If you grow up in Los Angeles there is a good chance that you have made your way down Hollywood Blvd. and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You have also most likely compared your shoe size with plenty of Hollywood legends at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and your celebrity sightings might range from A-listers like Brad Pitt to actors turn politicians like Arnold Schwarzenegger. You have driven by celebrity hot spots like the Ivy and the Chateau Marmont. What you might not have done is spend some time at the Hollywood Bowl. That is simply a shame.
On any given summer night in Los Angeles you could drive up to the outskirts of the Hollywood Hills and be treated to a concert and a huge dose of Hollywood nostalgia. Sit in a box and look around at the who’s who of LA power brokers or find a bench and sprawl out your picnic dinner. You can walk in with your own food and drink and spend an evening having dinner before the show in the shadow of the Hollywood sign. The Bowl is simply a LA experience that is defined by great summer weather, a simple salad on a paper plate and a glass of wine in a throw away cup. It is casual elegance in the way you might see a guy in flip-flops sitting in an expensive box with a $200 bottle of wine or an elderly man with suit and tie at top of the Bowl with a small box of crackers, some cheese and a flask.
The Hollywood Bowl is all about summer. It is all about a little romance and a little journey into a Hollywood that still exist if only in our fantasies.
Find someone special. Pack a picnic and do it. Make it a date night. You might listen to classical music, the music of the movies, jazz or pop. The truth is the music is often secondary to the experience. The conductor might be John Williams, it might be Thomas Wilkins or if you are really lucky John Mauceri is making an appearance. Maybe it’s the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra or the LA Phil pumping out the sound but it won’t make a difference. When they play the Star Spangled Banner to start the show you’ll want to sing out loud and little bit of you will in that instant begin making plans to return. If you are lucky, the person next to you will want to return with you.
The Hollywood Bowl summer season lasts until September and tickets can be found for as little as $1. I would opt for the $8 seats with a bottle of Prosecco, some crackers and a triple cream Brie. It’s a cheap date night but one you will not soon forget. -Zeke Quezada