Sep 14, 2013
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A Big Picture: A Night at the Oscars at The Hollywood Bowl

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On Labor Day (also my cousin’s birthday), the LA on a Budget team joined me at A Big Picture: A Night at the Oscars, a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. The Hollywood Bowl is one of my favorite venues for concerts in the greater Los Angeles area – one has a great view of the Hollywood sign from this outdoor venue. It also is one of my favorite places to have my company business meetings (for those who don’t know, Steven and Golda both work for Vortex Entertainment Group). Who says you can’t have some fun while discussing business matters?

The group usually purchases cheaper tickets and sits in the back, but we can still hear and see the stage really well from these seats. At several of the concerts we have been to, we have been able to sit together – even if our tickets were for different sections – because there were a lot of available seats. At this event, this would have been more difficult to do, as seating was sold out for the night. I am not surprised!

Mary McDonnell, who you might know from Dancing with Wolves, was our host of the evening. We witnessed her present the music from the buffalo hunt scene in the movie while wearing the exact same costume she wore in the film. “It still fits,” she said with a smile. She gave some behind-the-scenes insight into how Kevin Costner (director and actor in the film) fell off his horse and got right back on to finish the scene. What a trooper!

David Newman, son of Alfred Newman, was conducting the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra for the evening. I can’t imagine how it must have felt for David to conduct music – his father won an Oscar for – from the movie Airport. Seems “music genius” runs in the family!

Other film music that was featured included: Jaws (introduced with the words “you’re gonna need a bigger boat”), King Kong, Up, Casablanca, and To Kill a Mockingbird. As the live music was played, four high definition LED screens lit up with the associated movie scenes. The audience can hear how much the music impacts how these movies touched our hearts.

My friend Steven and I were particularly captivated during the Bullitt iconic car chase scene. There were two reasons for this: a) Steven is a film editor and the scene is noteworthy for Frank P. Keller‘s editing and b) Steven used to live in San Francisco, CA – a city I visited frequently – where this scene was filmed. I tried to recognize the streets and Steven commented that they filmed part of the scene a block away from where his parents live.

Just when I thought the night couldn’t get any better, after the encore, the screen lit up again with Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while the live orchestra played. Judy Garland is one of my music idols so this was a perfect ending to the evening for me.

On our way to the car, promotional cards were being handed out for those interested in purchasing tickets for the Danny ElfmanMusic from the Films of Tim Burton concert! This was strangely coincidental because I had commented shortly before that I wished some of the other film composers, like Danny Elfman, would perform live. I already got my tickets for the Halloween performance, a pre-birthday gift to myself.

QUESTION FOR READERS: Who is your favorite film composer and why?

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