No small thing when you're looking for one. So it's significant that as part of its green initiative, the 18,000-seat Hollywood Bowl has upgraded the technology and traffic flow of its restrooms.
That's just one of the things we can look forward to this summer at Los Angeles' great outdoor venue.
But, as always, what we really look forward to is the music at the Bowl, and this year's smorgasbord looks as sumptuous as ever.
There are jazz and world-music nights; a classical program with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic joined by opera legend Placido Domingo; pop and rock concerts; songstresses like Norah Jones, Diana Krall and Liza Minnelli; and - as always - spectacular fireworks to accompany the music.
The Bowl makes its splash with an opening night gala, hosted by Julie Andrews, in which Reba McEntire and Chaka Khan will be inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. The June 22 concert with fireworks benefits the L.A. Phil and its education programs.
Classical music begins July 10 with Leonard Slatkin conducting the L.A. Phil in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, with a video in collaboration with the Getty and support from the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducted by Grant Gershon.
The Rhinestone Cowboy himself, Glen Campbell, comes in on his "Goodbye Tour" (June 24) with guests Jackson Browne, Kris Kristofferson and Lucinda Williams. The first of KCRW's World Festivals (July 1) has Ben Harper, Fitz & the Tantrums and Vieux Farka Toure. And the three-day July 4th Fireworks Spectacular (July 2-4) stars Barry Manilow and the L.A. Phil.
On July 11 - as part of the Bowl's jazz series - is "Ray Charles: Genius + Soul Jazz," a tribute to the late great singer with Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Martina McBride, Dee Dee Bridgewater and BeBe Winans, with uber-producer Phil Ramone overseeing the proceedings.
Following that in quick order will be an eclectic trio of shows: on July 13, Garrison Keillor brings in "A Prairie Home Companion"; July 14 is the annual "Grease Sing-A-Long" with Didi Conn; and July 15 is reggae night with Ziggy Marley and Toots and the Maytals, among others.
Violinist extraordinaire Joshua Bell and double bassist Edgar Meyer appear on July 17 and 19 for the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Meyer's new Double Concerto. Other classical stars hitting town this season are violinists Martin Chalifour, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Renaud Capucon, Sarah Chang and Itzhak Perlman; pianist Yefim Bronfman; trumpeter Alison Balsom; and conductor Bramwell Tovey.
On Aug. 28 and 30, the L.A. Master Chorale will perform Mendelssohn's incidental music to "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Orff's "Carmina Burana" with a number of guest vocalists.
Dudamel leads the L.A. Phil on Aug. 7, joined by the great cellist Yo-Yo Ma in works by Schumann and Tchaikovsky, and Aug. 9 will mark an appearance by Yuja Wang, the Chinese pianist who is almost as renowned for her short dresses as she is for her expertise on the keyboard; and on Aug. 12, Dudamel will lead the L.A. Phil in a concert performance of Verdi's opera "Rigoletto," with Zeljko Lucic in his signature role as the hunchbacked court jester doomed by a sinister curse.
On Aug. 14, Dudamel kicks off the latest edition of the "Americas & Americans" festival. Joining the conductor and the orchestra that evening will be Dominican singer-songwriter Juan Luis Guerra, known for popularizing the bachata and merengue genres. As part of the festivities, there also will be solo concerts by Panamanian icon Ruben Blades (Aug. 15) and Colombian superstar Juanes (Aug. 17 and 18).
The festival ends on a truly high note Aug. 19 when Dudamel and the L.A. Phil are joined by Domingo - their first-ever pairing - for a night of well-known arias and Latin American melodies. The concert will benefit the L.A. Phil Musicians Pension Fund.
Of course, the summer wouldn't be complete without the staging of a musical. This year's is Mel Brooks' "The Producers" (July 27-29), directed by the show's original director/choreographer, Susan Stroman.
Aug. 11 brings Hollywood legend Minnelli, while chanteuse Anita Baker and rising jazz star Esperanza Spalding share the stage Aug. 22. Pianist and jazz singer Krall will join the L.A. Phil in concert Aug. 24 and 25; and pianist Herbie Hancock - who directs the Phil's jazz program - will take the stage Aug. 29 with sax player Wayne Shorter and rock guitarist Carlos Santana for a night "Celebrating Peace."
Another Bowl tradition is to bring in John Williams, the superstar of film composers, for a couple of nights (Aug. 31 and Sept. 1). Blues night on Sept. 5 features the one and only B.B. King along with the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
The Brian Setzer Orchestra along with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, under the baton of Thomas Wilkins (who will be on hand for much of the summer), will perform at the Fireworks Finale Sept. 14-16.
And in a nonsubscription concert, the alt-country band Wilco will finally get to be headliners at the Bowl on Sept. 30.
By the way, the restrooms aren't the only thing upgraded at the Hollywood Bowl. The moving walkway has been replaced and repairs have been made to the theater aisle stairway piers.
c.2012 Los Angeles Daily News
For more information, check out our LA.COM Guide to the Hollywood Bowl.