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A CAVALCADE OF BROKEN DREAMS

For five decades, the stars upon on Hollywood Boulevard have been subjected to a steady diet of cigarette butts, shoe leather and, when the Reaper calls, the occasional and inevitable floral tribute. A somewhat dubious institution (the late Tinseltown huckster Johnny Grant has two stars, but Godzilla and John Stamos only rate one apiece?), yet the dedication ceremonies' social function can be riveting, a chance for a final glimpse (as with Dennis Hopper's ghostly acceptance last month) or to witness a reunion between two of the unlikeliest showbiz chums ever (Jerry Lee Lewis and Steve Allen). To mark the Walk of Fame's big five-zero milestone anniversary, "Walk the Walk" celebrates with a strategic series of musical events, dance performances, tours and open houses peppered along the boulevard of broken dream's most crucial locales. Chief among the draws here is an 11:30 a.m. set from Gleeby-rhythm scion Louis Prima Jr. & the Witnesses, who'll be joined by singer Lena Prima, for a dedication of their late, great daddio's star outside the Montalban Theater, 1615 N. Vine St., also the site of folkloric ballet and mariachi performances throughout the day. The intoxicatingly beautiful Egyptian Theater offers free architectural tours, and the TV Guide Channel studios at Hollywood & Highland will also allow access to the public, where you can see firsthand how mind-numbingly corporate publicity dreck is actually broadcast (golly!). The true gem of this affair, though, is the daylong opportunity to get inside Capitol Record's subterranean Studio A, the facility where Sinatra, Nat Cole, Merle Haggard and most everyone else in the game cut many of their most critical discs. It's a room fraught with intangible mystery and allure, positively vibrating with the accrued spiritual atmosphere that has always, despite time's passage and a marked loss of prestige, characterized Hollywood itself.
Sun., July 25, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 2010


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