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Getting Back to the Beatles at the Bowl

Where were you when the Beatles were still together?

Probably here, there and everywhere. And for one balmy evening, the Hollywood Bowl was full of people who were tempted to remember where they were in their lives when the Beatles were big.

The occasion was the bowl’s 78th season opening-night gala Friday, “Roll Over Beethoven--It’s Beatles Music,” which was a fund-raiser for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn.'s summer educational and community programs at the bowl.

Fab Four producer Sir George Martin conducted the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra along with the Bangles, which reunited for the concert, Brad Delp of Boston, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers of the Police, Trevor Rabin of Yes, Peter Case of the Plimsouls, Adam Duritz of Counting Crows and violinist Pip Clark.

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OK, so the bowl wasn’t quite the screamfest it was when KRLA-AM imported the Beatles for their first L.A. appearance 35 years ago. (And by the way, we’d like to take this opportunity to say, bless you, former KRLA deejay Bob Eubanks for mortgaging your home in Woodland Hills to help bring them out, a bit of trivia we learned from your former colleague Johnny Lang of concert sponsor KRTH-FM [101.1]. That makes up for years of “The Newlywed Game” right there.)

But who could blame concert emcee Michael York and his wife, Pat, for reminiscing about the actor’s gig playing sitar with George Harrison in a Bombay studio? For Movieline publisher Anne Volokh, who first heard the Beatles over Voice of America beamed to her native Russia, memories of the Beatles’ heyday reminded her of how things are getting better all the time.

“The charm of having come from a country with many limitations is that you are happy on more occasions here, for reasons Americans take for granted all the time,” said Volokh, who’s on the bowl gala committee.

For Duritz, who sang “She’s Leaving Home,” the concert was an opportunity to sit at the feet of a god of the music industry. “George Martin is just real nice. He’d scold me a little bit now and then: ‘Now Ad, we can’t really play it any faster, so you’ll have to slow down a bit.’ Following a baton and an orchestra is really hard. It turned out what I needed was the harp. I’ve never asked for more harp before.”

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Backstage, we caught up with another big Martin fan, a guy who introduced himself as Mike Myers “from Toronto, Canada.” Oh, that one. Anyway, Myers confirmed that he found the concert sufficiently shagadelic.

“It’s very cool. I’m a huge Beatles fan. My parents were born in Liverpool, so I thought I was related to the Beatles growing up.”

Geez, who would have known?

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When an uber actor like Al Pacino makes his stage debut in L.A., it’s like July 4th for Hollywood. So it shouldn’t be surprising that the opening night of Eugene O’Neill’s “Hughie” at the Mark Taper Forum lured a lobby full of marquee names--Gary Oldman, Patrick Stewart, Adam Goldberg, Jimmy Smits, Oliver Stone and Camryn Manheim.

“It’s rare to see theater like this out here,” said Don Cheadle. Oh, yes, something else got him out of the house on a Sunday evening: “the free tickets.” With a sunny Southern California welcome like that, the New York-based Pacino is mulling the possibility of encores on the L.A. stage.

“I would like to come here and do two or three plays in a kind of repertoire,” said Pacino, surrounded by well-wishers at the after-party hosted by Venice magazine outside Traxx restaurant in Union Station. “Today, of course, with movies you go to locations. In the old days, actors did plays and traveled around.”

Of course, it’s comfier to move your home around. Pacino says he has a lot of friends here, and he’s reportedly dating Beverly D’Angelo, who left the party with him. “I have an office here, and I have from time to time looked for a house. It’s possible I will buy something here,” he said.

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The late costume designer Howard Crabtree wasn’t the only genius responsible for the extraordinary look of his cross-dressing off-Broadway musical “Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly.” At the West Coast premiere at the Coronet Theatre on Saturday, company member Jim J. Bullock told us who put the quoi in the je ne sais quoi of his fabulous stage makeup: Tammy Faye Bakker, Bullock’s former TV talk-show co-host.

What were Tammy’s tips?

“More is more,” Bullock said. “There’s not one time I put makeup on where I wear as much as she does in real life. Not even when I play Bette Davis. But that’s Tammy.”

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Irene Lacher’s Out & About column column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on Page 2. She can be reached by e-mail at socalliving@latimes.com.


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