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Harry Connick Jr. hits a high at the Hollywood Bowl

The annual Spectacular event on July 4th started with a bang (or, I guess it ended with a lot of bangs) on Tuesday night. The three-day event saw audiences salute their military brothers, sway to the smooth sounds of Harry Connick, Jr., and end the evening with some of the best fireworks in town.

The evening began when Bowl conductor Thomas Wilkins of the Los Angeles Philharmonic took the stage and, appropriately, performed Leonard Bernstein's “America” ​​from West Side Story, a beautiful reminder that the United States is a melting pot of wonderfully diverse people and cultures.

The first act of the evening continued with excerpts from George Gershwin's “Girl Crazy,” Duke Ellington's “Solitude,” William Schulman's “Chester,” Samuel Ward's “American The Beautiful,” and of course our opportunity to honor the men and women of the armed forces during the “Armed Forces Suite.”

It was a beautiful start to the evening as the celebrations surrounding our Independence Day were in full swing.

The second act featured crooner, actor, composer and pianist Harry Connick Jr., whose career really took off when he composed the soundtrack for Rob Reiner's When Harry met Sally. Of course, he sang “It Had to Be You” from the film after a long and meandering instrumental piece in which the skilled pianist demonstrated his keyboard skills.

After the first few songs, the handsome entertainer paused to complain about the unusual length of his trousers, which he attempted to improve by cinching the waist higher. Naturally, this changed the way he sang, and he admitted that he wished he could sing the first few songs again. This was fascinating, because before this announcement, I thought his singing was a little off, and I wondered if there was something wrong. Once he simply accepted that his trousers were too long, he got back into the swing of things and sang the standard “Doctor Jazz,” where his vocals were as strong as ever.

In almost a dozen songs, he presented us with some classics such as “I Love Paris” by Cole Porter and “The Way You Look Tonight” by Jerome Kern.

He also delved into his personal repertoire with “One Fine Thing,” which he wrote for his wife Jill Goodacre, “City Beneath the Sea,” an ode to his hometown of New Orleans, and “Come By Me.”

After the Bowl's annual fireworks extravaganza (which is truly and honestly spectacular), Connick took the stage once again for the “Bourbon Street Parade” and sent the crowd off into the night on an “Independent” high.

Once again, the Hollywood Bowl brings the best of the best to the stage, attracts new fans, introduces us to music of all kinds, shapes and sizes, and wows us in one of the best venues Los Angeles has to offer.

Coming soon to the Bowl:

  • Beck with the LA Phil on July 6th
  • Patti LaBelle on July 7th
  • Maestro of Film: The Music of John Williams and More, July 12-14

For more information and tickets, visit HollywoodBowl.com.