Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Steven Reineke
Hilbert Circle Theatre, March 26-28
"Oz with Orchestra" is a genuinely delightful aesthetic experience made all the more pleasurable by the audible reactions of children of all ages in the packed audience on March 28. For this reviewer, witnessing the film in a re-mastered version at the ISO, there was something even more magical with live orchestra because we're feeling part of the process of making this ever-fresh film. The original score by Harold Arlen and Herbert Stothart, presumed to be lost, was somehow found. John Goberman, Emmy-Award winning producer of Live from Lincoln Center and the creator of the acclaimed A Symphonic Night at the Movies, wrote new transcriptions and presented "Oz with Orchestra" in summer of 2005 at Wolf Trap and the Ravinia Festival.
Perhaps we're ready for the "olden days" when films and live music were twinned. Perhaps we just like dressing up and feeling elegant in a like-minded crowd. Perhaps The Circle Theatre is communing with its original purpose - being a movie theatre with accompanying live music. Whatever the reason, "Oz with Orchestra" gave us a chance to "see with new eyes and hear with new ears" a re-packaged medium and an ever-essential web of wisdom presented with wit. Steven Reineke conducted the orchestra with precise timing and the players were crisp in entries and exits, lusciously weaving the music in perfect sync with the action and the emotion. Bravo.