“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl!
And we are back! We went to the Hollywood Bowl last week and it was good fun! We’re having a heatwave again in Los Angeles and it’s been 90 degrees+ and into the 100s on some days. So, it has stayed warm at night and it was really perfect weather for an outdoor concert.
Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra performing “West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl on a Tuesday evening in July!
We were invited to the Bowl again. Well, there was a “small” brush fire on the mountain across the 101 freeway at Cahuenga Blvd from the venue at 4pm and we watched on the television as the Los Angeles Fire Department responded and made quick work of it!
By 5:30pm the fire was out, they were handling the hot spots and traffic was f*cked. So we left the San Fernando Valley for Hollywood at about 6pm. After some miles of “stop and go” traffic, the Highland exit ramp jam and Lot B parking ($20 cash) we were walking past the crowd of picnickers that occupy any convenient spot they can find out front at 7pm.
NOTE: It wasn’t as crowded as usual! It was a Tuesday night and a lot of people must have stayed home to watch the Republican National Convention night #2 from Cleveland, Ohio. Of course, that meant more people arrived around 8pm as the performance was starting…
We decided to go directly to our seats (Super Seats! not benches) behind the light and sound booth and have our dinner there instead of going to one of the picnic areas. And picnicking at the Hollywood Bowl in the super seats or bench seating is even more of a challenge than dining in one of the boxes because you have no table and very limited space.
Picnic time! On the Menu: Roast beef sandwich, veggie chips, dill pickle, bottled water and 1/4 of a chocolate tart from Sweet Lady Jane. We remembered to take a pic just before finishing the sandwich, but didn’t take one of the sides and desserts. We also brought red and white wine, a bottle of bubbly water, carrots, cole slaw, a rice dish and a berry cobbler.
Show time! The orchestra took the stage a little after 8pm, just as the sun was setting. They always begin with the “Star Spangled Banner” (note the flags flying at half mast).
Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing under a full moon on a warm summer evening in Southern California, no complaints here.
“West Side Story”
The musical “West Side Story” has special meaning for us. We participated in building and and presenting a production on the Performing Arts MainStage at UC Santa Cruz in Spring of 1986.
Directed by Michael Edwards
I was a Set Builder, Costumer and then Wardrobe Master for the run of show.
I also did the hair/makeup and hand inked tattoos for the actors.
The Jets were “Glam Punks” circa early 1980’s in ripped denim and studded leather.
The Sharks were 1970’s “Cholos” complete with bandanas, pleated flannels, pressed white t-shirts and tan khakis. The Shark girls were hot!
A truly professional production with a live band, great singing and dancing and a truly amazing set design! The program cover above is one of the design sketches, but the freeway was left unfinished with exposed rebar extending out over the audience and then we added chain link fencing, lots of graffiti and debris for texture.
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Very proud of this production and the work we did. Also of note is the level of talent and the future professional career paths of some of the participants.
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