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'Nightmare Before Christmas' and Danny Elfman returning to Hollywood Bowl for 2016 Halloween

'Nightmare Before Christmas' and Danny Elfman returning to Hollywood Bowl for 2016 Halloween
Danny Elfman singing with the chorus during the "Nightmare Before Christmas" concert screening at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015. (Michael Baker / For The Times)

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" is returning to the Hollywood Bowl for Halloween, with Danny Elfman reprising his live performance as Jack Skellington, the melancholy Pumpkin King who longs to celebrate Christmas.

The performances, scheduled for Oct. 29 and 30 at the Bowl, will feature an orchestra and chorus led by conductor John Mauceri performing the soundtrack to the Tim Burton stop-motion animated movie live to screen.

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Joining Elfman onstage will be three other "Nightmare" veterans who will reprise their vocal performances from the movie — Paul Reubens, who will perform the voice of Lock, one of three mischievous trick-or-treaters; Catherine O'Hara as Sally, the love interest of Jack Skellington; and Ken Page as Oogie Boogie, the burlap-skinned Halloween villain.

The 1993 movie features an original score written by Elfman, who also performed the singing voice of Skellington in the feature.

Last year, "Nightmare" was performed live at the Bowl for the first time to ecstatic crowds of all ages. The festivities included an audience costume contest for characters from Burton's filmography.

Elfman was " pretty joyful at the end of it," Richard Kraft, a producer of the show, said in a recent interview. "It played into things that Danny loves, and it was a celebration of a movie that he is close to."

Organizers stopped short of saying that "Nightmare" would become an annual Bowl tradition. "One year at a time," said Laura Engel, another producer of the show.

But she added: "L.A. doesn't have an upscale Halloween event to go to — a place to take your family that isn't a haunted house type thing. This fit a major niche."

Performances of "Nightmare" are scheduled for Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m., with tickets going on sale to the general public on Sept. 9.

Audiences are encouraged to arrive early to participate in the Burton-themed costume contest and other family festivities.

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