Tag Archives: hollywood bowl

A Pictures-palooza From the Last Month – Pt 1

Normally, I’d insist on showing absolutely every picture I took….but I realize that will take a lot of time and effort.  So we’ll have to do a bit of editing, although I’m pretty sure it’ll still look as if I posted every picture I took.  What can you do?

It has been a busy month or so, since last I posted, whether it was work or vacation.  Work was especially intense and I can actually see a finish line for this engagement, if that can be believed. Probably shouldn’t jinx myself though, so I’ll leave it at that.

Sat, May 27, 2017: Starting Memorial Day Weekend with La La Land @ the Bowl

During Memorial Day weekend, Larry & I were heading out to New Jersey & NYC to spend the week with friends and family and to be able to attend our niece’s baby naming ceremony.  But before we headed back, I had bought us tickets to the La La Land in Concert @ the Hollywood Bowl….and it was great and a wonderful way to kick off the Hollywood Bowl season.  The kicker in this concert was that the orchestra would play the entire soundtrack while the movie played, and for this, they also included a jazz band, and there was a fantastic piano player who quite deftly played all the Sebastian music.  Pretty great experience, and aided by fireworks that kicked in at various moments in the movie.  Gotta love fireworks!

Sun, May 28:  Flying to Newark

Happily, flying out of LAX in the middle of a long holiday weekend isn’t a complete shitshow, and even while you can’t ever escape traffic at the terminal, we were still able to get in and to the gate pretty easily.  Pro-Tip:  Get yourself Pre-Check.  Everything is easier once that’s accomplished.

I liked these pictures I took right after take-off, looking back at Los Angeles and the area around Rancho Palos Verdes.

That first night, we got picked up by Fran & Joel and hung out at their place, eating some delicious New Jersey pizza.  Then it was time to pass out and hope we could get some sleep.

Mon, May 29:  A Day with Jon, Alyssa, Stacey & Rachel

Our first full day back was going to be spent with the Rausches as we never get to see them.  Plus, the baby naming ceremony for Rachel was the following weekend and that was going to be a hectic, stressful day for them.  So here, we could just relax and have a nice day.    Which we totally did, as we hung out at their house for a while, chatting, having a few drinks, eating lunch, and getting to play with Stacey & Rachel.  We then went to the local zoo!  It may have been kind of dreary and rainy, but it was still fun.  It was back to the house for some more Lego Batman movie watching and games directed by Stacey before we then went to a wonderful dinner with just Jon & Alyssa as Fran & Joel picked up babysitting duties.  In other words, it was a really fun day.

Tues, May 30 – Larry’s Birthday!

So this day was a day with Fran in NYC as well as us starting a temporary hotel stay in the city for a few days to be tourists and enjoy the old neighborhoods a bit.  First on the agenda was heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the UES, as hello, it’s awesome there.  After Fran fearlessly navigated her way there – btw, the city seems to be a whole lot more crowded as lots of streets are under refurbishment? – we walked the few blocks to the Met and took in a few exhibits before heading to the roof.  It’s got a spectacular view of Midtown framed by a tree-top view of Central Park.  See for yourself!

We then had lunch at the Atlantic Grill, which was the restaurant that Larry literally lived right above when he used to live on 76th St.  When you’d walk up to his place, you’d walk right by the windows of the restaurant that faced his building’s little courtyard.  So we were back!  It’s a great seafood restaurant and was a very nice way to celebrate his birthday.

At this point, Fran dropped us off over on the UWS as she headed back to New Jersey, and we then grabbed an Uber to take us to our hotel in Chelsea, the Hyatt House.  It was a fairly new building with just a few rooms per floor as the building is quite narrow, and it didn’t seem very crowded.  Also, it’s in a great location as you’re near Midtown but not quite in it, while also handy to a few subway lines.  Anyway, after checking in and getting settled, we had a show to catch, as Fran had gotten us tickets to see “Kinky Boots” on Broadway.  It’s a fun show about a British shoe company that is down on its luck until it realizes there’s a market for drag queen shoes.  It’s an enjoyable, fun musical with some standout performances, notably by the main queen, Lola, as well as the young owner of the shoe factory, played here by the lead singer of Panic! at the Disco.  A lot of catchy numbers made for a very fun show – definitely recommended.

Afterwards, we walked over to Hell’s Kitchen to grab a meal at one of our favorite places, Five Napkin Burger…so goood.

Sound of Music Sing-A-Long vs Me on Jeopardy!

Larry edited my chat with Alex and we tweeted it over to the flamazing host of the Hollywood Bowl Sound of Music Sing-A-Long, Melissa Peterman….and she responded!

So yeah, I’m ready for my second round of fame due to my Jeopardy Experience.  It’s gonna happen.  My body is ready.  Regardless of any of that, still very excited to go again this year.

Hollywood Bowl Double Header: West Side Story + Diana Ross

Concert #1 – West Side Story @ the Hollywood Bowl, July 14, 2016

Larry & I were super-ambitious with our Hollywood Bowl ticket selections this year.  We had once sworn off weeknight Bowl concerts as they can be kind of exhausting to go to after a day of work.  But we went for it anyway, picking a Thursday night concert performance of West Side Story, which my mom also came with us to see.  Everything honestly worked out great for the most part, except damn, Thursday night traffic was ludicrously bad.  Like, the worst I’ve seen it.  It honestly took us almost an hour on the bus to go from the LA Zoo parking lot over to the Bowl, and that’s INSANE.  Look at the distance on the map and you’ll realize why that’s insane.

As for the show, none of us were quite sure what to expect.  Our experiences with movies at the Bowl have been different, with the Hitchcock experience being various scenes from his film accompanied by their even more-famous scores, E.T. being a straight-up watching of the movie while listening to the orchestra play the soundtrack, to of course John Williams’ music being highlights from the various movies he’s scored.  It ended up that West Side Story was that night going to be a performance of the songs, Broadway-style.  Although we learned later that only the rights to perform the songs had been acquired, but NOT the choreography, so no dancing.

In the end, it was a fantastic performance, with wildly talented performers in the main roles.  Jeremy Jordan, of both SMASH and Supergirl, was Tony, and he was awesome.  So were the people who played Maria, Anita, and Riff – and hearing “Dance at the Gym” performed live is always a thrill.  Just wish there had been dancing!

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Concert #2 – Diana Ross @ the Hollywood Bowl, July 15, 2016

The very next day, we were heading BACK to the Bowl for another concert.  Diana Ross isn’t someone I would necessarily have said I’d have wanted to see in concert, as I wasn’t even sure she still did tour.  This season’s pickings at the bowl were a little sparse, so we ended up just taking a chance on seeing if a true legend still had it.  Frankly, I wasn’t expecting much.  She’s 72, and I don’t expect people to still bring it like they would have in their 20s, 30s, or even 40s!  So how about I shut my damn whore mouth as Miss Diva fucking brought it.  She tore that house down, let me tell you, and I am so happy we made it to her show.

Diana Ross performed songs from her various eras, starting us off with some Supremes action, then proceeding into her disco fun, a small journey to Lady Sings the Blues, and then ending with some pure bliss.  Does she dance all across the stage?  Nope, but does she own every inch of it anyway?  YES.  Or as Ilana would say, Yas, Queen!  It was such a blast, she owned the crowd, and if you get the chance to catch her in concert, just do it and go.  It’s worth it.

Diana Ross @ the Hollywood Bowl Set List

Oh, btw, I created a setlist.fm account and created the setlist myself on that site this time as no one had done so yet.  So all props to ME.

  1. I’m Coming Out
  2. More Today Than Yesterday
  3. My World is Empty Without You
  4. Baby Love
  5. Stop! In the Name of Love
  6. Come See About Me
  7. You Can’t Hurry Love
  8. Touch Me in the Morning
  9. Love Child
  10. The Boss
  11. Upside Down
  12. Love Hangover
  13. Take Me Higher
  14. Ease on Down the Road
  15. Don’t Explain
  16. Good Morning Heartache
  17. Why Do Fools Fall in Love
  18. Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)
  19. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
  20. Encore: I Will Survive
  21. Encore 2: Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)
  22. I Will Survive (Reprise)

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Our Activity-Filled July 4 Weekend

It’s been one hell of a 4-day weekend – a much needed one, to be sure.  Today, the actual holiday of July 4, is probably going to be the most relaxing day of it all, and that’s absolutely perfect for us.  Stay a while, look at some pictures, as we’ve had some fun activities this weekend!

Friday, July 1

PwC gave us this day off, and after the one-two punch of Wednesday and Thursday, it was a nice luxury.  I made myself exercise in the morning, then I took care of some of the chores that had been backing up, including the sad one of sending off my MacBook Pro for reabsorption back in the Apple ecosystem.  I ended up trading it in for credit as I just do NOT use it anymore.  Well, it did have one lust hurrah for us as it served as the photo montage delivery system during our wedding reception, so thank you MBP!   But alas, your time finally came.


I didn’t do too much exciting stuff though beyond just getting some other shit done at home, as Larry had to work.  But we had activities galore planned for the weekend, so Friday didn’t need to be nuts.  We did get some Din Tai Fung though, so it was a nice capper to the day.

Saturday, July 2

Mom was going to be coming over in the afternoon today as we had tickets to see Beautiful at the Pantages that night, but in the afternoon, Larry and I had tickets to the Rain Room.  So off we went for some culture at LACMA.  We ended up going this day as that was when I could get tickets at a decent time – the Rain Room is quite a hot ticket to get, much like the Infinite Stars thing at the Broad.   One day we’ll hope to be back there and see that.  Anyway, we headed to LACMA and had some fun at our museum stomping grounds, first taking in the Metropolis II exhibit.  It’s always fun to see it and we got there right when it started up.

2016 07 02 – Revisiting Metropolis II at the LACMA

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It was a beautiful day for the LACMA, that’s for sure.  This weekend was happily not one of those insane 100-degree onslaughts!

So, off to the Rain Room, which is a relatively new installation that has you walk into a room with rain falling, with the key twist being that as you walk, the rain clears so you don’t get wet.  In theory.  You are instructed to walk quite slowly, but even moving slowly, you’re gonna get dripped on.  It is a pretty neat thing to do though.  I took some pictures and videos, which you can see here.

2016 07 02 – Rain Room at the LACMA

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After the Rain Room, we did catch the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition, which was tied with the Men’s Fashion exhibit.  Quite a lot of interesting stuff there.

It was time to head home after that, get the room ready for mom, and then order dinner so we could eat before the show.  Chinese food always does the trick.  Mom got over to our place, we got our food, and then it was off to the Pantages area.  We ended up parking at a new lot as surprisingly, the lot we had been using the previous few times is now under development!  Another tower is likely coming in, but the new lot was a happy surprise and pretty easy to get in and out of.  ANYWAY, the show:  Beautiful.  It’s the story of Carole King’s life and professional career told through the songs that she wrote, along with songs she wrote with her one-time husband Gerry Goffin, and also with songs written by two of her peers and rivals from the era, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.  The combination of all these fantastic songs led to it being a wonderful show, while also providing an interesting insight into what was going on when these songs were being written.  I was actually very interested to discover the existence of Mann & Weil, and they are behind some of the other huge hits from the era.  Seeing their competitive nature while also being friends was a lot of fun.  Also, the relationship between Carole and Gerry was fascinating to behold, while also kind of sad.  The music though…so good.

2016 07 02 – Beautiful at the Pantages

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July 3 – Our 22,000 Day

This was an exhausting day – but a lot of fun.  We started it off with saying good bye to Mom as she headed home and up to Helen’s.  After she left, we changed and went for our Sunday Griffith Park run, with me knocking out another 6.2 miles and Larry with 8.74.  Show off.  With that out of the way, we considered staying in until going out for the evening, but I wanted to get some stuff at Target and then we thought about finally spending some of our wedding gift cards at Macy’s to get some new bedding.  And boy, did we.  It was really nice to get a new duvet, two new sets of sheets, 2 much-needed new pillows for Larry….and then to realize we walked there.  So yeah, we then had to schlep all that stuff back home on foot.   FUN.

Finally for the day though, we had tickets to see Chicago at the Hollywood Bowl!  The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Air Force Golden Band of the West were the openers though and played some American band standards, and even did a salute for the military, playing all the military service songs, asking for those members to stand.  So I got to stand for the US Air Force song!  It’s been awhile.

After the intermission, Chicago came out and Larry was in heaven.  They put on a fantastic concert, which we were well aware of having seen them a few years back at the Greek when they performed with REO Speedwagon.   It did seem to be a shorter concert and/or setlist than the Greek show, but I’m not positive about that.  They ended for a moment to yield to the fireworks show, and came back to perform their closer, “25 or 6 to 4.”  I kind of thought there’d be more than that, but you don’t follow “25 or 6 to 4” with anything, so it was kind of clear that was the end.  With some credit to setlist.fm, here’s the setlist from the concert (although we had to edit it from there as it wasn’t really accurate as Ballet for a Girl… is inclusive of all those songs like listed below and the order wasn’t right; so what I’ve listed below is the accurate setlist):

Chicago, July 3 @ the Hollywood Bowl Setlist
  1. Introduction
  2. Questions 67 & 68
  3. Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon
    1.  Make Me Smile
    2. So Much to Say, So Much to Give
    3. Anxiety’s Moment
    4. West Virginia Fantasies
    5. Colour My World
    6. To Be Free
    7. Now More Than Ever
  4. Call on Me
  5. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
  6. Hard Habit to Break
  7. You’re the Inspiration
  8. Beginnings
  9. Just You ‘n’ Me
  10. Hard to Say I’m Sorry
  11. Saturday in the Park
  12. Feelin’ Stronger Every Day
  13. (After the Fireworks) 25 or 6 to 4

It was a fun concert, and absolutely packed!  It honestly surprised me how crowded it was, as I’ve only really seen those kinds of crowds when going to the Sound of Music sing-a-long.

So all that exercise, the shopping trip, and the Hollywood Bowl concert brought my stepcount for the day to over 22,000, which is pretty insane.  That’s a lot of movement.  We slept SOUNDLY last night in our new sheets.

2016 07 03 – Chicago at the Hollywood Bowl

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2016 07 03 – Fireworks!

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July 4 – Rest for the Weary

And now it’s today, and we have no plans.  We’re just fine with that.  Some laundry, some eating, some video games (I’m playing Rise of the Tomb Raider now and it’s fucking wonderful – and my computer handles it like a champ, thank you very much), hopefully watch last night’s episode of Big Brother, and then tomorrow, back to work!  🙂

A Front-Row Sound of Music Sing-A-Long!

People, I was BACK for this year’s Sound of Music Sing-A-Long at the Hollywood Bowl, unlike last year when I got scheduled for training in Dallas.  Let it be said that was all actually for the best, as I got to see my Dad and explore a little bit of Dallas.  I was totally ready for seeing 11/22/63 and finally understood the geography of that crazy area.  But I digress, as this is all about starting off our Hollywood Bowl season!

It’s weird that the SOM Sing-a-Long is on a Friday in June, when for so long it was a Saturday night in September, which made it much easier to get to.  It’s kind of a bitch to get to the Hollywood Bowl on a Friday night, justsayin.  Happily, we still just take the shuttle from the LA Zoo parking lot and it makes things much simpler.

Mila and Sveta were there this year, as were some of Mila’s friends and coworkers, Sonny, Ellen and Robin.  It was kind of jaw-dropping to see that we were headed right to the very front of the auditorium – like literally the front of the crowd.  It was awesome.  We got to see the costume contest in all its glory, and being that close felt like watching The Sound of Music in IMAX.  Loved it.

The costume contest winner ended up being this ridiculously adorable little girl dressed up as the Baroness – I think the cuteness was a good start, but the girl hit us all with a one-two punch with the “two” being when she dropped the line, “Haven’t you ever heard of this wonderful thing called boarding school?”  The Baroness’ most villainous line coming from this super cute little moppet won over not only those seek cuteness but also icy gays like myself who worship at the Baroness’ feet.

As for the movie, it was of course wonderful.  I had had a pretty stressful week and was in desperate need of something like this, which meant my weekend was not bad.  And I even avoided getting completely plastered like I did two years ago.  OOF.  I can still remember that.  Or I can still kinda remember that.

2016 Sound of Music Sing-A-Long @ The Hollywood Bowl – June 24, 2016

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