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Live Review: The Chicago Philharmonic • Blade Runner Live • Auditorium Theatre • Chicago

| February 26, 2024


The Chicago Philharmonic 

Blade Runner Live

Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Review by Jeff Elbel

Saturday night’s event at the Auditorium Theatre opened the Chicago Philharmonic’s 2024 “Auditorium Philms” series. The ensemble performed Vangelis’ retro-futuristic soundtrack for director Ridley Scott’s 1982 science fiction film Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford as replicant hunter Rick Deckard. Live instruments augmented Vangelis’ icy synthesizer tones throughout the film, which played on a large screen behind the ensemble. The Philharmonic included two percussionists, violins, cello, bass, woodwinds, and a front line of three keyboard players to perform the layered synthesizer parts. Saxophonist Matt Wiffler led the synthetic blues of “Rachel’s Theme” during the scene at the piano in Deckard’s apartment. Cheryl Wilson sang the score’s exotic vocals in pivotal scenes with Kowalski’s photos and Joanna Cassidy as snake dancer Zhora. Wilson doubled on Viola. Conductor Michael Moricz stood at his podium in a black t-shirt in front of a film monitor that marked cues with flashes and scrolling bars of light.

The Auditorium Philms concert series promises “iconic films brought to life with scores performed in concert with the Chicago Philharmonic.” Upcoming Philms events include director Tim Burton’s 1989 film Batman on April 13 for its 35th anniversary and Marvel’s Black Panther on June 22. Dracula and Love, Actually, will also be featured. ( #bladerunnerlive


Category: Featured, Live Reviews

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