James Galway, B.B. King, Liza Minnelli feted

HOLLYWOOD — Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl was hot in more ways than one, as Los Angeles temps soared to triple digits Friday while a sold-out crowd welcomed three new inductees to the Bowl Hall of Fame: James Galway, B.B. King and Liza Minnelli.

Patrons asked waiters to bring extra bowls of ice as members of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra performed under the even-hotter stage lights, directed by impeccably (and courageously) tuxedo-garbed Thomas Wilkins.

“If Tiger Woods was a flute player, he’d be Sir James Galway,” Wilkins said in introducing the flutist.

Minnelli said this was “the best night of my life. I remember sitting out there (in the Bowl aud) with my parents when I was 3 and it was Gershwin, and I thought, One day!”

Event benefited the L.A. Phil’s Music Matters education program, and the evening marked the 50th anni of rock at the Bowl, which was celebrated by Duane Eddy.

Also on hand for the night ending with a fireworks finale were Deborah Borda, prexy of the L.A. Phil Assn.; Mary-Louise Parker, Rainn Wilson and county supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

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