The Los Angeles Philharmonic made the announcement we have been waiting for all pandemic: the Hollywood Bowl is opening back up to live audiences. While the Phil did a good job of remaining relevant during COVID, curating an archival series for PBS and putting on new performances in their excellent Sound/Stage series on YouTube, all of us who have been going to the Hollywood Bowl for years know there is nothing like a summer night under the stars listening to world class music with your friends, a picnic meal, and a bottle (or two) of wine. The Bowl opens this Saturday, May 15, at 8 pm when Gustavo Dudamel leads the Philharmonic in concert, the first of five events in May and June that offered by invitation only to healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers; you can mitigate your FOMO by viewing the livestream on the Bowl’s website. The general public will be able to purchase tickets for shows beginning with the Fireworks Spectacular featuring Kool and the Gang and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra with Principal Conductor Thomas Wilkins on July 3 & 4.

The season includes 14 LA Phil programs conducted by Dudamel,as well as another 8 led by guests, includig John Williams (September 4-6). Jazz is well-represented, including such favorites as Kamasi Washington (July 18) and Herbie Hancock (September 26th). Returning traditions include Reggae Night XIX with Ziggy Marley and the Wailing Souls (August 1) and the Sing-A-Long Sound of Music with host Melissa Peterman (August 21). Other films to be screened with live orchestra include Black Panther (September 10-12) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (September 17th), while the great Viola Davis will narrate Peter and the Wolf on July 14th. Brittany Howard makes her Bowl debut on September 18th. For the full schedule and ticket information (including COVID restrictions, visit the Hollywood Bowl online.

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