Ghost light dedication before Lagunatics 7 p.m. curtain will honor the memory of Lloyd Charton

This year’s 25th annual production of Lagunatics (Oct 13) will begin with a dedication of a new ghost light a few minutes before the 7 p.m. curtain. 

The ghost light, a centuries-old theatre tradition, is installed in loving memory of Lloyd Charton. Many locals will remember Charton as a successful attorney and longtime supporter of No Square Theatre who lost his life last spring in a mountain climbing accident. He was president of the No Square Theatre Board of Directors and well known for his wise counsel and good humor.

The ghost light is an electric light (they were gas before there was electricity) that is left illuminated on the stage when it would otherwise be dark. A bare bulb on a movable stand, it is placed near center stage. The last person to leave the theatre turns it on, and the first to arrive turns it off.

Originally, the ghost light was used as a safety precaution to prevent anyone from falling into the orchestra pit or bumping into set pieces when the stage was not lighted. Through the years, superstitions have arisen to explain the ghost light. Many legends claim it represents beloved actors or theatre “angels” who are no longer with us, watching over the theatre.

So at 6:45 p.m. on October 13, before launching into another season of poking fun at our beloved town, No Square patrons will pause to celebrate Lloyd Charton with a ghost light. It will serve as a continuing reminder of his contributions to the performing arts and to Laguna Beach.

No Square Theatre is in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion Street, two blocks south of the High School. The High School has ample free parking. Patrons can come early, and enjoy dinner and drinks al fresco before curtain. Seating is extremely limited and the theatre has enjoyed a long run of sold-out events, so tickets must be purchased in advance. 

Tickets are available at

Dennis’ Tidbits


October 6, 2017

Catalina sunsets have begun: It’s prime “green flash” time too

Using the top of the St. Ann’s Beach stairs as a vantage point for viewing our wonderful fall sunsets, in a couple of days (on Oct 8) they’ll be Catalina sunsets as the sun sinks behind Catalina Island on its north side, as it appears to move a tiny bit more toward the southernmost edge each day. 

Actually from that vantage point the setting sun clears the south end of the island and sets in the ocean between about Dec 16 and 26 and then starts edging back toward the north when it finally clears the northernmost side around next March 8. Catalina sunsets are the prime time for viewing the green flash phenomenon whenever atmospheric conditions are right. 

Ocean temps have rebounded lately, running at 67-70 which is about three degrees above normal for the first week of October thanks to a slackening of brisk afternoon westerlies.

We’ve got about another month left of Daylight Savings and then on Sunday, Nov 5 we enter the Dark Ages (no, I’m not referring to the current Administration). Daylight Savings returns on the second Sunday of next March.

2017 has been the worst south swell season ever, at least since I started keeping track of this stuff since 1958. 1959, 1967, and 2010 were bad but 2017 has been pathetic. Trestle has seen maybe a half dozen overhead days the whole season. The Eastern Pacific tropics remain in a serious coma and the southern Hemisphere has shown us nothing. 

I guess it’s time then to turn our attention to the North Pacific, the breeding grounds for west and northwest ground swells. The first one, by average usually appears around October 10, give or take a few days, but nothing has shown up on the radar as of yet.

It’s still up in the air (no pun intended ) as to what kind of winter we’re in store for. At this writing we’re not under the influence of an El Nino or La Nina so I guess anything goes. I’m not even going to try and predict what will transpire over the next five or six months so I’ll leave it at that. 


Barbara’s Column

Girls, girls, girls



Girls Night Out photos by Mary Hurlbut

A bevy of women kicked up their heels at the ninth annual Girls Night Out fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club.

Killer stilettos to sparkling sandals echoed the fundraiser’s logo---a high heeled pump, which was featured on the Save the Date mailer and was sculpted in ice for the event. Attendance and proceeds were at an all-time high this year, with a gross of $134,000 dollars. 

“Girls Night Out sells out every year, but this year we over-sold because the event is so unique,” said first-time Chair Celeste McCarthy.

McCarthy is a member of the Girls and Boys Club board, as is Paula Arnold, who chaired the 2016 fundraiser.

The event included an aura reader, a fashion show, food, drinks, silent and live auctions and an opportunity prize drawing.

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Host Holly Wilson is flanked by Carole Reynolds and Annette Henry

“We picked the date this year to make sure auctioneer Letitia Audrines was available,” said McCarthy. 

Audrines, who auctioneers around the country, is partial to the Boys and Girls Club fundraiser, and has visited the club.

“It makes women able to be working moms,” she said.

Winston’s Crown Jewelers contributed the opportunity prizes: rose gold earrings with sapphires, amethysts and pink agate, valued at $10,000; pearl studs and a string of freshwater cultured pearls. 

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Girls model Winston Crown jewels

Choosing the site was a no-brainer; Dave and Holly Wilson have opened their home for the fundraiser since it began in 2009. She spent a good portion of the evening at her command center on the lower level of the foot home, where several of her neighbors gathered. 

“She always invites us,” said Annette Henry, widow of Emmy-winning director and Festival of Arts board member. “We call her the caregiver of Rockledge.”

Other neighbors included Linda Supowitz and Carole (with an e) Reynolds.

The Wilsons’ home was built in 1987, designed by Fred Briggs for the Boyd Jeffries family, who called it “Pacific Reflections.”

Jeffries had the 12,500- square-foot home built after he was thwarted in an attempt to buy the Moss Point estate, according to the late Constance Morthland, who outmaneuvered him for ownership. 

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These girls were ready to party!

Outstanding features include the extensive use of beautiful woods, a circular staircase with a glass landing extending over the ocean. The master bedroom has a domed ceiling that retracts electronically.

Girls Night Out followed on the heels of the fourth annual Night at The Ranch fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club, which grossed $235,000. 

Among the familiar faces seen at Girls Night Out: Francine Scinto, Margaret Warder, Martha Lydick, Stu News publisher Shaena Stabler, Winston Crown Jewelers President Glenn Verdult, the only male guest at the event. Working staff members included Pam Estes, Michelle Ray-Fortezzo and Chris Switzer.

Classic Car show draws a crowd

The Rotary Club’s Classic Car Show on Sunday drew a record-breaking number of stunning vehicles to Laguna Beach on Sunday.

“We had almost 200 entries,” said Andy Turner, second in command to car show chair, Harry Bithell. “It’s one of the largest exhibits we have had in a long time.”

The show featured 28 vehicle classifications, from antiques to woodies, muscle cars to Jaguars and cars manufactured from 1946 to 1960, foreign and domestic. 

Laura Newhall-Allen, a Laguna Beach High School graduate, exhibited her cherished 1957 T-bird. She named the powder pink car Carmen.

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Rotary Classic Car Show attracted a large crowd

Proceeds from the show benefit local non-profits and scholarships for LBHS graduating seniors.

“The intent of our show is that we have a fun and enjoyable day and raise money for our local charities,” said Bithell.  

Bithell expressed his gratitude to show sponsor Pepper Tree Lane and venue sponsors Crevier Classic Cars and Pacific Life. 

New to the show this year was a silent auction. Donors included artist Michael Obermeyer, Starfish restaurant, European Optical, Bushard’s Pharmacy, The Ranch, I2I Optometry, Angela Popowa and Rotarians Marianne Raczkowski, Ward Blackburn and Rod Hatter.

A stay at Montage Laguna Beach was the opportunity Prize. 

But wait – there’s more. You will find advance notice of all the fun and interesting stuff for visitors or residents to do in Laguna by reading

12 Angry Men debuts at the Playhouse

Twelve Angry Men, written by Reginald Rose and directed by Ovation Award-winning director Michael Matthews, is now on stage at the Playhouse.

“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.”

12 Angry Men is a 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, was inspired to write Twelve Angry Men after a stint on jury duty in the Foley Square courthouse in New York in 1954. 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.  

Twelve Angry Men began 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 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. 

Painting with Passion Plus: A course for artists who love the challenge of a blank canvas

Talented local artist Carole Zavala will again be offering her five week course, Painting with Passion Plus, through the City of Laguna Beach, beginning Thurs, Oct 26, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Classes are held in the Art Room at the Susi Q.

“Are you motivated by the challenge of a blank canvas? Are you looking for ways to enhance your work and take it to the next level?” Carole asks. “Then Painting with Passion Plus is just the course for you.”  

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Submitted photo

One of Carole Zavala’s beautiful paintings

Carole recently finished an intensive art boot camp at the Watts Atelier in Encinitas under the direction of well-known artist, Jeffrey Watts. The school focuses on the classic and traditional forms of painting and drawing, and Carole is looking forward to sharing some of the techniques and insights she gained during the sessions.

All media are welcome and participants are encouraged to have some specific goals or ideas in mind when they arrive. Carole integrates contemporary art trends along with information relating to the more traditional forms from the past.  

This “Plus” session also include explorations into wire sculpture (materials will be provided) and other art forms and materials that allow the artist to “push the boundaries” of their art making. The course is $175 for the five sessions, $35 for drop-ins.

Bring your own materials, and bring non-toxic Gamlen if using oils. Some experience in painting and/or drawing is recommended.

For additional information contact Carole at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Sign up through the City website or in person at the Susi Q. 

Walk for Freedom on Sat Oct 14 at Main Beach will raise awareness about human trafficking

On Sat Oct 14, a fundraising and awareness event called Walk for Freedom will take place in hundreds of cities across 50 nations. In Laguna Beach, participants will meet at 10 a.m. at Main Beach.

The purpose of the walk, operated by a global anti-human trafficking organization called A21, is to raise awareness about the millions of men, women and children who are still trapped in slavery today. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

2016 Walk for Freedom, with participants wearing distinctive clothing

By fundraising and rallying thousands of people around the cause, the belief is that this event will be the catalyst for the rescue and restoration of human beings who are being exploited as commodities.

Walk for Freedom is distinctly recognized by its participants who are in single-file lines, wearing black shirts and yellow bandannas across their mouths.

“We are utterly convinced that slavery can be eradicated in our lifetime. All of us can put our feet on the pavement and use our steps to make a difference,” says Christine Caine, A21’s founder.

More information about Walk for Freedom and registration:

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