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REVIEW: DIANA ROSS at The Hollywood Bowl

A Supreme Performance Brings Back a Flood of Memories

One thing is for sure: Diana Ross knows how to entertain, and she does so in a visual extravaganza and a voice that continually moves fans with its unique style and distinctive quality.

Fresh off the release of her new 2021 album “Thank You,” one of the greatest entertainers of all time returns to the Hollywood Bowl for a two-night tour of her hits, joined by The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Grammy nominated recording artist Joshua Henry, which also included a wondrous fireworks display from Pyro Spectaculars by Souza. The event is scheduled for two nights only, August 26th and 27th at 8:00PM.

Joshua Henry

Thomas Wilkins started the evening off, leading the 80-piece Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in the "Star Spangled Banner," followed by Leonard Bernstein's "Stava!" and John Williams’ "Adventures on Earth" from “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.” Soon joined by members of the elite Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, the famed conductor led an aggrandized orchestra in an exuberant "Conga del fuego nuevo" by Arturo Marquez.

As Ms. Ross glided onto the stage in a swirl of orange frills, riffles and ruffles, gracefully and effortlessly working the audience, she immediately broke out in The Lion King’s "He Lives in You," which she had recorded for her 1999 album, “Every Day is a New Day.” She followed that with "More Than Yesterday," and "Can't Hurry Love," defining her strong, distinctive vocals, and recapturing many of those golden oldies of long ago that skyrocketed her to fame. All with many elaborate costume changes along the way, of course…everything from a purple fish-tail ensemble with matching cape to a lustrously blue, strapless, flowing gown.

Ms. Ross, whose dominant voice has been described as “honey” and “angelic,” showed her strong distinctive and unmistakable vocals in "It's My Turn" and "Touch Me in the Morning." An emotional "Amazing Grace," was backed up by the orchestra’s strings section. Other songs included "Man I Love," "Upside Down," “Home,” "Do You Know Where You're Going To?" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," encoring with “Reach Out and Touch,” as a mesmerized audience waved their hands in the air.

A true legend, Diana Ross rose to stardom as the lead singer of The Supremes vocal trio in the '60s, which became one of Motown's most popular girl groups of all time. In 1970, Ms. Ross left the group to embark on a solo career that led to the creation of her self-titled album featuring her signature song “Ain't No Mountain High Enough,” which was her first No. 1 pop hit. Making a name for herself in the R&B and pop genre, Ms. Ross continues to reinvent herself and be in high demand at North American and European festivals or when on tour.

The multi-talented Diana Ross has altogether created 24 studio albums and five live albums, 14 of which were Top Ten Albums, producing over 100 million streams, downloads, and sales around the world. In 1993, she earned a Guinness World Record for her success in the United States and the United Kingdom by having more hits than any other female artist on the charts with a career total of over 75 hit singles.

In November of 2016, Ms. Ross was declared one of the 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the nation's greatest civilian honor. She is a 12-time Grammy nominee, receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, and was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. In addition to being a legendary singer, Diana Ross has also starred in many television shows and specials such as “Christmas in Washington” and “The Voice.”

Additional career milestones include Induction into The Songwriters Hall of Fame, National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Hero Award, NAACP Entertainer Award, Billboard’s Female Entertainer of the Century Award, and The Soul Train Legend Award. Ms. Ross is also one of the few celebrities to have two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

A national treasure with a magnificent legacy that has changed the course of music history and popular culture, Ms. Ross is an iconic creator of life, an alchemist of an unprecedented career that has made her the most successful recording artist and entertainer of all time.

Her dream began as a young girl in the North End section of Detroit. In a city where she would help to create a national cultural movement and become the premiere artist at the renown Motown Records. Her extraordinary journey from the leader of The Supremes to her solo career has inspired and empowered countless musicians, artists, celebrities, and young dreamers.

The Diana Ross magic has not only touched music, but also fashion, stage, film, and TV. Her portrayal of Billie Holiday in the 1972 classic film “Lady Sings the Blues” produced an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award. Starring as an aspiring designer in the 1975 romantic comedy “Mahogany,” the role was a perfect opportunity to personally sketch and design all the fashion in the timeless film. As a stage actress, she won Broadway’s top honor with a Tony Award for her one-woman show, “An Evening with Diana Ross.” The same show was later broadcast as an award-winning network television special.

“As you hear my voice, you hear my heart. Let love lead the way! Thank you to all those that have made this incredible journey possible.” Always in pursuit of new levels of excellence and becoming the best of the best, no one does it better than Diana Ross.

Joshua Henry is best known for his Tony-nominated leading roles in “Carousel,” “The Scottsboro Boys,” and “Violet,” as well as for his show stopping performance as Aaron Burr in the cultural phenomenon, “Hamilton” (Chicago/San Francisco/Los Angeles).

Joshua's debut album, “Grow,” is available worldwide on all streaming platforms. He is a BMG recording artist and his original symphony show, “Stand Up!” premiers this fall with The Philly Pops orchestra. On screen he starred as Roger Bart in the Academy award nominated film “Tick, Tick, Boom” directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. He also starred as Jerlamarel opposite Jason Momoa in two seasons of Apple TV Plus’s show “See.” Other Broadway shows include “In the Heights,” “Shuffle Along,” “American Idiot,” “Porgy and Bess” and “Bring It On: The Musical.” Off-Broadway: “In the Heights,” “The Wrong Man.” Joshua can currently be seen starring on Broadway in “Into The Woods.”

This performance is generously supported by Tylie Jones and Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. Tickets:

Chris Daniels

Arts & Entertainment Reviewer

The Show Report


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