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Art Walk meets Day of the Dead at AG Vision

Adriana Guzman of AG Vision is proud to present a celebration of her culture, heritage and history for Day of the Dead (“Día de los Muertos”), which begins sundown on Wednesday, Oct 31 and ends sundown on Friday, Nov 2. It is a very special day for Mexicans all over the world. 

Art Walk meets Adriana

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

“It brings us great joy to celebrate our first year of Day of the Dead here in Laguna Beach at AG Vision Gallery,” says AG Vision owner Adriana Guzman

Those who have yet to experience the celebration may be confused in thinking it is intended to be scary or morbid but in fact it’s quite the opposite. Day of the Dead is actually about the life of all of those who have passed. It’s filled with color, music, painting, dancing, offerings of wonderful food and drinks, plenty of flowers, and pictures of families.

Art Walk meets store

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

AG Vision celebrates Day of the Dead on November 1 during Art Walk

From October 31 through November 2, it is said that family members who have passed can come to visit their families, drink with them, eat and dance with them but you must create an alter, have an offering (“ofrenda”), and a picture as well as the traditional flowers known as Marigolds or (“Cempasúchil”). 

It’s a celebration that makes a graveyard a lively and family oriented place where you may hear stories or jokes and maybe even learn about your grandparents or great grandparents. 

AG Vision is located at 572 South Coast Hwy.

LAM to feature “Nature into Art, a Conversation” on Nov 3

As part of Laguna Art Museum’s sixth annual “Art & Nature” event, Nov 1 - 4, art enthusiasts have the opportunity to attend the “Nature into Art, a Conversation” panel discussion that will take place on Saturday, Nov 3, at 2:30 p.m. 

“Art & Nature” keynote speaker Jane Munro, UCSD evolutionary biologist Lin Chao, and artist and UCLA professor Victoria Vesna discuss art and nature in a conversation moderated by LAM executive director Malcolm Warner. 

LAM to feature Nature into Art

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LAM’s Art & Nature event to feature “Nature into Art, a Conversation” panel discussion on Nov 3

Chao is a Chinese-Brazilian-American evolutionary biologist and geneticist. Professor Chao gained his PhD in 1977 from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as a student of Bruce R. Levin (now at Emory University), and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University in the laboratory of Edward C. Cox. Before taking his present position, he spent most of his career in the Department of Biology of the University of Maryland, College Park. He is currently in the Ecology, Behavior and Evolution Section at the University of California, San Diego.

Vesna is an artist and professor at the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts and Director of the Art|Sci center at the School of the Arts and California Nanosystems Institute. Trained as a painter, she has followed an exploratory path in work that can be defined as experimental, creative research, residing between disciplines and technologies. 

Her art has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and she is involved in long-term collaborations with composers, nano-scientists, neuroscientists, and evolutionary biologists. Professor Vesna is currently working on a series of essays on art, science, and technology.

Advance tickets are recommended: $5 for students and LAM members and $10 for general public.

For more information, call (949) 494-8971 or visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

LAM’s Art & Nature to feature Jane Munro lecture, “Charles Darwin: Art, Nature, and Beauty”

Laguna Art Museum will present the sixth annual Art & Nature, a multidisciplinary exploration of art’s many and various engagements with the natural world, Nov 1-4. 

On Friday, Nov 2, enjoy Jane Munro’s lecture, “Charles Darwin: Art, Nature, and Beauty” at 7 p.m., with a reception preceding it at 6 p.m.

Munro, Keeper of Paintings, Drawings and Prints and Acting Assistant Director of Collections at the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge, will give the keynote lecture for Art & Nature 2018, “Charles Darwin: Art, Nature, and Beauty.”

LAM Art Jane

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LAM’s Art & Nature event to feature a lecture by Jane Munro on Nov 2

  Her research interests and publications have focused on British and French art from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, much of it interdisciplinary in nature. She is the curator of Degas: A Passion for Perfection and has previously curated Endless Forms: Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts and Silent Partners: Artist and Mannequin from Function to Fetish.

Advance tickets are recommended: $5 for students and LAM members and $10 for general public.

For more information, call (949) 494-8971 or visit

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 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.

It will star Ashley Argota, Thomas Hobson, Heath Calvert, Andrew Jackson, Riley Costello, David Engel, and more.

Laguna Playhouse Rose Ashley Argota

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Ashley Argota to star in Laguna Playhouse production of “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose” starting on December 5 with other key actors

For information or tickets, visit or call 497-2787 ext. 229. Tickets range from $41 - $76.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Forest and Ocean Gallery presents an evening of live music and art this Saturday, Oct 20

Forest and Ocean Gallery is pleased to host a live concert of fun classical music this Saturday, Oct 20. Pianist Lica Handa and her daughter Jane will perform “The Typewriter” and “The Syncopated Clock” by Leroy Anderson, and Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” narrated by Jane Handa.

Forest and Ocean Lica

Courtesy of Facebook

Lica Handa will perform a special piano arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue 

Doors open at 6 p.m. for viewing of art in the gallery and the performance begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 and wine and light refreshments will be served.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here or call David Parker at (959) 872-6616.

Dance Festival dazzles and Lagunatics a hoot


Last weekend was a bonanza in Laguna Beach.

The Laguna Dance Festival awed the audiences and Lagunatics made us chortle. What more could anyone ask? Oh, maybe the Angels playing in the post season, but let’s not be greedy.

For 14 years, the Festival has brought top dancers to Laguna Beach, enriching our lives and helping to keep alive Laguna’s identity as an art colony. All three performances were sold out. 

“We are so lucky to live in Laguna and get to see performances of this caliber,” said Betsy Jenkins who was in the audience both Friday and Saturday night.

Festival board member Bob Braun called the opening night’s tribute to the late David Bowie “transcendent,” Jenkins said and couldn’t have agreed more. 

“It was incredible,” said Joy Dittberner, executive director of the Festival. “It took us to another level. After the performance the dancers said they could feel the energy from the audience.” 

The Saturday night audience was equally enamored. And there was an added attraction for long-time Laguna residents, National Ballet of Canada principal dancer Skylar Campbell, who grew up in Laguna and is the grandson of the late Lida Lenney, who was instrumental in the acquisition of Laguna Canyon in the 1980s.

Dance Festival Skylar

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Photo by Karolina Kuras

Skylar Campbell wows crowd

“He was the best male dancer,” said former Mayor Cheryl Kinsman.

 It’s been more than 15 years since a group of dance-lovers met in Stuart Byer’s North Laguna home to hear retiring ballerina Jodie Gates propose some kind of dance performances in Laguna Beach. The meeting gave birth to CA Dance, which was the cradle for the Dance Festival. Rocking that cradle were Byer, Janet Eggers and Christine Rhoades, all three emeritus Festival board members; Nancy Meyer and Kathy Conway, current board members.

“It is Jodie who brings this quality of dancers to Laguna,” said Rhoades on Saturday. “She danced with many of them.”

Gates was a principal dancer with the Joffrey, Frankfurt, and Pennsylvania ballet companies and with Complexions Modern Ballet. She has choreographed and directed dance performances. She is also an educator of some renown. 

Gates began her academic career as an associate professor at UC Irvine. In 2012, Gates was appointed professor of dance and the inaugural vice dean and director of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, the university’s first new school in almost 40 years. 

Among the audience at Saturday’s performance: Eggers, Byer, Karyn Philippsen, Randy Kraft, Chris Quilter, Beth Majors and Bobbi Cox, a Festival donor, who also ponied up funding for one of the dance studios at the Third Street Centers. 

In addition to providing an extraordinary weekend of dance, the Festival also raises funds for educational programs and scholarships for young dancers, several of whom attended Saturday’s performance. 

The 2018 Festival also honored the late Lila Zali, who was born in 1918. Zali moved to Laguna in 1959 after a career in dance that included classical ballet and appearances in films such as “An American in Paris” and “Silk Stockings.”

She founded a dance school in Laguna and a group that became known as Ballet Pacifica, which performed at the Playhouse and later at the Center for Performing Arts. Skylar Campbell’s early training was at Zali’s school.

Dancers Chase O’Connell and Beckanne Sisk of Ballet West performed the classic “White Swan,” dedicated to Zali.

Dance lovers will have to wait a whole year before the Festival returns to Laguna. So sad. 

But lovers of satire and just plain fun have three more opportunities to attend Lagunatics’ annual Roast of the Coast: weekends through October 28.


The 2018 show opened on OctOBER 5. Bree Burgess Rosen conceived Lagunatics about the same time she conceived her son – the show that year had to be rewritten to accommodate her bump. 

Dance Festival Rosen

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Bree Burgess Rosen welcomes the crowd on opening night of Lagunatics

For the seriously impaired or who come from another planet, Burgess Rosen directs, stars and writes parody lyrics for the show, complemented by writers Rufino Cabang, Bridget English, Rebecca M. Lyles (who showed up at the opening costumed as Minnie Mouse – which ought to tell you something), Paul Nygro, Chris Quilter and Ella Wyatt

Quitler also contributed dialogue, some of it spoken by Musical Director Roxanne Ward, tongue in cheek. 

As always, the dialogue and parodies are designed to puncture the pompous, pinpoint the ridiculous and make the audience laugh even when their own pet projects get skewered. 

There was no lack of subject matter for this year’s show. Jennifer Zieter particularly laughed at “Underground/I will survive,” performed by Ella Wyatt, Burgess Rosen, English, Charlee Rubino, Rebecca Butkivich, Jay Rechter and Rob Harryman

Dance Festival parody

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Parodies Galore

Other topical parodies included “Hotel Laguna/There’s a Small Hotel,” sung by English and Mark Marger; “The Village Entrance/It’s DeParking,” performed by Eric T. Anderson and Yvonne Browning; “The Public Garden, Help Our Garden Grow,” featuring Fernando Acevedo and Butkivich; “Accessory Dwelling Units/A Town that Can’t Say No,” soloed by Kristen Matson; “Trees/Less is More,” performed by Anderson and the cast – and that was just Act One. 

Act Two featured “Parking Fees/The Rates Go Up,” sung by Harryman; “Nest Door/I Feel Petty,” soloed by Ward; “Pop Up Public Art/A Waste of Money;” featuring Marger, English, Butkivich and Harryman.

The entire cast performed the closing number: “The Candidates for City Council/Tap your Troubles Away.”

In the audience: former Mayor Jane Egly, Carolyn and Dr. Tom Bent, Dee Perry (costumed as Medusa), Pageant of the Master’s Director Diane Challis Davy, and No Square Theatre President Rick Gold.

The show is sponsored by the Business Improvement District, the City, the Festival of Arts Foundation, Laguna Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund, Ketel One, Rodney Strong Vineyards and Pavilions.

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 Contributions are welcomed.

Film Night at the Museum presents “The Blue Angel” with intro by artist Sandra Jones Campbell on Oct 18

On Thursday, Oct 18, at 7 p.m., Laguna Art Museum will host another round of Film Night at the Museum with esteemed local artist Sandra Jones Campbell, who will introduce the artsy 1930 film “The Blue Angel”, directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich. Based on Heinrich Mann’s 1905 novel Professor Unrat (Professor Garbage), “The Blue Angel” presents the tragic transformation of a respectable professor to a cabaret clown and his descent into madness.

Film Night at the Museum

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Photo from Wiki

Marlene Dietrich as Lola: “She straddles a chair...imperiously, magisterially, fully the measurer of men in the audience…” National Board of Review Magazine

Film Night at the Museum is generously sponsored by Compass. Advance tickets are recommended, included with museum admission.

For more information about Film Night at the Museum, call (949) 494-8971 ext. 203 or visit 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

Laguna Art Museum presents “One Hour/One Painting” with critic Peter Clothier Oct 25

On Wednesday, Oct 25 at 7 p.m., author and critic Peter Clothier invites participants to spend a full hour in front of a single work of art during Laguna Art Museum’s “One Hour/One Painting” event.

Laguna Art Museum One

Photo from LAM website

Author and critic Peter Clothier invites art enthusiasts to “One Hour/One Painting” at LAM October 25 

Advance tickets are recommended and admission is included with museum admission for “One Night/One Painting.”

For more information about “One Night/One Painting,” (949) call 494-8971 ext. 203 or visit 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

Laguna Beach Live! presents Lavender Bass this Thursday at LAM

This Thursday, Oct 11 from 7 - 8 p.m., Laguna Beach Live! presents Lavender Bass at Laguna Art Museum, featuring musical artists Christin Phelps Webb and Jeness Johnson. 

Christin Phelps Webb is a freelance chamber and orchestral bassoonist based in Los Angeles, frequently performing with top Southern California orchestras. Although in high demand as a studio musician, Christin’s passion is performing chamber music. She has been a member of several popular ensembles including Orion Winds, Ceora Winds, and the New Chamber Ensemble. Christin maintains a private teaching studio in the San Fernando Valley, conducts clinics and master classes, and will soon publish several of her chamber music arrangements that have been performed and recorded by Ceora Winds.

Laguna Beach live LAM

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Bassoonist Christin Phelps Webb will perform this Thursday at LAM with cellist Jeness Johnson 

International cello soloist Jeness Johnson combines passion and virtuosity unlike any other cellist of her generation. Jeness has performed worldwide including Severance Hall, the Lincoln Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Teatro Sociale in Como, Italy. She has developed her own unique improvisational skills and enjoys improvising, composing, and recording for film and television. She currently resides in Los Angeles where she is in high demand as a soloist and recording artist.

Live! at the Museum takes place the second Thursday of each month from 7 - 8 p.m. The concert is free to museum members and to non-members with museum admission. 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 or call (949) 715-9713.

Opening night of Lagunatics brings out locals in outlandish costumes who laughed the night away

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

This year’s Lagunatics festivities began with an opening night costume party, “Pimp My Premiere.” Attendees wore creative garb, the sillier the better, while enjoying nibbles and libations.

Opening night Bree and friend

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No Square Theatre Founding Artistic Director, Bree Burgess Rosen, and friend

Opening night Buckle

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Laura Buckle and daughter Lula

Opening night goats

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Goats crossing Laguna Canyon Rd

Opening night community garden

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South Laguna Community Gardens

Opening night summer breeze

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Spoof of Summer Breeze

Opening night councilmembers

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Grand Finale – Council Candidates – “Someone just dropped out”

Lagunatics runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October, and closes on Sunday, Oct 28 with a FinalaGala party catered by Pavilions Newport Coast, and beverages provided by Absolution Brewing Company. 

Snacks and beverages are available at all other performances as well.

For ticket prices and more information, go to or call (949) 715-0333.

No Square Theatre is located at Legion Hall, 384 Legion St.

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