#REVIEW: “E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL IN CONCERT” AT SONY CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
E.T.’s universal appeal is undeniable. The 1982 Steven Spielberg classic is one of the first Movies I saw ever which drew me truly to the magic of cinema. I was late to catch-on to its legacy – my first time seeing it on its 20th anniversary in 2002 at my local Cineplex, thanks to Enzo at my local video store. Instead of taking our rental money, generously he gave me and my dad twenty dollars, urging us to go enjoy it in a format that it is meant to be seen in. Flash-forward to 2016, I was given the opportunity to see E.T. once again on the big screen and of course I jumped at the opportunity! With the 72-piece Motion Picture Symphony, conducted by Evan Mitchell, playing John Williams‘ brilliant score live, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in Concert at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts is a must-see for any die-hard E.T. fan.
An interesting pre-Movie discussion with our beloved local Film Critic Richard Crouse and T.V. Producer Thom Ernst took place, discussing the magic of E.T. and Steven Spielberg. To some shock, Crouse admitted not being a fan of Spielberg upon the Film’s initial release, but eventually he came around and profoundly was blown away by the Film with a late-blooming appreciation of it. Some other highlights of the discussion were that E.T. actually was inspired by Spielberg’s parents separating, the Film giving him an outlet to cope with the devastation. Furthermore, we learned that because the main actors in the Film were children, Spielberg would voice E.T. off-camera standing beside the lovable alien, giving the children something to respond to.
Seeing a Movie with a live orchestra is something wondrous, taking the viewer to another place and time. Watching it together with a full crowd of ardent fans is an enlightening, communal experience which rises far above watching it at home on television. Hearing the final number prior to credits is punctuated emotionally with a live orchestra playing. Seeing the iconic image of E.T. and Elliot (Henry Thomas) flying into the sky together on the big screen again is chill-inducing. As a child I wasn’t able to process some of the Film’s darker nuances, but seeing it again as an adult, I have a deeper appreciation for what Spielberg had been hoping to express.
You have one more chance to see E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in Concert
at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
tonight. Do not miss this truly once-in-a-lifetime experience! There are still some tickets left here
(Photo credit: Justin Waldman)