The Greatest Musical Theatre Song Writer Tribute..

Stephen’s Sondheim’s 75th Celebration
The Hollywood Bowl
July 8th, 2005

So the second event at the Hollywood Bowl that included Josh Groban on my agenda. Opening Night was great, even though he was out for only one song. It was amazing!
Before i go on, for those who doesnt know who Mr. Sondheim is. He wrote music and lyrics for some of the most well known musicals ever! Among them; West Side Story,Sweeney Todd, The Frogs, and Marry Me A Little. A genius in his own right and his industry. Very influencal in popular culture today, even though unnoticable.
I wasnt even sure that i was going to be here. The press credentials request were submitted and havent heard anything Thursday. I already had the person i was suppose to go with and what not. My Josh buddy. But the tickets werent definite and i told her that she should just go do something else and leave her day open. Conversation was pretty brief and such, but i felt kinda weird. Like all these thoughts and such came, but i dont want to talk about it. All i gotta say is that i felt that last year is just going to repeat itself again and i dont know. My head is all over the place. I wasnt even too sure i should even take her if i got the tickets or ended up purchasing them. Back to the matter at hand!

I received notice that i had 2 tickets and a photo pass around 1:00PM day of. I was so happy, because i was going to pretty much just buy the ticket for myself and attend it alone, or fine someone who wanted to go under the circumstances that presented itself. Circumstances i care not to discuss. So, once i heard photo pass, i knew i was going to meet most of everyone involved. The photo pass gave me access to backstage area where the artist are held at and where there dressing rooms were. I assumed i was going to talk and meet Josh, at this point i informed my initial person i was going to take and whatever i was feeling the night before. I just let it go because i was too excited.
Headed over to the Bowl around 4:30 because i wanted to get there early since i was late for Opening Night. I say we got to the general area of the Bowl around 6ish. The 101 is always killer and there was this slow stupid Van in the carpool lane that added about 25 mins to the whole trip.

Pulled up to the parking lot thing, and i figured i was on the press list for parking, which i was. However they told me to go down to the Odin lot which was back down the entrance on the other side. Drove down there, and went up to see where i was suppose to park. They didnt know anything about it saying why i came down there. I friggin explain it like 10 times. Of course they were obliged to pass us off back to where we started. Hey not a problem, but i wasnt going to drive back out and turn around. Hell know. So they blocked off the streets for us to go, and it was funny. We were just joking that we were special people. It would have worked a lot nicer if i wasnt in a friggin Camry, let alone a dirty one. But hey, people were like wait whos that, they are they stopping traffic… haha..
Re-entered, and they gave us the same BS they gave us before, but this time we were referred to Teddie. He wasnt even there, which was convenient. I wasnt going to deal with it much, so the parking attendances said screw it and i just parked. I needed for my parking for early exit because i didnt know what time this ended and i needed to meet up Manny at Azul in Alhambra for my Jesse McCartney tickets. Thats going to be a other post.

We had to hike up to the West Box Office because thats where my tickets were. Also thats were valet is, the artist entrance and parking, and the Hollywood Bowl’s red carpet type thing. The hike wasnt as bad as i thought. Last time, man it was horrible, but it was all good. We had to take our times because of her shoes. Oh,i wanted her to wear a skirt, dont know why. Thought it would look nice on her, but whatever she was wearing, which was black dress pants, and this silverish blousey thing. She looked amazing and gorgeous, but thats never any surprise. It was really nice to see and be around after that 6 months hiatus. Oh, im just rambling. Totally off subject.
Speaking of clothes, like i decided to wear a black suit’ black dress pants, black blazer, white shirt, black tie and black Converse aka Chucks. I had my tie like loose and messy and yeah. I thought i looked nice, and i was getting compliments and such. They dont really expect press members to dress nice in my experiences. However i was at the Hollywood Bowl and like i had to keep up with Emeline. Which is kinda hard. I got a comment about my eyes. Why? I usually wear blue contacts, so i was going to respond saying that it cost me blah blah blah. But i kept my mouth shut and didnt say anything. I would rather wore my Versace rims, couldnt, dont want it pushing up against the camera.
Received our tickets and photo pass. Checked out the seats, sec K2, Row 2, seat 108 and 109. Wasnt sure how they compared to my Opening Night seats at the moment.

Headed over to the photo pit and just hung out. Wasnt too many photographers, just about a hand full of 6. We just hung around and just waited for the participants of the show to jump out of their rides and wondered who was going to do the photo opts. Saw Angela Landsbery pop out of her car. Funny thing, people were straight on what the rules were. The Valet manager made Em go to the other side because she was getting in the way of the valet drivers. However when i asked if she could stand with me inside the pit, he said it was allowed. I was bouncing back and forth from the photo pit to where she was standing to give her some company. The publicity coordinators were on peoples butts to make sure they didnt take photos out of the designated area. Which was pretty much just the photo pit and carpet type area and anything away from that was forbidden. Whats even funny is that someone said that she could have stood by me, and blah blah. Left hand doesnt know what the right hand is doing is that i say.
Stephanie D’Abruzzo was first to come out in her lime green dress. Adam Wylie and girlfriend Megan Smith appeared together. Anne Hathaway, miss Emma Enchanted and Princess Daries herself, looked rather malnurnished, compared to her appearances in her movies. Carrying a Chanel bag that kinda looked like a magic 8 ball. Jason Alexander, Shallow Hals tail weidling buddy and Mr. Producer posed for photos. He gave me a comment that i was the only one with a regular camera there. Which trust me, if a camera that cost 1500 dollars, a regular camera. Then by gosh, Jason you are right!

Others who walked the “carpet” Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, Len Cariou, Jubliant Sykes, Vanessa Williams, James Barbour Marin Mazzie and husband Jason Danieley. However, who was i there for? Josh Groban. I recieved a photo list of who was going to do photo opts and who wasnt. Josh Groban was on the list of celebrities who wasnt among Barbara Sreisand, Warren Betty, Eric McKormack, Carol Burnett, and Angela Lansbury. However i was told by a press/media handler that Josh was going to be out to do photos, which i was totally relieved.
He came out, took photos. I asked him what he was performing.”Move On” with Barbara Cook, and a Sweeney Todd number. After the photo session was done. I saw him do an interview with a gentlemen. I then asked to do one and was allowed. I missed taking photos of Vanessa Willams, but it was worth it talking to Josh. Ill have full details in the next post.

That was pretty much it, so we headed to our seats. The entrance we came through, had all these goramet foods. Me and Em had this joke between us about something. Something about the entrances and the people, however still no comment. Cant talk about it here, it would so make us look bad, but whatever.
Got to our seats which was pretty decent and a lot better than my Opening Night tickets. I had an opposite view this time and it was nice. Im not going to comment about the chick who was sitting in front of us, but yeah. Of course, like always, we get sat by someone hella annoying. This time? Some dude behind us who like cheered loud and hella ANNOYING!! Like was Xena Warrior Princess or something. It was like a tone deaf deep voice war cry. What i totally didnt calculate in is that, this was a tribute to a man who wrote lyrics and music for musical theatre. If you ever watched Will and Grace, musicals kinda infer a little girly side. And yes, there was lots of them out. All through the night this guy, kept doing his annoying cheer. I was like, give me a break please!!

What More Do I Need?/Opening Doors Medley with Anne Hathaway was amazing. She has a great voice and Eric McCormack humor is apparent through his singing. I would love to go through every single performance but it would make this post way too long! The Desperate Housewives tribute was hilarous, i love that show.
Barbara Cook and Josh Groban duet of Move On, was haunting yet breath taking. I loved the Tonight number from Westside Story. I cant believed i watched this musical in middle school and remember it so.

Sweeney Todd Suite with everyone including Josh was fun to watch. A Little Priest from Sweeney Todd performed by Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou was another funny performance. Elaine Stritch of Broadway Baby was hella adorable. Getting Married Today performed by Eric McCorkmack, Marin Mazzie, and Carol Burnett was a great ensemble.
After the Tonight, it was intermission. The program looked like it was going to take awhile for the night finish. At intermission, it was only 930. We decided to walk around the bowl like in random places and look for Loni. Loni, we met her at the Greek taping and gave her our seats in row A after i recieved Pit tickets. When i was in New York on vacation and to attend One Nite with Lite. I hung out with her and she hooked it up with a stay in her hotel for my second night there. I knew she was here the night before Opening Night and leaving the day after Sondheims. Heres the thing, i didnt have her number in my new phone and this place seats 17500 people. I figured she got good seats and checked the garden, terrace, and poolside seats. We would walk down as far as we can and just by pass the ushers and what not. It was pretty fun just walking around. I mean i was dressed pretty nice and so was she. So why dress nice if no one sees? I say a funny, however expect things were happening while walking up and down the walk ways. It was kinda actually cool. Yes, i know cryptic, but this is my blog. Only i have to understand. 😛

Barbra Streisand made a rare public appearance and even more rare performance of “Happy Birthday” when she presented a gift from ASCAP to Sondheim himself. After, Sondheim presents a group of high school kids to perform, showcasing his “Children Will Listen” music program.
Everyone then came out to take bows, Angela Landsbery unforunate took a spill, but the crowd was cheering once she got up.
The night was really amazing, amazing encounter with Josh, amazing venue, amazing show, and amazing person to be with. As i thoguht about it, i wished i asked Josh Groban questions about what movies he will be doing, his reaction to Opening Night, among other things. But thats what happens when its spur of the moment. You have to be on your toes.. Hopefully i will have a chance at Tanglewood if i dont pass up the MTV Video Music Awards the very next day..
Afterwards, met up with Manny to get my tickets to my next event… Jesse McCartney concert. Wanted to club but yeah. Instead had a late dinner, at my fav. tofu house.

 

Now hear my confession….

About Anh Nguyen

Anh Nguyen is a Los Angeles based freelance photographer. Over the past six years, he has covered various concerts, movie premieres, red carpets, parties, and events. A southern California native, Anh attended UCLA and holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a minor in Accounting. In addition to photography, he is currently pursuing his license as a CPA and hopes to go law school. Adding to his many interests, Anh also loves to cook and has worked as a line cook for Food Network's celebrity chef Scott Conant's restaurant, Scarpetta, in Beverly Hills.