Dan's second visit to the iconic Hollywood Bowl, came the night after his first visit. On Saturday, we saw comedian Eddie Izzard's Force Majeure.
Rather than take the shuttle from the Los Angeles Zoo, we decided to try a different approach to bowl parking. We parked at the Hollywood and Highland mall and walked to the bowl. It takes about fifteen minutes to walk and is uphill going, downhill on the way back. It's nice to be able to leave the crush of people exiting the bowl, with people trying to figure out buses and navigate their cars out of the stacked parking. The bonus of parking at the mall was getting a little extra exercise.
On the cons, the traffic in Hollywood was a nightmare. It was sluggish both ways and it would have been quicker to use the zoo lot. Parking is fifteen dollars for the Hollywood and Highland lot, which is three more than the zoo shuttle. This is a good option if you plan on eating in Hollywood, but aside from that, the zoo lot was more convenient.
This time, we did not have a terrace box. It was hard to go back to the bench seats after being spoiled in the boxes. Our benches were the same level as the boxes, so same distance from the stage, but way off to the side. Luckily, this didn't pose much of a problem with Izzard's show and we had a clear view of the monitors. It wouldn't have been great seating for a concert.
Dan took this panorama before the show. The bowl ended up being completely sold-out.
Since we were in the benches, we didn't hassle bringing a picnic. We ate dinner at home and then bought popcorn, lemonade and beer to snack on during the show. This made our experience so much easier and less expensive. I love the idea of picnics at the bowl, but the reality is always such a pain.
One of the best bargains at the Hollywood Bowl is cushion rentals. Those benches are hard and for just a dollar, you can rent padding. After the show, you don't even have to bother returning them, you just leave them on the bench. It's a must for the bench seats and just easier than bringing your own from home.
Here are a few shots of our view, including a blurry one of Izzard.
We had sky-high expectations for Izzard's show. We were pumped.
Unfortunately, Izzard failed to meet our expectations. This isn't to say that the show was bad, it just wasn't, for the most part. laugh-out-loud funny. He took a long time setting up jokes and the effort didn't meet the pay-off. In his two-hour show, he occasionally circled back to earlier topics that unfortunately, had already been forgotten, making the joke fall flat.
Much of the content was historical and political ( in itself, not a negative) and the result came across more like Izzard was a mildly humorous college professor. Even if my laughter was mostly internal, I did appreciate Izzard's quick wit and brilliant mind. He's very clever.
My British husband thought that Izzard was pandering to an American audience. Izzard continuously broke from the comedy to tell the audience that we were the "Intelligent, Liberal Minded" citizens of Los Angeles. Apparently, all of the "smart people" bought tickets to his show. It wasn't part of a joke either. It was like when people win an academy award and they use their acceptance speech to get on their soap box.
I happen to be liberal, but I did find this to be insulting. I very much dislike this mob mentality that groups "like-minded" individuals based on their politics or religion. It's exclusionary and close-minded. Yes, many liberals are pretty close-minded! It was entirely unnecessary in Izzard's show. He could have made political jokes and proudly told everyone his liberal views and it would have been fine, even funny.. It became offensive when he reigned-in the audience to rally to his cause, making a hive mind scenario. It crossed the line into an uncomfortable territory.
There was one part of the show that I did laugh. I laughed a lot. The kind of laughter where I couldn't catch my breath, my stomach knotted, and where tears were rolling down my cheeks. It was a whole skit on horse dressage. I don't want to spoil it, but I nearly died laughing. Youtube it, trust me. I wish his entire show had been this hysterically funny.
Ultimately, we were both let-down by Force Majeure. Izzard is a funny guy, but he seemed off his game with this one.