The Hollywood community’s relationship with Los Angeles’ downtown culture scene has always been tenuous, a fact that was readily apparent in the campaign to build the Walt Disney Concert Hall.Despite the Disney imprimatur, support from the rest of the entertainment industry was skimpy. Nonetheless, the gorgeous, Frank Gehry-designed $274 million edifice got built (it opened last week) and, as a token of inclusion, the Disney Hall even trotted out Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks to help perform the introductions. The Disney people also scheduled a sort of Hollywood Night, featuring scores from some classic movies conducted in part by John Williams. Will there be a rapprochement between Hollywood and downtown? Other than Spielberg and Hanks, the superstar turnout at the opening was minimal. Further, a disastrously inadequate amplification system muffled the speeches as well as the solos by Brian Stokes Mitchell, Josh Groban and Audra McDonald. Clearly, the people who run the Disney Hall need a lesson in showbiz if they hope to tap into the resources and talent of Hollywood.
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