photo by Don Whiteside.
Earlier today you may have read my interview with David Iskra, the curator of the Star Wars: In Concert traveling props and costume exhibit. While it is not necessary to read that article, I do suggest reading it first for two reasons. One, this article is a review of the musical half of Star Wars: In Concert experience; all of our exhibit photos and most of the information about the traveling exhibit are contained in this morning’s post. Two, the prop exhibit greets the audience as they arrive for the concert and provides at least an hour of entertainment before the music even begins. To better put yourself in an attendee’s shoes, I suggest checking out our exhibit photos to get yourself ready for the adventure that lay ahead!
The original Star Wars trilogy is composed of three of the most beloved films of all time. The prequel trilogy that followed many years later is made up of three of the most divisive. Two common threads connect these six films and Star Wars: In Concert is an event designed to celebrate them. First and foremost, the event is about celebrating the brilliant music of composer John Williams; who scored all six films over a 30-year period. Even the most critical fan must acknowledge that Williams’ music is the most beautiful, artistic thing to come out of the prequel trilogy and that his themes from the original trilogy rank among the most memorable and effective film scoring of all time. Second, the event is about the lineage of characters that populate the six films and the human themes that they evoke in the viewer. Another Planet Touring created Star Wars: In Concert to celebrate John Williams’ music and to explore how it was as important in creating these characters as the writing and acting. It is a touring multimedia event unlike any other film music event I have ever attended. It was a great afternoon full of nostalgia, visual delight, and thrilling music.
photo by Don Whiteside.
Star Wars invaded Washington DC last Saturday when George Lucas and Another Planet Touring brought their phenomenal multimedia road-show, Star Wars: In Concert, to the Verizon Center for two very special concerts. The concerts featured a massive orchestra and choir performing selections from John Williams’ historic run as score composer of the six Star Wars films.
Another major element of this event is a traveling exhibit of original props and costumes from all six Star Wars films. The exhibit filled the hallways of the Verizon center with exotic costumes and strange creatures from a galaxy far, far, away. My review of the concert portion of this event will go live later this afternoon. But first, here is a transcript of an interview I conducted with David Iskra, the curator of the Star Wars: In Concert traveling exhibit.
Norman Rockwell, "---And Daniel Boone Comes to Life on the Underwood Portable"; 1923, oil on canvas; Collection of Steven Spielberg; courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum
Last week, the latest special exhibit opened up at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg” showcases 57 major Rockwell paintings and drawings from the private collections of two of Hollywood’s most influential modern moviemakers. The exhibition runs through January 2, 2011.
The exhibition – only being shown here in DC – is the first to plumb the depths of the connections between Rockwell’s images of American life and the movies. Between Rockwell’s work and the movies of Lucas and Spielberg, the themes of patriotism, small-town values, children growing up, unlikely heroes, imaginations, and life’s ironies are portrayed between canvas and film. “Ultimately, looking at Rockwell in terms of the movies opens a whole new way of understanding his work for the public,” said senior curator and exhibition organizer Virginia Mecklenburg, “but also for scholars interested in American popular and visual culture in the middle of the 20th century.”