Courtesy of Uncle Walt, Lord Arux and I had the distinct pleasure last night of hearing “The Disney Symphonic Legacy” featuring John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at the Disney Concert Hall.
Starting with The Nightmare Before Christmas, which was fun but could have been crisper, they played some of my favorite Disney movie symphonic music. Even better, conductor Mauceri had created a 15-minute suite of music from the Pirates of the Caribbean films with permission from Hans Zimmer. The result was this dramatic yo ho-ing score that had everyone alternately bobbing their heads and sitting mesmerized by Zimmer’s seaworthy themes. The Cal State Fullerton choir supplied the expansive, timber-shivering backup vocals.
Hans Zimmer, for those in the know, wrote Paperhouse, one of my all-time favorite movie soundtracks.
But the real treat was the “symphonic retelling” of the movie Snow White, which was unbelievably great. It starred Ashley Brown, who is the new Mary Poppins in the Broadway show that’s coming to Los Angeles. Ashley sat on one side of the stage with Blake Griffin, who played the Prince, and the stunning Ruth Williamson, who stole the the whole freaking show as the Wicked Queen. The “Dwarves” sat on the other side of the stage, all brilliantly funny as they assumed their character roles sitting and sometimes standing. The director did some creative editing of the tale to whittle it down to 55 minutes, but the score still shined. The choir backed up the main characters, with two women whistling the bird parts. Frankly, I had no idea that human lips could do the things they did. Now I know!
Strangely enough, the Snow White music had never, ever been played live. The conductor Mauceri and his crew had to dig up the yellowing music pages out of Uncle Walt’s vaults to recreate the score for stage performance. It’s a beautiful and lush score for such a simple tale. I can hardly believe it had never been performed live.
They ended with an encore where they sang “True Love’s Kiss” from Enchanted. That is a very funny song. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at lines like, “And that’s the reason we need lips so much/ For lips are the only things that touch.” Hee-larious. Lord Arux and I agreed that it really wasn’t the right song. “That’s How You Know” would have been a bigger roof raiser, but admitted that it might not have worked as well in that venue.
So, he sang it just to me and I got to enjoy it all to myself. Yo ho!