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BWW Review: Christina Aguilera Hits It Out Of Bowl With The LA Phil

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Christina Aguilera slayed the packed 17,500-seat Hollywood Bowl audience

BWW Review: Christina Aguilera Hits It Out Of Bowl With The LA Phil

CHRISTINA AGUILERA WITH THE LA PHIL/conducted by Gustavo Dudamel/Hollywood Bowl/reviewed July 16, 2021

Christina Aguilera slayed the packed 17,500-seat Hollywood Bowl audience with her amazing vocals and her emotion-filled songs for the first of her two nights performing with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. At the top of her game, Christina looked great and sounded fantastic! Christina began her set with the Etta James classic "At Last," infusing the lyrics with her distinctive stylings. Christina had the most amazing introduction with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil's very lush instrumental overture. Quite fitting for the grand entrance of a deserved singer, as she was revealed atop a high mountain peak set piece.

BWW Review: Christina Aguilera Hits It Out Of Bowl With The LA Phil Christina talked of how excited she was to perform with the LA Phil as her mother was a violinist who played in many an orchestra herself. Christina also shared how watching The Sound of Music as a child made her want to be Julie Andrews singing with her arms spread out.

Costumer/stylist Mel Ottenberg kept Christina's look elegantly simple, outfitting the Diva in a black body-hugging catsuit; at times adding different necklaces, a fur-trimmed peignoir, bulky elbow-length opera gloves, a silver skirt, bejeweled-crotched pants and a huge, full-circled black organza skirt (with four dancers holding each corner as Christina crossed the stage).

BWW Review: Christina Aguilera Hits It Out Of Bowl With The LA Phil With three back-up singers and a chorus of ten dancers (snazzily choreographed by Stephen Galloway), Christina roared through some of her high-energy hits ("Ain't No Other Man," "Genie in a Bottle," "Dirrty," "What a Girl Wants," "Lady Marmalade," "Fighter.")

Christina ingeniously sandwiched in some of her heart-felt ballads ("Contigo En La Distancia," "It's a Man's World") to keep the pacing varied and ever so smoothly moving forward. Her duet on "Say Something" with its songwriter Ian Axel quietly stunned.

BWW Review: Christina Aguilera Hits It Out Of Bowl With The LA Phil The combo of Christina with Gustavo and the LA Phil brought her aching ballads to a new level. I have always loved Christina's rendition of "Beautiful." But adding the full exquisite orchestral sounds of the incredible LA Philharmonic elevated "Beautiful" to the level of... Heaven, maybe? A pitch perfect finale!

Colorful abstract video projections aptly filled the proscenium and the mountain set piece in sync with the dancers' movements.

The evening began earlier with Gustavo Dudamel expertly (as he always does) leading his LA Philharmonic Orchestra, (all the men smartly dressed in white dinner jackets with the women matching in their various white tops) in the "Star Spangled Banner." With everyone standing, many singing; this was the best welcoming back to the Bowl as it comes. Gustavo then led into Leonard Bernstein's "Symphonic Dances From WEST SIDE STORY." The LA Phil played each song segment so splendidly you could just see Maestro Bernstein nodding approvingly from above. And I could easily visual each movie scene that corresponded with each song selection.

BWW Review: Christina Aguilera Hits It Out Of Bowl With The LA Phil The first half of the concert ended with the LA Phil's moving rendition of "Marquez: Danzon No. 8."

What a night for all at the Bowl! The weather remained comfortably cool for the very enthusiastic and responsive Bowl audience.

For other Hollywood Bowl concerts, log onto www.hollywoodbowl.com


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