September 17, 2006

A Part Of My Life

We haven't been to the Hollywood Bowl in some time; The Wife and I were supposed to go two years ago but we wound up moving to Tennessee instead. So it was with great pleasure that I accepted one of my best friends' invitations to join him and his family at the Bowl last night.

Later, I was reminded that The Wife really dislikes the Bowl. She gets frustrated with traveling there, she dislikes the crowds, she doesn't like that it gets quite cool in that canyon, she becomes infuriated with the parking and the post-show evacuation of the area, and I don't think the music really lights her fire all that much. I don't think she even likes the pre-show picnic all that much. So I think the next time I get an invitation to the Bowl, I may wind up accepting on my own behalf but not The Wife's.

This is something of a disappointment for me; I really enjoy the Bowl experience and with all the good things in my life, I want to share them with my dear wife. I'm willing to put up with the traffic difficulties in exchange for the great time in a beautiful location and the wonderful music. I like the Bowl so much that was where I chose to propose to The Wife; a fact which she is aware of and takes into consideration, but which still fails to change her opinion of the overall experience. I've also very much enjoyed the lead conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, John Mauceri. He has a wonderfully rich, deep voice and makes me, a member of a 17,000 person audience, feel like I'm sitting in his living room while he hosts a dinner party and maybe shows off a little bit with a musical instrument. Last night was his farewell concert. It was longer than usual, had more than the usual number of Mauceri-staged encores, and fireworks. Given the special occasion, the crowd was willing to forgive Mauceri his indulgences in his love for muppets and encores. He started at the Bowl in 1990, the year before I first moved to Los Angeles and began enjoying shows at the Bowl. I don't know who will lead the orchestra next year but he will have some big shoes to fill.

The Bowl is new, also; as the low-res picture taken with my phone illustrates somewhat poorly, the acoustic orbs have been replaced with a circular overhead rack of lights and speakers; it looks something like a flying saucer over the orchestra. There are also permanently-mounted viewscreens at four locations along the side of the theater. This is very nice for those of us in the cheap seats to see detailed action of what is going on -- the bass players spinning their instruments on their spikes, or the dancers, or the singers, or the conductor doing his dance previewing the changes in the music.

So I will continue to want to go to the Bowl; it's one of the best nights out in California. It's a special place for me, it's one of the big attractions to life in Southern California, and I'm going to continue to enjoy it in the future. If The Wife wants to continue to accompany me, that would be great; but if she doesn't, I'm just going to have to go on my own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the wife's defense, the Bowl's stacked parking has always chapped my hide, although it doesn't stop me from going. I always blamed the stupid Bowl parking delay for that time I went with you guys the night before a PADI license dive, then got sick on the boat the next day due to lack of sleep and was totally humiliated. I suppose all that drinking the night before might have played a role.

Once I took a shuttle from Pasadena to the Bowl. That was nice because we didn't have to wait for unstacking at the end.