oogie Boogie’s Song” revel in the Halloween mood with glee.
This is not the first time Disney has produced a live concert of The Nightmare Before Christmas, as Elfman, O’Hara and Ken Page (Oogie Boogie) reprised their roles at the Hollywood Bowl back in 2015, 2016 and 2018, as well as dates in Europe in 2019. A virtual benefit concert was also held by The Actors Fund with the cooperation of Burton and Elfman, and streamed on Halloween of 2020. All of the proceeds benefitted the Lymphoma Research Foundation. The most recent incarnation of the concert experience seems to honor instead the return to live film and theater now that pandemic restrictions are being lifted.
The Nightmare Before Christmas‘ live-to-film concert experience will perform on October 29 in Los Angeles at the Banc of California Stadium. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster. You can currently stream the film on Disney+.
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The show has already been renewed for a second season.
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