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 Volume 13, Issue 75  |  September 17, 2021


Behind the curtain with Circus Bella 

By MARRIE STONE

According to Ernest Hemingway, “The circus is the only fun you can buy that is good for you.” Imagine getting all that good-for-you fun for free.

Circus Bella, a one-ring outdoor circus show, is bringing its troupe to Laguna’s Bluebird Park for two free shows on Saturday, Sept 25 (performances are scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m.). Nineteen performers – including a six-piece live band – will wow audiences with their feats of strength, grace, skill, and showmanship. A perfect family show for audiences ages one to one hundred, the crowd will be treated to clowns and contortionists, acrobats and jugglers, a hooper, a trapeze artist, and a chair stacker. 

Behind the Group

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Daisy Rose Coby

Circus Bella will perform in Bluebird Park on Saturday, Sept 25 at 

1 and 3 p.m.

Humorous, a wholly original show produced and directed by Circus Bella co-founder Abigail Munn, is being offered as a limited engagement. Generally available to Bay Area audiences only, for the first time – though hopefully not the last – the troupe is traveling to Laguna Beach.

“This event has been such a long time in the making,” says Cultural Arts Manager Sian Poeschl. “We started the conversation back in 2019 with the performance originally scheduled for June 6, 2020, and then rescheduled a couple more times. This will be a uniquely Laguna Beach experience, a first-time event that will be well worth the wait. I hope it becomes an annual community tradition.” 

Humorous celebrates the fantastical world we can discover together through the simple act of shared wonder and lots of laughter. It also marks their first show after a challenging and tumultuous year off. 

We peeked behind the scenes to uncover the origins of this incredible troupe, how these talented performers came together, and what they’ve learned along the way. Before you “step right up,” you’re invited to “sit right down” and hear the backstory behind Circus Bella and its modern twist on an ancient tradition.

In the beginning…

For Abigail Munn, Circus Bella’s co-founder and artistic director, an obsession with the circus began almost 40 years ago. Munn grew up in San Francisco, the child of parents who were steeped in the arts. Her father was a lighting designer for operas, her mother involved in art management for nonprofits. 

On a whim, Munn’s parents signed her up for a Saturday class at the Pickle Family Circus when she was nine years old. Back in the 1980s, circus training was unusual, especially for kids. Aerial silks hadn’t been invented yet. Other traditions that have since fallen out of favor – like the Spanish Web and Rolla Bolla boards – were still being taught. “I learned trapeze, juggling, tightrope, rolling globe, Rolla Bolla, and stilts,” Munn says. “A different curriculum than kids learn now. Much more focused on ground skills.” Munn benefited from the instruction of Chinese acrobats, who came to the U.S. to teach at the Pickle Family Circus, elevating her skill set once again.

For Munn, the circus was love at first sight. “This is it,” she told her parents, who today call themselves “circus grandparents.” Indeed, it was. Those early days laid the foundation for a career that’s now spanned more than two decades and counting. 

Behind the Munn

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Daisy Rose Coby

Abigail Munn, Circus Bella’s co-founder and artistic director

Circus life before Circus Bella

After studying dance in college, Munn worked as both a dancer and trapeze artist. She began traveling the United States with the Zoppé Family Circus, a 179-year-old, one-ring tent show. In 2006, while working a series of hot and tumultuous three-day shows with David Hunt (Circus Bella’s co-founder), the two conceived of the idea of bringing a similar outdoor, single-ring circus to the Bay Area. “With the Pickle Family Circus, Make *A* Circus, and a few other one-ring shows, it was a familiar style,” Munn says. “And the weather is so good in California. An outdoor circus made sense.” 

Before the circus was even off the ground, they got their first gig. Bella Winery called, saying they’d heard Munn had a circus and asking if it was true. Without an act, or even a name, Munn responded yes. She and Hunt scrambled to put a show together for one of the winery’s upcoming events. When the winery asked for promotional materials, Munn settled on the name “Circus Bella” until a better fit arrived. 

Those first costumes were an eclectic mix of hand-sewn fabrics. Munn collected old relics from the San Francisco Opera. There were six members in the original troupe, who all came with their own acts. Munn borrowed a small ring curb to create a circus stage and painted a tarp. They didn’t have a curtain, but they did have a wine barrel.

That first show was rocky. Without a curtain, off-stage performers stood frozen in the visible background. And although they dropped a few clubs during the grand juggling finale, they came away from the performance with a lot of enthusiasm and the seed money necessary to get off the ground. The name “Circus Bella” stuck, and “the little circus that could” was finally born in 2008. 

Behind the Ensemble

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Photo by Daisy Rose Coby

The Circus Bella ensemble

The essential foundations for Circus Bella

Circus Bella may have lacked a curtain and a few performers in the beginning, but its original vision remains unchanged. Retaining the traditions of an old-style circus troupe while incorporating a modernized twist was essential. Munn and Hunt set the tone for the troupe with three guiding principles.

Performing inside a ring was the first key component. “We always perform in the round,” Munn says. This tradition dates to the 6th century B.C., during the Roman Empire’s Circus Maximus. Chariot races, in particular, benefited from the round. London circus performers borrowed this architectural model in the 18th century, which proved especially useful during their equestrian performances. For Munn and Hunt, the intimacy of the ring was important. Having their audience surround them, seeing the show from every angle and blending into the scene felt right. 

The second requirement was that performers bring their own individualized acts to the stage, but also come together during the grand finale for an ensemble act. “Having your own circus act is very traditional,” says Munn. “Doing some ensemble work is where we cross over into a more modern approach. You’ll see that with the grand finale. Everybody in the company passes clubs. If someone can’t juggle, we’ll pass them around that person, but we always do this big ensemble juggle.”

Behind the Freire

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by James Watkins

Jefferson Freire shows off his juggling skills

The last ingredient – and perhaps the most essential – was live music. “For me, music is really important,” says Munn. “Maybe that’s my opera background. My mom also managed a new music ensemble when I was a kid, so live music was important for me. We’ve always had a live band.”

Strike up the band

There’s a famous saying within Circus Bella: “Be brave, be safe, be funny, be better than the band.” For Munn, a live band was essential for Circus Bella to function. 

Composer Rob Reich has been with Circus Bella since its inception, creating all original musical scores for the shows. “By providing live accompaniment to the circus acts, we are engaging in dialogue with the performers in real time, and that communication helps clear the way for a greater connection with the audience,” says Reich on the website’s blog. “My job as musical director is to keep a constant empathetic eye on the performers, the musicians, and the audience; and provide a musical frame that will encourage everyone to shine.”

Behind the Reich

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Ron Scherl

Rob Reich, Circus Bella’s bandleader, composer, accordion player, keyboardist, and glockenspiel artist

The band sets the atmosphere of the show. Is the act creating suspense? Are the clowns acting silly? Is the performance elegant or risky? Music can build tension or help the audience relax. Rob says one of the biggest difficulties is knowing when to leave enough silence and space to allow for an audience’s natural reaction. “Nothing can accentuate a moment quite like a sudden silence,” he says. “Or just letting things breathe for a few moments after a particularly intense act.”

The Circus Bella All-Star Band includes Rob Reich (bandleader, accordion, keyboard, and glockenspiel), Benito Cortez (violin), Ian Carey (trumpet), Kasey Knudsen (saxophone), Michael Pinkham (percussion), and Jonathan Seiberlich (tuba). 

“Playing tuba with the Circus Bella All-Star Band is one of the most fulfilling experiences in my career so far,” says Seiberlich. “The music that Rob Reich composes for us covers a wide spectrum of musical styles and sonic textures. It can be incredibly challenging and incredibly silly, with strict written scores alongside moments of complete improvisation. The whole band is constantly reacting to what’s happening on stage, feeding off the energy of the performers, and creating a wholly unique performing experience. Every year I am blown away by the talented individuals on stage, and every year I look forward to the next opportunity to perform with this incredible troupe.”

Despite whatever financial challenges live performers faced in the past year, Munn insists she’ll never perform without a live band. It was part of her original vision, and one she intends to carry into the future. “In the beginning, I would sometimes book the show without a band in order to cut costs,” says Munn. “But I don’t do it anymore. No band, no Bella. The music is half of what we are as a company. They are a character in the show. I would rather do fewer shows and do them correctly. That’s my choice.”

Behind the band

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Daisy Rose Coby

The Circus Bella All-Star Band 

Send in the clowns

Munn also puts a lot of effort and consideration into selecting her performers. Each of them comes to the circus with their own act, but personality is just as important as talent. “I’m very particular about who is invited into the show,” Munn says. “There’s a certain kind of personality that’s required to be an artist in our company. My rule is you must be nice to me at 7 a.m. That makes it easier.” 

It takes a village to create a circus. Beyond the six-piece band, there are nine performers and a sizable production crew responsible for making the show happen. Performers include Garrett Allen (chair stacking), Toni Cannon (strong man), Jamie Coventry (clown), Jefferson Freire (juggling and unicycle), Dwoira Galilea (aerial hoop), Elise Hing (contortion), Natasha Kaluza (clown and hula hooper), and Calvin Kai Ku (clown). 

“Clowns may be ‘third responders,’ but our job is no less important,” says Coventry. “We pour our hearts into our art in the hopes that we’ll provide lasting joy for those that spend an afternoon outside with the circus.”

Behind the clowns

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Daisy Rose Coby

Circus Bella’s Clowns: Jamie Coventry, Natasha Kaluza, and Calvin Kai Ku

“The Circus Bella experience builds a real familial bond between the company members,” Galilea says. “From weeks of rehearsals and juggling, to setup and tear down, to performing the show itself, we all work together as an ensemble to create this pop-up circus in the park. We are stronger together.”

The Circus Bella production team includes Judy Finelli (juggling director and coach), Autumn Adamme (costume designer), Carlo Gentile (production director), James Touzel (sound engineer), and Jack Weinstock (ring crew). 

“A lot of us have worked together for many years,” says Munn. “I love that connection between the performers when you perform together for a long time. We’re literally standing on each other’s shoulders.”

Beyond the big top: the deeper meaning of circus

Spend only a few minutes at a circus and it’s not difficult to understand its power. Behind the dazzling acts and silly clowns, there’s something more profound happening. For a suspended 60 minutes, both the audience and the performers share a moment of collective delight. They bond over communal experiences, common emotions, and moments of levity. 

One occasion stood out as particularly poignant. “In Washington, the Circus Bella All-Star Band got to play music for a naturalization ceremony where roughly 20 children were becoming U.S. Citizens,” Kaluza says. “It was beautiful, funny, and poetic all at once. And it struck me that the importance of art in culture stretches deeper than we can even grasp. It’s like a tree with roots unseen far below the surface. As we roll into a park, schlepping and hoisting, building our set, placing our equipment, and hustling to create a moment of magic, I imagine that we are planting an invisible seed. A seed that will grow after we are gone, in the hearts and minds of the community, reminding all to persevere, to dance, to play, to find balance, and to lift one another up.”

Behind the Kaluza

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by James Watkins

Natasha Kaluza, Circus Bella’s clown and hula hoop artist

Finding our common humanity is something that’s foremost on Munn’s mind. Creating moments that allow communities to come together and let go of the outside world gives her a lot of satisfaction. “I try to stay out of politics because it’s so toxic,” she says. “But there’s more we can agree on as humans than disagree. Maybe we can make some progress if we just sit next to each other and enjoy something together.”

“Sharing unique events like these with our neighbors builds joy within our community,” says Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. “The circus has always been about making people laugh, which is something we all can appreciate and enjoy right now.”

It’s hard to leave a circus in a bad mood. Everything about it makes you smile. From the bright backgrounds and colorful costumes to the silly clowns and miraculous acts, the whole experience brings out the inner child regardless of your age. 

“I love watching the children in the audience after the show,” says Galilea. “It’s magical to see them cartwheeling through the grass, arching back to put their feet on their heads, and seeing the world with new stars in their eyes.”

Behind the Galilea

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Daisy Rose Coby

Aerial hoop star Dwoira Galilea

There are few live performances that are equally satisfying for kids and adults alike. That straddle cultures, languages, and time. That cut across geographical and generational boundaries alike. “What I think is amazing about the circus is that it’s so universal,” says Munn. “A whole family can go to the show and every person in that lineup is going to find something that’s enjoyable about the experience.” 

Circus Bella will perform in Bluebird Park on Saturday, Sept 25 at 1 and 3 p.m. All performances are free, though donations are appreciated. To support Circus Bella and learn more about their organization, visit www.circusbella.org.

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR - SEPTEMBER

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SEPTEMBER 2

First Thursdays Art Walk

The museum offers free admission from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Now on view: Wayne Thiebaud: Clowns, Hymns to the Silence, and Matthew Rolston, Art People: The Pageant Portraits.

Purchase tickets HERE.

Laguna Art Museum

5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

FREE

949-494-8971

SEPTEMBER 3, 10, 17 AND 24

Sunset Serenades

Enjoy Friday evenings of free live music performances in scenic Heisler Park.

9/3 - Basset Brothers (Guitar duo)

9/10 - West Coast Woodwind Quintet (Classical)

9/17 - Ron Kobayashi Trio (Jazz)

9/24 - Acoustic Asylum (Eclectic strings and accordion)

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

www.lagunabeachcity.net/culturalarts

City of Laguna Beach

Heisler Park Amphitheater, Cliff Dr and Jasmine St

5:30 p.m. – sunset

Free

949-497-0722

SEPTEMBER 5

LAM exterior (2)

Call for Artists Deadline - 15th Annual Juried Fine Art Exhibition

$1,000 first place award. Open to all Orange County artists 18 years of age or older. Work must be no more than 36" x 36", created within the past 2 years and not previously exhibited at City Hall. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

City of Laguna Beach

www.lagunabeachcity.net/culturalarts

$25 fee for up to 3 entries

Entry form HERE

949-497-0743

SEPTEMBER 6

Beth’s Tuesdays

Beth Wood’s monthly songwriter’s showcase on the first Tuesday of every month.

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center

Streamed live on Laguna Live! Facebook page & YouTube channel

7 pm

Check website for ticket price.

949-715-9713

SEPTEMBER 9

Live! at the Museum

Chamber Music Concert with violinist, Parnas Harlin Duo, violin, and cello

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Laguna Art Museum

7 pm – 8 pm

Free for museum members and included with museum admission for non-members. Admission $5/$7

Purchase tickets HERE.

949-715-9713

Parnas Herlin Duo

SEPTEMBER 9

Live! at the Museum

The Parnas Herlin Duo, American violinist Madalyn Parnas Möller and French cellist Juliette Herlin, perform a concert inside the museum. Live! at the Museum is presented in partnership with Laguna Beach Live!

Purchase tickets HERE.

Laguna Art Museum

7:00 p.m.

$5 - $7

949-494-8971

SEPTEMBER 11

Voices In The Canyon

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

TBA

7 pm – 8 pm

TBA

949-715-9713

SEPTEMBER 18

Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day

Museum Day is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket.

LAM exterior evening

Purchase tickets HERE.

Laguna Art Museum

11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

FREE

949-494-8971

SEPTEMBER 23

Jazz at the Woman’s Club

The ever-popular Laguna Live! Jazz returns with the Latin Jazz Syndicate featuring Bijon Watson on trumpet and special guest, Adonis Puentes.

Bijon New 2

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At The Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach

5:30-7 pm

Check website for ticket price.

949-715-9713

SEPTEMBER 23

LAM exterior (2)

My Friend Wayne Thieabaud

Join art historian Julia Friedman as she interviews Gene Cooper about his decades-long friendship with Wayne Thiebaud., whose recent work is currently on view in the exhibition Wayne Thiebaud: Clowns.

LAGUNA ART MUSEUM

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

6:00 p.m.

$7 members//$13 non-members

Purchase tickets HERE.

949-494-8971

SEPTEMBER 25

LAM exterior (2)

Circus Bella

The Arts Commission invites residents to enjoy a free circus performance by Circus Bella at Bluebird Park. Circus Bella is a one-ring circus consisting of aerialists, acrobats, jugglers and clowns and a live band. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

City of Laguna Beach

www.lagunabeachcity.net/culturalarts

1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

FREE

949-497-0743

SEPTEMBER 26

LAM exterior (2)

Youth Art Advisory Board - Deadline to Apply

The Arts Commission is accepting applications from residents and local full-time students ages 14 to 24 to form a Youth Art Advisory Board. The appointment runs from October 2021 through May 2022. The Board serves as ambassadors to the City’s Arts Commission giving ambitious youth leadership the opportunity to participate in local advocacy and act as agents of change in the Arts.

City of Laguna Beach

www.lagunabeachcity.net/culturalarts

Purchase tickets HERE

949-497-0743

SEPTEMBER 26

Annual Meeting

LOCA’s Annual Meeting includes a brunch and a talk about printmaking. Carla Meberg, Joy Vansell and Vinita Voogd will explain how to identify the differences between etching, wood cuts, monotypes and other printing techniques.

Healy House/Sawdust Festival Grounds

LOCA, Inc.

www.locaarts.org

11 am to 1 pm

Free to LOCA Members- $20 for guests

949-363-4700

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR by the Week CLICK HERE


Laguna College of Art & Design returns to campus stronger than ever

By MARRIE STONE

After 18 months away from campus, Laguna College of Art & Design (LCAD) students returned to in-person classes this fall. Like most college campuses, the time away presented some challenges. Art, after all, is a particularly difficult curriculum to teach from a distance. And yet not only did the school adapt, but they discovered a few conveniences that will likely stick. 

The college also returns under the leadership of a new president who arrived on campus this week. Steven Brittan was appointed last month to assume the role from retired president Jonathan Burke. 

Finally, on September 2, the LCAD Gallery welcomed David Harrington in an artist’s reception for the First Thursday Art Walk. The downtown gallery is once again open for public viewing. 

As a new school year kicks off – and LCAD celebrates its 60th anniversary – the college shares lessons learned from the pandemic, some exciting news on and off campus, and how their community is stronger than ever before. 

Laguna College students

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LCAD

LCAD students returned to campus this fall for the first time since March 2020

Lessons learned after a year away

When the campus closed in March of 2020, LCAD’s faculty scrambled for ways to continue delivering the same high-quality, personalized education their students expected. While remote learning presented difficulties for every demographic, art and design proved particularly hard. Even elementary school instructors reported that teaching art over a screen posed greater challenges than other subject matters.

“We had to reinvent how we delivered the curriculum in an online setting with art and design – which is obviously something very much associated with being in person,” says Marc Lyncheski, director of marketing and communications at LCAD. “How do you teach a brushstroke online? The resilience, adaptability, and ingenuity shown by our faculty and students was phenomenal.” 

Laguna College painter

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LCAD

Back inside the classroom for hands-on instruction

Those very obstacles now account for the excitement felt across LCAD’s campus as students return to class. Exercising every precaution – including both vaccination and mask requirements for students, faculty, and staff (with limited exceptions) – there’s good reason to remain optimistic about their ability to stay in person this year.

But the pandemic wasn’t all bad news. Three significant advancements emerged from this past year. Like many schools, remote learning forced faculty and students to adapt to virtual classrooms. Using those newfound skills, students who suffer illnesses, travel, or encounter other obstacles no longer must miss a class. “It’s created new ways of helping both students and faculty stay on top of the curriculum,” Lyncheski says. In addition, LCAD can now offer certain staff members more flexibility to work from home. 

Likewise, while students were forced to exhibit their work in virtual gallery spaces last year, they’re now able to show both in-person and virtual exhibits online. This new capability expands their audience, allowing the inclusion of participants from geographically diverse locations. “It’s added another layer and a larger potential audience to the exhibitions,” says Lyncheski.

New LCAD President Steven Brittan assumes the helm

The college’s new president reported for duty this week. Steven J. Brittan was appointed LCAD’s 14th president by the Board of Trustees in August, following Jonathan Burke’s retirement last year. Brittan spent the past five years as president of the Studio Arts College International in Florence, Italy (where he attended, taught, and served on the board). 

Laguna College Brittan

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LCAD

LCAD’s new president Steven Brittan arrived on campus this week

Brittan brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Cape Town and holds a master’s degree in the same subject from Harvard University. He’s served as assistant professor at Harvard, Columbia University, and Rhode Island School of Design. He also benefits from over 30 years of experience in the business field, having worked with several architectural firms.

Lyncheski says Brittan plans to become ingrained both in Laguna Beach and the expanded communities within Orange County and beyond. “Not just within the art world, but also within the business community,” Lyncheski says. “There may be parallel or adjacent partnerships and cross-promotional opportunities that help each organization grow and support each other.” 

As Brittan settles into his new position, further exciting announcements will likely be made in the coming months.

Illustrator David Harrington on display at the LCAD Gallery

In off-campus news, members of the community can once again enjoy the wonderful work on display at LCAD’s Gallery on Ocean Avenue. Now through September 23rd, the public is treated to the incredible illustrations of David Harrington. 

Laguna College sign

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of of LCAD

The LCAD Gallery is located on Ocean Avenue in downtown Laguna Beach

As a freelance illustrator for the past 27 years, Harrington has produced artwork across several industries including entertainment, advertising, publishing, and packaging companies. His work has also been included in numerous children’s books. 

At the LCAD exhibition, Harrington demonstrates his creative process – step-by-step – in a twelve-panel series called Slim Shooter Cowboy. Beginning from a primitive pencil sketch consisting of little more than circles and lines, the series continues to a fully realized, detailed painting. Those early sketches attempt to capture the energy, mood, and emotion of the piece. Then the real artistic work begins. Audiences can easily study the evolution of an illustration.

Laguna College gallery

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LCAD

Opening reception for illustrator David Harrington’s exhibit

“It’s wonderful seeing people in person again, when they can experience the art from a few feet away versus virtually,” says Lyncheski.

LCAD looks forward to showcasing another powerful exhibit next month. The Moulton Family Exhibit opens on October 7th. A reception will be held on the First Thursday Art Walk featuring a Nellie Gail impersonator steeped in Moulton family history. “We’re hoping for an interactive, multi-layered exhibition,” Lyncheski says. More information on that event will be coming soon.

Founded in 1961, LCAD is a dually accredited, nonprofit college located in Laguna Beach. LCAD offers undergraduate degrees (BFA) in Animation, Drawing + Painting, Drawing + Painting with Sculpture Emphasis, Drawing + Painting with Illustration Emphasis, Entertainment Design, Game Art, Graphic Design + Digital Media, Graphic Design + Digital Media with Action Sports Emphasis, Graphic Design + Digital Media with Illustration Emphasis, and Illustration. LCAD also offers Graduate degrees (MFA) in Drawing, Game Design, and Painting. 

LCAD is located at 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information, go to www.lcad.edu or call (949) 376-6000.

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR - OCTOBER

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OCTOBER 2 - 10

23rd Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational

Each year LPAPA turns Laguna Beach into an outdoor painting studio, inviting the top award-winning plein air painters from around the nation to gather to paint the town as they compete for top cash awards and carry on a 100+-year-old plein air painting tradition!

www.lpapa.org.

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

Various events and locations - Gala Reception at Festival of Arts

Various event timing - Gala Reception 10/9/21 at FOA

Refer to website for event fees

949-376-3635

OCTOBER 5

LBL2020 StackedVerticalBeth’s Tuesdays

Beth Wood’s monthly songwriter’s showcase on the first Tuesday of every month.

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center

Streamed live on Laguna Live! Facebook page & YouTube channel

7 pm

Check website for ticket price.

949-715-9713

OCTOBER 14

Live! at the Museum

Chamber Music Concert with Artists TBA

www.lagunalive.org

Laguna Live!

At the Laguna Art Museum

7 pm – 8 pm

Free for museum members and included with museum admission for non-members. Admission $5/$7

949-715-9713

ART & EVENTS CALENDAR by the Week CLICK HERE


“Art in Public Places” – The Love That Binds by Rude Calderón and Roberto Delgado

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

This is the 26th article in our weekly series featuring Art in Public Places. Since there are over 100 pieces of public art scattered throughout Laguna, it will take a while to cover them all.

Some of the art you see around Laguna Beach is the result of two city programs: “Public Art and Murals” and “Art in Public Places.” The goals of the Public Art and Murals and Art in Public Places (adopted in 1986) initiatives are to create diverse art installations of the highest quality that will, over decades, reflect the city itself and its citizens, and improve the quality of life; and to be a source of pride to all Laguna Beach residents. 

The Love That Binds, a travertine and tile bench created by Rude Calderón and Roberto Delgado, was installed in Crescent Bay Point Park in North Laguna in 2016.

Funded by Norman Powell, it celebrates the “50 years of love” he shared with his late wife Armena. Powell was part of the city’s open space committee that zoned the area as the site for a potential public park in the 1970s.

Art in bench front

Click on photo for a larger image

“The Love That Binds” benches celebrate Norman Powell’s love for his late wife Armena

“Norman wanted to gift funds for a public art piece in memory of his wife, but he wanted to experience the piece himself and see others enjoy the installation, which he has been doing,” says Cultural Arts Manager Sian Poeschl. “Making a donation to public art and enjoying it during your lifetime is such a gift.

“Currently we are undertaking a review of the Public Art Ordinance and Policy and will be considering approaches and addressing donations for the future. This study should take 8 to 12 months and will provide comprehensive review and policy for future permanent and temporary art installations.”

Artists

Calderón is known for his stone carvings and Delgado for his hand-painted tile and silk screening techniques.

Calderón was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, where he spent the first seven years of his life. His family immigrated with him to Los Angeles in 1964 where he has remained all his life. His father apprenticed and worked in his uncle Manuel Zuñiga’s sculpture studio, creating religious sculpture in the Spanish baroque tradition. His deep respect for materials and craftsmanship is rooted in this family history.

Delgado says, “My work evolves from the reality of the photo. I was born and raised in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, did my time in the U.S. Army, and UCLA’s graduate MFA program. I spent most of the 70s and 80s in Chiapas State, Mexico, where I honed my skills in murals and public art.” 

Art in ocean view

Click on photo for a larger image

The benches overlook the ocean view from Crescent Bay Point Park

Both artists were inspired by their surroundings and translated that into their work. Delgado’s hand-painted tiles are reminiscent of the vibrancy and history of Mexico City, and Calderón’s use of stone reflects the intrinsic beauty of nature.

“In 1985 I was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and lived in Mexico City, working on large monotypes and murals,” continues Delgado. “I saw the influence of Mexican-American-Chicano barrio realism on the Mexico City art world first-hand, with young artists discovering the gritty streets of their own city.” 

“Stone as a medium inspires my appreciation of its dynamic and intrinsic natural beauty, and its perpetual place in human history,” says Calderón. “The materials and methods used are those that resonate most with my own nature and thoughts; my lifelong interest in geology, sculpture, and mystical philosophy stirred my vocation in art. It’s a living natural material that provides me with the dynamics required for concepts that ponder and question our state of consciousness and the essence that unites us as human beings.”

Crescent Bay Point Park is located where Cliff Drive intercepts North Coast Hwy.

For a map of Art in Public Places (not every piece is listed), click here.

To apply for the Arts in Public Places program, click here.

ORGANIZATION INFO

www.lagunabeacharts.org

City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission

www.lagunabeachcity.net

Community Art Project (CAP)

www.caplaguna.org

Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters

www.foapom.com

First Thursdays Art Walk

www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com

KX 93.5 Radio

www.kx935.com

Laguna Art-A-Fair

www.art-a-fair.com

Laguna Art Museum

www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC)

www.lbculturalartscenter.org

Laguna Beach Live!

www.lagunabeachlive.org

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association

www.lagunabeachsistercities.org

Laguna College of Art + Design

www.lcad.edu

Laguna Concert Band

www.lagunaconcertband.com

Laguna Craft Guild

www.lagunacraftguild.org

Laguna Dance Festival

www.lagunadancefestival.org

LOCA Arts Education

www.locaarts.org

Laguna Playhouse

www.lagunaplayhouse.com

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

www.lpapa.org

LagunaTunes

www.lagunatuneschorus.org

No Square Theatre

www.nosquare.org

Sawdust Art Festival

www.sawdustartfestival.org

[seven-degrees]

www.seven-degrees.com

Third Street Writers

www.thirdstreetwriters.org

Visit Laguna Beach

www.visitlagunabeach.com


Laguna Live! celebrates 20 years of music in the community 

Twenty years ago, three locals (Joe Byrne, Sam Goldstein, and Cindy Prewitt) formed a nonprofit to bring more music to Laguna. They started with free monthly chamber music at the Laguna College of Art & Design, followed by the cabaret performance of Sally Kellerman (“Hot Lips” from the movie Mash) and the Laguna Beach Music Festival in collaboration with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. 

Laguna Live! museum

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Laguna Live! and LAM partner monthly for Live! at the Museum

Prior to the pandemic, Laguna Live! had grown to presenting more than 30 concerts annually from the monthly Live! at the Museum series, the multi-day Music Festival, to the Summer and Winter Jazz Series. Special concerts sprinkling the year included Bluegrass, Gospel, Blues, Big Band, and Pop. 

Strong supporters of music education, free outreach programs have been offered to Laguna Beach Boys & Girls Club, Laguna Beach public schools, the Susi Q Senior Center, and Glennwood House.

Laguna Live! says it is eager to get this all going again plus add a few things they experimented with during the past year. “One of the best silver linings to the lockdown,” says Cindy Prewitt, President of Laguna Live!, “Has been the introduction of Beth’s Tuesdays, a monthly singer/songwriter showcase.”

Laguna Live! stage

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Laguna Live! hosts community concerts at the FOA during the summertime

Prewitt also said, “The time was used for a birthday redo, that included a new website, a new logo, and a nickname. So, you know Laguna Live! or Laguna Beach Live! is all about music and you can find out what’s going on at either address.” Board members include Dan Haspert, Betsy Jenkins, Rick Malcolm, Danny Melita, Elizabeth Pearson, Cindy Prewitt, Steve Wood, Sam Goldstein, Rob Schlesinger, Susan Davis, and Steve Wood.

For more information on Laguna Live!, visit www.lagunalive.org.

How to get there

Visit Laguna Beach City Map Visit Laguna Beach Coast Map

Funds for this calendar are provided by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

LBArtsAllianceLogo

Ukulele master Andrew Molina holds workshop and concert on September 23 

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) is proud to present new, world-class acts at its downtown location on the Forest Avenue Promenade. Proceeds will benefit the LBCAC. 

“Although our doors reopened just recently, we are already beginning to realize our vision of creating an accessible and affordable epicenter for entertaining, thought-provoking art,” said Rick Conkey, Founder of the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center. “I’m so excited for our audience to enjoy these two world-class artists.” 

Ukulele master Andrew

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Andrew Molina to host ukulele workshop and concert on September 23 

On Thursday, Sept 23 from 6-9 p.m., Andrew Molina will host a ukulele workshop and concert. Maui native Andrew Molina is one of the most talented ukulele virtuosos touring the world today. His love and passion for the ukulele truly shows in his song composition and performance. 

Audience members, regardless of skill level, can bring a uke and learn through the master’s exclusive workshop and then stay to be moved and amazed by Andrew in concert later the same evening. The Four Stringerz, Laguna’s very own ukulele quartet, will open the night. 

Tickets for the Ukulele Workshop are $15, the Andrew Molina Concert is $25, and both can be purchased for $30. 

Ukulele master Pato

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Grammy-nominated reggae legend Pato Banton to perform on September 25 

On Saturday, Sept 25 from 8-10 p.m., Grammy-nominated reggae legend Pato Banton and the Now Generation will perform. This intimate Pato Banton event is a must-see, exclusive experience not to be forgotten. Pato Banton is a Grammy-nominated reggae legend that has recorded and toured the world with The English Beat, Steel Pulse, UB40, and Sting, just to name a few. A British-born reggae singer, known for his uplifting messages, Pato Banton is known around the world for hits like “Go Pato,” “Never Give In,” and “Stay Positive.” With his signature charismatic energy, Pato and his killer band deliver an uplifting show that features upbeat sounds mixed with conscious lyrics. 

VIP tickets can be purchased for $50 and General Admission tickets can be purchased for $30. 

Throughout the ages, civilizations have been judged by their artistic and creative expressions. The LBCAC is harnessing the power of the arts for the benefit of the community, creating artivists and growing the hearts and minds of our youth. This epicenter of art is located along the Forest Avenue Promenade in Laguna Beach, the heart of Southern California’s premier art colony. The LBCAC supports the health and wellness of its audience members, performers, crew, and house staff. So, proof of vaccination or a mask will be required. 

For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit www.lbculturalartscenter.org.


Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters share gratitude for successful 2021 season

Laguna Beach’s longest-running art festival, the prestigious Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, and the award-winning Pageant of the Masters living picture production, successfully wrapped its 2021 season on September 3rd. The Pageant of the Masters presentation of Made in America: Trailblazing Artists and Their Stories received rave reviews and the Fine Art Show was filled with art enthusiasts every day. 

After a forced hiatus in 2020 due the pandemic, Festival organizers were uncertain how well the art show and Pageant would fare this summer when they made the decision to open its doors this past April. It was a pleasant surprise that more than 150,000 people attended the shows.

Festival of Lincoln Memorial

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Photo by Rick Graves 

Pageant recreation of Lincoln Memorial by Daniel Chester French

“As we emerge from one of the most challenging periods our organization has endured, we are humbled and grateful for the support we’ve received from our volunteers, members, artists, patrons, sponsors, and the community. We could not have done it without them,” said David Perry, Festival of Arts President.

Since opening in early July, attendees have enjoyed and purchased artwork from the 120 artists that exhibited in the 2021 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. The open-air gallery offered a breathtaking showcase for artwork of all mediums including painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry, and more. Despite the shorten operating hours, many Festival exhibiting artists still reported a fruitful summer of art sales. Guests also joined art tours, watched artist demonstrations, enjoyed concerts, and soaked in the creative atmosphere. 

The Pageant’s production of Made in America: Trailblazing Artists and Their Stories amazed and captivated audiences nightly with 90 minutes of “tableaux vivants” and its moving look at American history through a collection of tributes to artists who made their mark in American art. 

Forty-one famous works of art by artists such as Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, Norman Rockwell, John Nieto, Daniel Chester French, and others were recreated into living, breathing art. This year’s patriotic production was filled with more surprises and special effects than ever before including choreographed dance routines, singing, special lighting effects, a captivating storyline, stellar music and compositions, video projections, and even faux fireworks! The production culminated with photos of Pageant cast volunteers taken by Matthew Rolston in 2017, which was then followed by the Pageant’s traditional finale of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Rolston’s exhibit, Art People: The Pageant Portraits, is currently on display at Laguna Art Museum through September 19.

It took roughly 450 volunteers to present this year’s Pageant. At the season’s end, they donated roughly 60,000 hours of their time in support of the arts as cast members, makeup artists, costume and headdress assistants, runners, and refreshment servers.       

When asked what it meant to Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy to be able to bring back the Pageant after the pandemic forced its cancellation last year she shared, “It means that my Pageant colleagues returned to work – and I’m very grateful about that. The volunteers were happy to return to reconnect with their friends in the cast and Pageant audience attendance has been better than expected so that means Laguna’s Art Festival will continue into the future!”

Preparations and planning are already underway for the 2022 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and Pageant of the Masters. The theme for next year’s Pageant will be Wonderful World. Tickets to the 2022 Pageant will go on sale to Festival of Arts members starting October 1.

For more information on how to become a member, visit www.foapom.com.

Perry concluded, “This year proved to be a celebration of the resiliency of the arts and community. These past many months have taught us, we’re all in this together; and no show survives without committed and enthusiastic support.”

For more information and to stay up to date on all things Pageant of the Masters and Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, follow the Festival on social media at @FestivalPageant and visit www.foapom.com.


Chris Thile announced as Artistic Director of 20th Anniversary Laguna Beach Music Festival

The Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Laguna Beach Live! are pleased to announce that four-time Grammy Award-winning mandolinist, singer, and songwriter Chris Thile will serve as Artistic Director for the 20th Laguna Beach Music Festival, a weeklong series of concerts and outreach opportunities taking place March 28-April 3, 2022, at Laguna Playhouse and throughout the local community.

Described by NPR as a “genre-defying musical genius,” Chris Thile is one of today’s great musical innovators as he continuously crosses from classical to rock to jazz and bluegrass, creating a distinctly American canon and unique musical experience for audiences around the globe. A Southern California native, Thile first found fame with the roots-music trio Nickel Creek, and soon after, helped found the American band Punch Brothers, which fused the sounds of traditional bluegrass with the techniques of jazz and classical music. As a soloist and chamber musician, Thile stretches the boundaries of his mandolin repertoire, collaborating with artists across all genres. 

Chris Thile closeup

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Chris Thile takes helm of 2022 LB Music Festival

Now, he performs across the world in the most reputable concert halls as a soloist and chamber musician, collaborating with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Béla Fleck, and many others. For the past four years, Thile also served as host for public radio favorite Live from Here with Chris Thile (formerly Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion), where he showcased his composition skills by writing one new song a week.

“Chris Thile’s eclectic and adventurous spirit makes him a perfect fit alongside the exceptional lineup of artistic directors who have brought twenty years’ worth of groundbreaking performances and programming to Laguna Beach,” remarks Philharmonic Society President and Artistic Director Tommy Phillips. “We couldn’t be more excited to feature such an imaginative and innovative artist at the helm of our 2022 festival.”

“The Laguna Beach Music Festival is a true gem in our town and in the larger music world beyond,” says Lucinda Prewitt, president of Laguna Beach Live!, “and we are delighted to be able to collaborate with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County to bring such an extraordinary talent as Chris Thile to headline our 20th anniversary.”

Over the past two decades, the Laguna Beach Music Festival has served as a hallmark musical event for Southern California. Pushing the boundaries of chamber music with exceptional, one-of-a-kind programming, the festival features a new artistic director and special guest artists each year in a uniquely curated series of concerts and outreach events. 

Chris Thile stage

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Four-time Grammy Award-winning mandolinist, singer, and songwriter Chris Thile

Past festival artistic directors have included Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell, the innovative and eclectic Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, star violinist and social media sensation Ray Chen, tenor Nicholas Phan, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Silver Medalist Joyce Yang, pianist and composer Conrad Tao, the late cellist Lynn Harrell, composer Paul Chihara, and many others. 

Each program showcases a myriad of classical and contemporary works, with many performances crossing genres and exploring the relationship between music and other forms of art. Beyond the concerts, the festival also features community events, including meet-and-greets, intimate salon performances, open rehearsals, and educational engagements with local students.

Founded in 1954 as Orange County’s first music organization, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County presents national and international performances of the highest quality and provides dynamic and innovative music education programs for individuals of all ages to enhance the lives of Orange County audiences through music.

 Laguna Beach Live!, founded in 2001, is a nonprofit organization that strives to increase the awareness of and participation in diverse musical experiences through the presentation of high quality live musical performances that are accessible, affordable, intimate and in our community. 

From Jazz Wednesdays, a cabaret series in summer and winter, Live! at the Museum, monthly chamber music concerts, and Live! Music Insights, education programs for adults, to the annual Bluegrass Festival and distinctive classical multi-day Music Festival co-presented with the Philharmonic Society, and special concerts of Gospel, Blues, Big Band, and Pop, Laguna Beach Live! presents over 34 performances year-round plus free outreach programs to our youth and seniors.

For more information about Laguna Beach Live!, go to www.lagunabeachlive.org.


Laguna Live! welcomes The Latin Jazz Syndicate on September 23

Laguna Live! is looking forward to welcoming guests to hear the acclaimed Latin Jazz Syndicate on Thursday, Sept 23 at the Woman’s Club. Following the lead of other arts organizations in OC, Laguna Live! is requiring people to wear a mask and provide proof of vaccination (or negative test within 48 hours). They are also reducing seating to two-thirds, deleting intermission, and plan on having all the doors open.

Laguna Live! Bijon

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World-renowned trumpeter Bijon Watson 

Led by world-renowned trumpeter Bijon Watson, The Latin Jazz Syndicate is a group of all-star musicians that have performed and recorded with the likes of Arturo Sandoval, Poncho Sanchez, Jose Rizo’s Jazz on The Latin Side All Stars, and Luis Miguel, to name a few. 

The group pays homage to America’s indigenous music Jazz while maintaining the rhythmic and harmonic authenticity required of a variety of ethnic styles. The Latin Jazz Syndicate’s unique sonic flavors, infusing Afro Cuban, Latin Soul, and World Rhythms, as well as the ensemble’s dedication to performing with unsurpassed passion and energy, combine to create an unforgettable musical experience.

To purchase tickets, visit www.lagunalive.org or call (949) 715-9713. 

Laguna Live! regrets that Adonis Puentes will not be able to perform as he lives in Canada and COVID restrictions are keeping him at home.


LOCA arts challenge celebrates fall

LOCA Arts Education invites everyone to engage in seasonal arts challenges on Instagram. Creative types can get inspired by sharing their photos, and photos of their artwork, that follow fun and easy themes. 

“We want everyone to be involved,” said artist and LOCA board member Lisa Mansour. “This is a fun, easy way to express one’s creativity!”

LOCA arts women

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Courtesy of LOCA

“Fall Tapestry” is the theme of LOCA’s current Instagram challenge – Art by Sandra Jones Campbell

The newest challenge is “Fall Tapestry,” featuring images of colors such as golds, oranges, and browns throughout September and October, and patterns and textures in November.

All mediums are invited including collage, drawing, printmaking, painting, photography, and sculpture. To participate now, post photos or images of artworks, with fall colors, to Instagram and be sure to tag @locaarts and use the hashtag #locaartschallenge. 

For more information, visit @locaarts on Instagram or www.locaarts.org.


FOA announces exclusive membership offers to 2022 Pageant of the Masters

The world-famous Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach is inviting families, art enthusiasts, and entertainment lovers alike to sign up for a Festival of Arts membership for the upcoming 2022 season. 

In addition to securing early access to purchase tickets to the Pageant of the Masters for next summer, members may look forward to members-only programs, discounts, special gift packages, and much more. 

FOA announces selfie

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FOA memberships are available now

Pageant fans can now elevate their experience at the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters with special discounts, perks, events, and more. Not only does membership offer first access to tickets to the 2022 Pageant performance in early October before they go on sale to the public, membership also grants unlimited entry to the fine art show, special events, and music performances all summer long. 

Other membership perks include:

--Bring a guest for a behind-the-scenes peek of the Pageant during Membership Day

--Receive an invitation to the Festival of Arts Annual Meeting

--Save big with discounts on Festival of Arts merchandise

--Stay up to date with the digital member newsletter

--Member recognition, gift packages, special invitations, and more!

A membership enables patrons to experience all that the Festival of Arts offers while helping to support the art exhibit, Pageant of the Masters, scholarship and art education programs, special events, and more. A portion of each membership is tax-deductible and helps fulfill the mission to promote and produce events that encourage the appreciation of the arts. 

Be the first to secure your seat to the 2022 Pageant! Next summer’s theme, Wonderful World, will be a kaleidoscope of international art spotlighting distant lands, cultural celebrations, and fascinating moments in world history. The 2022 Pageant show will run from July 7 to September 2, 2022.

To purchase your tickets to the 2022 Pageant of the Masters in October, before they go on sale to the public in December, become a member by visiting www.foapom.com/support/membership. Gift memberships are also available. 

To stay up to date on all things Pageant of the Masters and Fine Arts Show, visit www.foapom.com or follow @FestivalPageant on social media. To support the Festival of Arts, visit www.foapom.com/supportnow.


Laguna Playhouse announces its 100th season of shows – a century of theatrical artistry

Laguna Playhouse is thrilled to announce its doors will open after a too-long 18 months, so they can (finally!) celebrate their 100th year of creating exceptional theatre in one of Southern California’s most beautiful and vibrant communities. 

Comments Executive Director Ellen Richard and Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham, “We cannot wait to welcome you, our subscribers, and audiences back to the Laguna Playhouse after this unprecedented intermission. It may have been delayed, but we are going to celebrate our 100th season in style with shows that are uplifting, hilarious, and life-affirming!” 

The Playhouse’s 100th season begins with Denny and the Dreamers singing all your favorite 1960s songs in the smash-hit, jukebox musical Sh-Boom! Life Could Be A Dream; followed by the heart-warming musical drama, based on the hit film, The Spitfire Grill; then Ella Fitzgerald will take the stage in First Lady of Song: Alexis J. Roston Sings Ella Fitzgerald; next is a play you’ll find almost perfect as you experience the funny and heartwarming, Almost, Maine; the summer will bring the musicals you are going to dance in the aisles to, starting with the infectious songs of the Bee Gees in Saturday Night Fever; and the Playhouse will complete its season with the exhilarating Xanadu! It is a season worth the wait and a spectacular way to welcome you back to the Laguna Playhouse.

Sh-Boom! Life Could Be A Dream October 13-31, 2021

Take a trip to Springfield and meet the Crooning Crabcakes as they prepare to enter the Big Whopper Radio contest and realize their dreams of making it to the big time! The 60s hits say it all: “Fools Fall in Love,” “Tears on my Pillow,” “Runaround Sue,” “Earth Angel,” “Stay,” “Unchained Melody,” “Lonely Teardrops,” and “The Glory of Love.” This delightful, award-winning jukebox musical, written and created by Roger Bean (The Marvelous Wonderettes), will leave you laughing, singing, and cheering – let’s hear it for the boys!

The Spitfire Grill – January 26-February 13, 2022 

Run away to a small town where they “roll the streets up at night” and find yourself in a café that serves up a soul-stirring story with a strong cup of joe. This joyous musical bubbles over with toe-tapping fun and soaring, heart-felt melodies – and is proof that a new beginning is as close as your own back porch.   

The music and book are by James Valcq, the lyrics and book are by Fred Alley, and it is based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff

Laguna Playhouse Ella

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Courtesy of Artists Lounge Live

Alexis J. Roston stars in “First Lady Of Song: Alexis J. Roston Sings Ella Fitzgerald”  

First Lady Of Song: Alexis J. Roston Sings Ella Fitzgerald – March 2-20, 2022

Presented by Artists Lounge Live, award-winner Alexis J. Roston salutes America’s favorite jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. Roston is known for her mesmerizing star turn as Billie Holiday in multiple productions of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, earning Chicago’s Jeff Award and Black Theatre Alliance Award. In a spellbinding concert performance, Roston effortlessly emits the sultry swing and playful joy that made Ella an American treasure. 

Almost, Maine – April 20-May 8, 2022 

Written by John Cariani. Propelled by the mystical energy of the aurora borealis and populated with characters who are humorous, plain-spoken, thoughtful, and sincere, Almost, Maine is a series of loosely connected tales about love, each with a compelling couple at its center, each with its own touch of sorcery. Strangers become friends, friends become lovers, and lovers turn into strangers. On one cold and magical winter night, the citizens of Almost experience the life-altering power of the human heart.

Another Spectacular Show! TBA – May 25-June 12, 2022 

The Playhouse is working hard to find the perfect show to fit into this special season. 

Saturday Night FeverJune 29-July 17, 2022 

Tony Manero doesn’t have much going for him during the weekdays. On the weekends, however, he is the king of the dance floor at the local disco where he and his friends go to dance the night away. When a big dance competition is announced, he wrangles the beautiful and talented Stephanie to be his partner. As the two train for the big night, they start to fall for each other as well. Packed with disco classics including the Bee Gees’ hits “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Night Fever,” “Tragedy” and “More Than A Woman,” the musical is filled with explosive energy and sensational choreography.

The show is based on the Paramount/RSO Picture, based on a story by Nik Cohn, the screenplay is by Norman Wexler, stage adaption is by Nan Knighton, and it features songs by The Bee Gees.

Xanadu August 3-21, 2022 

Xanadu follows the journey of a magical and beautiful Greek muse, Kira, who descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, Calif., in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest artistic creation of all time – the first Roller Disco. (Hey, it’s 1980!) But, when Kira falls into forbidden love with the mortal Sonny, her jealous sisters take advantage of the situation.

The book is by Douglas Carter Beane; music and lyrics are by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar.

Subscriptions to the 100th Anniversary Season are now available. Seven-play season tickets range from $268-$408 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.comor by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787).                                                                                                                   

The box office is open Mondays through Saturdays from 12 to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (The box office will open in September and will be open until showtime on performance days).

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

Laguna Playhouse COVID-19 protocols: Laguna Playhouse will offer both vaccination-only and open-to-all performances this season. The first two weeks of each run will be for fully vaccinated patrons only, followed by a week of open performances for all audiences. Subscribers who would like to move to a week that better serves their needs can do so. Any additional protocol will depend, of course, on governmental regulations.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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