UPDATED, 5:38 PM: On Tuesday, the Hollywood Bowl announced the starry lineup for its first summer season since the pandemic shutdown, which kicks off on July 3 at 67% capacity.
Viola Davis will appear alongside Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil on July 15, on the heels of her Best Actress Oscar nomination for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, serving as the narrator of Sergei Prokofiev’s symphonic fairy tale, Peter and the Wolf. She’ll be followed, on July 16 and 17, by five-time Grammy winner Christina Aguilera.
Cynthia Erivo, who recently starred as Aretha Franklin in Nat Geo’s Genius: Aretha, is set to appear on July 30, performing tunes by Franklin, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and others, in addition to selections from her forthcoming debut album. Meanwhile, recent Oscar winner H.E.R. (who penned Judas and the Black Messiah‘s original song “Fight For You”) will perform her first-ever concerts with an orchestra on August 13 and 14.
Over the course of the summer, the Bowl will also present a number of special events, including two Fireworks Spectaculars, on July 3 and 4, in observance of Independence Day. Those shows will feature appearances from disco-funk legends Kool & the Gang. Other notable events include “The Princess Bride in concert” (July 31), “Sing-A-Long Sound of Music” (August 21), “Black Panther in concert” (September 10-12), and “Maestro of the Movies” (September 3-5). At the latter event, which serves as the Bowl’s annual celebration of film music, John Williams and David Newman will conduct the LA Phil.
Check out the full schedule for the summer by clicking here.
PREVIOUSLY, APRIL 9: For fans of the Hollywood Bowl, the lack-of-shell shock is nearly over. After being closed for more than a year, the storied venue said today that it will reopen in July for 14 weeks of concerts with limited capacity and other Covid safety protocols in place.
“We are immensely grateful for the support you have shown us over the past year,” reads a statement posted to the Hollywood Bowl website, “whether it was by donating, keeping a credit on your account or sharing your concert memories and words of encouragement. We can’t wait to enjoy the experience of live music under the Southern California night sky with you again.”
The news comes days after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state’s broad reopening target of June 15.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association also said today that its other local outdoor venue, the 1,200-seat John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, also will reopen in late July for a 15-week season. An announcement concerning the reopening of downtown’s Walt Disney Concert Hall is expected in June.
The early plan is to stage Hollywood Bowl concerts with a limited audience of about 4,000 of its 17,500 capacity, ramping up crowd size later in the summer. The artists lineup, dates and ticketing details will be announced May 11.
“To kick off reopening, we will host four free concerts for healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers as a gesture of thanks for all they have done for Los Angeles throughout the pandemic,” the statement reads.
Three of the first free concerts at the Bowl — made possible through a partnership with Kaiser Permanente — will include performances by LA Phil Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel and the orchestra, May 15 and 22, playing repertoire from Beethoven to Marquez, with artists to be announced for the third event on June 26. The fourth free concert will be with local artists Thundercat and Flying Lotus on June 12, their first performance since winning a Grammy Award for best progressive R&B album earlier this year.
The Bowl, which will celebrate its 100th birthday next year, saw its first pandemic-related cancellation of last season on February 26, 2020, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic shelved its season on April 9. A little more than a month later, the venue wrote off its entire season amid “unprecedented financial strain.”
That’s all in the rearview now — but safety will be a top priority in 2021.
“As we prepare to reopen, the health and safety of our audiences, artists, and staff is our top priority,” the Hollywood Bowl statement says. “We are committed to ensuring that you have an exceptional Bowl experience, with confidence in the policies and procedures designed for the safety of our guests.
“We recognize that with that excitement comes some uncertainty about what this summer will allow, and we are currently reworking our plans for the season. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we finalize details. What we know for sure, and are excited to share, is that we will see you this summer at the Bowl.”
Here are some details about the Hollywood Bowl’s reopening plans, safety protocols and 2021 season:
2021 Season Concerts
Based on LA County public health guidance, the Hollywood Bowl will be able to welcome a limited-capacity audience of approximately 4,000 when concerts resume in May, and we anticipate ramping up to greater capacity later in the summer. To kick off reopening, we will host four free concerts for healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers as a gesture of thanks for all they have done for Los Angeles throughout the pandemic. Three of these concerts are generously sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.
Beginning in July, the Hollywood Bowl will present 14 weeks of concerts featuring a mixture of programming. The lineup of artists, dates, and ticketing details will be announced May 11.
2021 Season Ticketing
More information about how to get tickets and your subscription options will be available May 11. If you currently have a credit on your account from 2020, you can choose to apply that amount to any of your 2021 ticket purchases. The credit will otherwise be carried over into 2022.
Current subscribers’ seats will be reserved for the Hollywood Bowl 2022 season even if they are unable or choose not to attend this summer. As always, our loyal subscribers will have the first opportunity to renew their subscription packages and request any changes before the general public, when renewal information is delivered in late 2021.
We are working closely with officials at the LA County Department of Public Health and our friends at Kaiser Permanente on a reopening plan that includes distancing procedures, mask policy, contactless ticketing, and cleaning and sanitation schedules, among other safety protocols. In the coming weeks, we will share more with you about what to expect from a visit to the Bowl this summer and the policies and procedures designed for the safety of our guests. We will also continue to review our safety protocols throughout the season to ensure that they follow the latest public health guidance.
City News Service contributed to this report.