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The Valley Line: Bowl season opener is a smashing success

July 14, 2012|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Reba McEntire, left, and Julie Andrews flank Thomas Wilkins, guest Hollywood Bowl conductor, for the annual opening night gala at the Hollywood Bowl. McEntire was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame at the concert.
Reba McEntire, left, and Julie Andrews flank Thomas Wilkins,… (Courtesy of Mathew…)

I think summer has finally made it to our fair valley. It has been quite hot enough for me. How about you?

On Tuesday my neighborhood lost its power for about an hour. Of course I was working on my computer at the time. Suddenly, everything shut down. The monitor went blank and there was complete silence — no whirring of the machine, no voices telling me that I had mail. Even worse, the air conditioning stopped. I hope this isn't a preview of what we can expect from our power company when it gets hotter in the days to come, as it surely will.

I guess the one constant we can count on are cool evening concerts throughout our area to soothe our frazzled nerves. Such was the case on June 22, when the Hollywood Bowl held its annual opening-night gala. This is the 91st season for the venue, which is pretty darned impressive and such a grand Los Angeles tradition.

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There is such a magical cachet about going to the Bowl. It is part of the summertime fabric for Angelenos.

A bonus for the opening-night audience was the presentation of the 13th annual Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, which honored and inducted Reba McEntire, the “Queen of Country,” and Chaka Khan, the “Queen of Funk.”

The benefit concert raised more than $1 million for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's music education programs, which serves more than 120,000 youths, families and teachers every year.

Over the years there has been supportive participation of La Cañada Flintridge residents on the governing boards of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn., which also includes the Hollywood Bowl. Local residents currently serving on the board include Vicki McCluggage, Tony Cannon and Teena Hostovich.

There was such an air of excitement on opening night as concertgoers brought picnic baskets to spread out their feasts in several picnic areas while others dined using the tables in the premium, and coveted, box seats.

Many of the attendees that evening first gathered at a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception hosted by Wells Fargo in the shady special-event patio. They then moved to their seats within the Bowl, where they dined at tables with white linen tablecloths. The three-course gourmet dinner was prepared by Patina, and was accompanied by carefully selected wines.

Just as a lavender twilight was nestling into the Bowl, the program began with greetings from the stage by Thomas Wilkins, principal guest conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

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