Bugs Bunny and the whole Merrie Melodies gang recently returned to the Hollywood Bowl to showcase and celebrate the amazing Warner Bros. cartoon classics and historical movie music. The world-class LA Philharmonic, led by George Daugherty, presented “Bugs Bunny at The Symphony II” featuring classic Looney Tunes cartoons accompanied by a symphony orchestra.
I was super excited for this night as I’ve never been to a film-related event that featured live music! I’ve seen (and played in) plenty of Broadway-type shows and was curious to how well the group could sync-up to the already recorded audio and video live on stage! I assumed it would be similar to recording music for a movie in a studio but live at The Bowl, there were no room for retakes. Plus having the LA Phil in the house guaranteed a most professional and passionate performance. The entire group, as well as maestro Daugherty, wore headsets and basically nailed it from start to finish! I’ve seen all of the cartoons featured on the program many times over and was still absolutely blown away. The group played with stunning accuracy on fiery interpretations of the many musical themes and tunes packed into each 3-7 minute short.
When you think about it, Looney Tunes cartoons were probably our introduction to real classical music. How many times in our adult life have we heard Wagner’s “Ride of The Valkyries” only to sing “Kill Da Wabbit”! There is some serious classical music featured in these Looney Tunes cartoons. And most of it was re-arranged and condensed to fit into the crazy creations. The “Bugs Bunny at The Symphony II” presentation not only celebrates the visuals but mainly the virtuosity of music director Carl Stalling. That plus the ace session work of all the musicians featured in the original recordings. Classical music is challenging to play, but I would say that Stalling’s arrangements border on sweet insanity!
The proudest moment I had during my “Symphony” experience was providing my 5 year old daughter her first classical music experience. And what a fun way to do it! It was also her first time visiting the Hollywood Bowl. There were many families in attendance all sharing a laugh at the expense Wil E. Coyote and poor Daffy Duck (Bugs can be such a “stinker”). My daughter tuned right into the orchestra and then was totally immersed in the Looney Tune cartoons broadcast on giant screens around the Bowl. I was so amazed when she actually recognized that many of the cartoons featured during “Bugs Bunny at The Symphony II” took place in the Hollywood Bowl itself! Keen eye kid! She also enjoyed the action as well as the fantastic music presented that evening. Some of her faves were the “The Warner Bros. Fanfare” (Merrie Melodies Theme) as well as “Rhapsody Rabbit”, “Johann Mouse” (featuring Tom & Jerry), “I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat” (Tweet & Sylvester) and “Duck Amuk” (featuring Daffy Duck as Robin Hood)! I mirror her choices and am grateful she enjoyed the experience with her family.
My date night with my daughter was tastily complemented with picnic meals from Bristol Farms. We called in our order a few days before the show, did quick pick up at their shop on on Fairfax and Sunset and then enjoyed our delicious meals at the venue.
The Hollywood Bowl traditionally celebrates movie music with live orchestra. Check out www.hollywoodbowl.com to see the schedule of upcoming events.
– That’s IT, Daddy! Sean
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. We received tickets to attend this event as well as food vouchers!This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.