Eminem and Skylar Grey Perform ‘Walk on Water,’ ‘Stan,’ ‘Love The Way You Lie’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’ (Watch) – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


Eminem was the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 18 and he brought Skylar Grey along for a performance that started with his new single “Walk on Water” and evolved into renditions of “Stan” and “Love The Way You Lie,” as well.

In a white gown, Grey sat and sang at a piano just behind and off to the side of Em, who wore all black, including his trademark hoodie pulled up over a baseball cap. He shifted his weight side to side as he began the new song but his movements increased as the song went on.

Though “SNL’s” audio engineers had their fingers ready to mute certain choice words in the song, they did not bleep “retarded” out of the second verse (“Kids look to me as a god, this is retarded/If only they knew, it’s a facade and it’s exhaustive”).

When the beat picked up behind Grey’s third chorus, Em waved his right arm over his head and mouthed the words along with her. Picking up energy himself, he stepped out from behind the mic stand to move around the stage for the third verse, a particularly emotional one that includes a tribute to his late best friend and former D12 member Proof (nee DeShaun Holton): “But the only one who’s looking down on/me that matters now’s DeShaun/Am I lucky to be around this long?/Begs the question though/especially after the methadone/as yesterday fades and the Dresden home/is burnt to the ground, and all that’s left of my house is lawn./The crowds are gone/and it’s time to wash out the blond.”

After Em reminded the audience that he wrote “Stan” in the kicker of “Walk on Water,” Grey stepped out from behind the piano to sing the chorus of that 1999 hit. Performing only a portion of that almost seven minute track, they then shifted into part of “Love The Way You Lie,” off his 2010 “Recovery” album. (Rihanna, not Grey, is featured on the song on the album, though Grey co-wrote it.)

Em and Grey have collaborated on a number of songs through the years, including the “I Need A Doctor” 2011 single with Dr. Dre, “A–hole” from his 2013 “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” album, “Twisted” from Shady Records’ 15th anniversary celebratory disc “Shady XV,” and most recently, “Kill For You” off her 2016 “Natural Causes” album.

“Walk on Water,” Em’s first single from his upcoming “Revival” album, dropped Nov. 10 and moved into the No.1 position on iTunes hip-hop chart later that same day and into the top 10 in “songs in every category,” as well.

Watch the full performance below:

Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.



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‘Perfect Strangers’ Director Paolo Genovese Set for U.S. Debut – Variety


Italian director Paolo Genovese, whose concept movie “Perfect Strangers” involving smartphones and personal secrets is making a global splash, is set to make his English-language debut with “The First Day of My Life,” a New York-set suicide dramedy with echoes of Frank Capra’s classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Based on Genovese’s novel of the same title, which has become a bestseller in Italy, “The First Day of My Life” revolves around four characters on the brink of taking their lives who make a pact with a stranger with supernatural powers. The mystery man gives them a chance to travel forward in time to see for a week how their friends and relatives would react to their deaths and what the world would be like without them. On the last day of the week, the four potential suicides have the option of deciding whether whether to live or jump off the Manhattan Bridge.

The four characters are Emily, a former Olympic gymnast now in a wheelchair; Aretha, a police officer with a painful past; Napoleon, a successful New York stage personality; and Daniel, a child star in the American advertising world. 

“It’s almost like a survival manual,” said Genovese, speaking of his new project at the Filming Italy Sardinia Festival. “I needed to write something joyful – even though it’s about suicide – something that gives a sense to life. I think it’s something that people need.”

Genovese is now in advanced development on the project, which he plans to shoot in English with American actors. He recently spent two months in New York working on the screenplay and scouting locations. 

Talks are underway for Leone Film Group and Medusa, the director’s regular producers, to mount “The First Day of My Life” as an Italy/U.S. co-production with an as-yet-unspecified U.S. partner, Genovese said. It will be dubbed into Italian for the Italian market.

Though casting is still being decided, Genovese said he would like to draw “on the wonderful talent pool of American actors who appear in U.S. TV series even though they may not necessarily be known yet to Italian audiences.”

Perfect Strangers,” which revolves around a circle of friends who decide to bare their secrets at a dinner by exposing the contents of their smartphones for all to see, has been remade in several languages after grossing more than $16 million in 2016 at the Italian box office. A Spanish version directed by Alex de la Iglesia has earned almost $26 million at the local box office this year. A Mexican adaptation has just been announced, to be directed by Manolo Caro (“La Casa de las Flores”). Genovese said plans for an adaptation in the U.S., where the rights were sold to The Weinstein Company, are “on hold.”

The original Italian version of “Perfect Strangers” is performing well at the Chinese box office, where it opened at No. 5 in the fourth frame in May and has since pulled in more than $8.5 million, the best result for an Italian movie in China since Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso.”



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‘Jersey Shore’ Cast to Reunite for MTV Revival Series – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


MTV is reviving reality-TV franchise “Jersey Shore.”

The Viacom-owned cable channel announced Monday that the series’ original cast members — including Deena Nicole Cortese, Paul “Pauly D” Delvecchio,” Jenni “JWOWW” Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino — will reunite for “Jersey Shore Family Vacation,” a new series set to premiere in 2018. The announcement came during the Monday-night premiere of new reality series “Floribama Shore,” which follows a format similar to the original.

The original “Jersey Shore” ran for six seasons on MTV from 2009 to 2012. Created by SallyAnn Salsano, the series followed the alcohol-fueled adventures of a group of friends sharing a New Jersey beach house. the series spawned spinoffs “Geordie Shore” in the U.K., “Gandia Shore” in Spain, “Warsaw Shore” in Poland, and “Acapulco Shore” in Mexico.

Salsano’s 495 Productions will produce the new series, with Salsano again serving as executive producer. Nina L. Diaz and Jackie French will exec produce for MTV.

Farley teased the announcement of the revival series earlier in the day on Monday, posting a photo of the original cast on Instagram with the caption, “MAJOR #JerseyShore news during the premiere of @FloribamaShore tonight at 10/9c on @MTV! Get ready! #MTVFloribamaShore.”

Watch a promo for the new series below:



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ABC Tops Monday With ‘Bachelorette,’ ‘Proposal’ Premiere – Variety


ABC won Monday night in the overnight ratings with the combination of “The Bachelorette” and the series premiere of “The Proposal.”

The Bachelorette” was steady with last week at 8 p.m., averaging a 1.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers. “The Proposal” followed at 10, opening to a 0.8 and 3.9 million viewers. “The Proposal” was ABC’s top summer debut in the time slot in three years, since the debut of “The Whispers.”

On NBC, ‘Running Wild with Bear Grylls” (0.7, 3.2 million) was mostly steady. “American Ninja Warrior” (1.0, 4.2 million) was down from last week.

CBS aired repeats except for “Elementary” (0.6, 4.6 million), which was even.

On Fox, “So You Think You Can Dance” (0.8, 3.1 million) ticked up in the demo.

On The CW, the season finale of “Supergirl” (0.5, 1.8 million) was up in the demo. “Whose Line Is It Anyway” (0.3, 0.96 million) was even.

ABC was first for the night in both measures with a 1.2 and 5.1 million viewers. NBC was second in the demo with a 0.9 but third in viewers with 3.9 million. CBS and Fox tied for third in the demo with a 0.6 each. CBS was second in viewers with 4.3 million. Fox was fourth with 2.7 million. The CW averaged a 0.4 and 1.4 million viewers.



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Rai Fiction Looks to Conquer International Audiences – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


Italy’s leading broadcaster Rai, which invests nearly 200 million euros in roughly 400 hours of content every year, is aiming to become a key player on the international drama scene.

The Frank Spotnitz and Nicholas Meyer-created “Medici: Masters of Florence,” whose second season stars Daniel Sharman as young Lorenzo, known as the Magnificent, in 15th century Florence, underscores Rai’s ambition to push the Italian drama industry beyond local borders.

“As a public broadcaster we think that being an important player at a national level is not enough, Rai has decided to play a fundamental role in the development of Italy’s audiovisual industry overseas,” said Eleonora Andreatta, the head of Rai Fiction, who is attending this week’s Content London conference.

Producing “Medici: Masters of Florence,” a show about Italian history, in English presented a risk because it could have alienated local audiences; but it turned to be a big ratings hit for Rai. The series also traveled in all major markets. Medici: Masters of Florence. The Magnificent” is being sold by Jan Mojto’s Beta Film.

“TV series can build the imaginary identity of our country even better than films, and bring it to an international dimension,” said the exec, adding that the 24 million euros series “Medici” was mainly produced by Lux Vide and lensed with an Italian crew across 30 locations in Italy between Tuscany, Lazio and Lombardy.

Besides “Medici,” Rai has a flurry of internationally-driven drama series in the pipeline, notably “L’amica Geniale” (“My Brilliant friend”) an Italian language series commissioned by HBO and Rai which is being directed by Saverio Costanzo and started shooting in October.

Based on the first of the four bestselling “Neapolitan Novels” by Elena Ferrante, “Brilliant Friend,” is being directed by Italian auteur Saverio Costanzo. The entire neighbourhood of Gianturco, where Ferrante’s novel is set, has been meticulously rebuilt for the series, which is being produced for HBO and Rai by Fremantle Italy.

Andreatta has called Ferrante’s work “one of the most powerful and universal stories of female friendship,” and underlined that Rai feels “very strongly” that it “belongs to the realm of what European public service television should be doing.”

Also on Rai’s slate: Giacomo Battiato’s “The Name of the Rose” with John Turturro and Rupert Everett which will start shooting in January at Cinecittà, where a library and an abbey are being built for the series.

The ambitious “Name of the Rose” skein marks the first TV adaptation of Eco’s groundbreaking historical murder mystery which in 1986 was made into a movie by Jean-Jacques Annaud after selling millions of copies.

This eight-episode English-language show with a reported Euros 23 million ($27 million) budget is being sold internationally by Germany’s Tele München Group

Rolling off the crime series “Suburra,” a Netflix original which Rai co-produced, the broadcaster is also co-producing Davide Marengo’s fantasy romance “Mermaids” and “The Hunter,” an organized crime series set in Sicily in the 1990’s. Both are Italian-language series set in Italy which have the potential to lure younger audiences and the international market thanks to their visual language, writing and acting, said Andreatta.

“Mermaids” is a contemporary show in that it addresses gender, diversity and feminism; while “The Hunter” tells a true story about a young and ambitious prosecutor who brought down more than 300 Mafiosi, according to Andreatta.

The daring “Mermaids,” in which four sirens surface in the port of contemporary Naples seeking a mythological male sea creature who has disappeared, debuted in October on Rai’s flagship Rai 1 channel where the show has been scoring solid double digit ratings in prime time. The show, which is Italy’s first fantasy skein, is being co-produced by Rai with Cross Productions and Germany’s Beta Film, which is selling internationally.

“The Hunter,” which is about Italy’s real Mafia wars of the 1990’s and the battle between Cosa Nostra and the Italian state, debuted on Rai 2 in October. This innovative mob show, in which crimes are reconstructed through the eyes of a Palermo prosecutor who thanks to brilliant hunches, spectacular raids and front-page arrests, manages to put hundreds of Mafiosi behind bars, has the same trio of companies co-producing as “Sirens” and is also being sold internationally by Beta.

The exec pointed out that the arrival of streaming services which deliver content for global audiences has pushed “Rai, like all other European public service broadcasters, to rethink its role and its identity — one that’s defined by Italian creativity, Italian culture, history and tradition.”

“Medici,” for instance, speaks about the Renaissance which Andreatta defines as the “DNA of the West, the social and cultural revolution that belongs to all of us, to Italian and the Western world.”



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Tiffany Haddish and Black Panther Reign – Variety


After sitting through countless bloated awards shows indulging themselves for three or four hours at a time, the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards were a genuine relief — and in a delightful twist, even genuinely heartwarming.

Airing Monday night after taping Saturday, the edited ceremony ran just two hours long but managed to squeeze in 15 awards, two musical performances, and several pre-taped sketches featuring host Tiffany Haddish. (The best: a take on “Black Panther’s” throne challenge scene featuring “Get Out’s” Lil Rel Howry and Haddish’s “Girl’s Trip” costars Jada Pinkett-Smith and Queen Latifah, and Haddish telepathically communicating with Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren from “The Last Jedi,” complete with a tense standoff over a vibrator she tried to pass off as a back massager.) Speeches were largely short and sweet; the biggest exception was generation award winner Chris Pratt, who accidentally proved the power of short speeches by delivering a confusing list of life rules ranging from “learn to pray” to “learn to poop better at parties.”

With an ever-effervescent (and unapologetically thirsty) Haddish at the helm, people were at the awards for a good time, not a long time. By the night’s end, it was hard to understand why other awards show don’t follow suit more often. It was also easy to understand why MTV reportedly tapped Haddish to host earlier than they usually would; not only is she one of Hollywood’s fastest rising stars, but as the show’s opening song proved, she apparently can rap the hell out of a Cardi B beat.

But even if the awards ceremony felt breezy, it was far from weightless. Haddish began her monologue by pointing out with a mixture of pride and disbelief that she’s the first black woman to host the ceremony; she closed by snarking that she better wrap it up, because “when a black girl talks this much on MTV, she usually just got catfished.” During one of his three(!) acceptance speeches for “Black Panther,” star Chadwick Boseman shouted out guest of honor James Shaw Jr., the “Waffle House hero” who helped stop a mass shooting. Keiynan Lonsdale, accepting best kiss for his part in gay teen movie “Love, Simon” wearing a glitter-spackled face and flowing dress, declared that “you can achieve your dreams and be yourself.” Lena Waithe dedicated her trailblazer award to the cast of seminal documentary “Paris Is Burning,” reminding the younger audience that slang like “werk” and “slay” is rooted in drag ball culture and thanking her queer predecessors for “strutt[ing] through a brick wall so we wouldn’t have to.”

If it hasn’t become obvious by now, the night’s biggest and best moments belonged to its black and/or queer honorees. Throughout the night, they underlined some key shifts in the entertainment industry and celebrated progress in ways both casual and poignant. In a time when many awards shows feel like they’re reaching to make sure they include enough Political Moments to stay relevant, it was incredibly refreshing to see this one do it without breaking a sweat thanks to actual, meaningful inclusion.



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CBS Orders Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg-Produced Comedy Pilot – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


CBS has ordered a comedy pilot that will be executive produced by Seth Rogen and Evan GoldbergVariety has learned.

Titled “25,” the hybrid comedy follows twenty-something Kyle who comes to Austin to finally convince his old best friend from camp they are perfect for each other. Unfortunately, she just got engaged. A lot of guys would give up, but Kyle is not one of those guys. To Kyle’s surprise, even though he came to town looking for “the one,” he might end up with much more than that.

Hilary Winston is the writer and executive producer. James Weaver of Rogen and Goldberg’s Point Grey Pictures will also executive produce. Sony Pictures Television, where Point Grey is under an overall deal, will produce with CBS Television Studios.

Winston most recently worked on “Dr. Ken” as a consulting producer and writer. Her other credits include “My Name Is Earl,” “Community,” and “Happy Endings.”

In addition to their extensive film work, Rogen and Goldberg are also executive producers on the AMC series “Preacher,” as well as the upcoming Showtime pilot “Ball Street.” The latter series will star Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells, with Rogen and Goldberg also attached to direct the pilot.

Winston is repped by UTA and Rise Management. Rogen and Goldberg are repped by UTA.



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Fox Launches ‘9-1-1’ Campaign for Southern California First Responders – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


In light of the recent wildfires ravaging Southern California, Fox show “9-1-1” is honoring real-life first responders.

The drama, which follows police, paramedics and firefighters facing emergency situations, has teamed up with the Los Angeles Fire Department and National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to raise money and awareness for first responders affected by the fires. Fox will donate $5 for every retweet to the Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and will match up to $10,000 donated to the group as part of the “9-1-1 Hometown Hero Sweepstakes,” where fans submit stories along with a donation.

The show’s stars, including Angela Bassett, Peter Krause and Connie Britton, are featured in PSAs thanking first responders for their work, particularly in the Thomas Fire, which is California’s largest blaze to date. The clips will air on Fox and across social media when “9-1-1” premieres on Jan. 3.

“To all of our real life responders, I just want to say thank you,” Bassett, who is also an executive producer on the show, says in the PSA. “Thank you for being that voice of reason, that voice of comfort.”

Along with the Twitter donation program, Fox is holding screenings of the show on the studio’s lot for Los Angeles-based firefighters and their families. Holiday food deliveries to Los Angeles fire stations and first responder units have also been arranged by Fox.




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TV Shows to Watch the Week of June 18, 2018 – Variety


Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.

Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, the final episode of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” will air and “Luke Cage” returns for Season 2.

Yellowstone,” Paramount Network, Wednesday, 9 p.m.

In the two-hour series premiere, Kevin Costner stars as John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. But the ranch is under constant attack by those it borders – land developers, an Indian reservation, and America’s first National Park. The series is written and directed by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan.

“Take Two,” ABC, Thursday, 10 p.m.

In this new drama series, Sam Swift (Rachel Bilson), the former star of a hit cop series whose epic breakdown is broadcast to the public and sends her to rehab. Desperate to restart her career, she talks her way into shadowing lone-wolf private investigator Eddie Valetik (Eddie Cibrian) as research for a potential comeback role. The series hails from “Castle” creators  Terri Edda Miller and Andrew W. Marlowe.

Luke Cage,” Netflix, Friday

The Marvel hero returns to Netflix for a second season. In Season 2, Luke is coming to grips with his celebrity status while also trying to keep Harlem safe. Complicating matters is the arrival of a Jamaican gangster known as Bushmaster, who is determined to take over Harlem from Meriah Dillard and Shades.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” CNN, Sunday, 9 p.m.

In the series finale of the travel series, host Anthony Bourdain travels to Bhutan, a landlocked country located in the Eastern Himalayas.

“Westworld,” HBO, Sunday, 9 p.m.

The 90-minute Season 2 finale of the HBO series airs this week.



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Diana Ross Reigns Supreme at Orchestrated Hollywood Bowl Opener – Variety


It’s a fairly safe assumption that by the time most superstar singers reach their 70s, they’re pretty set in their setlist ways. So there was plenty of reason to suspect that Diana Ross’ performance with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at the host venue’s official season opener Saturday night would be essentially a reprise of the show she was doing in her Las Vegas residency this past winter, with strings attached. But in this case, the answer to that eternal question of hers — “Do you know where you’re going to?” — was, wonderfully, no.

Saturday’s show turned out to be a true one-off, filled with songs Ross rarely — or never — performs live; only seven of the 16 choices overlapped with the set the Supreme being was doing in Sin City earlier in the year. She’s veteran enough to know that when you score a pickup band as good as the 70-piece-plus that filled the Bowl stage, you make use of the occasion to mix it up a little. It was presumably conductor Thomas Wilkins’ influence at work in a lot of these choices, leaving out some familiar chestnuts in favor of more oboe-friendly obscurities. And if the main rationale was which tunes lent themselves toward the lushest arrangements, it had the welcome side effect of giving the most hardcore Ross aficionados an evening that felt “Upside Down” in all the right ways.

The first clue that this wouldn’t be a merely augmented version of a typical Ross show came with the opening number, which, for one of the few times in the last decade, was not “I’m Coming Out.” (That standby didn’t come out at all Saturday, to the disappointment of some, given an audience that surely had a substantial overlap with last weekend’s Pride parade.) Instead, she and the Bowl orchestra opened with “He Lives in You,” a song associated primarily with the “Lion King” musical, which, as far as just about anyone could remember, Ross was last seen performing in an Oprah appearance in the late ‘90s — which might have been one of the last times she had a full vocal ensemble in attendance to pull the tune off, like the Fred Martin Choir that sat (or stood) in on several numbers Saturday. Most likely, it was picked for that slot because of its tribal majesty, although you couldn’t rule out someone having realized that it’s actually the perfect holiday number for Father’s Day Eve.

From there, it was onto more familiar territory, at least for a while, with “More Today Than Yesterday,” which Ross has made enough of a tour staple over the decades that some fans probably mistake it for a Supremes tune, and “You Can’t Hurry Love,” which turned out to be the only actual Supremes number of the night. The typical medley of her original group’s material wasn’t much missed — except maybe by the minority of the audience that hadn’t seen a half-dozen Ross tours before — as she went on to concentrate mostly on singles from the mid-‘70s through early ‘90s, including rarely performed picks like “If We Hold On Together,” “It’s My Turn,” “Home,” and one that she surprisingly almost never pulled out on tour until last year, the “Mahogany” theme. There was reassuring familiarity at show’s end, in the form of “Upside Down,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” — another tour certainty she’s fooled fans into imagining she originated — and “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand,” which has never required a full choir to succeed, but which doesn’t suffer from one, either.

But it was three outside choices in the middle of the show — all of which predated even the Supremes by decades — that gave the show a memorably historical and emotional core. “My Man” is a true oldie Ross performed at the Bowl a decade ago and brought back Saturday, even though it’s a song more often associated with Barbra Streisand and, Fanny Brice before Babs. That led naturally into a cover Ross is more closely tied to, via “Lady Sings the Blues,” the Billie Holliday classic “The Man I Love,” which brought out the saxes in the Bowl orchestra’s mix.

Prior to these, on the other side of a costume change, was a ‘70s standard — 1770s, that is — “Amazing Grace,” which Ross has not been known to pull out in performance before. Whether it was spiritual or strictly stylistic reasons that led her to go gospel just this once, she owned it far more than you would expect anyone who’s owned that many Bob Mackie gowns to have a righteous right to. She seemed to forget the words in the opening stanza, but the huge confluence of moving parts that is an orchestra somehow seamlessly moved back to the beginning with her, and she brought home the rest of the song like someone whose last residency had been at the Church of God in Christ, not the Wynn. She may have an Aretha-returns-to-church album in her yet.

Even in a show as music-focused as this one, a lack of costume changes would have been a disappointment, so there were just the right amount — two — revealing three variations on a theme, with Ross emerging each time nearly lost in colorful, all-consuming ruffles that eventually got downgraded to the longest train this side of Union Station before being laid aside to be retrieved by a lackey. Fortunately, she appears to have taken care of her voice in recent years as well as her handlers take care of wardrobe; a few of the rough edges that are an inevitable byproduct of 74 didn’t detract from the pleasure of hearing Ross go for it — as much as she ever has in her career — and unlazily land each number.

Stage banter was minimal, and not necessarily by Ross’ design, as she was working with a band larger than one she can easily cue (with some of her regular musicians joining the orchestra). “I wanted to talk, but it’s too late now,” she lamented over the opening of “Theme from Mahogany,” signaling the loss of some introductory story we were not destined to hear. She did get a word edgewise before the closing number, telling the audience that she had been “playing with my grandkids and I broke my ankle… That’s why I didn’t move around, guys. Didn’t you see I couldn’t move? I was doing lots of hand movements,” she joked, breaking into oversized breaststroke motions.

The lack of visible boogieing on Ross’ part hadn’t been much noticed, anyway, since it seemed as if she were being deferential to the spirit of the orchestra, if anything. Not every performer who gets hooked up with the Bowl orchestra is as willing to share; some previous headliners have used the mass of strings as subliminal backup more than equal partner. Her willingness to share the reins for a unique one-nighter was just another reason to call her Miss Boss.

Prior to intermission, Wilkins led the Bowl orchestra in a selection from John Williams’ “E.T.” score, then brought out 29 members of YOLA, the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, to augment the adult players on Arturo Marquez’s “Conga del fuego nuevo.” As always, the opening night served as a benefit for the LA Phil’s work with YOLA and other educational outreach programs; this year’s gala was reported to have raised more than $1.75 million.



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