- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Fodor's Southern California 2014
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.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- 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
Hello all! Read more
Long time lurker but only recently joined to get some advice about my up coming Canada trip so thought id share my USA experiance.
4 of us (21-25years old) flew in to LAX mid to late August, picked up Read more
My family and I are going to spend time in California this summer. Read more
· News & Features
Techie travelers have embraced the fun, tech-driven, on-the-road adventure that is geocaching. ... Read more
This week, we covered top destinations for great family getaways—from Disney World to dinosaur spotting.... Read more
Go on location in Görlitz, Germany, to the transporting set of director Wes Anderson's film... Read more