The Nightmare Before Christmas @ Benaroya Hall

The Hallo-mas/Christ-ween mash-up with full orchestra added 🎻

Jack Skellington dressed as Santa Claus gives a present to a small child
Too Late — You Missed It!

December 1 – 4

The Nightmare Before Christmas has been a holiday staple since its release in 1993. What could be more enticing than a mash-up of two seemingly contradictory holidays, Halloween and Christmas? And the innovative use of stop-motion animation (still holding up wonderfully three decades on) allowed the creators to let their imaginations run wild as they figured out how many ways you could give the festive season of Christmas a spooky spin.

Although filmmaker Tim Burton couldn’t direct the movie (he was otherwise engaged in directing Batman Returns), his distinctive, quirky fingerprints are nonetheless all over it. In addition to serving as producer, the film’s story is based on a poem he’d written in 1982 and had been trying to bring to the screen ever since. He also brought in his longtime collaborator, composer Danny Elfman (the two first worked together on Pee-wee’s Big Adventure) to write the film’s songs and score (Elfman’s also the singing voice of Jake Skellington, the Pumpkin King), making the movie as much of an audio treat as a visual one.

Which is where the Seattle Symphony comes in. Why settle for watching this magnificence on the small screen when you can experience it in full-size format and accompanied by live symphonic accompaniment to boot? Then hasten down to the sonically superb setting of Benaroya Hall, where Susie Benchasil Seiter will conduct the Seattle Symphony through the delights of “This Is Halloween,” “Kidnap the Sandy Claws,” and “Oogie Boogie’s Song.” (Tip: If the drinks line on the main floor is too long, try the stands on the upper levels. Bonus tip: Cash-only lines are always shorter.)

📸: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Gillian Gar

Gillian G. Gaar is a Seattle-based journalist and the author of several books, including She’s A Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll and Entertain Us: The Rise of Nirvana. Twitter: @GillianGaar.

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