Saturday, June 18, 2011

A-List stars help Hollywood Bowl's opening night shine brighter...

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
Hollywood Bowl 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
Helen Mirren Hollywood Bowl opening night 2011

Sold out opening night
Hollywood Bowl opening night 2011
Hollywood Bowl opening night 2011
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
Iris acrobats Hollywood Bowl opening nightHollywood Bowl Cirque du Soleil IrisHollywood Bowl Cirque du Soleil Iris tumbler
Even though it was a blatant advert for the new performance art show, the colourful teletubbie-like acrobats were entertaining.
Hollywood Bowl Cirque du Soleil Iris acrobatsHollywood Bowl Cirque du Soleil Iris Cirque du Soleil Iris Hollywood Bowl
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
Hilary Swank Hollywood Bowl opening night 2011
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
Harry Connick Jr Hollywood Bowl opening nightHollywood Bowl opening night Harry Connick Jr
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
Any Garcia Hollywood Bowl opening night
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 Hollywood Bowl opening nightOpening night Hollywood Bowl 2011Hollywood Bowl Gloria Estefan opening night

Gloria Estefan and Andy Garcia on stage together
Hollywood Bowl Gloria Estefan Andy Garcia
She really was a crowd pleaser and there definitely seemed to be a strong contingent of the audience there to see her in particular.
Hollywood Bowl opening night lights
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
Hollywood Bowl opening night school orchestras
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
Hollywood Bowl Gloria Estefan Harry Connick Jr
Come back tomorrow for more fantastic photos of the opening night fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl...

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