I recently had the wonderful opportunity to experience Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone in Concert at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is where you get to watch the full film on the a big screen while a live orchestra below it performs the entire film score along with it and it is… well for lack of a better word magical! It truly is a different experience when you watch this show as compared to seeing it in a regular theater or in the comfort of your own home and for a movie I’ve easily seen 50 plus times I got a whole new awesome experience all over again just in time for the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter!
I won’t get too much into a review about the film itself since I’m sure many of you have already seen it and it is a great movie. The first of the Harry Potter series set the stage for one of best realized fantasy film franchises ever and director Chris Columbus managed it extremely well with the set design of Hogwarts, the feel of the magic and the insanely on point casting of every character! It’s truly a testament when after 10 years and 8 movies there were almost no recastings except for Richard Harris as Dumbledore after his passing. Sorcerer’s Stone is in my top 3 of the Harry Potter movies beating out many of the later movies. The story, acting, pacing, visuals and production design were all great but the star of this particular show was of course John Williams’ incredible score!
Hearing his score played live in an actual concert hall is something else, almost a bit hard to describe. I actually had a pretty emotional response throughout watching the movie. The atmosphere really adds to it too you’re surrounded by hundreds of Potter fans with an audience larger than any movie theater can hold and the great thing is the conductor encourages the audience to get involved and freely express our emotions. Telling us to cheer for our favorite moments or our favorite particular piece of music, so naturally we all cheered and booed for all the first time our favorite characters appeared on screen as well when something awesome happened like Hagrid’s famous line to Harry “yer’ a wizard, Harry!” or Harry catching the Golden Snitch in his first Quidditch match. The music sounded so amazing and the Harry Potter main theme, Hedwig’s Theme, has become as iconic as many of Williams’ other legendary themes like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jaws, Jurassic Park and so many others. I honestly got chills hearing the title card coming on, hearing that theme for the first time and it was like that for me for the entire runtime of the movie.
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert is a magical experience and for any Harry Potter fan it is a must. If you’re not Potter fan yet this is an incredible way to experience it for the first time. This is a very well put together movie that can be enjoyed by all ages and you really owe it to yourself enjoy this movie with that amazing soundtrack just filling the room and adding to the emotion of each moment in the movie. In this show you truly understand and appreciate how a great film soundtrack can elevate a good movie to a great one without you even noticing it most of the time!