Happy 4th of July! Have a Celebration!

Happy 4th of July Friends!

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“America is great because she is good.
If America ceases to be good,
America will cease to be great.” – 
Alexis De Tocqueville

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Have a Celebration! Wave that Flag! Have a SAFE Holiday!

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HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! CELEBRATE FREEDOM & LIBERTY!

Time to BBQ, Party, Celebrate, Watch Fireworks and Have a Real Good Time!

“So, then, to every man his chance – to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity – to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him – this, seeker, is the promise of America.” – Thomas Wolfe

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“America! What a country!” – Yakov Smirnoff in “Brewster’s Millions”

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LADY LIBERTY in NYC! Let Freedom Ring! Happy Birthday USA!

“Laughter is America’s most important export.” – Walt Disney

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USA! USA! USA!

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” – George Washington

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4th of July Fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl!

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Dallas, Texas! Red, White & Boom!

“In America, anyone can become President.
That’s the problem”
– George Carlin RIP

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Happy Independence Day!

“We should keep steadily before our minds the fact that Americanism is a question of principle, of purpose, of idealism, of character; that it is not a matter of birthplace, or creed, or line of descent.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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“Boop-Oop-A-Doop!”

“Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. Here. Here’s American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their f***ing skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free to do what we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!” – Bill Hicks RIP

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“Wave that flag, wave it wide and high!
Summertime done come and gone, my oh my!” – Grateful Dead “U.S. Blues”

 

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl!

“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.

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra performing “West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl on a Tuesday evening in July!

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

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!

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Fire on the Mountain! (That yellow dot is three firefighters)

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.

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Picnickers Out Front at the Hollywood Bowl for “West Side Story”

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.

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Roast Beef Sandwich and Veggie Chips

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).

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

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.

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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.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

 

 

Paul Simon LIVE at the Hollywood Bowl!

Paul Simon LIVE at the Hollywood Bowl!

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Paul Simon LIVE at the Hollywood Bowl!

A warm Summer Wednesday evening and we’re off to Hollywood and the Hollywood Bowl! Traffic wasn’t too bad until we reached the Highland exit off the 101 freeway. They still haven’t figured out how to move traffic in and out of the Hollywood Bowl without a 20 minute wait!

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The Hollywood Sign as seen from the Hollywood Bowl

We planned ahead and arrived early enough, paid $25 to stack park in Lot B, walked up the hill to the cheaper “nosebleed” seats in section S ($52.50 + fees), and ate our picnic dinner (from home) BEFORE the opening act hit the stage at 8pm.

On The Menu: Subway sandwich (oven roasted chicken), dill pickles, carrots & celery, blueberries & raspberries, chocolate chip cookie and a bottled water.

No Cans or Bottles allowed for this concert so they can charge RIPOFF PRICES:
$10-14 for a beer and $16 for a plastic glass of wine!

NOTE: People were still just coming in at 9pm for a show with a start time of 7:30pm. It’s a real problem for the people seated on the benches because there’s no room to walk by someone who’s seated. It’s really annoying when someone arrives late and disrupts the performance for everyone seated behind them. Also it’s just RUDE to arrive late!

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Paul Simon at the Hollywood Bowl – Opening Act

Paul Simon didn’t take the stage until 9pm! So there was a lot of sitting and waiting between the Opening Act and the start of the concert…

We Periscoped from the concert and posted our videos on YouTube:
“50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”, “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”>”You Can Call Me Al”, “Graceland” and “Sound of Silence”. You can watch them here or on our YouTube Channel: The JoshWillTravel AdventureScope (see the link at the bottom of this Blog)

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Paul Simon at the Hollywood Bowl

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Paul Simon at the Hollywood Bowl – Encore #1: “Graceland”

He played until 11pm. It was a good show! The sound was great, and even though we were so far away that we’re still not sure how many people were in the band, we enjoyed it.

We know we are very blessed to be able to enjoy live music at the Hollywood Bowl!

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Paul Simon at the Hollywood Bowl – Encore #3: “Sound of Silence”

PLEASE SUPPORT THE ARTIST! BUY THE MUSIC on iTunes or at your local record store!

Audra McDonald, the LA Phil & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald, the LA Phil & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the American Ballet Theatre at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Traffic was light and we were early!

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

It was a fun program, the music was great, the ballet was terrific and the weather was perfect. Audra McDonald is a fantastic performer with a truly amazing voice!

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Picnic time! Spaghetti Bolognese, Caesar Salad, bread with olive tapenade, Clos du Bois red wine & cheesecake

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

– 1st act Overture from “West Side Story”, Audra McDonald sings popular songs!

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

– 2nd act ABT recreates the original “Fancy Free”

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

Audra McDonald & the ABT at the Hollywood Bowl

 

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Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Tuesday evening. Not very much traffic. And we’re back at the Hollywood Bowl for more!

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW A LARGER PIC!

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

The escalator going uphill was broken. So a lot of people had to hump it up the hill, coolers and picnic baskets in tow….a lot of tired old people trying to make it up the stairs.

We had a nice box (No wood bench seats tonight!) and picked up our picnic dinner from The Coral Cafe on the way. The weather was perfect, a beautiful warm summer night.

On The Menu: Roast beef sandwich, Caesar salad, dill pickle, chocolate & cinnamon bread pudding and a bottled water.

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Roast Beef Sandwich & Caesar Salad

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Chocolate & Cinnamon Bread Pudding

The food was okay, but not great. I was not impressed by the roast beef sandwich (might have been better with mustard) or the bread puddings, and what can you really say about a “to go” caesar salad? It was fine for what it was, but the food was overpriced and I hate the plastic packaging.

NOTE: The people in the box behind us were still having their picnic during the first act, and decided to pack their trash and turn their chairs around after the program began. **FINISH YOUR PICNIC BEFORE THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER BEGINS!!!!!**

**AND DON’T TALK DURING THE PERFORMANCE!!!!!**

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Showtime on Tuesday Night!

Joshua Bell & the LA Philharmonic playing Mendelssohn, Bruch & Beethoven tonight:

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Mendelssohn, Bruch & Beethoven

It was a short program! The Bruch Concerto was beautiful and Beethoven’s 7th was very well done, but needed to build more before the finish, in my opinion. The concert was over  and we were back to the car and on the freeway before 10:30pm.

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in Concert

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – A Beautiful. Warm Summer Night!

It was a lovely evening with wonderful music on a beautiful, warm summer night. I had a nice picnic dinner and listened to first-rate musicians perform classical pieces in a fantastic environment. Happy Birthday to Me!

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All Photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel

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Monty Python’s “Spamalot” and “A Midsummer Night” at the Hollywood Bowl

Monty Python’s “Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Saturday night performance at the Hollywood Bowl on a beautiful, warm, summer night in August! And what a great show! The celebrity cast was awesome! It was so much fun!

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – A Beautiful and Warm Summer Night!

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Picnic on the bench:

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – No ham, jam or spam. (there was bacon)

On the Menu: steak & bacon sandwich, potato chips, celery, carrots, cucumber, dill pickle, pineapple juice, Heineken, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

NOTE: Our bench seats were in section K2, which is high up and way off to one side. The wood benches are really uncomfortable, even with seat cushions. I prefer the Box Seats!

FINGER OF SHAME! This couple insisted on using bench space for their bag! And when asked if they would make more room, they refused and copped an attitude! This is a picture of their shame after being TOTAL A**HOLES in a fun place!

Look at their facial expression and body language!

FINGER OF SHAME

FINGER OF SHAME! – They know they’re being Total A**holes!

Well the show must go on! And the a*ssholes were ignored.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl - Sunset!

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Sunset!

It was great from the opening national anthem, when the orchestra began with “Hail Brittania” before being interrupted and playing the Star Spangled Banner, to the “England” introduction by Eric Idle as The Historian, and the opening number celebrating Finland with the Fish Slapping Dance!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

The Historian: “I SAID ENGLAND!”

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – “What happens in Camelot, stays in Camelot!”

Loosely based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail there were great bits from the film: “He must be a king”, debating the airspeed of the European swallow, taunting by the French, “large tracts of land” and storming the castle, the Trojan Rabbit, the Ballad of Sir Robin, the Knights who say Nee, Tim the Enchanter, the Vorpal Bunny and of course Camelot!

Warwick Davis gave a fantastic performance as Patsy, King Arthur’s squire complete with coconut shells and amazing facial expressions! He is such a gifted actor.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Tom Deckman was hilarious as Not Dead Fred, Prince Herbert and the French Guard. Merle Dandridge was dazzling as the Lady of the Lake and her musical numbers were mesmerizing!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Kevin Chamberlin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rick Holmes and Christian Slater were just terrific as Arthur’s Knights (and the many other minor roles they alternately played). And Craig Robinson was a very entertaining King Arthur, smiling and “tap dancing” his way through the whole thing.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – King Arthur & his Knights on a Quest for the Holy Grail

There were wonderfully entertaining musical numbers with inspired dance and fun choreography. And a number of jokes were tailored to the Hollywood Bowl audience including a jab at “overpriced dinner in the Pool Circle” and a little “Uptown Funk”.

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – “The Ballad of Sir Robin” on the big video screen

Wonderful performances by the entire cast! You could tell they were having a great time performing. I was really impressed by how great they all were!

And big kudos to the Hollywood Bowl for their live video on the big screens, as well as the costumes, sets, sound, lighting and projections which really make the musical productions special.

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“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

The Grand Finale with the entire cast and chorus was an audience sing along to Eric Idle’s

“Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”

Some things in life are bad…They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle,
And this’ll help things turn out for the best……….
And, always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle)

Always look on the light side of life…(Whistle)

If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten!
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing!
When you’re feeling in the dumps don’t be silly chumps,
Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing.
And…always look on the bright side of life! (Whistle)

Come on. Always look on the right side of life! (Whistle)

For life is quite absurd and death’s the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin, give the audience a grin!
Enjoy it! It’s your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death. (Whistle) 

Just before you draw your terminal breath. (Whistle)

Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it.
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
You’ll see its all a show, keep ’em laughin’ as you go,
Just remember that the last laugh is on you!

And…Always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle) Always look on the right side of life…

I mean – what have you got to lose? You know, you come from nothin’.

You’re going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing.

Always look on the right side of life…

Nothing will come from nothing ya know what they say?
Cheer up ya old bugga c’mon give us a grin! There ya go, see!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Finale sing along “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”

Everyone knows the words! Whistle and sing along! A good time was had by all! The full Blue Moon was shining brightly overhead as the large crowd exited the Bowl at 10:30pm. It was packed and we were on the far side, so I sat and waited for the audience to disperse a little and then cut through the seats directly to the exit. I went right when I should have gone left and ended up half-stepping down the hill with the crowd to the escalator and made it back to the car in about 15 minutes.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Full Blue Moon over the departing audience

It was warm and humid all night, so by the time we got back to our parking space I was really looking forward to going home and taking a shower. (and yes, my shower was really refreshing later after midnight…)

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

They stacked parked the cars (unnecessarily) for this performance, so it required a little maneuvering to exit the lot. Traffic is always tough after a full house, but we were able to get back to the freeway and headed home in a reasonable amount of time without too much trouble. A wonderful evening, a nice picnic and a great show. Huzzah!


And the week before we went to

“A Midsummer Night” at the Hollywood Bowl

Tuesday night and we had great Box Seats with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mendelssohn on a warm summer night in July!

Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl – Midsummer Night’s Dream with Dudamel & the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Terrible traffic on the 101 freeway from the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood. The price of Parking at the Hollywood Bowl has increased $2 this year from $18 to $20 per car.

TIP: GO EARLY! Traffic is always unpredictable, but you can bet it will take at least 20 minutes to get past the light coming off the 101 freeway at Cahuenga and Highland. Provide extra travel time for walking uphill, bag check, ticket turn stalls, refreshments, restrooms and managing your picnic dinner.

NOTE: It is really bad form to arrive 5 minutes AFTER the performance begins and then start your meal! Finish eating before the Star Spangled Banner (snacks and beverages are acceptable during, but avoid any packaging that makes noise. Wait for intermission if you need to have that dessert! And please don’t set up your picnic blanket in front of the restrooms (seriously, they were sitting on the concrete in front of the restroom doors!).

Midsummer Night's Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night's Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Dinner in the Box Seats is great because they provide removable folding tables, trash service and if you choose, expensive catered food delivered directly to your Box.

We ordered from Amer’s Mediterranean restaurant in Encino and picked up our “to go” food on the way. They recently changed ownership again, and the menu changed too. We also packed in our own beverages (advisable at events when they’re permitted) and also brought dessert and ice. The only refreshments we bought were a couple bad cups of coffee at intermission.

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl - Middle Eastern food: the wrong order!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – Middle Eastern: the wrong order!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl - Cheesecake for dessert!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – Cheesecake for dessert!

On the Menu: Middle eastern food, it was supposed to be an “Amer’s Special” shwarma meat with hummus, tabouli, rice, falafel and pita bread. They screwed up the order. I hate beets. They gave us a “mixed grill” with chicken and ground beef kebabs. And they forgot the rice and falafel. At least there was good cheesecake for dessert.

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Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

The first act was Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor with an exceptional performance by Gil Shaham on violin. The second act was “Midsummer Night’s Dream” accompanied by dramatic Shakespearean readings by Bryce Dallas Howard, and guest vocal performances by Deanna Breiwick and Jennifer Holloway with the Women of Los Angeles Master Chorale. It was beautiful.

Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

The lighting and inspired projections enhanced the wonderful musical performance. The first act was better than the second, and I thought it was a little weird to hear the wedding march played as a classical piece in concert. There was also a lot of noticeable cricket noise during the quiet parts of the show, which I found distracting during the second act.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show! What’s not to like about Tuesday night at the Bowl with Dudamel and the LA Phil? It was a real good time.

Our box was positioned close to the exit, so we were out of there fast. We quickly traveled the long walk to the car and made a fast getaway from the parking lot and onto the 101 freeway home.

The Hollywood Bowl is a great venue! And once you know the “procedure” and tricks to traffic, parking and picnicking it’s a very pleasant experience. I’m looking forward to seeing more shows at the Bowl this summer.

Hollywood Bowl - Parking Lot after the show

Hollywood Bowl – Parking Lot after the show

All Photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel (except the Cast Press Photos)

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**Goodbye 2014! Hello 2015!** – My Year in Review.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015! Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?

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“It is a new year!
What will you do different?
Will you be the same?”

Happy New Year! Balloon Drop San Francisco Civic Auditorium 1983

Happy New Year! Balloon Drop at Midnight – San Francisco Civic Auditorium 12-31-1983

Goodbye 2014! (Wow, this year went by fast!) Hello 2015!

“Wet earth and sunshine
You can smell it in the air
After the rain.”

Here’s my year in review. My Blogs (see previous blogs) and Facebook posts (Joshua Weisel & JoshWillTravel) have stories, details and cool pictures for most events! Please check them out by following the links at the bottom of the page.

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January

LA Times Travel Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center

Los Angeles Times Travel Show (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Los Angeles Times Travel Show (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hosted Reception at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City

The Sportsman's Lodge in Studio City, CA (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City, CA (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Buy Tuscany” Event at the Italian Cultural Institute in Westwood

"Buy Tuscany" event at the Italian Cultural Institute (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Buy Tuscany” event at the Italian Cultural Institute (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

February

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

IsramWorld and Israel Tourism Event at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills

IsramWorld and Israel Tourism Event at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills

IsramWorld and Israel Tourism Event at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills

Japan Tourism Event at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Los Angeles

Japan Tourism Event at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Los Angeles

Japan Tourism Event at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Los Angeles

Mexico Tourism Event at the Universal Sheraton Hotel in Universal City

Mexico Tourism Event at the Sheraton Universal in Universal City

Mexico Tourism Event at the Sheraton Universal in Universal City

Los Angeles 9th Annual Travel & Adventure Show at the Long Beach Convention Center

9th Annual Travel & Adventure Show - Long Beach Convention Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

9th Annual Travel & Adventure Show – Long Beach Convention Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

March

Four Seasons Event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills

Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

On Rodeo on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze with Carrie and John in Moorpark

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

Sunday Brunch at On Sunset Restaurant at the LUXE Hotel On Sunset!

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Travel Massive Los Angeles Event at The Roof on Wilshire

The Roof on Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Roof on Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Italian Dreams at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hilton (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Beverly Hilton (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Joshua Weisel Departs Willett Travel (effective March 31st)

NOTE: Willett Travel was bought by FROSCH. I became JoshWillTravel (Luxury Travel Advisor, Lifestyle and Travel Writer, Independent Consultant) full time! Read my Blogs!

April – May

Passover

Passover Seder (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Passover Seder (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinners at Le Sanglier French Restaurant (celebrated two birthday parties there this year)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Mother’s Day “The Lion in Winter” Matinee at the Colony Theatre in Burbank and Lunch at Bow & Truss in North Hollywood

Colony Theatre in Burbank (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Colony Theatre in Burbank (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven in Downtown L.A.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Memorial Day “Chef” at the ArcLight Sherman Oaks and Dinner at Versailles in Encino

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

June

World Cup! United States - One Nation One Team!

World Cup! United States – One Nation One Team!

Phyllis Patterson RIP – She Changed My Life!

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” ~Japanese Proverb

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP June 14, 2014 “May the four winds blow you safely home!”

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP 2014

St. Paul’s Reunion in San Francisco! (and the Road Trip north and south)

San Francisco Civic Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

San Francisco Civic Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

St. Paul's Reunion in San Francisco

Old Friends! Stretch Limosine! St. Paul’s Reunion in San Francisco – June 2014

Return to the Paramount Ranch in Agoura 2014 – Visiting Old Ghosts!

Washing Well foreground, Twilziwop and DAW/SOB on the hillside

Paramount Ranch – Washing Well foreground, Twilziwop and DAW/SOB on the hillside

July – August

Summer “Staycation” in Los Angeles

San Fernando Valley #2 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

San Fernando Valley #2 – A view from Mulholland Hwy (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Box Seats for Four Great Summer Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl! Joshua Bell & Friends, Yo-Yo Ma and a nice Dinner on the patio at Patina, Beethoven (with Dudamel and the L.A. Phil doing the 5th Symphony) and “HAIR!”

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

A Celebration of Caitlin’s Life in Santa Monica

Celebrating Caitlin with Mardeen, Kevin, Janet & Bob in Santa Monica

Celebrating Caitlin’s Life and Memory with Mardeen, Kevin, Janet & Bob in Santa Monica

The Simpsons Marathon on FX

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl!

The Simpsons! Every Episode in Chronological Order…

September

Burning Man! (via the internet)

Burning Man 2014

Burning Man 2014 (via UStream) Screen Capture

Burning Man 2014 "Embrace" burns!

Burning Man 2014 “Embrace” burns!

The Simpsons Take the Hollywood Bowl! EXCELLENT FUN!

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Happy Jewish New Year 5775!

Happy New Year 5775!

Happy New Year 5775!

Richard Edward “Ed” Whitchurch III RIP September 29, 2014 (a Vietnam Veteran)

“You can get anything you want, (exceptin’ Alice) at Alice’s Restaurant.”

“May the Four Winds Blow You Safely Home”

October

Road Trip! California-Oregon-Nevada (San Jose, Santa Cruz, Ashland, Reno, Lake Tahoe)

Going Home! US Highway 395 south in California

Going Home! US Highway 395 south in California

Great vacation! Saw old friends and family, visited UCSC and the Grateful Dead Special Collection, celebrated my father’s birthday and saw some great theatre in Ashland (“The Tempest”, “Richard III” and “The Cocoanuts”), partied in Reno, relaxed at Lakeland Village in South Lake Tahoe, and drove scenic US Highway 395 south to L.A.

(I’m still working on finishing the Road Trip Blogs! Please be patient.)

Lake Tahoe Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

South Lake Tahoe Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

November – December

Thanksgiving 2014 – The Feast! (Our annual family food fest)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 – The Feast! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 – Dessert! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Otis Redding RIP Dec 18, 2014 – Had to say goodbye to the old boy, very sad.

“He was a great dog. He had a good life. May the Four Winds blow him safely home.”

Otis Redding RIP

Otis Redding RIP

Dinner at the Border Grill & “Blithe Spirit” with Angela Landsbury at the Ahmanson Theatre

Los Angeles Music Center (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

At the Los Angeles Music Center (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Hannukah!

Happy Hannukah!

Happy Hannukah!

Festivus, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Dinner with Friends!

Ho! Ho! Ho! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas in North Hollywood (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Another Year Gone!
Say Buh-Bye 2014…
A New Year Ahead!”

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP 2014 (she was there in spirit this year)

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” ~ T. S. Eliot

 

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Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year 2015!

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Baby New Year! She had a very good year too!

Baby New Year! She had a very good year too!

The Simpsons Take The Hollywood Bowl! (part two)

The Simpsons Take The Hollywood Bowl!

NOTE: I had a bit of “blog burnout” last week. Here is part two (still under construction):

Well, traffic was F* CKED of course! And I stack parked for $18. But I made it just in time!!!

SHOWTIME!

Orchestra Tuning! The incredible Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in concert! Some of the female musicians were wearing Marge’s blue hair-hats! Animated sequences from The Simpsons television show and movie were shown on the big screen and accompanied by the orchestra and other performers throughout the night. The lighting and animated projections on the bowl were perfectly designed for each act!

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The National Anthem “The Star Spangled Banner” is played before every concert.

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Welcome by Matt Groenig and hello to Hank Azaria, the evening’s Host!

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Apu sings “Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart?” (with Dancing Hot Dogs!):

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Kwik-E-Mart! The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Beverly D’Angelo in costume as Lurline Lumpkin sings “I Gotta Homer”:

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Academy Award winning short film “The Longest Daycare” was shown accompanied by musical director and composer Hans Zimmer and the L.A. Philharmonic:

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons “The Longest Daycare” at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hey, it’s Weird Al singing a “Little Ditty ’bout Homer and Marge” to the tune of John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane” and soloing on the accordion:

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Weird Al! The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles sang “Spider-Pig”, “See My Vest” and “We Do!” and then accompanied other performers throughout the night.

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Spider-Pig!” The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“See My Vest!” The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=968152809877952&set=vb.100000497266600&type=2&theater 

AND FIREWORKS!

 

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THE SIMPSONS take the Hollywood Bowl! (part one)

THE SIMPSONS take the Hollywood Bowl! Saturday night in Hollywood.

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Fireworks! The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

25th Anniversary Celebration! – 3 Nights at the Hollywood Bowl Sept 12, 13 & 14, 2014

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl!

Get off the couch! The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl!

 

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Traffic! The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

A SOLD OUT SHOW means terrible traffic if you’re going to the Hollywood Bowl, or if you’re unfortunate and get caught in the mess on the 101 freeway, Cahuenga, Highland, Franklin or Hollywood Boulevard before or after the performance.

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood! The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

We got a late start, usually we like to arrive very early, and so it took 30 minutes from the Highland freeway offramp and cost $18 to finally park in the very full stacked parking lot.

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Almost there!

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

It was definitely a PARTY CROWD! There was excitement in the air! People came to have a good time and I wasn’t the only one stuck in traffic, so there were a lot of people hurrying for their seats at 7:45pm.

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Hollywood Bowl was decorated for the event! Inflatable donuts, the Duff Blimp, and a Giant Inflatable Three-Eyed Fish photo op greeted guests in the courtyard area! The ticket takers were wearing Sideshow Bob hair-hats. Cutout characters, an “Evolution of Homer” mural and a Simpsons Couch photo op lined the hillside as you entered.

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Inflatable Donuts everywhere! Going in the ticket gate.

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Cutouts and Fun Stuff decorating the Hollywood Bowl!

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Have your picture taken on the couch with The Simpsons! (but the line was too long)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Evolution of Homer” Mural!

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Get out the vaseline! Hollywood Bowl prices:

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

$ 4.00 plus tax for a Dasani Bottled Water. Really?

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

$4.00 + Tax for a bottled water at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

This is a great sign! And they mean it too.

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Saturday was a warm summer night in September, (we’re having a serious heatwave) and just perfect weather for an evening concert! The decorations and ambient entertainment really created a sense of event and added to the excitement as the crowd headed for their seats at 8pm.

SHOWTIME! (Continue to part two)

PART TWO: https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/the-simpsons-take-the-hollywood-bowl-part-two/

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Summer Staycation!

Well, Summer is just about over…hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!

Labor Day! Poolside in the San Fernando Valley (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Labor Day! Poolside in the San Fernando Valley (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

With the end of summer, I also have to end my “Summer Staycation” in the San Fernando Valley. It’s been great, although it’s been another extremely hot summer in Los Angeles.

West LA (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

West LA (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Summer Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Joshua Bell & Friends at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

HAIR! at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

HAIR! at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Read my previous three previous Blogs about Burning Man!

I didn’t go to the Burning Man festival. I enjoyed it from the comfort of my home office, rather than brave the elements of the Nevada desert. And in fact, I was invited on a whole different kind of desert trip this weekend, and decided not to risk life and limb (literally) in northern Nevada.

Adult Fireworks.

Adult Fireworks: my friends know how to throw a party (this is not my pic)

The dogs are very happy.

The Family Dogs (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Family Dogs chillin’ on the patio (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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