By Andy J. Gordon
The Hollywood Bowl (www.hollywoodbowl.com) hosted a gorgeous night of light-hearted fun with its annual tribute to that “wascally wabbit,” Bugs Bunny. This show is an update of one that has been running for 20 years, first in New York City as Bugs Bunny On Broadway, and for the past several years at the Bowl. For the anniversary, the show has been updated and now includes cartoon shorts of some of the other Warner Brothers cast of characters, as well as special guests. As always, the LA Philharmonic provided the musical accompaniment to the visuals.
Bugs Bunny in drag with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.
The orchestra, conducted by George Daugherty, sounded fabulous. Warner Brothers provided special copies of the cartoon shorts, which retain the original dialogue and sound effects, but eliminate the music. This provides the musicians with the opportunity to synchronize their playing with the action onscreen. The effect is truly magical. Bugs Bunny classics like “The Rabbit of Seville,” “What’s Opera Doc?,” and “Long-Haired Hare” are given new life with the live music arrangement. The special anniversary program also included shorts from Hanna Barbera. “Tom And Jerry In The Hollywood Bowl” was an obvious choice that worked beautifully. Appearances by the Scooby Doo gang as well as The Flintstones brought back memories for the adults in the audience, and thrilled the kids in attendance.
The great evening culminated with a fireworks finale exploding in the sky over the Bowl’s dome. The Philharmonic played an energetic and precise version of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” during the fireworks display. Children of all ages left the Bowl thrilled by the night’s entertainment. Next year’s Bugs Bunny tribute will surely be another night to remember. Be sure to mark your calendars.
Photos courtesy of Andy J. Gordon