Quadrophenia! LIVE at the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park on Saturday Night!

Pete Townshend’s “Classic Quadrophenia!”

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LIVE at the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park on Saturday Night!

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Saturday night’s alright for “Quadrophenia”!

NOTE: Still working on the “Road Trip” and “Burning Man” Blogs, but we decided to spend the money and see a LIVE show at the Greek Theatre on Saturday night.

Parking SUCKS at the Greek Theatre (and it always has). We tried to park at the “Offsite Parking Lot” for $10 and wanted to take the shuttle, but were greeted with “Unfortunately……”

It was explained by a lackey in orange vest that unless you paid online, they weren’t letting people pay cash and park because they didn’t have enough parking.
Because Griffith Park is TOO F*CKING SMALL AND DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH SPACE TO PARK EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO PARK OFFSITE!
JUST ANOTHER City of Los Angeles FAIL.
(just count on the City to FAIL everytime)

So we drove around and then up the hill to the Greek Theatre, with traffic on Los Feliz and Vermont, and paid $25 to park on the grass on a hillside above the theatre. At least they had rows of cars instead of just “stack parking” and packing them in like the old days.

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It cost us an extra $15. We didn’t have to offsite park or take the shuttle and then we walked over to WillCall and picked up our $100 ticket ($79.50 + $18.80 fees). We bought a $5 bottled water so the price tag for the evening was ~$130 + gas (and another $10 for a cocktail + tip later on the way home).

The Greek Theatre in Griffith Park is a very nice venue once you get past the parking.

 

Here’s a handy seating chart and aerial view of the Greek Theatre (not my pics):

 

Our $100 ticket was for Sec B, Row U, Seat 13 – an okay seat on the $$$ price scale. For another $25 we could have been more center, and for a couple hundred dollars more we could have been in Sec A or front of Terrace (Loge seats), but WHY?

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Quadrophenia!

With Pete Townshend, Alfie Boe, Billy Idol, an orchestra and a choir!

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It wasn’t a rock concert. We knew that going in. It was a classical performance piece with full orchestra and a large choir. They performed the entire double album’s music beautifully and it rocked, but it wasn’t a rock concert and some people didn’t get it.

We really enjoyed the music, it’s one of our favorite WHO albums, and it was great to see it performed live with the orchestra and choir. The sound was really good at the Greek, and with the exception of the audience, it was a very good show.

EXIT (Stage Left): So, we waited for the Greek to empty out and there still was a line to get out of the GATED AREA. It is a VERY DANGEROUS EXIT because if there were an emergency, people would get crushed trying to escape. They didn’t have the large gates open, so everyone had to funnel into and out through the entrance point.

Drive through Griffith Park at night!

We walked back to our car and waited for the parking lot to empty, and the line at the restrooms to clear, then instead of driving down the hill back to Los Feliz, we drove through the park and then down to Western Avenue. There are great views of the city and Downtown Los Angeles from the road through the park, but the only pictures we took were in the tunnel because of the traffic and people walking to their cars.

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Tunnel Vision! Drive Through Griffith Park!

Saturday Night! We drove through Ferndell to Los Feliz and down Western to Hollywood Blvd. We got on the 101 freeway and headed back to the valley, and decided to stop for a post-show drink at the Chimneysweep Lounge in Sherman Oaks on the way home. It used to be a real “hole-in-the-wall” dive bar, but then it was taken over by hipsters…

We got a seat at the bar and enjoyed a Stoli rocks with a lime (our first and only drink of the evening). We people watched for a bit but they weren’t interesting people, decided we didn’t want to hang, so we headed home and ate some food before going to bed. It was a pretty fun night and we certainly enjoyed the music.

 

GREEK THEATRE in Griffith Park – 2700 N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles 90027 http://www.lagreektheatre.com

Chimneysweep Lounge4354 Woodman Ave (at Moorpark), Sherman Oaks 91423

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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.

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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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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

 

 

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!

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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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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.

Hollywood Bowl

“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

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Yo-Yo Ma and Dinner at the Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl!

Yo-Yo Ma and Dinner at the Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl!

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

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

Another Thursday night concert at the Hollywood Bowl on a beautiful summer evening in Los Angeles! The staycation-vacation continues!

5:45pm Arrive at the Bowl and pay $18 to stack park the car in the “B” lot on the hill.

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

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl – Auto $18 stack parking (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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

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

Very early! We had a 6pm dinner reservation at Patina Rooftop Grill, so we were allowed in  before they opened the house to the public.  I took a couple pictures of the empty Bowl:

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

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl – empty house before opening (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl – empty house before opening (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

And after dinner, I took this pic of the Bowl filling with people from the same spot:

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

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

Dinner at Patina Rooftop Grill

Dining al fresco on the open air patio is a real treat at the Hollywood Bowl.

 

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

Dining al Fresco at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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

Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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

Dinner at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

On The Menu: Ahi tuna poke, caesar salad, bread & butter, BBQ grilled shrimp, Tillamook mac’n’cheese, classic cheesecake with berries and whipped cream, a coke, and a double espresso. (Made steak the night before and had a steak sandwich for breakfast, so I went with the tuna and shrimp starters and mac’n’cheese side instead of the steak entree.

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

Ahi Tuna Poke at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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

Caesar Salad at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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

BBQ Grilled Shrimp at the Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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

Ribeye Steak at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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

House Wines at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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

Dessert! Classic Cheesecake with berries, whipped cream, and a double espresso (not pictured) at the Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl  (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

7:45pm Dinner completed. Time to find our seats for the show!

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

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

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Beethoven at the Hollywood Bowl! Box Seats! Life is Good!

We went to the Hollywood Bowl again last night! – Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – sign on the hill (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – entrance and box office (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – Bowl Store (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – Search and Turnstyle (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – escalator going up (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – dining al fresco on the patio (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – are you ready for some Beethoven? (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

It was a warm Los Angeles summer evening, and after enjoying a wonderful middle eastern picnic and a little red wine:

On The Menu: Shwarma sandwich (pita stuffed with lamb/turkey meat, rice, hummus, taboule, avocado, tahini and spicy sauce), baby carrots, celery, cheese & crackers, watermelon, strawberries, cherries, red grapes, white peach slices, coke and red wine.

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – picnic dinner (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I sat in my Box Seat listening to Gustavo Dudamel conduct the L.A. Philharmonic through  Beethoven’s Concerto in C Major for Violin, Cello and Piano and then the 5th Symphony. The Capucon brothers and Jean-Yves Thibaudet were tremendous! And from the opening notes of the 5th, it was a robust and wonderful rendition of one of Ludwig’s finest.

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – warm summer night (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – the program and ticket (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

And while sitting there enjoying the concert, relaxed, fully sated and comfortably entertained, I gave thanks for my good fortune and the fact that no one was shooting rockets at me, and thought “Life is good.”

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – Behave yourself, you’ve been warned! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Don’t you wish this happened in everyday real life? People might behave better…

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Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl Parking – going home (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 

Hollywood Bowl with Joshua Bell & Friends!

Hollywood Bowl with Joshua Bell & Friends!

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Tuesday night in Los Angeles? How about a concert at the Hollywood Bowl?

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Arrive Very Early! Get parking or take the Shuttle, Allow plenty of time and avoid the rush. Don’t be the latecomer just starting your picnic when the concert starts! Proper Hollywood Bowl etiquette is FINISH your dinner BEFORE the start of the show!

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

We had Box Seats and brought a picnic dinner. The boxes are nice because they provide a fold-down table for dining which they will remove before the concert begins. Two things about dining in the box: you’ll be at a different level than your table partner because of the raked theater seating and the boxes are tight and a little close quarters. It can be difficult to maneuver, but the canvas seats in the boxes are so much better than the benches (even with a cushion). Note: They recently replaced all the old wood benches with new stadium benches, and there are also a couple non-box sections with stadium seating.

The Hollywood Bowl is fully accessible for guests with special needs, just be aware of the steep hillside terrain and large crowds that can at times be difficult to navigate.

The best dining option at the Hollywood Bowl is to bring your own picnic dinner. They even let you bring wine, beer, and other beverages for the classical concerts, but you should always check because they have restriction and are pretty strict about them at the rock and family events, and at big events where they are selling alcohol.

They also have a sit down outdoor patio restaurant, Patina at the Bowl, but you’ll need a reservation in advance! And they have concession stands that serve overpriced snack food and drinks, alcohol service varies.

TIP: You can park and picnic at the Ford Theatre across Highland when they don’t have a conflicting event. Or, the best place to picnic is at the top of the Bowl! Ride the escalators all the way up to the picnic area with tables, benches, and a great view of the city. Seating is first come, first served so arrive early and allow time for parking, walking and dining!

ON THE MENU: Lamb/Turkey Shwarma, rice, hummus, tabouli, falafel, pita bread, tahini and hot sauce, baby carrots, avocado, string cheese, sweet potato tortilla chips, cherries, an apple, Hershey’s chocolate bar, red wine, Pellegrino water, and a coke.

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

We like to bring too much food and take home the leftovers. It’s also nice because you can share your food with total strangers while you picnic. We ordered dinner from California Mediterranean Cafe and packed the sides, dessert and beverages from home. As I mentioned dining in the box can be difficult, but after going to the Bowl for years, it’s a practiced affair. Dinner was good. I was hungry. We finished eating, and put the food away.  They took away the garbage and the folding tables as the orchestra was tuning up.

Every show at the Hollywood Bowl begins with “The Star Spangled Banner”, and it’s okay to sing along, most people do it badly…

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Moon Over the Hollywood Bowl – “The Star Spangled Banner” (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Singing “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The program was Joshua Bell & Friends:

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The weather was perfect. Not hot, nice breeze, not too cold. Perfect. The concert was good. A little too much “slow sleepy music” and not enough flourish on the pieces. The L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra is always great! The choice of the pieces and the flow of the show was a little “jerky”. Glenn Close singing two of the pieces was a nice touch, the Eleanor Rigby with Frankie Moreno from Vegas was different but very entertaining, and the quartet with Joshua Bell and Time for Three was just plain cool. The classical pieces were played and conducted well and the concert was very enjoyable.

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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

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Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Going Home at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The 90th Party at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles

Party Time Roaring 20’s Style to Celebrate the 90th Birthday of the beautiful and historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel (originally named the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel) is a luxury hotel located on Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles. At its grand opening in 1923, the Los Angeles Biltmore was the largest hotel west of Chicago.  In 1969 the Biltmore Hotel was designated a Historic-Cultural Monument by the City of Los Angeles.  Since 2009, it has operated as the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lobby and Reception:

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Bar:

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Fine Detail and Original Restoration:

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Grand Corridor:

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

 

The Party Theme was Roaring 20’s and guests were instructed to dress the period or wear black and white.  After checking in we were greeted by a 1927 Automobile (have your picture taken!) and waitstaff with trays of champagne and sparkling water.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

 

I arrived a little early, the ballroom was beautiful and the Dean Morro Orchestra was the evening’s entertainment.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Artifacts and Biltmore History were displayed for guests:

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Let the festivities begin!

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Two costumed couples were hired to dance and provide “atmosphere”.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There was Singing! (and some truly great music!)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There was Dancing! (Everybody Charleston!)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

And there was lots of Great Food, Champagne and an Open Bar!

Tray passed appetizers: California crab cakes on slider buns and Prime rib on sourdough with horseradish. Then buffet stations! Asian food: veggie springrolls, duck pancakes, and seafood lo mein; Seafood: Salmon-sour cream-caviar on potato pancakes and LOBSTER in martini glasses; New England Clam Chowder in a hollowed out bread roll, Beef short rib with polenta, leg of lamb with risotto; And The Dessert Table: chocolate cake, lemon cake, cake pops, petit fours, (tray passed by the executive chef a chocolate cigar filled with ganache), sugared donuts, coffee, champagne and an open bar. I tried a little bit of every food dish, but skipped dessert and only a had half a donut, one bite of the cigar and only two Grey Goose and 7up.

Salmon with sour cream and caviar on a potato pancake:

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lobster in a Martini Glass with a slice of lemon

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Asian Food: veggie springrolls and crispy duck (seafood lo mein not pictured)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Beef Short Rib with Polenta and shaved black truffle

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Leg of Lamb with risotto and mint jelly

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Dessert Table

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Root Beer Float!

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Donuts and Coffee

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Rendezvous Court (once it was the original hotel lobby):

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Meanwhile back at the Bar:

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA

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