The 1993 film <em>Jurassic Park</em>
Music and Opera reporting on is made possible by The University of North Texas College of Music.
Select the link below to discover more.

Review: Jurassic Park: Movie in Concert | Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center

Blast from the Past

The Dallas Symphony warmed up its season with a screening of the original Jurassic Park and the live John Williams score. Did it work?

published Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Photo: Universal Pictures
Don't go in there: The 1993 film Jurassic Park


Dallas — With increasing frequency, orchestras are performing live scores to screenings of popular films. They get audiences in the seats, and very often those audiences are folks who go to few if any other concerts. Whether those audiences will then attend other concerts is an open question, but concertgoers for these film-plus-orchestra shows tend to be younger than average. With orchestras trying to get people—especially YOUNG people—in concert hall seats, it’s easy to see why these films make tempting programming.

That said, some films work better than others for these adaptations. This weekend, the Dallas Symphony performed John Williams’ score to screenings of the 1993 film Jurassic Park. Williams’ music is always a hit, with pops concerts of greatest hits from his film scores filling the Meyerson’s seats.

The problem with this particular film is that it’s so action packed that, at least for this first-time viewer, I hardly knew where to look—orchestra, or screen? (Yes, really, I’d never seen any of the films in the franchise.) The flip side: there was never a dull moment, though the orchestra has breaks of several minutes during more dialogue-heavy bits of the movie. It’s wise programming to schedule these concerts at the beginning of the season—they’re a relatively low-pressure way for the musicians to grow accustomed to playing together again after their summer break. Still, there were some cracked notes in the brass, and percussion sometimes wasn’t exactly synced with the rest of the orchestra.

There was some irony in this weekend’s performances—they use cutting-edge technology, yet the film itself is about the limitations of human technology and the primacy of nature. The conductor, Constantine Kitsopoulos, uses a special podium with a screen showing the film and “streamers and punches,” which are vertical bands and circles that are visual cues for the auditory marks he needs to hit.

While Williams’ score is timelessly melodic, and thus understandably popular with audiences, the film itself is dated (see the importance of technology, above). The biggest inadvertent laugh of the evening came when a character gazes in wonder at a screen: “Oooh, it’s an interactive CD-ROM!”

Still, a fun time was had by all.

Now, let’s figure out how to get those young audiences to a ReMix concert, or maybe back to the Meyerson for a Classical Series performance. Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
Blast from the Past
The Dallas Symphony warmed up its season with a screening of the original Jurassic Park and the live John Williams score. Did it work?
by J. Robin Coffelt

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :