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Festival Runway Fashion Show returns on Sunday, August 19: creativity, innovation, glamor and more 

On Sunday, August 19, the Festival of Arts will hold its annual Festival Runway Fashion Show from noon to 3 p.m. Highlighting creativity, sustainability and innovation, the Festival Runway Fashion Show has grown in popularity year after year. Now in its tenth year, the competition is more exciting than ever as Festival artists compete to win the top prize.

Festival Runway Fashion

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of FOA

Competing in this show “where fashion meets art” are Festival exhibitors Richard Bohn, Carla Bosch, Antje Campbell, Kate Cohen, Brad Elsberry, Carolyn Johnson, Elizabeth McGhee, Adam Neeley, and Kirsten Whalen. Utilizing reclaimed, reused or recycled material, each artist is encouraged to wow the judges with their talent and originality.

The Festival Runway Fashion Show offers cash prizes of $1,000 in four categories: Most Creative Concept, Most Exciting ensemble inspired by Pageant of the Masters theme “Under the Sun,” Most Innovative Use of Materials, and Most Glamorous & Elegant “Red Carpet” worthy creation. There will also be a “People’s Choice Award” to be voted on at the event.

The fashion show will be hosted by KTTV FOX11’s Entertainment Reporter Amanda Salas. She has been covering red carpets and award shows for over 10 years for Hollywood Today Live and the Orange County Register before joining the FOX11 team in 2017. Selecting the winners will be a panel of judges including Radar Online Entertainment Editor Alexis Tereszcuk, OK! Magazine Associate Publisher Shelley Fariello, LACMA Curator of Costumes and Textiles Kaye Spilker, costume designer Alex Jaeger, and film production designer Nelson Coates.

“The Festival Runway Fashion Show is one of the most popular events of the summer,” said Susan Davis, director of special events for the Festival of Arts. “The artists put so much effort and ingenuity into crafting these stunning one-of-a-kind runway looks. It’s not to be missed!”


Sunset Serenades begins its fall season on Friday, Sept 7

Sunset Serenades returns on Friday evenings in September at 5:30 p.m. at the Heisler Park Amphitheater at Cliff Dr and Jasmine St.

sunset serenades

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Sunset Serenades takes place in a stunning setting

This fall’s schedule includes:

9/7: Valerie Geason – Jazz Vocalist

9/14: Jack Benny – Eclectic rainbow pop group

9/21: Dr. Jane G. Ferruzzo – Virtuoso Harpis

9/28: Community Beatles Singalong with Jason Feddy

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


Jazz Wednesdays on August 22 features The Lineage Trio at [seven-degrees]

On August 22, Laguna Beach Live! will feature The Lineage Trio: Alex Frank, Graham Dechter, and Ryan Shaw as part of the nonprofit’s Jazz Wednesdays Summer Series.

August 22 Jazz

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Bass player Alex Frank, guitarist Graham Dechter, and drummer Ryan Shaw have teamed up to form their own group, “Lineage,” which pays tribute to The Poll Winners while also creating a new musical identity

Jazz Wednesdays Summer 2018 is located in the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. Concerts are from 6 to 8 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. for dinner and social hour. Dinner menu varies by concert. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Seating is assigned according to date of purchase, season ticket holders and Laguna Beach Live! membership. 

For more information and tickets, go to www.lagunabeachlive.org.


End Of The Rainbow opens at Laguna Playhouse this weekend

Laguna Playhouse presents the second show in its 98th season, Angela Ingersoll starring as Judy Garland in the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts/McCoy Rigby Entertainment production of the critically acclaimed End of The Rainbow. The show previews on Wednesday, Aug 8 at 7:30 p.m.; opens on Sunday, Aug 12 at 5:30 p.m.; and runs through Sunday, Sept 2. It is recommended for audiences 12 and older.

End of The Rainbow was written by Peter Quilter, with musical direction by Jon Steinhagen, and directed by Ovation Award winner Michael Matthews. 

Executive Director Ellen Richard comments, “Angela Ingersoll gives one of the most stunning and heartbreaking performances you will ever see as Judy Garland in her final days. It’s simply a tour-de-force performance that is not to be missed.” 

Adds Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham, “We are honored to be presenting this extraordinary production under the exquisite direction of the incomparable Michael Matthews at our theatre.”

Angela Ingersoll’s “powerful, breathtaking performance” (Broadway World) as Judy Garland takes the audience back to December 1968 when Garland is about to make her comeback….again. 

Featuring some of Garland’s most memorable songs, “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do it),” “For Me And My Gal,” “The Trolley Song,” ”The Man That Got Away,” and, of course, “Over the Rainbow,” this savagely funny play offers a unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of America’s most beloved figures.

End Of The Rainbow 1

Click on photo for larger image

Photo by Jason Niedle

Angela Ingersoll is Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow, previewing at Laguna Playhouse on Wednesday and opening to the public on Sunday 

Michael Matthews has directed many productions at Laguna Playhouse, such as The Graduate and Twelve Angry men, as well as in theatres all over the country. He has received many nominations and awards, including for Very Still and Hard To See (LA Weekly Nominations Best Director and Best Production, Play; World Premiere), The Color Purple, and The Musical (Ovation and LA Weekly Awards Best Director and Best Production, Musical), to name a few. Matthews is the recipient of the 2015 LADCC Award for Career Achievement in Direction and was nominated for Artist of the Year by the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance in 2018.

Playwright Peter Quilter’s plays have been produced in 40 countries around the world and translated into 30 languages. He has had three successful shows in London’s West End, a hit run on Broadway, and has twice been nominated for the Olivier Award, for Best New Play and Best New Comedy. End of The Rainbow had its world premiere at the iconic Sydney Opera House in Australia in 2005. The show ran for 176 performances at the Belasco Theatre, had a rave review in the New York Times, and received three Tony Award nominations. 

Jon Steinhagen (Musical Director/Anthony) is thrilled to be making his Laguna Playhouse debut; he previously appeared in the role in the Porchlight Music Theatre and McCoy Rigby Entertainment (at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts) productions. Steinhagen has received four Joseph Jefferson Awards and 11 nominations for his work in Chicago theater. 

He is an alumni Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists and a member of the Dramatists Guild. His numerous plays and musicals have been produced nationally and in the UK. He has authored a collection of stories, The Big Book of Sounds, and a forthcoming novel, The Hanging Artist.

End Of The Rainbow 2

Click on photo for larger image

Photo by Jason Niedle

End of The Rainbow runs through September 2

Angela Ingersoll (Judy Garland) garnered Chicago’s Jeff Award nomination, a Time Out Chicago Award nomination, and “Top Performances of the Year” honors from both Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times for her star turn as Judy Garland at Porchlight Music Theatre. A recipient of numerous awards and nominations, her theatre credits are vast and nationwide. 

Ingersoll and husband Michael produce the Artists Lounge Live concert series. Her many national concert credits include recently partnering with Garland’s son for Joey Luft and Angela Ingersoll in Celebrate Judy Garland. Ingersoll also stars in in her filmed concert Judy Garland: Come Rain or Come Shine, coming soon to Public Television. 

The cast of End of The Rainbow will also feature (in alphabetical order) Zachary Ford and Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper.

The Design Team is as follows: Scenic Design by Stephen Gifford; Lighting Design by Steven Young; Sound Design by Josh Bessom; Original Costume Design at Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago by Bill Morey & Props Design by Terry Hanrahan. Casting is by Julia Flores, and the Production Stage Manager is John W. Calder III.

The season is generously underwritten by The Hale Family.

End of The Rainbow performances (after the preview on August 8 and opening on August 12) will be Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday and Saturday at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. There will no performance on Thursday, Aug 16 or Thursday, Aug 30 at 2 p.m.; Tuesday, Aug 21 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug 18 at 2 p.m. or Sunday, Aug 26 at 5:30 p.m. 

Tickets range from $75 - $105 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.  Prices subject to change.    

The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information on all shows and programming, visit website www.lagunaplayhouse.com.


Laguna Dance Festival: four exciting performances on an intimate stage October 4 - 7

As part of the Laguna Dance Festival’s 14th annual summer and fall program, the organization will bring to the local stage a variety of stunning dance performances between October 4 - 7 as well as two master classes. The program will also include a free backstage peek with Complexions, a one-night-only Bowie tribute, featuring international dance stars in their prime.

Prior to those dates, there will be two free performances at the Festival of Arts grounds on July 29 and August 26, and then a bonus show by an athletic Afro-Colombian contemporary troupe on October 25 at Neighborhood Congregational Church’s Bridge Hall.

Introducing the onstage festival on Thursday, Oct 4 at 7 p.m. is a free dance experience dubbed Backstage with Complexions, offering a unique opportunity for audiences to observe the rehearsal process, speak directly with performers, and gain a deeper understanding of the dances being performed during the Festival. In an onstage demonstration, the Director will work with star dancers from Complexions Contemporary Ballet, leading them through a live rehearsal.

laguna dance one

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Photo by Karolina Kuras

Laguna Beach native Skylar Campbell, a principal dancer with National Ballet of Canada, will return to his hometown to appear in Laguna Dance Festival’s “Stars of Dance” performances October 6 & 7 

On Friday, October 5 – one night only – Laguna Beach audiences will experience the brilliance of David Bowie with StarDust, Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s dance tribute to the late rock icon. This production will feature the rhythms, personas and musical drama of nine Bowie songs including “Changes,” “Rock and Roll Suicide,” “Heroes” and “Space Oddity.” StarDust takes the genre-crossing, gender-bending, boundary-breaking music of Bowie and translates it into powerful, poignant movement to create a tribute to his restless artistic invention.

StarDust made its West Coast premiere at the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on April 20. Included in the evening program are excerpts from Complexions’ contemporary repertory. Complexions Contemporary Ballet, founded in 1994 by master choreographers Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, mixes methods, styles and cultures to create groundbreaking movement.

Audiences will have the unique opportunity to see current and future stars share the stage in one spectacular program at the Stars of Dance shows on Saturday, Oct 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct 7, at 2 p.m. Onstage in dazzling duets and solos will be principal ballerina and Breaking Pointe TV reality series star Beckanne Sisk and soloist Chase O’Connell of Ballet West, Laguna Beach native Skylar Campbell and Jordana Daumec of National Ballet of Canada, and Dores Andre and Joseph Walsh of San Francisco Ballet.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet will perform excerpts by choreographer Dwight Rhoden, and America’s Got Talent finalist DIAVOLO/Architecture in Motion will present Knockturne by director/choreographer Jacques Heim. In addition, dancers from USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance’s inaugural BFA class will perform a variety of works choreographed by Barak Marshall, Aszure Barton and Laguna Dance Festival founder and artistic director Jodie Gates.

laguna dance two

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Photo by Rachel Neville

Terk Waters of Complexions Contemporary Ballet will appear in the single performance of “StarDust,” a moving tribute to David Bowie on October 5, part of the Laguna Dance Festival

The festival’s four onstage performances will be held at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road. Tickets are on sale now at www.lagunadancefestival.org and will go on sale August 6 at Laguna Playhouse.

In addition to these shows, the Laguna Dance Festival will present free public dance performances by Entity Contemporary Dance and Contra Tiempo, both based in Los Angeles, on Sunday, July 29 and Sunday, August 26 at 1 and 2 p.m. at the Festival of Arts grounds’ outdoor stage. 

Entity, directed by Will Johnston and Marissa Osato, is a professional contemporary dance company that interweaves modern, jazz, and hip hop dance techniques to present dynamic repertory that explores the depths of human emotionality and connectivity. Contra Tiempo Urban Latin Dance Theater, founded in 2005 and directed by Ana Maria Alvarez, is rooted in salsa and Afro-Cuban movement and draws from hip-hop and contemporary dance theater. Contra Tiempo’s dancers create an invigorating blend of physically intense performance that pushes the boundaries of Latin dance as an expressive cultural and contemporary form.

Laguna Dance Festival, now in its 14th year, is regarded as one of Orange County’s major annual cultural events and continues to be an important showcase for new and established dance companies and artists. Its mission is to present world-class dance performance, increase public appreciation for the art, and provide quality dance education. Visit www.lagunadancefestival.org for more information.


Artists and creatives get the chance to express their opinions in a survey aimed to make a difference

A survey to assist in an effort to ensure affordable creative working and living spaces for artists in Laguna Beach has just been launched by the City, which is leading the feasibility study phase of this initiative and has engaged Artspace, a national nonprofit, as a consulting partner.

The idea is to develop policies and programs that offer artists the opportunity of long-term affordable creative space, said Sian Poeschl, Laguna’s cultural arts manager.

“It is vitally important to get the greatest amount of participation in this survey in order for Artspace to be able to provide our community with broad based ideas and programs for affordable artist space. Artists’ input is part of forming that recommendation and looking towards our arts future,” Poeschl added.

One path could be new workspace and another, new initiatives that help artists remain in existing spaces that do not currently comply with local regulation and/or may require capital improvements. Housing-only, live/work, work/live and studio or creative work-only spaces in Laguna Beach, combine to form the focus of this study. 

artists and sign

Photo by Michael Ervin

Laguna Beach needs plenty of affordable spaces for artists to create

Survey responses will influence the types of policies, spaces and programs that will be considered and prioritized in an effort to address the affordable space needs of Laguna Beach’s creative sector.

The City notes, “We are interested in the individual space needs of all self-identified artists and creatives, and those sharing and preserving their cultural traditions, who have a sincere commitment to their art, creative and cultural work in any and all of its forms. If you consider your work to be a form of art or creative expression, then we probably will, too.

“Individuals need not make any income from their art or creative work or pursue their practice full time. We consider individuals to have a commitment to their art, cultural or creative work if they have or are developing a body of work, have studied or are actively training in their art/cultural/creative work, have a desire to grow as an artist or work professionally in their field and/or are actively engaged in the creation and expression of their art.”

How the survey evolved

At the request of City of Laguna Beach’s leadership, Artspace held a series of community meetings in August 2017 to elicit feedback and gauge interest in new creative space. Resulting recommendations to test further included a series of options ranging from new, small scale artist housing projects to a non-residential art center, to addressing zoning and density regulations that negatively impact the feasibility of long-term affordable creative spaces in Laguna Beach. 

This survey is the next critical phase of this work.

Contributing toward the next set of recommendations

The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. It is best viewed on a computer, laptop or other device with a large screen. 

If you are an artist or a creative, just click on this link to participate: www.artspace.org/CreativeSpaceLaguna.

The deadline to complete the survey is September 14.

Please note, the City advises that this survey is for research purposes only. Your responses will be maintained as anonymous and if you choose to provide your contact information for future updates or to be entered into the drawing for a $200 gift certificate, it will not be shared with other organizations.

Please forward this survey link to your friends and colleagues and share it in your social networks. A large response will provide the most useful information! 

If you have difficulty taking the survey, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Tom Petty Tribute Band will rock locals at MIP

Music in the Park at Bluebird, a locals’ favorite for 35 years and counting, will feature the sounds of the late, great Tom Petty this Sunday, August 12, from 5 to 7 p.m., with “Room at the Top,” a Petty tribute. Residents are encouraged to bring a picnic and low-back chair so as not to block others’ view of the band. No dogs, umbrellas or smoking are allowed. Having fun, dancing, socializing, and dining picnic style are all allowed.

Tom Petty

Click on photo for a larger image 

Photo from the Purim Agency 

Good times, get ready to rock and roll Sunday at Bluebird Park with “Room at the Top,” a top Tom Petty tribute band that will keep Lagunans on their feet

According to www.wendoevents.com, “Room at the Top” is tops.

“There are tributes and then there are recreations that are incredibly lifelike. When it comes to the music of Tom Petty there is one band that recreates like no other – one band that rises to the “Room at the Top.” Some of Los Angeles’ finest world-class musicians have been assembled in “Room at the Top” – the world’s greatest tribute to Tom Petty’s music,” states the website.

Look forward to rocking and rolling to Petty’s greatest hits this Sunday at Bluebird.


Jazz Seminar offered this fall by Laguna Beach Live!

Laguna Beach Live!, which presents live classical music and jazz year-round, will host a three-part seminar “All About That Jazz” on understanding jazz. The series begins on Tuesday, Sept 18 and continues on Tuesday, Oct 2 and 16 at Mozambique.

Noted jazz instructors and performers will lead the seminars, including Steve Wade, Music and Jazz Director, Laguna Beach School District and Joey Sellers, Director of Jazz Studies at Saddleback College.

“This will be an exciting experience for jazz fans and pros alike,” said Cindy Prewitt, President of Laguna Beach Live! “The series will weave live demonstrations into explanations of jazz technique and history. Our instructors will unlock the mystery behind the amazing interaction that takes place between musicians on stage.” 

Jazz Seminar Bijon

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Courtesy of LBL

Bijon Watson playing at [seven-degrees] during Summer Jazz Series

The series costs $90, and will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Food and beverage at Mozambique will be available from 5 to 6 p.m. at happy hour pricing. Enrollment is limited.

The goal of Laguna Beach Live! (LBL) is to continually increase the quality and number of professional live performances in the city throughout the year and to offer educational programs to promote the appreciation of music for the enjoyment and education of residents, especially students. LBL believes increased cultural activities will enrich the lives of all who attend these events and have a positive economic impact on the city.

To enroll in the series, go to www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (800) 595-4849.

Mozambique is located at 1740 S Coast Hwy.


Debut of local artist Dominica Fusaro lights up the night with exuberant colors, cocktails, and canapes 

Story by AMY ANDERSON

Photos by Leigh Ann Rowe

Laguna Beach was especially bright last Saturday at the Mermaid Building, with the debut show of local artist Dominica Fusaro. More than 150 guests in attendance were treated to an evening of sparkling lights, twinkling sequins and time with the artist. 

With 12 oversized canvases imbued with abstract designs adorned with sequins, the artist’s signature in this series, the evening was complemented with custom cocktails courtesy of local Laguna Beach bartender Adam Bernstein, and passed hors d’oeuvres by Plums Cafe.

Debut of Bernstein

Click on photo for larger image

Adam Bernstein serves up custom cocktails at Dominica Fusaro’s debut

Exuberant color is at the heart of Dominica’s work and it was reflected throughout every detail of the evening. From the colored orbs of sparkling light to the flamingo pink custom napkins emblazoned with “Paint Your Dreams,” the evening was alive with pinks, blues and light that dazzled. 

Debut of portrait

Click on photo for larger image

Dominica’s work inspired by exuberant color

Dominica’s work is inspired by her love of color, pattern and textiles and she is heavily inspired by her worldwide travel as a diver on an international scale. A native of Cincinnati but a graduate of the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Fine Arts, Dominica continues to work and paint in Costa Mesa. 

For more information about Dominica and her work, visit www.DominicaDesign.com.


Festival Runway Fashion Show returns on Sunday, August 19: creativity, innovation, glamor and more 

On Saturday, August 19, the Festival of Arts will hold its annual Festival Runway Fashion Show from noon to 3 p.m. Highlighting creativity, sustainability and innovation, the Festival Runway Fashion Show has grown in popularity year after year. Now in its tenth year, the competition is more exciting than ever as Festival artists compete to win the top prize.

Festival Runway Fashion

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of FOA

Competing in this show “where fashion meets art” are Festival exhibitors Richard Bohn, Carla Bosch, Antje Campbell, Kate Cohen, Brad Elsberry, Carolyn Johnson, Elizabeth McGhee, Adam Neeley, and Kirsten Whalen. Utilizing reclaimed, reused or recycled material, each artist is encouraged to wow the judges with their talent and originality.

The Festival Runway Fashion Show offers cash prizes of $1,000 in four categories: Most Creative Concept, Most Exciting ensemble inspired by Pageant of the Masters theme “Under the Sun,” Most Innovative Use of Materials, and Most Glamorous & Elegant “Red Carpet” worthy creation. There will also be a “People’s Choice Award” to be voted on at the event.

The fashion show will be hosted by KTTV FOX11’s Entertainment Reporter Amanda Salas. She has been covering red carpets and award shows for over 10 years for Hollywood Today Live and the Orange County Register before joining the FOX11 team in 2017. Selecting the winners will be a panel of judges including Radar Online Entertainment Editor Alexis Tereszcuk, OK! Magazine Associate Publisher Shelley Fariello, LACMA Curator of Costumes and Textiles Kaye Spilker, costume designer Alex Jaeger, and film production designer Nelson Coates.

“The Festival Runway Fashion Show is one of the most popular events of the summer,” said Susan Davis, director of special events for the Festival of Arts. “The artists put so much effort and ingenuity into crafting these stunning one-of-a-kind runway looks. It’s not to be missed!”

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