Seattle Symphony: "Play!"

Big-budget video games get big-budget scores

To most people born after the Carter administration, the opening notes of the video game Super Mario Bros. are instantly recognizable. Those born before make up the Seattle Symphony’s primary demographic (it’s no secret that classical audiences are going a little salt-and-pepper). But that may be changing, thanks to Jason Michael Paul’s “Play!”. Show producer Paul thinks hybrid media is a boon to orchestras, the key to attracting the next generation of concertgoers, and “Play!” combines the best video game scores of the last thirty years—the sweeping orchestral and vocal arrangements of Final Fantasy, the Gregorian chant-inspired Halo, and the like—with a dynamic video presentation on massive LCD screens showcasing theses games’ beautiful artwork and design. Cynics should know that long gone are the days of 8-bit synthesizers and Casio production values. (Thursday's concert was very nearly sold out at press time, so a second has been added on Saturday.) Benaroya Hall, Third Avenue and Union Street, 215-4747, $17-$95. 7:30 p.m. tonight, 1 p.m. Sat., Jan. 26. JACOB CASEY

Thu., Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 26, 1 p.m., 2008

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