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LAM to feature acclaimed LA-based artist Lita Albuquerque on Thursday 

Laguna Art Museum will feature Lita Albuquerque, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based artist, often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, to discuss her work this Thursday, Nov 29, at 6 p.m.

Since the early 1970s, Albuquerque has created an expansive body of work, ranging from sculpture, poetry, painting, and multi-media performance to ambitious site-specific ephemeral projects in remote locations around the globe. 

Often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, she has developed a unique visual and conceptual vocabulary using the earth, color, the body, motion, and time to illuminate identity and its relation to the universal. 

In Person Lita Albuquerque

Click on photo for a larger image 

From LAM website

Particle Horizon 2014 by Lita Albuquerque, Laguna Art Museum

She was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant for her Stellar Axis: Antarctica project, which culminated in the first and largest ephemeral artwork created on that continent. In 2014 her performance piece on Main Beach, An Elongated Now, played a central part in Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature festival, complementing the installation Particle Horizon inside the museum.

Advance tickets are recommended for this event. Tickets are included with museum admission, $5 for students, $7 for general public, and free for ages 17 and under. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive. For more information, call (949) 494-8971 or visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


Snow and Santa

Sawdust Winter Fantasy

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Snow and arriving

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Santa arrives at 10:30 a.m. to waiting crowd

Snow and snowfalling

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Yes, it does snow in Laguna

Snow and Skipper

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Naughty or nice, Skipper’s been nice!

Santa’s hours: Available for photo ops in Santa’s cottage 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 

2 to 5 p.m. all days of the show. Remaining days of Winter Fantasy: December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Don’t miss No Square Theatre’s amazing production of “Annie,” starting this Friday

No Square Theatre presents “Annie” starting this Friday, Nov 30. Performances will run Friday through Sunday, through December 22, and will include both matinee and evening showings.

This wildly popular, Tony Award-winning musical “Annie”, with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, is directed by Joe Lauderdale and choreographed by Ellen Prince. Vocal Music is directed by Roxanna Ward and the band is directed by Christopher W. Smith at the piano. David Cowan is the Stage Manager, and costumes are done by the brilliant Brigitte Harper. Costumes for this production are underwritten by a generous grant from FOA Foundation.

Little Orphan Annie, played but Tessa Espinola, embodies human optimism at its best, as she rises from humble beginnings in 1930s New York City. The show treats audiences to one of the best musical scores ever composed including favorites like “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” and the ultimate anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”  With a heartfelt and positive message, the show is the perfect entertainment choice for the holiday season.

The show stars Tessa Espinola as Annie, Rob Harryman as Warbucks, Rebecca Butkivich as Grace, Karen Rymar as Miss Hannigan, Tyler Below as Rooster, Laura Buckle as Lily St Regis, and Kipling as Sandy the dog. The orphans are played by Lula Buckle, Grace Gilchrist, Ava Madison Gray, Raegan Larson, Alexandra Nottage, and Libby Rue, while all the other roles are played by a talented ensemble including Lulu Arundale, Chase Benson, Lori Freeman, Rick Gold, Jonah Goldstein, Gary Greene, Jay Kramer, Ari Paltin, and Bridget Rago.

Shows are for adults and children 6 and older with evening performances at 7 p.m. on November 30, December 1, 8, 14, and 21, and 2 p.m. matinees on December 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, and 22. Tickets are available at www.nosquare.org and are $12.50 for children 6-11 and $25-$35 for adults. Seating is extremely limited and the theatre has enjoyed a long run of sold-out events, so tickets must be purchased in advance. There will be no late seating, so come early.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall at 384 Legion St.


2018 FOA/POM season is a big success reporting $10.6 million in revenue

At the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters annual membership meeting on November 14, members were updated on recent achievements and given a glimpse of the future. The event, held at the Festival’s Forum Theater, featured reports on the past fiscal year’s activities, an overview of the Pageant’s 85th anniversary, recognition of longtime volunteers and staff, and a preview of the 2019 Pageant of the Masters.

Festival President David Perry began the meeting reporting the 2018 season an enormous success for both the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and Pageant of the Masters. After his opening remarks, Perry presented an upbeat and entertaining video that captured the 2018 season and the Pageant’s 85th Anniversary. It featured the fine art show, the junior art exhibit, art education programs, special events, Pageant of the Masters, and the recent Pageant of the Monsters.

Perry then introduced City Council member Bob Whalen to remark on the season in the absence of Kelly Boyd, Laguna Beach mayor and ex-officio member of the Festival Board.

Julie Kirchen, an eight-year Pageant of the Masters volunteer and the Wellness Strategy and Integration Manager at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, presented the Festival of Arts and Perry with a $5,000 check from the Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund to support community outreach art education programs.

FOA Festival Board

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Submitted photo

Festival of Arts board members report a successful year

The 2017-2018 year was a fiscal as well as an artistic success, according to Treasurer Fred Sattler, who presented the unaudited annual financial report. Sattler reported unaudited revenues of roughly $10.6 million, and expenses $9.8 million, resulting in a net income of about $802,000. 2018 unaudited Festival of Arts net assets were reported at $26.3 million with liabilities at $8.2 million, resulting in net assets at $18 million.

Board member Pat Kollenda proudly announced that the Festival of Arts awarded $87,400 in scholarships to college students in 2018. There were 17 freshmen awards in the amount of $29,800. There were two scholarships in Dance, six in Music, one in Theater, seven in Visual Arts and one in Writing. The freshmen average high school GPA was 3.56. There were a total of 31 freshman applicants that applied in 33 areas. In addition, there were also scholarships awarded to 31 returning scholarship recipients.

Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy presented a slideshow of artwork to be presented in the 2019 Pageant of the Masters, The Time Machine, including works of art by Norman Rockwell, Paul Manship, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Johannes Vermeer, Georges Seurat, and Leonardo da Vinci.

Perry recognized and congratulated employees Reagan Foy, Costume Director, for her 10 years of service; Michelle Reindl, Accounting Assistant, for her 15 years of service; Sharbie Higuchi, Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Merchandising, for her 20 years of service; and Caryn Werfelmann, Director of Guest Services, for her 25 years of service. He thanked them for hard work and commitment to the Festival of Arts.

There was no election for the Board of Directors this year as the three incumbents ran unopposed. Tom Lamb, Pat Kollenda, and Anita Mangels will each serve new three-year terms on the board. Elected board officers for the 2018-2019 season are David Perry, president; Scott Moore, vice president; Fred Sattler treasurer; and Pat Kollenda, secretary.

The Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For more information, visit www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.


Laguna Playhouse kicks off the holidays with Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose

Laguna Playhouse is excited to announce a special introduction to the holidays with Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose, opening on December 5. Written by Kris Lythgoe and directed by Sheldon Epps, with choreography by Mandy Moore, musical direction by Keith Harrison and musical supervision by Michael Orland, Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose will run through December 30. 

Laguna Playhouse Ashley

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Submitted photo

Ashley Argota plays Belle in Beauty and the Beast

“Families, our audiences and our subscribers are in for a romantically glorious (and hilarious) holiday experience as we present our fourth Panto spectacle, the truly magical Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose,” says Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard. 

This modern version of the classic fairytale, Lythgoe Family Panto’s Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose brings all the magic of the traditional British family Holiday Panto to American audiences. In this interactive experience, the audience is encouraged to cheer for Belle, boo for Gus and sing along with popular songs such as the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive,” The Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This,” and Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose.” 

Laguna Playhouse Andrew

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Andrew Barnicle plays Belle’s father

As part of the organization’s ongoing commitment to develop theatre for young audiences, Lythgoe Family Panto together with Laguna Playhouse will bring the magic of Panto to hundreds of underserved children who attend school in Orange County. Lythgoe Family Panto is grateful to their partners and friends at Golden State Foods for generously providing school buses for the student matinees.

Tickets range from $41 - $76. To purchase tickets, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com or call (949) 497-2787. 

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Sawdust Art Festival embraces holiday spirit with 28th Annual Winter Fantasy starting this Saturday

Sawdust Art & Craft Festival is pleased to announce the official start of its 28th annual Winter Fantasy this Saturday, Nov 17 with a community tree lighting ceremony featuring local students from Top of the World Elementary Honor Choir and over a dozen trees decorated by local organizations. 

Sawdust Art outside

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Walking in a Sawdust winter wonderland

For five weekends, through Sunday, Dec 16, event-goers of all ages can experience a festive wonderland aglow with thousands of lights and decorations, featuring 182 artists and makers, live holiday performances, glassblowing demos, festival classes, and satisfying offerings from various eateries, cafes and saloon.

Breakfast with Santa

An extra special occasion this year will be Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec 8 with the Laguna Beach Firefighters Association. All proceeds of the pancake breakfast will go towards Spark of Love, and Sawdust Art Festival will also be a drop-off location for the Spark of Love toy drive throughout the festival season. 

To further encourage the giving spirit, attendees will receive free admission on Sundays with the donation of an unwrapped toy.

Sawdust Art santa

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Say hi to Santa at a special pancake breakfast and toy drive 

Community Tree Night

Another highlight of the season is the Community Tree Night on Saturday, Dec 1 at 5 p.m., an evening honoring the 12 local organizations participating in Winter Fantasy’s annual community tree program. 

There will also be an enchanting Towne Square featuring daily photo opportunities with Santa at his cottage, in addition to a host of other magical moments with puppeteers, a balloon diva, falling snow, and the beloved gingerbread playhouse.

Lastly, there will be three stages of holiday music and entertainment, with food and refreshments from Deb’s Deli, Espresso on the Go, Fran’s Popcorn, Sawdust Saloon, Evan’s Gourmet Bistro, Tacos Durrell, and GG’s Mediterranean Express.

Presale tickets are available and the cost is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (65+), and $4 for children (6– 12). Admission is free for children five years and younger. Season passes are $12. 

For more information, as well as a comprehensive list of events and special features at this year’s Winter Fantasy, visit www.sawdustartfestival.org/festivals/winter-fantasy.


Laguna Playhouse honors veterans with new ticket program for military and veteran families

On Veterans Day, Laguna Playhouse announced a new ticket program that will provide complimentary tickets for veterans and their families as a way to honor the courageous men and women who have valiantly served the country to protect and defend freedom. 

Through their new outreach program, TheatreHope, the Playhouse offers free tickets to military and veteran families for performances at Laguna Playhouse. 

As a testament to the Playhouse’s deep gratitude, they welcome veterans and active service members to the Playhouse for entertaining, uplifting and educational live theatre experiences. 

“We are thankful to the many veterans in our community that have served their country with valor, and we would like to show our appreciation to these brave men and women and their families through this new program,” said Doug Vogel, director of development for Laguna Playhouse.

Laguna Playhouse medals

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Veteran salutes flag at Veterans Day commemoration at Legion Hall

This opportunity is available year-round, and often includes a backstage tour along with an opportunity to meet Playhouse actors and staff during interactive “stage talks” following select performances. 

Laguna Playhouse thanks O.L. Halsell Foundation, S.L. Gimbel Foundation, and the Peter and Ginny Ueberroth Family Foundation for their support of this program. 

For those interested in this opportunity, contact Michael Garman (the Playhouse’s Grants & Community Outreach Manager) for more details at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 715-5355.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


LAM to feature acclaimed LA-based artist Lita Albuquerque on Nov 29

Laguna Art Museum will feature Lita Albuquerque, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based artist, often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, to discuss her work on Thursday, Nov 29, at 6 p.m.

Since the early 1970s, Albuquerque has created an expansive body of work, ranging from sculpture, poetry, painting, and multi-media performance to ambitious site-specific ephemeral projects in remote locations around the globe. 

Often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, she has developed a unique visual and conceptual vocabulary using the earth, color, the body, motion, and time to illuminate identity and its relation to the universal. 

In Person Lita Albuquerque

Click on photo for a larger image 

From LAM website

Particle Horizon 2014 by Lita Albuquerque, Laguna Art Museum

She was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant for her Stellar Axis: Antarctica project, which culminated in the first and largest ephemeral artwork created on that continent. In 2014 her performance piece on Main Beach, An Elongated Now, played a central part in Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature festival, complementing the installation Particle Horizon inside the museum.

Advance tickets are recommended for “In Person: Lita Albuquerque” on Thursday, Nov 29, at 6 p.m. Tickets are included with museum admission, $5 for students, $7 for general public, and free for ages 17 and under. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive. For more information, call (949) 494-8971 or visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.


Live! at the Museum presents Celtic Consort of Hollywood on Thursday, Dec 13

Live! at the Museum presents Celtic Consort of Hollywood on Thursday, Dec 13 at 7 p.m. The Celtic Consort of Hollywood consists of award-winning concert and studio musicians Christina Linhardt (soprano, flute), Shawna Selline (harp), and Mark Sellin (cello, mandolin, and fiddle). 

Together and separately the group has performed all over Southern California (as well as abroad) from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to Walt Disney Concert Hall, with weddings, club dates, and recording sessions in between.

Live Celtic Consort of Hollywood

Submitted photo

Check out Live! at the Museum featuring Celtic Consort of Hollywood

Live! at the Museum, a special collaboration of Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Art 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 for Celtic Consort of Hollywood are available online through the Museum’s website at www.lagunaartmuseum.org or by calling (949) 494-8971, ext. 203. These seats are held until 6:50 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 call (949) 715-9713.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Laguna Playhouse to present “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose,” starting Dec 5

Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard are proud to present “Beauty and The Beast: A Christmas Rose,” with performances from Wednesday, Dec 5 through Dec 30 at Laguna Playhouse. 

The production is written by Kris Lythgoe, directed by Sheldon Epps, choreographed by Mandy Moore, with musical direction by Keith Harrison and musical supervisor Michael Orland.

The show stars Ashley Argota, Thomas Hobson, Heath Calvert, Andrew Jackson, Riley Costello, David Engel, and more.

Laguna Playhouse Rose Ashley Argota

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Submitted photo

Ashley Argota to star in Laguna Playhouse production of “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose” starting Dec 5

For information or tickets, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com or call (949) 497-2787 ext. 229. Tickets range from $41 - $76.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

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