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.
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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.