- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
The Music Center
The Music Center Review
Serving as L.A.'s major performing arts venue since its opening in 1964, this was where the Academy Awards was held until it moved to what is now called the Dolby Theatre.
The Music Center is reminiscent of New York's Lincoln Center because the buildings that house the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, the Center Theater Group, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale all surround a large courtyard. Glorya Kaufman presents Dance at the Music Center is another program that features the best of dance, from global to traditional ballet. At intermission, patrons spill into the plaza to drink wine, enjoy the lighted "dancing" fountain or occasional art exhibits, adding magic to an evening already filled with artistic excellence.
The largest of the center's four theaters is the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, named after the philanthropic wife of former Los Angeles Times publisher Norman Chandler. The Ahmanson, at the north end, is a flexible venue for major musicals and plays. In between these two sits the round Mark Taper Forum, an intimate 700-seat theater.
Activity isn't limited to merely ticketed events; free tours of the entire Music Center campus are available by volunteer docents who provide a wealth of architectural and behind-the-scenes information while escorting you through elaborate, art-punctuated VIP areas.
Walt Disney Concert Hall. L.A.'s crown jewel, designed by Frank Gehry, opened in 2003 and instantly became a stunning icon of the city. The gorgeous stainless-steel-clad exterior soars upward, seeming to defy the laws of engineering.
Inside, the Hall has a billowing ceiling of Douglas fir and an enormous pine-clad organ centerpiece said to have been inspired by a box of McDonald's french fries. The carpet, named "Lily," is a wild collage of petals inspired by Lillian Disney's love of flowers, as is the "Rose for Lily" fountain—made entirely of bits of Delftware, Mrs. Disney's favorite collectible—in the tranquil outdoor public garden.
Docent-led and self-guided audio tours of the Hall are available free to the public for parties of 14 and fewer, but note that entry to the performance space is subject to rehearsal schedules. Your chances are better in summer when the Philharmonic moves to the Hollywood Bowl.
Additional children's performances, lectures, and experimental works are held in surrounding smaller theater spaces: the indoor BP Hall, two outdoor mini-amphitheaters, and CalArts's intimate 266-seat REDCAT Theatre. 111 South Grand Avenue, 90012. 323/850–2000. www.laphil.com.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
AN INTOXICATING BIRTHDAY VISIT TO NAPA
For my Mom’s 49th birthday, my younger twin sisters, Ainsley and Bailey, and I decided to hire a limo and driver for a day tour to Napa. Read more
So this was my first trip to the USA. Read more
We are a family of 4 (2 boys, aged 10 & 8) coming to the US mid-March 2014, for 4wks. Read more
· News & Features
American Airlines and US Airways formally completed their merger this morning, leaving four major players... Read more
Oceania Cruises has got something unique in store: a world cruise that embarks in the summertime instead... Read more
Whether its Spicy Alligator Fritters or Broiled Lobster Maine Lobster that you're after, Carnival's new... Read more