Event Preview: MOVIE NIGHTS AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL (Great Films Live in Concert)

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by Tony Frankel on July 19, 2018

in Film,Theater-Los Angeles


You want something out of this world? Something you can really chomp on? Something that will sound even better on another inspection? Something that’s completely magic? Well, grease up your lederhosen, because here comes Movie Nights at the Hollywood Bowl, 2018.

Because of his indelible film scores, tallying 51 Academy Award nominations, John Williams is ageless. So it seems incredible that he has been appearing at the Hollywood Bowl for four decades this year. (His first appearance occurred as a last-minute sub for Arthur Fiedler.) Even more incredible is that he’s been composing for over 60 years, giving us some of the most beloved and identifiable film scores of all time, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List, the first two Home Alone films, the first two Jurassic Park films, and the first three Harry Potter films. And did you know Williams wrote the recognizable theme music for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games? And that cool, jazzy, space-age theme to TV’s Lost in Space that I loved hearing week after week? Williams.

Of course he wouldn’t miss his own 40th anniversary, so Maestro Williams, a native of Los Angeles, is returning to the Bowl on Labor Day weekend, conducting music from his iconic films — including some with clips — while David Newman kicks it off with other classic scores. (I just saw Williams conducting at The Oscar Concert this year, and at 86 he remains positively indefatigable.)

Until then, catch some films shown in full on the Bowl’s giant screen with an orchestra performing the score live. This year has Williams’ Oscar-winning scores for Jaws (July 20 & 21 at 8pm) and Star Wars: A New Hope (August 7 & 10 at 8pm) and his Oscar-nominated score for the best of all six films in the Star Wars saga: The Empire Strikes Back (August 9 & 11 at 8pm); and Henry Mancini’s timeless, jazzy score for The Pink Panther (August 8 at 8pm), which concerns Inspector Clouseau’s bumbling adventure.

Things get bloody good this Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21, 2018, with the cult classic of cinema that still to this day continues to frighten and excite viewers. Jaws is one of those movies that you can watch hundreds maybe even thousands of times and the more you watch it, it gets better. So imagine it on the big screen with the score played live by Mr. Newman. Start with the perfect triumvirate of men facing their fears: Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) scared of the sea; Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) who needs to prove his knowledge of elasmobranch fish; and Quint (Robert Shaw), a war veteran-cum-sea captain. Then join them on a voyage to kill a man-eating modern-day Moby Dick with fangs. The film finds the perfect balance of being terrifying without being unbelievable. Jaws had people afraid to go into the water for years, and even to this day I’m sure it still has the same effect.

Here’s some advice while watching: Remember to look down from the screen (difficult I know) and notice how much work goes into the music-making, and the way that conductors have to follow a click-track. It will surely give you greater insight into this popular art form.

And what would the summer be without a Sing-a-long? I know it sounds corny to say this, but the Sing-a-long Sound of Music last year immediately become one of my favorite things. It sounds dreadful to some, but the audience participation becomes a glance at community togetherness that is inspiring. Do give it a try.

photos courtesy of LA Phil

Jaws – in Concert
Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21 at 8
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
David Newman, conductor

Star Wars: A New Hope – in Concert
Tuesday and Friday, August 7 & 10 at 8
Los Angeles Philharmonic
David Newman, conductor

The Pink Panther – in Concert
Wednesday, August 8, at 8
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Thomas Wilkins, conductor

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – in Concert
Thursday and Saturday, August 9 & 11 at 8
Los Angeles Philharmonic
David Newman, Conductor

John Williams: Maestro of the Movies
Friday & Saturday, August 31 & September 1 at 8
Sunday, September 2 at 7:30
Los Angeles Philharmonic
John Williams and David Newman, conductors

Sing-A-Long Sound of Music
Saturday, September 22, at 6pm (pre-show), 7:30pm (film)
Melissa Peterman, host

for info and tickets, visit The Hollywood Bowl

for a chance to win a contest for one score and one CD signed by John Williams,
visit Hollywood Bowl Facebook (entry deadline: Friday, July 20, 2018 at 3)

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