Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Barbra Streisand thrills chilly Bowl

Hollywood Bowl

A promotional photo of Barbra Streisand.

Barbra Streisand returned to the Hollywood Bowl for the first time in 45 years Friday night and warmed the hearts of the capacity crowd who braved the unseasonably cool temperatures.

Ben Wener of the O.C. Register wrote that "no matter how finger-numbing chilly it got Friday night, it was still marvelously refreshing to witness Streisand not only in full command of her instrument but also out of her element, braving frosty air and gripping winds at the Hollywood Bowl."

Not surprisingly, the iconic Streisand drew a star-studded audience that included L.A. Galaxy soccer star David Beckham, his Spice Girl wife Victoria, heartthrob actor John Stamos, entertainer Bette Midler, singer/songwriter Carole Bayer Sager, and her husband former Dodger CEO Bob Daly.

L.A. Times theatre critic Charles McNulty wrote that the 70-year-old's voice has slightly changed over time.


Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler deliver a warm, mellow night at Hollywood Bowl

Getty Images

In this Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, Bob Dylan performs during the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Los Angeles.

The Santa Anas blew its devil winds at L.A. Friday night, days before Halloween, as a froggy-voiced man dressed in black sat at the keyboards and sang old songs that sounded like Bob Dylan classics.

One even reminded some of an Adele hit.

Of course it was Bob Dylan up to his old tricks of re-arranging his precious gems and squawking them out in new ways in front of an eager and accepting crowd. 

That freewheelin' attitude helps the 71-year-old continue to break the rules, as he did in the Hollywood Hills last night.

The voice of a generation didn't address the audience except to introduce his band (which starred Charlie Sexton on guitar). Dylan didn't say goodbye after his sole encore tune ("Blowin in the Wind"). And he only let the Bowl use one video camera, a wide shot, to display on the numerous screens. 


Oscar the couch: Academy debuts new outdoor theater in Hollywood

wizard of oz

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Jerry Maren as a Lollipop Guild Member presents Judy Garland with a gift in the 1939 film, 'The Wizard of Oz.'

Abandon sofa and grab some grass -- the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is bringing surround sound and a 40-foot screen to the great outdoors with a new open-air theater in Hollywood.

The "Oscars Outdoors" film series / screening space was unveiled Monday by Academy president Tom Sherak who said he wanted to build a drive-in theater at the location, but "this is the closest we could get."

The first feature to be featured is "Casablanca" on June 15. Films will screen every Friday and Saturday night through Aug. 18.

Admission is free for kids under 10-years-old. General admission is $5, and admission for students and Academy members is $3. All screenings are scheduled to begin at sunset. Tickets for June films go on sale 6/1/12.

Check the official site for schedule updates:


Live review: Guns N' Roses @ Hollywood Palladium 3/9/12

Guns n Roses marquee

Tony Pierce / KPCC

Marquee at the Hollywood Palladium before the Guns N Roses show on March 9, 2012

Guns N' Roses

Tony Pierce / KPCC

Guns N' Roses performing at the Hollywood Palladium on 3/9/2012

Guns n Roses

Tony Pierce / KPCC

Guns N' Roses performing at the Hollywood Palladium on 3/9/2012

From brassy to trashy, the Hollywood Palladium has a storied history of big bands blowing away small audiences. Trouble is, the new Guns N' Roses isn't a big band, and Friday's show wasn't about making a small audience feel special, it was about making a giant ego feel big.

In fact, the tight quarters of the not-sold-out "LA Takeover" kickoff date only amplified the reality that no one cared about the new songs, and no one cared about the new band.  Former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson alone can not bring the rock, two keyboardists can not compensate for delusion and insecurity, and everyone knows there's nothing under Axl Roses' hat.

Guns hasn’t played LA since gas was $2 a gallon. Guns hasn't had a hit since gas was $1.50 a gallon. Guns had no business trying to play three Los Angeles club shows with triple digit ticket prices when the average heritage fan can't name the new guitar player or most recent album.