ARTS & CULTURE

Hollywood Bowl's 2015 season strives to offer something for everyone

Los Angeles Philharmonic expected to announce a particularly diverse Hollywood Bowl season

The Hollywood Bowl is going especially big — and broad — this summer.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Philharmonic is expected to announce a 2015 lineup that is particularly diverse, in keeping with the Bowl's longtime philosophy of offering a little something for everyone.

The season includes classical concerts with notable soloists and A-list conductors such as Yuja Wang, Joshua Bell, Bramwell Tovey and Nicholas McGegan; jazz and rock legends Buena Vista Social Club, Herbie Hancock and Heart; Broadway star Audra McDonald; British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran; the musical comedy "Spamalot"; and scores performed live during screenings of "E.T.," "Back to the Future" and "2001: A Space Odyssey."

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"Harry Connick Jr. is this great and beloved performer who is starting to span a wide range of generations," Gail Samuel, the L.A. Phil's chief operating officer, said of the Bowl's guest for July 10 and 11. "And Buena Vista Social Club, it's their adios tour, so it's the last time we can expect to see them here — or anywhere. I think that'll be a very special night."

Perennial favorite Wang, who toured with the L.A. Phil last year, kicks off the Classical Tuesdays and Thursdays series July 7. She will play Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2, conducted by Lionel Bringuier. Violinist Bell will make his L.A. Phil conducting debut Aug. 11 and on the same evening will play Bruch's Concerto No. 1.

McDonald, who appeared at Walt Disney Concert Hall last year, will sing Broadway and American songbook classics at the Bowl on Sept. 3, sharing the stage with the American Ballet Theatre.

L.A. Phil music director Gustavo Dudamel will conduct six Bowl concerts this season, one more than last year. He will helm evenings of choral work ("Carmina Burana," July 21 and 23), an all-Mendelssohn program including music for Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (July 28) and a night of Mozart (July 30), plus the Tchaikovsky Spectacular with fireworks (July 24 and 25).

The new season has a significantly increased film presence. The Bowl has a long tradition of movie-themed programming, including "The Sound of Music" sing-alongs held every year since 2007 and regular screenings of Warner Bros. cartoon shorts to live orchestral accompaniment. On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the Bowl this year will screen "Back to the Future" on June 30, with David Newman conducting Alan Silvestri's score; Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" on Aug. 18, with Brad Lubman conducting the score (in its entirety, unlike in previous years when only parts of the film were shown); and "E.T." on Sept. 4 to 6, with the L.A. Phil performing the score by John Williams, who will introduce the film.

"It's a trend in the industry — film projects where the score is played by a live orchestra. You see a lot more of that at festivals," Samuel said. "With the huge screen we have now and high-definition capabilities, we want to show these iconic, beloved films in their entirety."

Fans of Julie Andrews, fear not: "The Sound of Music" sing-along will take place June 26, followed by an Aug.13 program of Tan Dun scores for three martial arts movies, including "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." The show "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony: 25th Anniversary" will be Aug. 14 and 15.

Other highlights include Sheeran on June 24; Seattle songsmith group Death Cab for Cutie, on tour for its new album, "Kintsugi," on July 12; the Monty Python musical comedy "Spamalot," an adaptation of the 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," July 31 to Aug 2; and Grace Jones performing a mix of new wave, world beats and disco with Baltimore's Future Islands on Sept. 27.

The Bowl's jazz series will include John Fogerty on July 15 as well as Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea and Béla Fleck, and Cecile McLorin Salvant on Sept. 16.

As part of the Bowl's Weekend Spectaculars series, '70s rock 'n' roller Heart will appear Aug. 21 and 22; Gregory Porter will open for Diana Krall on Aug. 28 and 29; and the high-energy party pop of the B-52s will top off the series Sept. 11 and 12.

And, of course, there will be a July 4 Fireworks Spectacular. This year it's with Smokey Robinson and running July 2 to 4.

"What I love about this season is it's a great mix of some amazing artists who haven't been here for a while, like Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Grace Jones, combined with some interesting, really established artists who haven't ever been here at all, like Heart, [singer-songwriter] David Gray and [organist] Cameron Carpenter," Samuel said.

Samuel noted that seating renovations at the venue will be completed, important given that the summer rituals of packing a picnic dinner to eat under the stars or sharing a bottle of wine in a box seat can be as much a part of the experience as the music. Last year the benches were redone; this season the Bowl will have new box seats, with stainless steel and wood siding and new furniture inside.

"There's this great range in how to experience the Hollywood Bowl — it's so personal, everyone has their own traditions," Samuel said. "But what we strive for is that everyone in the community feels like there's something for them."

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