Photo by Megan Gallagher
Last Friday and Saturday night, OVO Arena Wembley hosted legendary composer Danny Elfman and the BBC Concert Orchestra for a live performance of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The spooky yet timeless classic was projected on big screens, while the BBC Orchestra, conducted by John Mauceri, accompanied the film with a live soundtrack. Danny Elfman, the original singing voice of Jack Skellington, who also composed the music, lyrics, and score for the film, provided a magical performance. Despite almost 30 years having passed since the original film was released in 1993, Elfman’s voice was just as powerful as in the original recordings. He sang with great enthusiasm and seemed to enjoy the performance just as much as the audience. His vocal acrobatics were enchanting, and he charmed the audience with as much charisma and mystery as his character Skellington. Amazingly, while Elfman sang and Skellington pranced around on the screen behind him, the two became one. It is no surprise that Elfman is a familiar favorite of Tim Burton, who utilizes his talent as a composer on an astounding 17 films, such as Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Alice in Wonderland.
Elfman was accompanied by other members of the original cast as well. The original Oogie Boogie, Ken Page, made an appearance on stage for ‘Oogie Boogie’s Song’, seemingly bringing down the house as the audience rejoiced over the fan favorite. For the smaller roles and ensemble voices, Greg Proops and Randy Crenshaw returned to the stage, and the variations of tone and pitch they displayed for a variety of characters were incredibly impressive.
A special guest also graced the show. Fans know that the speaking voice of the character Sally is Catherine O’Hara, famous for her roles in Beetlejuice, Schitts Creek, and Home Alone. But before Sally’s emotional melody, coincidentally titled ‘Sally’s Song’, conductor John Mauceri paused the show to introduce Phoebe Bridgers to the stage. Bridgers appeared from stage right in full costume, make-up and dress donned to replicate Sally’s chilling yet alluring human-ragdoll appearance. Despite only gracing the stage for a total of two songs, Bridgers was met with praise for her portrayal of the character. Known for her own melancholy tracks, Bridgers was a perfect fit for not only the vocals of Sally, but also the aura of the character.
The show was a massive success, and one to pay close attention to as next December rolls around. Elfman provides a magical experience, for Burton fans and Christmas lovers alike.
Edited by Talia Andrea, Music Editor