THAT ’70s SHOW
From Abba to opera, you come across just about everything at the Hollywood Bowl. But this year’s Hall of Fame night had a distinctly ‘70s feel. Malibu music man David Foster was on hand as disco diva Donna Summer was feted for musical contributions that defined a decade. Dave and Donna go way back. He was her collaborator and music producer in the days of mirrored balls and eight track tapes.
The evening kicked off with a VIP cocktail bash where LA Phil President Deborah Borda mingled with A-listers and civic leaders like Zev Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina. The outdoor patio had a sea-inspired theme decked out with colorful shells, white Phalaenopsis and crushed blue glass.
To mark the Hollywood Bowl’s 89th season, there were fascinating vintage photos on display celebrating memorable music moments from the 1920s to present day.
As the stars came out, guests made their way to their box seats where they tucked into a feast of summer vegetable salad, oak-grilled tri-tip with wild mushroom mousse and strawberry compote all courtesy of Patina’s Joachim Splichal.
The crowd got into a ‘70s groove with a few nostalgic numbers by Richard Carpenter, the surviving member of the famed bother and sister duo “The Carpenters.” The newest Hall of Fame inductee was joined by his late sister via video screen for sentimental favorites like “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “For All We Know.”
Donna Summer joined Richard for a duet of the 1971 chart-topper “Superstar,” before going on to perform a medley of her own hits, including “On the Radio,” “MacArthur Park” and “No More Tears (Enough is Enough).”
One of the evening’s honorees came from the world of classical music. Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet was also inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. He delighted music lovers with a rendition of George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” as well as the final movement of Ravel’s “Concerto in G.”
Together with Donna and Richard, he joins a varied and prestigious roster of Hall of Famers that includes Henry Mancini, Placido Domingo, Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks and Carlos Santana.
The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra led by Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins joined in the program as well as the orchestra and chorus from Renaissance Art Academy.
Fittingly, Donna the diva went out with a bang. She saved the best for last, belting out “Last Dance” as fireworks filled the night sky.
The benefit raised more than $1 million for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its Music Matters education programs, which serve 120,000 kids, parents and teachers each year.
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