Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame Inducts Reba and Chaka Khan at Event Kick-Off
The Hollywood Bowl officially launched its 91st season with the 13TH Annual Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and Opening Night Concert, last night, Friday, June 22, at 8 pm, which for the first time honored all women artists.
This year’s inductees – reigning “Queen of Country,” the multi-talented Reba, and 10-time Grammy winner, singer/songwriter Chaka Khan – as well as guests and presenters Lily Tomlin, Randy Jackson and Melissa Peterman, plus, as host, the legendary Julie Andrews, made for an extraordinary evening featuring some of the most talented female artists of our time. Video montages of the two honorees were shown on the Bowl’s four large screens prior to each of their performances, celebrating their career achievements.
The opening event of the Hollywood Bowl’s season also featured the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (HBO) led by Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins, as well as a performance presenting wind and brass players from Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) at the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) performing for the first time on the Bowl stage. The Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl benefit concert raised more than $1 million for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s music education programs, which serve more than 120,000 youths, families and teachers every year.
The festive evening began with Wilkins and the HBO performing Smetana’s Dance of the Comedians. Host Julie Andrews welcomed the audience to the Bowl’s 91st season and introduced a special video tribute to Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame Inductee Reba from her friend, actress Lily Tomlin.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies began with actress Melissa Peterman, whose friendship with Reba dates back to when they appeared together in the television show Reba, which aired from 2001 to 2007, introducing the video tribute showcasing highlights of Reba’s musical career. Reba and her band took the stage, and accompanied by Wilkins and the HBO, performed the rousing “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun,”from Annie Get Your Gun, in which Reba starred on Broadway.
Following her acceptance speech, Reba, her band, Wilkins, the HBO and the CalVoce Chorus continued with another beloved musical classic, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” from South Pacific, in which she first starred at the Bowl five years ago. Reba then performed the theme song from her hit television series Reba, “I’m a Survivor,” and closed with one of her major country hits, “Fancy.”
The second half of the Hall of Fame and Opening Night Concert began with a look at the audience as the event’s chairs – Sandy and Barry Pressman, Barbara and Jay Rasulo, Jonathan Weedman and Raymundo Baltazar, and Josh and Melanie Kaplan – were acknowledged by the voice of the Hall of Fame concerts since their inception, Classical KUSC FM 91.5’s Rich Capparela.
Back on the stage, Andrews described the LA Phil’s music education programs, followed by a videotaped message and introduction of YOLA from Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. Thirty-five members of the wind and brass ensemble from YOLA at HOLA, ages 9 to 12, performed Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5, along with the HBO, led by Wilkins. YOLA at HOLA is a partnership of the LA Phil and Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA).
The Hall of Fame inductions resumed with musician, producer and judge on television’s “American Idol” Randy Jackson, a great long-term friend of Chaka Khan, introducing a video of her illustrious career highlights. Khan, playing percussion with her band, along with the HBO and Wilkins, launched into a medley of “I Know You I Live You,” and “Tell Me Something Good,” accompanied by her dancers. Khan, her band, the HBO and Wilkins continued with her famous “Ain’t Nobody,” “My Funny Valentine,” and “Through the Fire,” before taking a break for her acceptance speech to talk about the importance of helping children at risk. Khan’s granddaughter Daija Holland and nephew Tyler McCrary came onstage to present her with the Hall of Fame award. Khan, Wilkins and the HBO continued with “Earth Song,” and closed with her powerful anthem “I’m Every Woman” accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display. Reba returned to the stage to join Khan and Wilkins for the curtain call.
A number of film and television personalities as well as elected and other civic officials were on hand to enjoy the concert, including star of “Desperate Housewives” Teri Hatcher, actor James Caan, star of the new FX television series “The Americans” Matthew Rhys, County Supervisors Gloria Molina, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Chief Executive Officer William Fujioka, CaliforniaAssemblyman Mike Davis, Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association Board Chairman David Bohnett, Los Angeles Philharmonic President Deborah Borda and Los Angeles Philharmonic Chief Operating Officer Arvind Manocha.
Chaka Khan and Reba join the distinguished company of artists – John Williams, Garth Brooks, Marilyn Horne, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, John Raitt, Monty Python, Kathleen Battle, Randy Newman, Bernadette Peters, Leopold Stokowski, George Harrison, the Smothers Brothers, Roger Daltrey, Patti LuPone, Nathan Lane, Henry Mancini, Sarah Chang, BrIan Wilson, Trisha Yearwood, Joshua Bell, Frank Sinatra, Carlos Santana, André Watts, Plácido Domingo, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Founding Director John Mauceri, Liza Minnelli, Sir James Galway, B.B. King, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Josh Groban, Donna Summer, the Carpenters, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Harry Connick, Jr. and Gloria Estefan – previously inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. Drawn from the diverse arena of musical entertainment, including classical, pop, jazz, musical theater, and film composition, new Hall of Fame honorees receive their tributes as part of the Bowl’s annual opening night celebration.
The Opening Night Hall of Fame Concert is chaired by Sandy and Barry Pressman; Barbara and Jay Rasulo; Jonathan Weedman and Raymundo Baltazar; and Melanie and Josh Kaplan. Special thanks to Wells Fargo for its generous support of Opening Night.
Established in 2000, the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame identifies and pays tribute to artists whose unique achievements embody the spirit of the world-renowned Hollywood Bowl. The Hall of Fame is now part of an exhibit on the main floor of the Hollywood Bowl Museum that includes photos and film of inductees over the years. The “Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame” was conceived on behalf of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association by Wayne Baruch and Charles F. Gayton, who have created and produced all of the Hall of Fame opening concerts.
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and is home to the best and brightest in all genres of music. It remains one of the best deals in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. The venue offers something for everyone, from its sizzling summer evening concerts to the daytime summer arts festival for children, “SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl,” now in its 44th season. In January 2012, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the eighth year in a row at the 22nd Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards. The Hollywood Bowl has become synonymous with summer in Southern California.
For more information, visit www.HollywoodBowl.com.