Kevin! The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is presenting HOME ALONE with live orchestra this weekend!

Home Alone PosterThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents the first concert of the 2019-2020 Acxiom Pops! Live concert series: Home Alone: Film with Orchestra, Saturday, December 21th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 22th at 3:00 p.m. in the Robinson Center. The Pops! Live concert series is sponsored by Acxiom.

A true holiday favorite, this beloved comedy classic features renowned composer John Williams’ charming and delightful score performed live to picture by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old boy who’s accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacations, and who must defend his home against two bungling thieves. Hilarious and heart-warming, Home Alone is holiday fun for the entire family!

The Symphony, under the direction of Geoffrey Robson, will be playing John Williams’ Oscar-nominated score as the film plays.

Joining Culkin (whose aunt Bonnie Bedelia is a star in another Christmas move: DIE HARD) in HOME ALONE are a group of seasoned veterans.  While the adults are meant to be more cartoonish, they still keep the film grounded.  Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern have wonderful chemistry as the Wet Bandits.  John Heard’s slightly befuddled father is an apt foil for Catherine O’Hara’s intense mother. The latter displays much warmth when needed, as well. John Candy turns in a fun cameo in the first film. If you blink, you may miss future Tony nominee and The Newsroom actress Hope Davis as a French ticket agent.

Tickets are $16, $36, $57, and $70; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Robinson Center street-level box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at https://www.arkansassymphony.org/freekids.

12 Days of Christmas Movies: HOME ALONE & HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK

home aloneJohn Hughes’ Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York combine the spirit of Christmas with Hughes’ own brand of safe anarchy.

While the original 1990 movie is by far superior, the 1992 sequel still has its charms.  I refuse to consider anything after that because they only weaken the franchise.

These movies nicely balance slapstick with messages of redemption. But they don’t veer too far in one direction or another.

Macauley Culkin (whose aunt Bonnie Bedelia stars in two of my other favorite Christmas movies – Die Hard) is certainly a key reason for the success. He is neither cloying or obnoxious (or obnoxiously cloying).

While the adults are meant to be more cartoonish, they still keep the film grounded.  Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern have wonderful chemistry as the Wet Bandits.  John Heard’s slightly befuddled father is an apt foil for Catherine O’Hara’s intense mother. The latter displays much warmth when needed, as well.

John Candy turns in a fun cameo in the first film. If you blink, you may miss future Tony nominee and The Newsroom actress Hope Davis as a French ticket agent.  The second film loads up on supporting players from Oscar winner Brenda Fricker, Tony nominees Tim Curry and Dana Ivey, SNL’s Rob Schneider and even a cameo from The Donald.  Former movie song and dance man Eddie Bracken plays the NYC toy store owner.

These are light-hearted films which still make me laugh out loud.  They are certainly enjoyable any time of the year, but especially at Christmas.