Festival of Arts is now accepting artists’ applications for the summer of 2018 Fine Art Show

Recently voted one of the top five art festivals in the nation by USA Today readers, the Festival of Arts is a prestigious, highly competitive, regional juried fine art show featuring original artwork by Orange County’s finest artists. 

The 2018 show will run July 5 – Sept 1. Artists who would like to apply for the 2018 fine art show should submit three digital images per media and a completed application form to the Festival of Arts by Oct 31. Applicants must apply online through the Festival’s website, www.foapom.com/apply. For more information call 949-464-4234. 

Artists applying to the Festival of Arts must be able to show that they have resided in Orange County for at least one year prior to Oct 31. Jurying fees are $50 per medium submitted. 

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Artist Demo Michael Ward getting creative with his masterpiece 

The jurors will score the submitted artwork based on quality, intention and content; excellence of craftsmanship; facility with media; excellence in the use of design elements; and professional presentation.

To learn more about the Festival of Arts, the application process and photographing artwork effectively for submission, artists are invited to attend a free seminar offered on the following dates and locations: Sept 30 at 10:30 a.m. in the Saddleback Visual Arts Studio located at 1 Purpose Drive, Lake Forest, and Oct 4, at 5 p.m. in the Festival of Arts Forum Theater located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

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Artist Toni Danchik standing next to her own gallery of art pieces 

The Festival of Arts is a non-profit organization whose proceeds support the arts and art education in and about Orange County. This prestigious juried art exhibition is Southern California’s oldest and most respected outdoor art show. Recent accolades include Orange County Register’s Best Place to Buy Original Art, Art Fair Calendar’s Top Five Art Fairs in the West and Top Five Art Festivals in the nation voted by USA Today readers. Each summer the works of 140 accomplished artists are showcased to the public in a six-acre art haven. The event is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For general information visit www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org or call (949) 494-1145.

12 Angry Men come(s) to the Playhouse in October

Laguna Playhouse is thrilled to announce the third show in the Laguna Playhouse 2017-2018 and 97th season, Twelve Angry Men, written by Reginald Rose and directed by Ovation Award-winning director Michael Matthews.

“We are so excited to be presenting this classic of the American theatre on our stage. Our subscribers and audiences are going to experience this timeless play at a time that will feel more relevant than ever,” comments Laguna Playhouse Executive Director Ellen Richard.  

Adds Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham “We are so honored to be presenting thirteen of Southern California’s finest actors in this production. We are particularly thrilled to have the inspired direction of Michael Matthews leading this courtroom.”

Be part of the courtroom action in this classic drama in which 12 jurors decide the fate of a young man accused of murder. What will the verdict be? Find out in this suspenseful thriller that pits passionate jurors against one another in a timely, timeless and bold examination of the American justice system. 

Director Michael Matthews is thrilled to be returning to Laguna Playhouse after directing last season’s Billy and Ray. Michael is the recipient of the 2015 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Career Achievement in Direction.

Reginald Rose, playwright, is best known for writing Twelve Angry Men. The play was inspired by Rose’s own stint on jury duty in the Foley Square courthouse in New York in 1954. Rose stood out among writers in television’s golden age for his willingness to tackle social and political issues. He won an Emmy Award in 1954 for best-written dramatic material for the original television version of “Twelve Angry Men” and received a nomination for an Academy Award in 1957 for the screenplay of the film version, which he produced with Henry Fonda, who was also the star. 

Scenic design is by Stephen Gifford; lighting design is by Tim Swiss; costume design is by Kate Bergh; and the production stage manager is Vernon Willett. 

This season is generously underwritten by The Hale Family. Twelve Angry Men is produced by Laura and Louis Rohl.  

Additional Season Sponsors are South Coast Plaza, Haskell White, Surterre Properties, Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders, Gelson’s, and Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin.

Twelve Angry Men will begin previews on Wed, Oct 4; will open on Sun, Oct 8 at 5:30 p.m. and will run through Sun, Oct 22 at the Playhouse, 606 Laguna Cyn Rd.

Performances will be Tues through Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Thurs and Sat at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. There will no Thurs performances on Oct 12 at 2 p.m. There will be an additional Sunday performance on Sunday, Oct 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $45 - $80 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.  Prices subject to change.

The box office is open Mon – Sat: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

LCAD announces the appointment of Julie Butler as its first full-time Alumni Relations Coordinator

Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) today announced the appointment of Julie Butler (Drawing & Painting, 2003) as the College’s first full-time Alumni Relations Coordinator. Butler will work directly with LCAD’s Office of College Advancement, including its Development and Communications staff members. Butler also will work closely with the College’s Office of Career Services.

In conjunction with Butler’s appointment, LCAD is excited to announce plans for the revival of the LCAD Alumni Association, an association that provides a network of support for all LCAD students and alumni, connecting them in ways that enhances their academic and professional success. 

LCAD alumni are welcome to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive more information.

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Julie Butler, LCAD’s first full-time Alumni Relations Coordinator

As an alumna of LCAD’s BFA program in Drawing & Painting and a two-year member of LCAD’s Admissions team, Butler brings with her a deep understanding of the College’s unique creative culture and her many strong connections with LCAD alumni from a combination of all fourteen of the College’s graduate and undergraduate degree tracks.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Julie is LCAD’s first full-time Alumni Relations Coordinator,” said LCAD President, Jonathan Burke. “Julie has played an important role at LCAD as an admissions counselor, helping applicants better understand our art and design majors. She is a perfect fit for this new role. Her efforts will support lifelong learning and will engage our alumni to share their talents and experiences with our current students.”

Full-time Alumni Relations Coordinator has long been a priority

“It has long been a priority for us to better serve LCAD’s growing population of talented alumni,” LCAD’s Director of College Advancement, Dominic Mumolo, stated. “Julie’s experience with LCAD’s alumni and her background as an LCAD alumna made her the best choice for the task at hand. We’re absolutely thrilled to have her as a part of our Advancement team and we look forward to giving more attention to our proud and deserving alumni base.”

Butler’s appointment and the revival of the LCAD Alumni Association will positively and immediately impact the success of nearly 2,000 LCAD students and alumni.

“As an alumna, I have a great sense of pride for LCAD’s history and mission, for the passion of LCAD’s faculty and staff, and for the deep well of talent and ambition that are our students and alumni,” Butler said. “LCAD is a very special place, and I’m thrilled not only to be an alumna of the College, but now also to be the conduit for all of these brilliant creative professionals who graduate from LCAD.”

Founded in 1961, Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) is one of the top art and design schools in the nation. LCAD offers undergraduate degrees (BFA) in Animation, Drawing and Painting, Entertainment Design, Game Art, Graphic Design + Digital Media, and Illustration, as well as Master of Fine Arts degrees (MFA) in Art of Game Design, Drawing, and Painting. 

For more information about LCAD admissions, news, events and Annual Fund, visit www.lcad.edu. Facebook at @LCADBFA, Twitter @LCAD and Instagram @lcadbfa.

FOA’s donation to LPAPA will help fund youth education programs

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association is delighted to share its gratitude for having been awarded $2,000 in grant funding from the Festival of Arts Foundation.

 These funds are earmarked to support LPAPA’s youth education programs to be presented during the 19th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, October 7-15, along with our continuing Plein Air Project.

Each year during the Invitational, LPAPA invites local LBUSD students, grades 4 through 12, to participate in the Kids Paint Out & Cookie Reception to take place at Heisler Park on Mon Oct 9. Professional artist members of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) will mentor and guide the young artists from start to finish in creating their own plein air masterpiece. 

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LPAPA offers kids a great opportunity to learn

The finished paintings will be on display at the “LPAPA in Residence Gallery” at the Forest & Ocean Gallery from Thurs October 12 until Mon Oct 16. The kids’ artwork is available for purchase for a donation amount to be determined by the purchaser. 

LPAPA hopes that the entire community will come to see and purchase the kids’ paintings as 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the students’ artwork is donated to the participating schools. Rosemary Swimm, LPAPA’s Executive Director, shares, “There is nothing more rewarding for LPAPA than to witness the joy on the students’ faces when they complete what may prove to be their first plein air painting experience, and then again when they are able to present a check to their school’s principal for the monies earned for the sale of their artwork.” 

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The event is fun as well as educational 

The program is designed to foster an appreciation for plein air painting, the beauty of the natural landscape that surrounds us, and our community’s artistic heritage.

In addition to the Kids Paint Out, college age students will participate in the Next Generation Paint Out to take place at Heisler Park on Wed Oct 11. This program provides college students with the knowledge of plein air painting, field study, and a multi-faceted education of California’s natural landscape and outdoor painting history.

The program is designed to engage art students in a professional painting event, expand personal and artistic skills, and enhance their abilities related to careers in the arts.  The student’s paintings will also be on display at the Forest & Ocean Gallery, Oct 12 - 16, and scholarship awards will be presented to the award-winning students during the Collectors Gala on October 14. 

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LPAPA has much to teach kids about color and composition

This year students from the Laguna College of Art and Design/LCAD, Saddleback College, and University of California, Irvine, will be participating in the Next Generation Paint Out and competing for scholarship awards.

LPAPA is sincerely grateful for the continued support of the FOA Foundation.  Without this generous contribution, the program just would not be able to continue and grow.

For more information about the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, its members and education programs, visit lpapa.org/about. For details about the upcoming 19th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, visit lagunapleinair.org.

Call for artists: Gallery Q engages with the natural world in fifth exhibition of the 2017 season

Gallery Q at the Susi Q explores the art-nature connection in its fifth and final exhibition of the 2017 season – Nature as Muse. 

In partnership with the Laguna Art Museum’s community-wide, annual Art & Nature Festival (Nov 2-5), OC artists of all ages are invited to submit nature-inspired entries in any medium. Paintings, photography, sculpture, collage, jewelry, mixed media, textiles, ceramics…unique and creative expressions are encouraged.

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Carole Zavala and Verna Glancy: The Peacock Princess

Gallery Q will be accepting artwork on Thurs, Sept 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. and Friday, Sept 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. There is an entry fee of $25 per piece. Additional entry pieces are $5 each — limit three. Scholarships are available to individuals 65+ on a limited income. Contact Laurie Smith for additional information. Visit the Susi Q front desk (380 Third Street). 

A free Artist’s Reception with beverages and light refreshments will take place on Friday, Oct 13 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. The exhibit will be on display from Sept 25 through Nov 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon through Fri. 

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Iriet Peshkess: Running down the hill

Many of the art pieces in the show will be available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Laguna Beach Seniors. 

Laguna Art Museum’s annual Art & Nature serves a number of purposes: to provide a festival of art and ideas for the community; to inspire artists; to find and develop connections between art and science; to raise awareness of environmental issues; and to celebrate Laguna Beach as a center for the appreciation of art and nature. 

Visit www.lagunartmuseum.org for more information. 

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Maureen MacDonald: Sunset at Shadow Ridge

Gallery Q, located at the Laguna Beach Community and Senior Center, is a public exhibition space dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the talent of emerging, semi-professional, and professional artists of all ages in Orange County.  Five to six shows per year honor local artists and are kicked off with a public art reception.  

For more information about the Gallery Q and Laguna Beach Seniors at the Susi Q visit www.susiq.org or call 949-464-6645 or contact Laurie Smith, Arts Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Art-To-Go buyer Melissa Faron wins stay at Tides Inn

The Art-To-Go fundraising sale is held each summer at Festival of the Arts. All purchases support artists suffering hardship from illness, injury, disaster or unfortunate circumstances. 

Melissa Faron’s receipt was drawn from among 90 others who bought from the Art-To-Go fundraising sale, presented by The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts in July and Aug. While visiting relatives in OC, Faron, of Arlington Heights, IL, purchased a landscape donated by photographer Rick Ferncase.

After finding out that she won a certificate for a two-night stay at The Tides Inn, Faron screamed, “Ahh – I can’t believe it. You really made my day!”

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Pool time at Tides Inn

The Tides Inn is a charming, historical property located within short walking distance to Heisler Park, Divers Cove, Laguna Art Museum, and Main Beach. 

“We toured the Laguna Beach village and I was really impressed with the beauty of the shops and hotels. I’m so excited to be able to stay there!” Faron exclaimed. 

“We thank The Tides Inn for their generous support of our program,” said Artists Fund Vice President Wendy Wirth.

To learn more visit TheArtistsFund-FoA.org or TidesLaguna.com. View photography by Rick Ferncase at Ferncase.com

LagunaTunes begins new season for singers united by a love of music

Concluding their summer break, LagunaTunes Community Chorus reconvenes on Mon, Sept 18 at 7 p.m. in the Thurston Middle School theater room. Members look forward to a new season of fast-paced, energetic, and positive practice sessions. Both new and returning participants are encouraged to attend the initial rehearsal because preparation begins immediately for the Dec concert, tentatively set for Sun, Dec 17. Rehearsal schedule is weekly, Mon nights, with three or four Sat practices.

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LagunaTunes begin news season

LagunaTunes, a no-audition chorus, welcomes singers of all training and experience levels. Some members read music, some do not, age levels cover a broad range, and all are united by a love of music. Emphasis is on fun, learning, improving performance skills, and the joy of group singing. Everyone who registers at the first rehearsal will receive the Dec concert music. Registration and music fee is $90.

The 60-member chorus is led by Bob Gunn, popular director of Orange County’s Men Alive chorus and Laguna’s St. Mary’s choir. Gunn’s entertaining choral productions are well known throughout southern California.

LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone (no auditions) and presents two concerts per year, in Dec and June. Funding is provided by the Festival of Arts Foundation and The Lodging Establishments and City of Laguna Beach. More information: www.lagunatuneschorus.org or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Art Museum will present Dancemaker film on Sept 9

Laguna Art Museum is set to present Dancemaker film on Sat, Sept 9. The show will begin at 6 p.m.

Academy Award nominee for best documentary feature, this film is a tribute to Paul Taylor and a look into the Paul Taylor Dance Company. 

Presented in partnership with Laguna Dance Festival, the documentary will be introduced by Professor of Dance at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and former Paul Taylor dance star featured in the film, Patrick Corbin.

Advance tickets are recommended. To register or reserve online, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org, or call 949- 494-8971.

Enjoy First Thursdays Art Walk with Laguna Dance Festival performances and so much more


Just because the Festival season is over does not mean there’s not plenty of art opportunities to enjoy in Laguna Beach, especially perennial favorite, First Thursdays Art Walk, Sept. 7, 6 to 9 p.m. 

Art Walk celebrates the diverse cultural art scene of Laguna Beach and is free to the public with participation by more than 30 member galleries.

Free trolley service for Art Walk runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Trolleys begin at the Laguna Art Museum (north) and Bluebird Canyon Road (south). The trolley route runs as far north as Viejo Street, up Laguna Canyon Road as far as Canyon Acres, and south to Bluebird Canyon Road. 

For more information, visit http://www.FirstThursdaysArtWalk.com.

Laguna Dance Festival hosts performances during Art Walk

The Laguna Dance Festival kicks off the beginning of their 10-day Festival with free dance performances during First Thursdays Art Walk, Thursday, Sept. 7, 6 to 9 p.m. Enjoy performances at the Laguna Art Museum and Dawson Cole Fine Art, featuring the beautiful work of two great Southern California dance companies - Kybele Dance Theater and Entity Contemporary Dance.

Kybele Dance Theater (KDT) will perform at 6:30 and 7 p.m. at Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, and Entity Contemporary Dance will perform at 6:30 and 7 p.m. at Dawson Cole Art, 326 Glenneyre St.

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Dancers of the Kybele Art Theatre

Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey Seda Aybay is the Artistic Director/Choreographer of Kybele Dance Theater, a contemporary company which she founded in 2003 in Los Angeles. She has produced and choreographed multiple works that have won her choreography awards and her pieces have toured and been presented in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Fresno, Concord, San Jose, Palm Desert, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Istanbul, Turkey. With Aybay’s choreography, KDT received 2nd Place in 2016 McCallum Choreography Festival, 1st Place in 2016 Front and Main Festival, and awards from MAD BAD Festival, Dance Under the Stars Festival, and RAW 2011. KDT is dedicated to building bridges between cultures and genders and creating a global perspective through contemporary dance. 

“Seda is a poetic genius,” said Jodie Gates, Founder and Artistic Director, Laguna Dance Festival.

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Entity Contemporary Dance

Entity Contemporary Dance was founded in 2009 in Irvine and directed by UCI alumni Will Johnston and Marissa Osato, Entity Contemporary Dance is a professional dance company that fuses contemporary, jazz, and hip hop dance techniques to present imaginative, dynamic repertory and to bridge the gap between commercial and concert dance.

Entity Contemporary Dance has produced evening length works in Los Angeles and San Francisco, was a finalist for the prestigious McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival in Palm Desert for five years, and made its international debut in Singapore and Hong Kong in 2016.

For more information, visit http://lagunadancefestival.org/special-events/.

Laguna Art Museum continues to feature “Phil Dike: At the Edge of the Sea,” “Ben Messick: Memories of Los Angeles,” and “Selections from the Permanent Collection, with Guests,” which all run through Sept. 24. Dike’s retrospective is the first comprehensive museum exhibition in over forty years of works by this prominent member of the California regionalist movement, with more than sixty of his paintings that span from the 1920s through the early 1980s.

Messick is celebrated for his images of life in Los Angeles during the years of the Great Depression and World War II. The museum owns a number of his drawings and lithographs, here supplemented with works on loan, including three of his finest paintings. 

The museum regularly presents changing selections from its own collection. On occasion, we borrow pieces from other collections to add an extra dimension. For information visit lagunaartmuseum.org.

 “Dog Days of Summer,” a group exhibit featuring new work by Suzy Barnard, Kay Bradner, Suzie Buchholz, Mary-Austin Klein, Geoff Krueger, and Scott Yeskel continues at Sue Greenwood Fine Art (SGFA), 330 N. Coast Highway. The show runs through Sep.10. For information, visit www.suegreenwoodfineart.com.

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“Dog Days of Summer” continues at SGFA during Art Walk on Thursday, including this oil piece, “More Mesa Beach,” by Mary-Austin Klein

Artist Geoff Krueger is also featured in the show. “Originally from Southern California my family and I now reside in Boise, Idaho. I’ve been painting and showing my work in galleries for over twenty years. The majority has been landscape painting. I love to depict the illusion of deep space and am enthralled with creating a sense of light,” said Krueger. “The move in the year 2000 has brought new landscapes to the easel and a pining for the ocean in far away California. So of course, it stands to reason that ocean paintings would pour out of me. Having grown up surfing and sailing those early experiences are influencing scenes of the Huntington Beach pier, lifeguard stations, and people on the beach.”

JoAnne Artman Gallery, 326 N. Coast Highway, continues with “New Works” by James Verbicky. Working within the collage medium, James Verbicky’s sculptural collages are visually rich in content and meaning. The work can be read as both sculpture as well as painting, an opulent, textural assemblage of paper strips that unfurl and cascade over the surface. Verbicky’s current body of “media paintings” explores the idea of the mental continuum or mind stream through paper collage.

“James Verbicky’s work will inspire, provoke, engage and mesmerize. With visual perceptions always changing, peek behind the stories told and you’re sure to find the right artistic expression.” For information, visit joanneartmangallery.com.

Downtown, Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave., will feature, “The Odyssey of an Artist,” Karl Momen. Painter and sculptor Karl Momen is best known in the Western United States for his monumental sculpture “Metaphor: The Tree of Utah,” an 87-feet tall creation located in the state’s stark Bonneville Salt Flat region. Completed in 1986, it has been seen by millions of travelers traversing Interstate Route 80.

Internationally acclaimed, his work is installed in the most elite museum and private collections throughout Europe, Japan and the U.S. including the Salt Lake Art Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, visit, www.forestoceangallery.com/.

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Townley Gallery features the works of French watercolor artist Norbert Waysberg

Townley Gallery, 266 Forest Ave., will feature the works by internationally know artist Norbert Waysberg with an opening reception night during Art Walk. A French watercolor artist now working and living in the New York city area, Waysberg explores the relationship between dark and light in his portraits, cityscapes, and nudes. Enjoy his original work on display with other contemporary artists this month. Visit www.TownleyGallery.com for information.

Located on the South end of the participating galleries Cove Gallery, 1550 S. Coast Highway, Suite 103, featured artist of the month is Garry Abel with an artist reception during Art Walk. Art enthusiasts are invited to come and meet Abel.

As an emerging Palette Knife artist, Able said. “I am so blessed and excited to be able to capture my love of the land and sea through my oil paintings. As an artist, we are inspired in so many ways. For me it starts with looking to the sky and being amazed by the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Nature offers the images and I work to translate the vision to canvas.”

For information, visit www.covegallerylaguna.com.

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Cove Gallery features palette artist Garry Abel with an artist reception

Discover Emerging Artists Showcase, 1400 S. Coast Highway, Suite 101, enjoy the opportunity to view the works of and meet the gallery’s featured September artist for the month Jess Krichelle.

Krichelle is a Los Angeles based artist specializing in minimalistic figure drawings. Jess starts out each piece by applying her pen to the paper and drawing whatever she is feeling at the moment. It is the anticipation of the unknown (and the help of some unintended mistakes) that ends up creating pieces that would have never existed if she planned out her sketches before beginning. The result ends up being figures that are stark, and that openly invite the viewer to interpret the pieces – both figuratively and literally. For information, visit www.discovereas.com.

To learn more about First Thursdays Art Walk and a full listing of participating galleries, please visit www.FirstThursdaysArtWalk.com.

LOCA presents an art & sea lions workshop on Sept 9 

LOCA Arts Education is presenting a fascinating art and sea lions workshop on Sat, Sept  9, from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Families, groups, and beginners are invited. 

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Sketch a sea lion in watercolor with Mike Tauber 

The morning includes a docent-led viewing of live sea lions, a presentation on the rescue and rehabilitation work of the center, and an easy watercolor class with noted artist Mike Tauber. Everyone will take home a beautiful color sketch of a sea lion.

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 The sketch will turn into a masterpiece

Cost is $20 for adults, and $15 for those aged six and up, with paid adult. Free on-site parking is included. Advance registration is required, call (949) 363-4700, or visit the calendar at www.LOCAarts.org. PMMC is at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road, one block north of Dog Park.

Vibrant art by Jan Lord is now on show at LGOCA

Jan Lord’s masterpieces are now on display at LGOCA. These beautiful mixed media paintings are inspired by Jan’s love of music, in which lyrics appear etched into the layers of graphite, paint and metals. These vibrant pieces are on Baltic Birch wood rather than canvas. 

Born and raised in Canada, Jan Lord studied art from the time she was in grade school. During her childhood, she could be seen painting during the summer months in the beautiful parks in Vancouver, B.C. Throughout her career, she has studied under a variety of Canadian and American watercolor and acrylic artists.

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Girl on Fire by Jan Lord

Jan has found her total and unique style through many great instructors. Her techniques include acrylic and oil pastels, glazing, and adding a variety of elements such as aluminum, graphite, paper, iron, nuts and bolts.

LGOCA is a unique contemporary gallery showcasing top regional and international artists, offering a diverse mixture of paintings, sculpture, bronze, fused glass and metal creations. It’s not your typical white walled gallery affair: LGOCA promises to engage you in an experience you won’t find anywhere else. LGOCA is located at 611 South Coast Hwy.

LB Juried Fine Art 2017 submissions will be accepted until Sept 9

The 2017 Laguna Beach Juried Fine Art Exhibition is now accepting submissions.

The exhibition is open to Orange County artists 18 years of age or older. Entries must be made via https://lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com by Sept 9. 

This program is funded by the Lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

For more information contact Michael McGregor, Arts Program Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It’s almost a wrap: A Night with Janis Joplin at the Laguna Playhouse closes on Sunday, Sept 10

Anyone who hasn’t seen A Night with Janis Joplin by Sunday will soon be singing the blues. This critically acclaimed, Tony-nominated musical show is closing on Sun, Sept 10, and as of today, only eight performances remain. Don’t miss the opportunity to be transported back to the late sixties and become a part of the mysterious and mythical aura that surrounded Janis Joplin. 

This concert style revue was created, written and directed by Randy Johnson. It was brought to the Laguna Playhouse by Executive Director Ellen Richard and Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham, and they are to be applauded for this dazzling choice.

Even though Kelly McIntyre looks and stunningly sounds like Joplin, it isn’t an impersonation or a re-creation, it’s as if Kelly channels Joplin’s raw emotion and pain in her electrifying performance. Her hair swinging, her voice raspy, the rendition of Piece of My Heart brings the audience to their feet. She punctuates her singing with dialogue about her childhood in Texas, occasionally sipping from a bottle of Southern Comfort.

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Kelly McIntyre as Janis Joplin in A Night with Janis Joplin

The show also pays homage to Joplin’s musical influences. Masterfully interwoven in the revue are unforgettable performances by the singers who comprise the Joplinaires/Chantels; Sharon Catherine Brown as Blues Singer, Tawny Dolley as Etta James, Carol Hatchett as Odetta and Bessie Smith, and Amma Osei as Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone. 

The brilliant performances by Kelly McIntyre and the other singers, the band, lighting, sets, the clothes, all blend together to cast a magic and musical spell on everyone within earshot.

If one is lucky enough to purchase tickets before it closes and truly experience A Night with Janis Joplin, do not take a pair of the earplugs from the container on the bar. Audience members will want to hear every haunting note. 

The following performances remain: Tues, Sept 5, 7:30 p.m., Wed, Sept 6, 7:30 p.m., Thurs, Sept 7, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Fri, Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m., Sat, Sept 9, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sun, Sept 10, 1 p.m.

The Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

        For tickets, go to http://www.lagunaplayhouse.com/ or call 949-497-2787.

Auditions for the musical Annie will begin on Sept 22 

The audition schedule is set for the production of Annie at No Square Theatre. Adult roles and ensemble auditions will be Fri, Sept 22 at 6 p.m. with callbacks on Sun, Sept 24 at 6 p.m. Annie and orphan auctions will be Sat, Sept 23 at 10 a.m with callbacks on Sun, Sept 24 from 10 a.m.

The popular musical (music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin) will be directed by Joe Lauderdale and choreographed by Ellen Prince, with music direction by Roxanna Ward. 

This production employs minimal staging, based on the ideas of story theatre. It places emphasis on the actors and the story rather than scenery, making the ensemble even more important than it would be in a traditionally mounted production.

Strong performers are desired for leading roles and ensemble parts. In Annie, the spunky orphan with humble beginnings in 1930s New York City, inspires everyone with her enduring positive attitude. Standout songs include “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” and the ultimate anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

The roles to be cast for Annie include: Annie – Appear around age 11. Energetic and optimistic orphan. Oliver Warbucks – Appear around age 40-60. Billionaire with a kind heart. Grace Farrell – Appear around 28-35. Loyal, intelligent private secretary to Warbucks. Miss Hannigan – Appear age 40-55. Character and comedic actor.

Rooster Hannigan – Appear 20-35. Slimy con artist. Lily St. Regis – Appear 20-35. Rooster’s floozy girlfriend. Franklin Delano Roosevelt – 50s, strong character actor, minor group singing. Orphans – Ages 6-14. Gritty, lovable, strong singers and movers. (Molly, age 6-8; Kate, age 7-10; Tessie, age 10-12; Pepper, age 12-13; July, age 13-14; Duffy, age 13-14) Ensemble – Female and Male, ages 16 and up. Sing, dance (or move well), play multiple roles. The backbone of this production.     

Performances will be Fri-Sun, Dec 2 - 17. General rehearsals begin around Oct 1, Mon – Fri, 6:30-10 p.m. and Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Schedule is approximate and subject to change.)

To schedule an audition appointment, email director Joe Lauderdale (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) and indicate a preferred time. Complete information, forms, and suggestions on how to prepare for the auditions can be found on the No Square Theatre website, www.nosquare.org

No Square Theatre is in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion Street, two blocks south of the High School.

Laguna Beach Live! presents AlmaNova Duo at the Art Museum on Thurs, Sept 14 at 7 p.m.

Flutist Jessica Pierce and guitarist Almer Imamovic are AlmaNova, a talented and classically trained duo presenting an eclectic program of music from all over the world.

AlmaNova’s great love of all musical genres shines through by way of dynamic performances and mesmerizing stage presence. The duo has traveled the world playing their unique blend of classical repertoire infused with music from the Balkans, Spain, Latin America and the British Isles. 

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AlmaNova’s music has been featured for various film and TV projects. Most recently Almer’s song “StaniDraga” was featured in the film In the Land of Blood and Honey, written and directed by Angelina Jolie.

Live! at the Museum takes place the second Thursday of each month from 7 - 8 p.m. The concert is free to museum members and to non-members with museum admission. Pre-reservations are available online through the Museum’s website, or at 949.494.8971 x203. These seats are held until 6:45 p.m. 

Additional seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about the series and other concerts, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or phone 949-715-9713

Laguna Dance Festival features The Paul Taylor Dance Company and Ballet BC, begins Sept 7

This year, the Thirteenth Annual Laguna Dance Festival runs from Sept 7 – 17, and showcases the legendary Paul Taylor Dance Company from NYC and Ballet BC, a company from Vancouver, Canada, breaking new ground in contemporary dance.

Company performances will be held Sept 14 – 17 at Laguna Playhouse. 

Ballet BC has quickly established a reputation for breathtaking physicality and originality and will showcase three innovative dance works choreographed by women. Performances are Sept 15 and 17. 

16+ a room features unique choreographic language deployed by Ballet BC’s Artistic Director, Emily Molnar. In the poignant Solo Echo, celebrated choreographer, and director/choreographer of Kidd Pivot, Crystal Pite, explores the symbiosis of acceptance and loss—inspired by two sonatas for cello and piano by Brahms and the poem “Lines for Winter,” by Mark Strand. 

Tel Aviv-based Sharon Eyal’s Bill is a daring piece showcasing Ballet BC dancers in their most intricate expressions of the body. 

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Photo by Chris Randle

Gilbert Small and Nicole Ward of Ballet BC performing 16 a Room

The legendary Paul Taylor Dance Company, which broke the mold on dance fifty years ago, performs Sept 14 and Sept 16. Best known for dynamic modern choreography, Festival performances will include three representative works.

Esplanade, set to two Bach violin concertos, was first performed in 1975, when Taylor was inspired to create dance around found objects the way contemporary artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg fashioned paintings. 

Arden Court, a space age ballet, features athletic movement set to 18th century symphonic music. An audience favorite, Piazzolla Caldera, is a sensual exposé of tango as reinterpreted and reimagined with modern dance.

Off the stage, the Festival features a presentation at Laguna Art Museum of the academy award-nominated documentary “Paul Taylor: Dancemaker.” The film will be introduced by Patrick Corbin, former principle dancer with Paul Taylor Dance Company. The screening on Sept 9 at 6 p.m. is free to museum visitors and members. 

“Backstage with Paul Taylor” will show on Sept 13 at 7 p.m. and is the Festival’s first Backstage event, featuring two Paul Taylor principle dancers in a 45-minute free on-stage rehearsal demonstration. 

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Photo by James Houston

Michelle Fleet of The Paul Taylor Dance Company

The evening prepares the audience for the upcoming shows and will be an informal event with a focus on three duets choreographed by Paul Taylor. Additional performances by Entity Contemporary Dance from Irvine and Kybele Dance Theater from LA will perform as part of First Thursday Art Walk on Sept 7, as well as master classes with each visiting dance company and our new educational workshop, “Choreograph your Career” featuring LA choreographers Andrew Winghart and Spenser Theberge. 

“This year’s Festival once again brings to OC the most exciting dancers to grace international stages,” says Festival Founder and Artistic Director, Jodie Gates. “Ballet BC is an astonishing international contemporary company with a repertory of movement second to none and the one and only Paul Taylor Dance Company will present three of their greatest works by one of the world’s leading modern dance legend’s, Paul Taylor. A winning combination for dance lovers.”

The following programs are scheduled for the Festival:

Thurs, Sept. 7, 6:30 and 7 p.m., Laguna Beach First Thursday ArtWalk

Kybele Dance Theater at Laguna Art Museum and Entity Contemporary Dance at Dawson Cole Fine Art

 Sat, Sept. 9, 12-2 p.m., Paul Taylor Dance Company Master Class with Patrick Corbin 

Sat, Sept. 9, 6 p.m., Dance on Screen, at Laguna Art Museum: Academy Award-nominated documentary “Dancemaker” introduced by Patrick Corbin. 

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Photo by Paul Palmaro

Paul Taylor of The Paul Taylor Dance Company

Sun, Sept 10, 12-4 p.m., Choreograph Your Career, Workshop and Master Classes with professional dancers Andrew Winghart and Spenser Theberge, and Dance Festival Founder Jodie Gates.

Wed, Sept 13, 7 p.m., Backstage with Paul Taylor Dance Company, a special glimpse into preparation for the dance with two feature performers in a stage rehearsal. 

Thurs, Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m., Paul Taylor Dance Company Performance, Pre-Show Talk, 6:30 p.m. 

Fri, Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m., Ballet BC Performance, Pre-Show Talk, 6 p.m. Post-Show Reception Following

Sun, Sept. 17, 10 a.m., Ballet BC Master Class 

Sun, Sept. 17, 2 p.m., Ballet BC Performance, Pre-Show Talk, 1 p.m.

Tickets range from $35 for students to $75 for the Sat night show with a post-reception with the company. For tickets and information, www.lagunadancefestival.org or Laguna Playhouse Box Office: 949.497.2787. 

Laguna Dance Festival presents world-class performances on the local stage and provides quality dance education to increase public appreciation for the art. An award-winning non-profit enterprise in collaboration with many local arts programs, the Festival event schedule, tickets, and video excerpts of previous performances at www.lagunadancefestival.org

Grammy winners will headline Wheels 4 Life’s Rock 4 Bikes special event on Fri Sep 29

Laguna-based nonprofit Wheels 4 Life’s Rock 4 Bikes is planning a night filled with rock music, food, drinks, and great company on Fri, Sep 29 at 6:30 p.m. There will be an incredible musical line-up, starting with Nick-i and Billy Sherman from Common Sense, and featuring four Grammy Award winners, Charles Colin from Train with rock legends Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Buckley from America. 

Additionally, Chevy Metal will be introduced for the finale, showcasing one of the best drummers in the world, Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters.

Proceeds from the event will go towards purchasing bicycles for people in several countries who desperately need a means of transportation in order to be employed in the workforce. 

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Photo from Wheels 4 Life website

Seven year old Adam rides his bikes to raise funds for W4L

Tickets must be purchased in advance by visiting the website www.wheels4life.org. Ticket prices range between $200 -$250 depending on when purchased, and $1900 for ten tickets plus a sponsor. This event will be held at a private residence in San Juan Capistrano, with a dress code of cocktail. 

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Gifting bikes to all those in need worldwide 

Wheels 4 Life life hopes to see a big turn out, raising fund to change lives for the better through the gift of bikes.

Suzie’s ARTiculation

Wait a minute…after this weekend

the Festival Season will sadly fade away


To go from the excitement of the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters Celebrity Benefit Gala last Saturday night, to the closing of the Festival last night, and now the final weekend at the Sawdust, how much is an arts reporter like me supposed to take? Seriously, c’mon man! Or to make it perfectly clear, in Suzie-speak, Wait a minute! What is going on? 

 Yes, that is a rhetorical question. And of course, I’ve been well aware of the closing dates before they opened. Still, I am really not prepared. 

I’m going from red carpet runways to roadways and empty sidewalks. No longer will I be able to slink like a mink through the throngs of festival-goers, running in a zig-zag like I’m racing through a maze.

So as I say goodbye to this year’s Festival Season, I’d like to share a few of my personal highlights. 

Of course, the joy and merriment of opening of the Sawdust goes without saying. It takes practically the whole season to make it all the way through, stopping every few steps to talk with the artists, enjoy their art. Moments filled with a lot of laughter and fun along the way, as the minutes seem to turn into hours in a blink of an eye. And the live music at the Sawdust is a true delight, serving as the soundtrack to my summer. 

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Photo by Scott Brashier

An appreciative crowd at the Herb Alpert concert

And then, I enjoyed the excitement of the Festival of Arts opening with the new grounds…it’s five-star. They did an amazing job! My applause to the board and Mr. President, Fred Sattler. Obviously, anyone that doubted you could pull it off or suggested you were hiding out in a foreign land is foreign to The Festival of Arts. It was the best and most exciting opening ever! 

The Pageant of the Masters is always a highlight, enjoying a new adventure through famous works of art via the portal of each year’s new theme. Dee, Butch and Dan, thanks for all you do to keep the magic of the Pageant vibrant and alive every year!

Other highlights: potluck dinners with Festival artists, Concerts on the Green, enjoying everyone from Jane Lynch to Herb Alpert, which brings me to my next fave - chatting up the celebrities at the Celebrity Gala, Art-to-Go, fun and free art workshops, artist demos, and exploring the grounds through the lens of The Boys & Girls Club’s talented young photographers.

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Photo by Suzie Harrison

With Master glassblower John Barber retiring…the Sawdust will never be the same without you!

Last, but by far, not least. This is going to an exceptionally sad closing of the season with Master Glassblower Genius John Barber retiring from the Sawdust.

Watching him blow glass at the Sawdust was my first memory of awe of the art festivals. I cannot tell you how many times, or how many hours I’ve spend mesmerized, as I’ve stood glued, watching John create his breathtaking masterpieces, he’s truly one-of-a kind, gifted beyond compare. Truly an original…you’ll be missed beyond words.

There really are too many amazing moments to list this season, but the experiences have been abundant, now held cherished in my memory.

So, this weekend I will be soaking in every minute at the Sawdust with the grand finale appropriately punctuated with the killer sounds of World Anthem.   

Until next time…so long art festivals, so little time!

Magic at the HeART fashion show: Tactile textiles, floaty fabrics, and hats with h-attitude wow the crowd


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

A woman sitting opposite me at the HeART of Fashion Show at the Sawdust, dressed in brilliant blue, caught my attention immediately. Waves of energy shimmered from her; throughout she was vocal in her approval; her enthusiasm was palpable. 

I would find out later that her name was Nikki Grant, one of Sawdust’s founders, and the wife of Jay Grant, the Deep Thinker behind the show.

Magical people do have an aura, and Nikki’s was in full bloom.

I was distracted only by the flow and glow of models wearing fabulous floaty fabrics, shawls with serious swagger, and hats with what can only be called h-attitude.

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Fabulous hats with h-attitude, created by Sue Winner

Introducing the show, Olivia Batchelder made the point that at the Sawdust, artists were their own jury, and that we would see “scrumptious” outfits worn extended family members of the 15 artists displaying their art via the human form. “There are even models who weigh more than 50 pounds!” she noted.

What Olivia didn’t mention was that several models would weigh less than 50 pounds. A number of kids brought whimsy and wonder to the catwalk, none more so than a young man in a chef’s outfit, whose Queen-of-England-wave – which just didn’t quit – and his wide-eyed enjoyment of the moment evoked frenzied applause. He did artist Mary Keating proud.

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Helen McNamara’s shawl is a fiery delight

Lagunan Caryn Kleinberg, who sat next to me, praised the HeART of Fashion show to the skies, noting the wide range of textiles employed and head-to-toe artistry on display. 

“I would have used that as a tablecloth,” Caryn said at one point as a model sashayed by, “not realizing what a fantastic outfit it would make in the hands of an artist. I love the way these fashions honor the elements of the earth and the sea and the sky.”

In true Sawdust style, the fashion was creative and quirky, from the Native American meets Conehead outfit by Helga Yaillen, to the slogans on some of the earthier (in every way) looks, for example, “Roll me in fairydust and call me a unicorn,” by Brynne Corgono.

I loved every moment, with background information brought to us by Terrell Washington Anansi, the Master of Ceremonies. “It’s clothing as an art form and storytelling,” he said.

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Models Dasha and Irena modeled earthily elegant headdresses by Reem Khalil

Once it was over, I dashed across to the woman who turned out to be Nikki Grant, who was bubbling with happiness over the show and raving about many of the gorgeous models, especially Irena and Dascha, whose intricate headdresses, by Reem Khalil, wowed the crowd.

“They’re so beautiful in every way,” Nikki remarked. “The models, the art, the clothes and especially those headdresses.”

Jay Grant, former president and a 44-year veteran of Sawdust, joined us. “This is a labor of love for everyone,” he said, clearly thrilled at the evident love of the crowd for the runway show. 

“You know for a long time we used to have these shows every Sunday. I’m thrilled that they’re happening again. We’ve already got the committee together for next year’s event, all volunteers, of course. Everyone did such a fantastic job this year. Art truly is at the heart of this! We want to do more!” Grant said.

And, with that and a final woo-hoo or two and a high-five from Nikki, it was time to leave. What a send-off to a successful Sawdust Festival! 


Enjoy a gallery of Mary Hurlbut’s photos, below:

LCAD alumna’s work is published in Nat Geo honoring the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Anniversary 

Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) BFA in Drawing & Painting (2014) and MFA in Painting (2017) alumna, Charity Oetgen, has had six of her paintings published in a recently released issue of National Geographic honoring the 50th anniversary of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. 

Oetgen will appear at three events during Dr. Jane Goodall’s US tour to mark the 40th anniversary of the Jane Goodall Institute.

“These projects embody everything I want to do with my artwork, blending conservation and art to make a difference,” Oetgen said. 

Oetgen was approached by Tara Stoinski, PhD, president and chief executive officer of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, at The Joint Meeting of the International Primatological Society and the American Society of Primatologists in Aug 2016, where she was showing 58 of her paintings. Impressed by her work, Stoinski recommended Oetgen to National Geographic. 

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Charity Oetgen

Oetgen worked closely with the editorial team to sketch and paint the final watercolors of Digit, the gorilla who had formed a close bond with Fossey in 1967, as well as other gorillas the foundation has supported. 

For Oetgen, it was an emotional and serendipitous experience. “I would find myself in tears that all of this was happening,” she said. “The week after I was commissioned by National Geographic, the Jane Goodall Institute invited me to join Dr. Goodall on her institute’s 40th anniversary tour.” 

When Oetgen received her BFA from LCAD in 2014, she was asked by the Goodall Institute of France to create a painting as an 80th birthday gift for Dr. Goodall.

Oetgen credits Sharon Allicotti, artist and LCAD professor, for inspiring her on her journey of using art in support of conservation efforts of primates and other endangered animals. “She told me that I spoke more about bonobos than art and I should find a way to bring these two influences together in my life,” she says. 

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Jane Goodall with the painting Charity created for Goodall’s 80th birthday

Since then, Oetgen has completed independent study in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has exhibited work at Laguna Art Museum, Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, as well as the Jane Goodall Institute France. She has also showcased art at the Great Ape Summit in Jackson Hole, WY and was commissioned by Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) to create art for their great ape infographic and the cover of their magazine. On behalf of Friends of Bonobos and Claudine André, Wallis Annenberg was presented with Oetgen’s bonobo paintings as a thank you to the Annenberg Foundation.

LCAD will exhibit Oetgen’s painting titled Maman Esperance with Boma at its new Administration Building, located at 2345 Laguna Canyon Rd. The public is welcome to visit between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Mon through Fri. For further information, go to http://www.lcad.edu/.  

For more information about Oetgen’s work, visit www.artbycharity.com.

Broadway stars and Hello Dolly Bars will be featured at the Ocean Institute Fundraiser, Sept 9

What are Hello Dolly Bars? Guests attending the Sand Dollar Guild’s “An Evening On Broadway” on Sept 9 will find out. According to organizers, in addition to an amazing musical journey through favorite Broadway musicals, performed by Broadway star Ivan Rutherford and friends, attendees will taste a bit of Broadway history.

Hello Dolly Bars were created by the original caterer for the opening night party of Hello Dolly on Broadway. One of the local Sand Dollar Members inherited [the recipe] from her mother in Aztec New Mexico, who got it from the caterer. These melt-in-your-mouth memories will be served as dessert for a delicious dinner prior to the start of the musical evening.

Mission Viejo Country Club Executive Chef Bob Peterson has planned a special menu for the occasion, starring a plethora of appetizers and food stations at the lovely venue. Crostini of Gorgonzola, Fig spread, Malaysian Chicken Satay provide the pre-course for the Chinese Chicken salad and the Fusilli Pasta Alfredo with Meat Sauce. 

Bob is a graduate of the Western Culinary Institute, and has been in the hospitality and culinary industry for over 25 years.

The event will take place at the Mission Viejo Country Club, 26200 Country Club Drive, Mission Viejo from 5 to 8 p.m. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Ocean Institute’s popular Ocean in Motion program. The specially equipped van and trained instructors reach out to special needs and underserved children in Orange County and beyond. 

Doors open for this year’s event at 5 p.m. to a special menu light supper and no-host bar. The elegant evening of favorite musical pieces from hit Broadway shows like Les Miserables, West Side Story, Hello Dolly, Grease, and Oklahoma will be performed by Ivan Rutherford, whose acclaimed Broadway singing career includes over 2300 performances playing the lead role of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables. He is joined by Shannon Brennan, co-director and co-star of Broadway Nights Cabaret,  and Robert Meffe, Director of Music for the MFA Musical Theater Program at SDSU.

A silent auction with exciting vacation and restaurant packages and services will also hit a high note of the evening. Palm Springs Hilton offers a stay that includes the use of a car from Allen Cadillac. A stay at The Ranch has spa treatments included. A charming condo and dinner in exclusive Rancho Mirage courtesy of Mavar Realty is the perfect get-away.

Rounds of golf from area golf courses, merchandise and services from local businesses such as Stance, Mike’s Pet Care, Salon Incognito and original signed artwork by local artists, theater tickets and more will round out the evening’s fun.

Tickets are on sale now.  Premium seating is on a first come first served basis. Contact Katy Moss, Sand Dollar Membership Chair, for ticket information. 949-494-4281, or www.ocean-institute.org/general-information/sand-dollar-guild.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

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