December may not be too far behind us, but it feels like Christmas in July here in LA – not only because it’s a ridiculous 85 degrees in early February, but because the Hollywood Bowl just released their schedule for the summer concert series, and it is stacked with geeky offerings.
If you’re not familiar, the Hollywood Bowl is an outdoor venue in Los Angeles that hosts concerts year-round. The summer concert series is special, though – there are shows almost every day that range from jazz to John Williams conducting live in person, and the LA Philharmonic, normally located at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, relocates here for the warmer months. The Bowl aims for this series to be open to all members of the public, and seats can be found for as low as $12 plus fees for many shows. The best part? Costumes are welcome, even encouraged.
And you can bring your own food and alcohol. Just sayin’.
June 24th: Sing Along with the Sound of Music
Wear your favorite costume, use the interactive fun-pack (provided) and sing your heart out with thousands of other fans of the beloved Oscar®-winning movie!
July 1st: A Prairie Home Companion
The celebrated American humorist returns to the Bowl stage for his farewell tour as host of the beloved radio show A Prairie Home Companion. The evening will feature the unique blend of music, storytelling and comedy that audiences have come to adore. Don’t miss Keillor’s final appearance as host of this treasured radio broadcast in Los Angeles!
July 8th and 9th: Star Trek In Concert
Director J.J. Abrams re-exhilarated the iconic Star Trek franchise (now 50!) with one of the most exciting and irresistible blockbusters in recent movie-going history: Star Trek (2009). Experience it as never before, shown in HD on the Bowl’s big screen, and reach warp speed as Michael Giacchino’s thrilling score is performed live-to-picture.
July 10th: Pet Sounds with Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys’ co-founder and genius behind the ’60s sound of America, returns to the Hollywood Bowl stage for the 50th anniversary of Pet Sounds. The mythical masterpiece and greatest hits will come to life with fellow members Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin and the sun-swept harmonies of songs like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows” that influenced The Beatles, Radiohead, and David Bowie. Portland-based singer/songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist M. Ward celebrates his latest release, More Rain.
July 22nd and 23rd: Weird Al Takes the Bowl
When the hilariously irreverent “Weird Al” Yankovic takes over the Bowl, with the backing of a full orchestra, all bets are off. Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for his Mandatory World Tour, a wild ride through 30 years of pop culture parodies and original satire by the four-time Grammy-winning artist who turns mockery into witty modern art.
August 8th and 9th: An Olympic Carnival
Olympic fever hits the Bowl as we salute the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro. Dance to the scintillating samba/pop rhythms of Grammy® winner Sergio Mendes, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his influential band, Brasil ’66 – an electrifying evening of samba, capoeira, Bloco-Afro drummers and fireworks!
August 25th: Cinematic Sounds
Bramwell Tovey leads a dazzling program of music by film composers, with a new double concerto from the late James Horner played by the Norwegian brother/sister duo that commissioned it.
And my personal favorite:
September 2nd, 3rd, and 4th: John Williams: Maestro of the Movies
Following the record-breaking success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, incomparable composer John Williams returns to the Hollywood Bowl to conduct music from the new score, along with other favorite themes from a galaxy far, far away. Bowl movie night maestro David Newman conducts a thrilling first half of film score classics, including a selection of clips shown on the big screen.
Packages go on sale mid-March, and single tickets are available starting May 1.
Don’t forget your lightsabers!