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A Looney Tunes perennial gets a Hollywood Bowl update with new toons

February 8, 2010 |  3:00 pm

Bugs "Bugs Bunny on Broadway," a summertime family concert classic, is getting an overhaul after nearly 20 years.

The popular concert series has been entertaining adults and children since 1990, pairing familiar Looney Tunes characters and classical music chestnuts in irreverent ways. The anthology includes cartoon classics such as "The Rabbit of Seville," "A Corny Concerto" and "What's Opera, Doc?"

(The show ran for an extended period at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway, hence the title.)

In July, the Hollywood Bowl will premiere a new version of the concert titled "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony," which is expected to include seven new cartoons, plus a handful of non-Looney Tunes characters, including Tom and Jerry, the Jetsons and the Flintstones.

George Daugherty, the creator and conductor of the concert, said that approximately 70% of the show will be new material. He also said that five of the cartoons take place in an animated version of the Bowl.

"It will be an art imitates life imitates art experience for the audience," he said.

Among the cartoons to be featured in the new version of the concert are "Rhapsody Rabbit," "Tweet and Lovely" and "Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl."

The Los Angeles Philharmonic will perform the soundtrack for the cartoons, which will be shown on five jumbo screens at the Bowl. In addition, the Bowl will arrange for specially "choreographed" fireworks to occur during the "What's Opera, Doc?" segment of the show.

"Bugs Bunny at the Symphony" will have its inaugural performances at the Bowl and at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, according to Daugherty.

The original "Bugs Bunny on Broadway" had its world premiere in 1990 in a test performance with the San Diego Symphony at the San Diego Civic Theatre. It has since  played all over the world, including on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre.

It has also played at Hollywood Bowl engagements with the L.A. Philharmonic;  Davies Hall with the San Francisco Symphony; and Washington, D.C.'s, Wolf Trap with the National Symphony.

The concert has remained virtually the same since 1990, with minor adjustments, according to Daugherty. 

Looney Tunes is owned by Warner Bros., which is one of the presenters of the concert series.

-- David Ng

Credit: Warner Bros.