ET Intro

2017 Blossom Music Festival
September 1 – Friday at 8:30 p.m.

September 2 – Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
September 3 – Sunday at 8:30 p.m.


Introducing the Concert

Aliens, Allies & Friendship

The Night Sky — and outer space — have long held mystery for humans looking up. The myriad stars and limitless blackness suggest . . . danger? comfort? wisdom? greatness? godliness? unknown? unknowing? adventure? freedom? The world around us — and the adults going about their everyday business — can seem just as mysterious and unknown to children trying to learn about life here on this world. As guide and comfort, everyone needs a friend (or two) along life’s pathway. Yet sometimes friendship is hard to find.

The genius of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is the way it puts all of this together into one story — of alien-ness, abandonment, being alone, family, friends, distance, reaching out, understanding, danger, threat, humor, difference, commonality. Yet, the story’s so much fun and so endearing that we don’t even realize what it’s doing to us, how it’s pulled our heartstrings . . . to such good and heartwarming effect.

The story itself is said to be crafted from Spielberg’s own childhood, when he says he had an imaginary alien friend of his own. In the movie, the fiction of everyday life becomes reality before our eyes. And friendship bridges the gap between differences.   Clearly more such comforting reality in today’s challenging world would be a good thing, more friendship rather than more division.

Fittingly, Spielberg’s story is amplified and magnified by John Williams’s magnificent musical score, mirroring surprise and delight, mystery and joy. This evening’s presentation features the incredible artistry of our own Cleveland Orchestra joined to the original movie, making this magical story even more about our own lives and our homes and our families. A night to remember, and lessons never to forget! —Eric Sellen

About the Movie

While visiting the Earth at night, a group of alien botanists is discovered and disturbed by an approaching human task force. When the aliens make a hasty take-off, one of the visitors is left behind. The small alien finds himself all alone on a very strange planet. However, the extra-terrestrial soon finds a friend and emotional companion in ten-year-old Elliott, a boy whose parents have separated. E.T. gets acquainted with Elliott and the customs of Earth along with Elliott’s older brother Michael and younger sister Gertie, while members of the government task force work day and night to track down the whereabouts of Earth’s first visitor from outer space. The children decide to keep E.T.’s existence to themselves. For E.T., the wish to go home is strong and, after learning to communicate with Elliott and the others, he starts building an improvised device to send a message home for his people to come and pick him up. In the meantime, E.T. becomes seriously ill — and, because of his special connection to Elliott, the young boy suffers, too. The situation gets critical when the task force finally closes in on E.T.’s location and tries to intervene. By then, help may be too late: there’s no alien spaceship in sight.