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Sondheim songs, Disney movies and ‘Princess Mononoke’ top the Hollywood Bowl’s 2023 summer lineup

Plus Janet Jackson, the Beach Boys, My Morning Jacket, Fleet Foxes and dozens more at the famous amphitheater.

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano
Editor, Time Out Los Angeles
Hollywood Bowl
Photograph: Courtesy Adam Latham
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Sure, the arrival of music festival season is always exciting, but there’s another music tease that leaves us even more eager for summer to come.

The Hollywood Bowl has jut announced its summer 2023 lineup, and it’ll be entering its second century with concerts from the likes of My Morning Jacket and Fleet Foxes, Maggie Rogers and Alvvays, and Sparks and They Might Be Giants, plus a particularly strong cinematic slate and previously announced anchor events like Janet Jackson (with Ludacris) to kick off the season and a July 4th fireworks spectacular with the Beach Boys (on the topic of pyro, the season wraps up with Maxwell and fireworks).

The schedule is packed with some sure-to-be-star-studded celebrations, too, with evenings dedicated to the music of Broadway icon Stephen Sondheim, legendary producer Quincy Jones and jazz great Duke Ellington, plus the Game Awards’ video game music celebration.

If you’re a Hollywood Bowl veteran, you already know the drill when it comes to ticketing: Subscriptions are available now, single shows will be posted in a couple of months. But for any first-timers, here’s how it works: You can currently buy subscriptions for entire series of tickets for groups of 10 or more. On March 14, “create your own” packages will go on sale, followed by individual show tickets on May 2 (if there’s one date to remember here, it’s this one). This all applies to the just-announced LA Phil-produced shows (which also boast a BYOB-friendly policy) as opposed to the already-on-sale lease events like Phish and the Postal Service

Back to the schedule, the cinema-inspired shows really stand out this summer. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will wrap up that series’ annual live score tradition with a performance by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, while the LA Phil will accompany screenings of 2001: A Space Odyssey, selections from the entire library of animated Disney films, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Speaking of John Williams scores, the iconic composer will return for his yearly outing, but this time around it’s jumping from Labor Day weekend to early July, and with LA Phil director Gustavo Dudamel sharing the conducting duties. And in one of the most unexpected and exciting announcements, Joe Hisaishi—who’s behind the music for all but one of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli films—will lead the LA Phil in a suite of songs from Princess Mononoke and a few other of his compositions, as well as Debussy’s La mer.

We could go on and on about the lineup: the Hollywood Bowl Jazz Festival, topped by Kamasi Washington and Leon Bridges; performances by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Chris Thile, Louis Tomlinson, Jill Scott, Diana Krall, Floating Points, Café Tacvba, and Portugal. The Man with Chicano Batman and Say She She; crowd-pleasing classical evenings like Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Holst’s The Planets; and ’70s and ’80s throwbacks that include Gladys Knight, Culture Club, Kool & the Gang with the Village People, and Air Supply with Michael Bolton.

You can find the full schedule of nearly 60 shows on the Hollywood Bowl’s website, but we’ve included a slightly more digestible list of some of our favorites below.

25 shows in the Hollywood Bowl’s 2023 season lineup we’re most excited about

June

Janet Jackson + Ludacris
Sat June 10 at 8pm

Hollywood Bowl Jazz Festival
Sat, Sun June 17, 18 at 3:30pm

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
Wed June 21 at 7:30pm

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Sat June 24 at 8pm

The Game Awards 10-Year Celebration
Sun June 25 7pm

July

July 4th Spectacular with the Beach Boys
Sun–Tue July 2–4 at 7:30pm

Maestro of the Movies: John Williams with the LA Phil
Fri, Sat July 7, 8 at 8pm; Sun, July 9 at 7:30pm

An Ellington Celebration
Thu July 13 at 8pm

Sparks + They Might Be Giants
Sun July 16 at 7:30pm

Café Tacvba with the LA Phil
Fri, Sat July 21, 22 at 8pm

Rhapsody in Blue
Tue July 25 at 8pm

Quincy Jones’s 90th-Birthday Tribute: A Musical Celebration
Fri, Sat July 28, 29 at 8pm

Everybody Rise! A Sondheim Celebration
Sun July 30 at 7:30pm

August

2001: A Space Odyssey
Thu Aug 3 at 8pm

Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Concert
Fri, Sat Aug 4, 5 at 8pm

Portugal. The Man + Chicano Batman + Say She She
Sun Aug 6 at 7pm

Maggie Rogers + Alvvays
Sun Aug 13 at 7pm

Tchaikovsky Spectacular
Fri, Sat Aug 18, 19 at 8pm

My Morning Jacket + Fleet Foxes
Sun Aug 20 at 7pm

Chris Thile and Appalachian Spring
Tue Aug 22 at 8pm

Joe Hisaishi and La mer
Thu Aug 24 at 8pm

September

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Fri, Sat, Sept 1, 2 at 8pm

Maxwell (Fireworks Finale)
Fri, Sat Sept 8, 9 at 8pm; Sun Sept 10 at 7:30pm

The Planets
Tue Sept 12 at 8pm

Promises featuring Floating Points with Shabaka Hutchings
Wed Sept 20 at 8pm

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