Hollywood Bowl audiences this summer will voyage into the romantic past with "West Side Story" and "Tosca," both led by Gustavo Dudamel, while also blasting off into the future, preferably at light speed, with music from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" conducted by John Williams.
The Bowl is expected to announce its new season Tuesday, and the lineup is strong on movies and theater — a decision that the L.A. Philharmonic said was a nod to popular tastes.
"We find those visual elements have been working really well at the Bowl. People enjoy what they bring to the performance," said Gail Samuel, executive director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. The orchestra oversees programming and jointly manages the county-owned outdoor venue.
The season will include "A Chorus Line" (July 29-31), a fully staged production that follows the Bowl's presentation of "Spamalot" in 2015 and "Hair" in 2014.
The 2009 reboot of "Star Trek" (July 8 and 9) will screen with a live soundtrack accompaniment by the L.A. Philharmonic. Last season, the orchestra performed live during screenings of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial."
The summer slate also features Culture Club and Boy George in an unorthodox pairing with the L.A. Phil and a 15-person band (Aug. 26 and 27). The L.A. Phil said it approached the British pop group famous for "Karma Chameleon" and "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" about appearing in concert.
"We've been talking about it for a few years," Samuel said. "One of the things we can do at the Bowl is give them the opportunity to work with a full orchestra."
Opening night on June 18 will feature Steely Dan, with founders Walter Becker and Donald Fagan. The annual July 4 fireworks spectacular (July 2-4) will include the rock band Chicago and the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West.
Other season highlights include a concert collaboration between the orchestra and Shakespeare's Globe of London (Aug. 30 and Sept. 1) to mark the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death. Actors will recite some of the Bard's verse, while the orchestra will play music inspired by his plays. The innovative Handspring Puppet Co. also will collaborate on a concert (Aug. 4).
The season will feature performances by such notable soloists as pianists Lang Lang (July 12) and Yuja Wang (July 21) and cellist Gautier Capucon (Sept. 13). Yo-Yo Ma will appear with the Silk Road Ensemble in a concert (Aug. 21) of world music.
Williams will conduct the L.A. Philharmonic in the score for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," for which he received his 50th Academy Award nomination, as well as selections from other "Star Wars" movies (Sept. 2-4). The concerts will also feature conductor David Newman leading the orchestra in more soundtrack classics.
Williams is no stranger to the Bowl. He previously conducted there in 2014 in a concert series of his movie music, including "Superman," "Jurassic Park" and "Star Wars." In December, the composer said in an interview with The Times that he "felt a renewed energy, and a vitality, and a freshness" in creating music for "The Force Awakens."
Dudamel will conduct several concerts throughout the summer, including performances of "West Side Story" (July 14 and 19) and "Tosca" (July 24).
He will also lead a program (Aug. 2) of Latin music that will include the world premiere of a guitar concerto by "Mission: Impossible" composer Lalo Schifrin. "Concierto de la Amistad" will be performed by soloist Angel Romero.
Pop performances will include Sigur Rós (Sept. 24), Diana Ross (July 15 and 16) and Gladys Knight (Aug. 3). As previously announced, Jeff Lynne's ELO will make a series of appearances (Sept. 9 to 11), with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra led by Thomas Wilkins.
"Weird Al" Yankovic will get his own concert series (July 22 and 23). The man famous for parodying pop songs previously appeared at the Bowl in 2014 during a tribute to "The Simpsons."