Helen Mirren, Hilary Swank and Andy Garcia were all on hand at last night's sold out show to help induct Harry Connick Jr. and Gloria Estefan into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, plus kick off the 2011 Hollywood Bowl season with a bang.
Opening night fireworks
After seeing Kylie Minogue's pop concert extravaganza at the Hollywood Bowl recently in a non-Bowl event, it was nice to be reminded how nice it is to hear a live orchestra on stage at the amazing outdoor amphitheater.
Helen Mirren welcomes 18,000 strong audience
to the 2011 Hollywood Bowl season
Sold out opening night
Helen Mirren introduced a special performance by Cirque du Soleil and their new show Iris, soon to open at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
Cirque du Soliel Iris performers at the Hollywood Bowl
Even though it was a blatant advert for the new performance art show, the colourful teletubbie-like acrobats were entertaining.
Next up Oscar-winner Hillary Swank was almost sickeningly gushing about her 'friend' Harry Connick Jr. when she welcomed him on stage.
Hillary Swank on opening night
I'm not a huge fan of jazz and for me Harry Connick Jr. ruined the sitcom Will & Grace when he starred as Grace's husband Leo, as I thought he was hopelessly miscast, so he's not a favourite of mine.
Harry Connick Jr. performs at the Hollywood Bowl
I was far more interested in seeing Gloria Estefan, the 'Queen of Latin Pop', after growing up in the 80's and 90's with songs like Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Get On Your Feet and Turn The Beat Around.
Andy Garcia at the Hollywood Bowl
Actor Andy Garcia was much less over-the-top when he introduced Gloria Estefan and they seemed to genuinely know each other, even joining her on stage to perform the bongo drums.
Gloria Estefan was a real crowd pleaser
Gloria Estefan and Andy Garcia on stage together
She really was a crowd pleaser and there definitely seemed to be a strong contingent of the audience there to see her in particular.
In addition and in between the two main acts, they also had school orchestras perform on stage, which the Hollywood Bowl help support. How exciting, and daunting, must that have been for those kids.
School orchestras perform at the Hollywood Bowl
Harry Connick Jr. joined Gloria Estefan for a duet before the evening ended with a firework spectacular, which always leaves you wanting for more.
Gloria Estefan and Harry Connick Jr. on stage together
Come back tomorrow for more fantastic photos of the opening night fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl...