Subscribe | Advertise

Volume 16, Issue 41  |  May 21, 2024



Council approves letters of intent for affordable housing proposals

City Council unanimously approved letters of intent on May 14 for two affordable housing proposals, including one for 72 units at Neighborhood Congregational Church, aimed at obtaining state grant funding. No project plans have been submitted yet…

Moss Street Beach stairs opening celebrated with ribbon cutting

The Moss Street Beach access rehabilitation project was started in October 2023 and completed in six months. Assemblywoman Diane Dixon advocated to receive $1.2 million state budget appropriation for the project. See the new stairs and who joined her in the celebration…


Commission approves Hotel Laguna exterior modifications

After getting stalled, revised and continued multiple times over the past year, a plan for the exterior modifications for Hotel Laguna was unanimously approved last week by the Planning Commission. Read about the proposed changes…

The life and love of Sally Anne and Don Sheridan

From serving as the mayor of Irvine, to traveling the world and playing pickleball together, Sally Anne and Don Sheridan’s collaboration in life is one filled with adventures and accomplishments. Read their story…

Council approves letters of intent for affordable housing proposals aimed at obtaining state grant funding

City Council last week unanimously approved sending “letters of intent” for affordable housing proposals the city recently received, aimed at applying for state grant funding.

Councilmembers voted 4-0 on May 14 to approve sending letters of intent for proposals that responded to the city’s local housing trust fund (LHTF) notice of funding availability (NOFA) for affordable housing projects. Mayor Pro Tem Alex Rounaghi recused himself due to his prior employment at Related California.

Although there was some concern from the public about the proposal descriptions and locations, staff and councilmembers emphasized that no project plans have been submitted and, if that were to ultimately occur, they would go through a rigorous formal process, which could potentially modify the project or site.

They will do their due diligence for any potential project, said Mayor Sue Kempf.

This is the first real discussion they’ve had about affordable housing and potential proposals, Kempf noted. They don’t have any detailed information; they’re just trying to see if they can get money from the state. Any potential future project could be very different and located on a different site, she added, it’s very fluid at this point. There’s more to come on this topic, she noted.

“There will be a lot of work (to do),” Kempf said. “How we are in Laguna, we talk about things for a long time, so we’ll have a lot of discussions on this going forward.”

There have been several agenda items on the Local Housing Trust Fund the city recently created, noted Councilmember Bob Whalen, which has been an effort to try and enhance the opportunities in Laguna Beach.

“As a community, I think we share the recognition that we need to do more than we currently have done,” in terms of local affordable housing, Whalen said.

The council approving the item does not mean the proposal described will be built, he emphasized.

“This is a preliminary agreement outlining intent. It is a non-binding document that sets the stage for further negotiations and formal agreements. So, in the context of issuing letters of intent, (it) allows the involved parties to express commitment to funding and project(s) without being legally bound to do so,” Whalen explained. “What we’re really doing here is the first tiny step, just to create potential eligibility for funding, but it’s all subject to all of that playing out down the road.”

This is not going to bind the city, legally, to anything, Whalen reiterated. It gives them the flexibility to decide whether or not to proceed with these sites and, if they go forward, it will be a robust process.

“I think we need to take advantage of the opportunity to see if the state will give us grant funding,” Whalen said.

It’s a preliminary agreement to look for funding from the state for affordable housing, agreed Councilmember George Weiss.

“This is not a done deal,” he said.

There hasn’t been any affordable housing built in the city for more than 30 years, he noted.

Any project will go through a very intensive process of review, Weiss pointed out. There’s no guaranteed number of units, he added, because they have to go through that process to determine what will fit on the property, along with adequate parking.

“I do support affordable housing, but we have to do it right,” Weiss said, “and we have to be sensitive to the neighborhood’s concerns – and we will be.”

Council established the Laguna Beach LHTF, and adopted administrative guidelines and Uniform Multifamily Regulations at their April 9 meeting. They also authorized the city manager to issue the notice for funding availability to solicit proposals from qualified developers desiring to partner with the city to carry out affordable housing projects. The NOFA was released on April 10 with a May 7 deadline.

The city NOFA noted that up to $5 million could be available for such projects, half from various city funding sources and the other half in matching grant funds from the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The city anticipates HCD will issue a notice of funding availability for its Local Housing Trust Fund grant program this month. The state department scores grant applications based on several components, including project readiness. Issuing letters of intent (also called “pre-commitment” letters) will increase the competitiveness of the city’s LHTF grant application under HCD’s scoring criteria.

City staff expect to submit a LHTF grant application to HCD in June and should know if it’s approved (and if so, for what amount) by the fall.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

In response to the city’s notice for funding availability for affordable housing projects, they received a proposal for 340 St. Ann’s Drive, the Neighborhood Congregational Church property

Laguna Beach received two responses from the NOFA and last week’s action authorized the city manager to issue letters to both: West Development Ventures/Fullerton Development Partners for an amount not to exceed $3 million and Related California for an amount not to exceed $5 million.

Click open story button to continue reading…

Open story in new window…



Laguna Beach – A Look Back: Laguna Avenue and our eucalyptus trees

By Dr. Gregg DeNicola, M.D.

Laguna Avenue can boast it is one of the shortest streets in Laguna Beach. This circa 1925 photo shows Laguna Avenue from South Coast Highway looking north to Glenneyre Street, where it becomes Park Avenue, a whopping two city blocks.

Today, office buildings would be on the right side, with a Thai restaurant and the library sitting on the left.

The road appears to be dirt, and there seemingly is no issue with locals strolling casually down the middle of the street, walking past a drove of Model Ts on both sides of the avenue.

Click on the photo for a larger image

Courtesy of OC Archives

Laguna Avenue, circa 1925

Yet the main attraction in this photo is the large eucalyptus trees skirting both sides of the road. They aren’t just any random trees. Those trees have a rich history in themselves.

We in Laguna pride ourselves that – unlike other beach towns – our forefathers were actually homesteaders in the immediate post- Civil War era. Our pioneers simply needed to fill out an application, improve the property and build a house – any size home would suffice. After five years, boom! They were proud owners of Laguna Beach property.

In 1878, John Damron became Laguna Beach’s third homesteader, staking the land that we now know as Downtown. In 1879, he sold the land to the Rawson brothers – without improvements – 155 acres in all. In 1881, the Rawsons sold the parcel to George Rogers and his father, Henry. All for the bargain price of $1,000. Adjusted for inflation, that equates to a mere $28,000 in today’s dollars. Yes, the Rogers were astute businessmen.

One way to “improve” the properties was to grow eucalyptus trees – either from seed or full grown brought over from Australia during the Gold Rush era. They were hardy, grew tall quickly to provide shade, offered low-water requirements and provided beauty – in the eyes of some.

Additionally, our forward-thinking pioneers planted eucalyptus as a producer of railroad ties, as well as for future timber needs – supplying lumber for houses, piers and fences, while also providing a source of fuel.

The Rogers doubled down on the eucalyptus tree planting, growing dozens from seed on their Downtown parcel. Ahead of his time, George subdivided their coastal property into lots. He thought non-ranchers would enjoy smaller, lower-maintenance properties. He foresaw a true Downtown vis a vis Santa Ana, and priced the lots at a fair $10 per lot.

Sadly, he had few takers in the 19th century.

However by the 1920s, his vision became a reality. Our Downtown was becoming established with many businesses buying those lots. Over the years, many of the eucalyptus trees had become uprooted. That triggered an alarm for the newly formed Laguna Beach Garden Club.

Club member J.A. Irons focused on gaining some shade back and oversaw the planting of eucalyptus in front of each business in town.

The eucalyptus was in Laguna to stay.

Today, there exists controversy toward the beleaguered tree. Some disparage them as public safety and fire hazards, leaf litterers and an overall nuisance. Others point to their historic value, calming shade and fragrant aromas.

No matter where you stand on the issue, the trees – such as displayed in this circa 1925 photo – are OUR trees. Laguna Beach, through the Timber Culture Act of 1871, offered 160 acres of free land to anyone who would plant 10 acres of eucalyptuses. More so than any other Orange County city, the eucalyptus trees of Laguna Beach will always be a part of our rich history.

Open story in new window…

Moss Street Beach stairs opening celebrated with ribbon cutting

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

The City of Laguna Beach celebrated the opening of the Moss Street Beach stairs with a ribbon cutting on Friday, May 17. The Moss Street Beach access rehabilitation was started in October 2023 and the project was completed in six months.

Assemblywoman Diane Dixon shared her enthusiasm: “Today I was honored to celebrate the completion of the Moss Street Beach Improvements project after advocating for Laguna Beach to receive a $1.2 million state budget appropriation for the project last year.”

Click on photo for a larger image

(L-R) Senator Dave Min, Mayor Sue Kempf, Tyler Mosher representing OC Supervisor Katrina Foley, Mayor Pro Tem Alex Rounaghi, Councilmember Mark Orgill, Assemblywoman Diane Dixon and Councilmember George Weiss

Click on photo for a larger image

(L-R) Assemblywoman Dixon, Mayor Kempf and Senator Min spoke before the ribbon cutting. The artwork by artist Breck Rothage on the easel will be printed and wrapped on the lifeguard tower at Moss Cove.

Click on photo for a larger image

Ribbon awaits

Click on photo for a larger image

Senator Min and Mayor Kempf (second and third from left) prepare to do the honors as (L-R) Councilmember Weiss, Mayor Pro Tem Rounaghi, Assemblywoman Dixon and Councilmember Orgill look on

Click on photo for a larger image

Councilmember Orgill and Mayor Pro Tem Rounaghi descend the new stairs – note the two viewing areas

Click on photo for a larger image

LB City Manager Dave Kiff (in green polo shirt) tries out the new stairs along with ceremony attendees

Click on photo for a larger image

Assemblywoman Dixon chats with an attendee

Click on photo for a larger image

New permanent lifeguard tower that was part of the project

Click on photo for a larger image

New stairs ready for beachgoers

Click on photo for a larger image

(L-R) Councilmember Orgill, Mayor Sue Kempf and a happy local

Click on photo for a larger image

Captain Kai Bond (center) with staff lifeguards

Click on photo for a larger image

(L-R) Artist Breck Rothage who created the artwork, “Smooth Roll Blues” that will be wrapped around the tower. The wrapping is being funded by the man on the right.

Open story in new window…

Slide 3
Slide 4

Council reviews proposed budget, focus on public safety, infrastructure projects


City Council last week reviewed the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year and focused on public safety, wastewater and master plans.

On May 14, councilmembers heard the proposed budget for fiscal year 2024-25, including key projects, fund requests and an overview of the capital improvement program. The special meeting also included an overview of the current fiscal climate and proposed changes for the upcoming fiscal year.

The budget will return for final review and adoption on June 25.

Councilmembers thanked staff for their work on the draft document.

“That represents a lot of work,” said Mayor Sue Kempf.

The proposed budget includes capital improvement projects of $19.35 million for infrastructure and facilities, funded through a mix of current-year revenues and previously allocated funds.

Assistant City Manager and CFO Gavin Curran noted that the FY 2024-25 proposed budget is balanced with operating revenues of $145.6 million and appropriations of $145.6 million. The general fund, the city’s primary operating fund, has a proposed budget of $92.8 million. The budget also keeps the 20% general fund reserve intact, he added.

It is also aligned with council goals and priorities, he explained.

The budget invests in: Core services to meet community needs; workforce development and training; technology to improve efficiency and service delivery; capital projects to enhance infrastructure, and performance measures to track and improve departmental effectiveness.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

City Council reviewed the fiscal year 2024-25 proposed budget last week

In the proposed budget transmittal letter, Curran explains that the city’s economic outlook can be described as stable, with modest growth.

“This past year, sales tax and transient occupancy tax marked a correction from the economic rebound that followed the pandemic, coming in lower than budget projects. However, increases in interest earnings and community development fee revenue remained strong, surpassing budget estimates and offsetting those revenue declines,” he wrote.

Curran commented that a significant addition this year is the incorporation of performance measures into the budget, as each department has included performance measures currently in use within their operations. This is the first step, Curran noted, which will lead to annual performance comparisons for each department.

Some of the major changes or impacts to the general fund include: Funding for labor agreements and negotiated salary and benefit increases, including pension; information technology upgrades, including new safety computer aided dispatch system; herbicide free fuel modification program; additional funding for city attorney services, and recreation services at the LB Community and Recreation Center.

Curran also highlighted items in other funds, including: $6.6 million for parking enforcement, operations and maintenance; $500,000 for the fire department’s standards of cover from the Measure LL fund and $2.8 million for marine safety services in South Laguna.

This year, through prior council action, the CIP was prioritized to include the fire station no. 4 replacement project and looking at enclosing lifeguard towers at beaches citywide.

The replacement of the lifeguard chairs with enclosed towers will provide them sustained protection from the environment.

Mayor Pro Tem Alex Rounaghi noted that they already have a design for an enclosed lifeguard tower so he’d be interested if (going forward, not for this fiscal year) there was a way to move the timeline up so they’d be constructed before the anticipated 2029.

“This is a priority because we really don’t want our lifeguards to be sitting in the sun,” he said.

Assistant Director of Public Works Tom Perez highlighted some notable projects completed this year, including the Moss Street Beach Access improvements, Moulton Meadows dog play area and Laguna Canyon Road medium landscaping.

There are a number of key projects looking to begin construction in FY 2024-25, Perez noted, including:

–Cleo Street Beach access improvements, which should be headed to the Planning Commission soon for design review.

Glenneyre parking structure rehabilitation, which just opened for bids last week.

–Woods Cove assessment district, approved in December and slated to begin construction in July.

–Bluebird Canyon Drive rule 20A utility undergrounding, led by Southern California Edison and scheduled to start in July.

–Anita Street beach access and sewer lift station rehabilitation.

–Sleepy Hollow Lane sewer replacement.

–Main Beach Park renovation, headed back to the Planning Commission in June.

–Police department cabling improvements, which will be a major overhaul to the PD’s IT and cable.

–Fire station 4 replacement for South Laguna.

Perez also pointed out a number of important projects set to kick off the design phase this upcoming fiscal year: Storm drain master plan; wastewater system analysis and master plan update; server room upgrades; fire station 2 emergency generator; Sunset Avenue slope repair; playgrounds and parks renovation; enclosed lifeguard tower installation and Crescent Bay lift station reconstruction.

Answering a council question, Perez explained that the planned work on the storm drain master plan would include bringing in a consultant to look at the plan, identifying projects that are still listed but have been completed, reviewing any changes that have resulted since implementation and identifying new areas that have risen as problematic. It would also be an update and revisiting where the city stands today.

It should run concurrently with the wastewater master plan, he added.

Click open story button to continue reading…

Open story in new window…


Sunset Serenades at Heisler Park

Photos by Scott Brashier

What could be better than a picnic with an ocean view and great music? Every Friday through June 14 from 6:30 p.m. until sunset, enjoy a diverse line-up of fantastic music in the magical setting of Heisler Park.

Click on photo for a larger image

On Friday, May 17, attendees enjoyed the music of Steve Wade and the Red Light Brass Band. Wade (second from left in front row) is a professional musician (trumpet and flugelhorn) and music director Middle School and MS/HS jazz director at Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School.

Click on photo for a larger image

A fantastic Cajun-themed picnic to go with the music

Click on photo for a larger image

Red Light Brass Band is Southern California’s premier brass band playing grooves in a New Orleans style with a Los Angeles swagger

Click on photo for a larger image

Large crowd gathered for the performance

Click on photo for a larger image

New Orleans sounds

Sunset Serenade Schedule:

–Friday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Uncanny Valley (Rock)

World Music

–Friday, May 31, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Caro Pierotto (Brazilian samba)

–Friday, June 7, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Quarteto Nuevo (Western classical, Eastern European folk, Latin and jazz mix)

–Friday, June 14, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Jessica Fichot (Multilingual fusion of French chanson, Shanghai jazz, gypsy swing and international folk music)

Open story in new window…


City of Laguna Beach holds Facilities Master Plan Community Meetings

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

On May 16, a series of focused community meetings were held at Susi Q for the community to engage and collaborate with city staff and the city’s consultant project team regarding the Facilities Master Plan. Topics of discussion at the various meetings included the Susi Q Center & CRC, Festival of Arts and Laguna Playhouse, Animal Shelter and the Library.

To access information on the Facilities Master Plan, click here.

Click on photo for a larger image

Focused Community Meetings held on May 16

Click on photo for a larger image

(L-R) Bree Burgess Rosen, Pat Kollenda and Wayne Baglin had a substantial amount of researched information concerning the FOA and Playhouse to present at meeting

Open story in new window…

Slide 1
Slide 1

LBPD hosts Bike Safety Expo

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

The Laguna Beach Police Department (LBPD) hosted their Annual Road Safety Bike Expo on Sunday, May 19 at Top of the World Elementary (TOW). Youngsters enjoyed tips from LBPD officers, firefighters and lifeguards – and activities such as a giant slide. Attendees were wowed by the spectacular performance of a BMX rider.

Click on photo for a larger image

Fire engine arrives at TOW

Click on photo for a larger image

Fun on a giant slide

Click on photo for a larger image

(L-R) LBPD Captain Mike Peters, City Manager Dave Kiff (who arrived on his bike) and LBPD Chief Jeff Calvert

Click on photo for a larger image

Checking out Officer Sprout’s ride

Click on photo for a larger image

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) on hand

Click on photo for a larger image

Learn defensive driving skills from retired law enforcement officers at

Click on photo for a larger image

Laguna Beach Lifeguards manned this booth

Click on photo for a larger image

Finn cruising around the displays

Click on photo for a larger image

Little riders

Click on photo for a larger image

LBPD passed out new ranger hats for visitors

Click on photo for a larger image

BMX rider wows crowd

Click on photo for a larger image

Kids enjoyed ices while watching the BMX rider

Click on photo for a larger image

Local was excited to volunteer for a stunt

Click on photo for a larger image

Matai Johnston was thrilled to be a “fireman”

Click on photo for a larger image

Local cousins Sawyer and River

Open story in new window…

This is as close as we can come to actually singing to our readers on their birthdays!

We’d love to include yours – and/or your children’s birthdays here.

Just email to:

Celebrate and enjoy your birthday!

May 21: Steve Contursi

May 22: Johnny Martinez, Kelly Browning, Nick McConnell, Shannon Bishop

May 23: Denise Puglisi, Jay Strotkamp, Krissy Hauer, Marta Hullihen, Mary Gulino, Robb Mitchell, Robert McGraw, Ryan Heimbach, Tommy Kemp

May 24: Jenifer Burge, Jordan Kyle, Mandy Flemming, Randy Hunt, Walt Winfield

May 25: Cameron Jones, Debra Kubisak, Jack Luster, Kerry Rubel, Michelle Bendetti

May 26: Catharine Cooper, Jackie Saffer Miller, Lindsay Smith, Mark Meisberger, Regina Hartley, Richard Belyea, Sara Truedson, Vicki Orgill

May 27: Jude Hannah, Layton Turner, Marcus Sotelo, Suzanne Lilly

Open story in new window…


Dennis’ Local Almanac


Don’t sweat it, we’re in Laguna

If anybody in baseball hits at least 60 home runs in one season, my vote will go to Shohei Ohtani of the L.A. Dodgers if he gets enough at bats. Only six guys have pulled it off and that would be Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and most recently, Aaron Judge. A couple of years ago, Ohtani clubbed 48 round trippers in less than 450 at bats. Personally, I liked baseball way more when there were steroids because offensive numbers were way off the charts from about 1994 through to about 2009.

There were a whole ton of 12-11 games. To me 2-1 games are boring. There were a bunch of teams with team batting averages in the .280s and even a few .290s Not one club in baseball last year had a team average of at least 270. There was only a handful of guys that hit at least .300 last year.

Dangerous heat index readings have been occurring in parts of Southern Florida and West Texas with readings as high as 115 degrees and that kind of temp is dangerous for just about everyone. When the apparent temp is around 100 with the humidity at least 50% you come up with a reading of 115, stifling indeed.

The job of keeping the body cool falls increasingly upon the evaporation of sweat as the temperature rises. Meanwhile, the other forms of heat dissipation such as radiation and convection, which depend upon temperature differences between the skin and surroundings, are reduced in effectiveness. In turn, the rate of evaporation of sweat is influenced by the humidity in the surrounding air. Wind speed and thermal radiation are also factors.

Discomfort is usually a complaint as soon as sweating begins, although to be sure, the discomfort and heat stress on the body would be much greater if one could not sweat. Clothing reduces the effectiveness of sweating, but it is needed for protection from the sun. To reflect heat and enhance circulation of air, hot weather clothing should be light colored, lightweight, porous, and most important, loose fitting. For most individuals, cotton or high-cotton blends are still the best hot weather fabrics.

When it’s around 100 degrees and the humidity is 15% or lower, then it feels like 100. However, once that humidity goes above 25% that heat index becomes part of the equation. We don’t have to worry about stuff like heat index hardly at all, but there was one exception that stands out and that occurred in July 2015 when we had an air temp of 84 with 76% humidity that resulted in a heat index reading of 95. It felt like it was 11 degrees higher than the original temp of 84.

Here at the beach, we don’t have to worry about stuff like that as the temp outside here at 6 p.m. on Sunday was a mellow 64 degrees with 64% humidity – so the dew point was only 52. The sun finally came out in the afternoon, but our high temp was still quite a bit below the normal of 72 for the date. Water temps are also well below normal for the date which is around 64 or so. Most spots today are scratching and clawing to make it to 60 degrees as the “enemy” is returning with gusto this summer. That’s why it’s been so gloomy this spring with cold water. Oh no, not another bunk summer!

See y’all next week, ALOHA!

Open story in new window…


LCADs MFA Exhibition featured through August 25

LCAD congratulates all of its 2024 grads.

Reflections of Resilience: MFA Exhibition at Laguna Art Museum.

Features artwork by the 2024 Master of Fine Art graduates from Laguna College of Art + Design. It will be on display until August 25.

The quality, creativity and individuality of these featured artists are testaments to their dedication and independence. Remarkable artists are attracted to LCAD because of the understanding that time-honored skill joined with personal contemporary concerns can create vital, memorable art.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of LCAD

Eric Theodore, “Skyward,” oil on panel, 42×28, 2023

These artists share an earnest, hopeful sensibility amid unsettling times. As we emerge from a pandemic, they reflect upon what is most meaningful and how to navigate an often distant and uncertain world. There is optimism behind the urge to create and contribute. A shared sense of resilience resonates beneath the surface, reflecting honesty while avoiding cynicism.

Through carefully considered paintings and drawings, these artists represent how mindful reflection of the outer world builds personal insights, expressing appearances as well as emotions. In Reflections of Resilience, the rational and the poetic are made apparent to the viewer, who takes time to observe, consider, and reflect.

This exhibition is presented in partnership with Laguna Art Museum (LAM).

Exhibiting Artists: Cara Baxter, Jason Dowd,Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

LCAD BFA Fine Arts Exhibition 2024

Laguna College of Art + Design’s (LCAD) BFA Fine Arts exhibition 2024 is now on display at LCAD Gallery.

Click on photo for a larger image

Piper Bangs, “The Garden (Detail),” 2023, Oil on Linen, 59” x 39”

LCAD undergraduate Fine Arts department is thrilled to showcase the outstanding talents of its senior BFA students with the 2024 BFA Fine Arts Exhibition. This group exhibition features paintings, drawings, and sculptures, each one a testament to the dedication and creativity of our graduating seniors in the Drawing + Painting program.

The exhibition presents a carefully curated selection of works that represent the culmination of LCAD’s Senior Thesis project. This project serves as a guiding force, empowering our seniors to develop a cohesive and meaningful body of work that demonstrates both their individual conceptual growth and mastery of academic skillsets.

LCAD is proud to present the following exceptional artists, whose works will be on display at the exhibition. Gabrielle Anievas, Piper Bangs, Kyra Beal, Rylee Cook, Emma Crespo, Lauren Duplissey, Anna Eisen, Anne Goldman, Chase Heindel, Carly Mann, Amber Jodoin, Rachel Joy, Julianna Lazio, Xochitl Leal-Bailon, Rafael Mejia, Kat O’Brien, Arely Sojo, Isabella Stockbridge, Jenna Swerdfeger and Luke Silverthorne.

LCAD Gallery is located at 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

LCAD Gallery admission is always free.

Open story in new window…

Cultural Arts presents Circus Bella on June 8

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of

Circus Bella performs at Bluebird Park on June 8

Saturday, June 8, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Circus Bella

The Arts Commission invites kids of all ages to a free performance of Circus Bella’s “WOW!” – a captivating blend of circus enchantment and madcap mayhem. Circus Bella offers a modern twist on a one-ring circus overflowing with heart and soul. This exhilarating family event promises to delight and astonish you.

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

Sunset Serenades

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

The 2024 Sunset Serenades concert season starts the first Friday in May at the Heisler Park Amphitheater

Free Admission, click here for more information.

Friday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Uncanny Valley (Rock)

World Music

Friday, May 31, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Caro Pierotto (Brazilian samba)

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of

Caro Pienotto – May 31

Friday, June 7, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Quarteto Nuevo (Western classical, eastern European folk, Latin and jazz mix)

Friday, June 14, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Jessica Fichot (Multilingual fusion of French chanson, Shanghai jazz, gypsy swing and international folk music)

Low-back beach chairs are encouraged. Alcohol is permitted for guests 21 or older but must be accompanied by a full meal. Solicitation of any kind is not permitted at city events.

For full details, click here.

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

Music in the Park

Sundays, July 7 – August 18, 5-7 p.m.

Bluebird Park, 772 Cress St.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of

Great North Special performs at Bluebird Park on July 7

Music in the Park is a free public concert series held Sunday evenings in July and August, at Bluebird Park. Concerts start at 5 p.m. Set-up is not permitted before 3 p.m. No dogs are allowed at Bluebird Park (LBMC 6.16.020). No smoking (LBMC 7.40.030). No display or sale of merchandise (LBMC 18.04.015). Low-seating beach chairs are encouraged. Alcohol is permitted for guests 21 or older, but must be accompanied by a full meal. Solicitation of any kind is not permitted at city events.


–July 7 – The Great North Special

(Psych-rock, Country, Blues and Funk-soul)

–July 14 – TABU


–July 21 – The Shagwells

(‘60s and ‘70s hits)

–July 28 – Upstream

(Caribbean, Reggae, Calypso, Steel Drum)

–August 4 – 133 Band

–August 11 – Betamaxx

(1980s cover)

–August 18 – The Tina Turner Tribute featuring Debby Holiday


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

For questions, contact Cultural Arts at 949.497.3311.

Open story in new window…

Meet Pet of the Week Manny

This smiling puppy can be the perfect addition your home.

Manny is a 6-month-old terrier mix who has been neutered. His black and white fur has been shaven, so it’s unknown how long his hair will be when it grows out, but he is very friendly. Manny loves every human he’s ever met, and is very friendly with other dogs.

Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, is hoping to have Manny adopted as soon as possible.

Courtesy of the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter

Manny is a smiling and loving terrier mix

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, their return rate is 5% as compared to the national return rate of 50%.

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. Call 949.497.3552, or go to the website for information on adoption procedures,

Open story in new window…

Laguna Live! presents Live! at the Museum with ACE Trio on June 2

Tuesdays through May, 11:30 a.m.

Live! Music Matters, free children’s program returns

Laguna Beach Live! is delighted to announce another series of their free, children’s program “Live! Music Matters.” An interactive music class for ages up to 6 years old, with caregiver involvement. Local musician Zach Churchill leads the sessions while attendees sing, dance, and play child friendly percussion instruments.

​The Tuesday morning sessions are held at Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of Laguna Live!

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – every Tuesday

Click on photo for a larger image

ACE Trio – June 2

Sunday, June 2, 1 p.m.

Live at the Museum presents the ACE Trio

Laguna Art Museum

Shannon Canchola (flute), Micah Wright (clarinet) and Leon Thomasian (piano)

Coined a “Musical Tour de Force” by the Mountaineer Progress newspaper, ACE Trio is a Los Angeles-based classical modern ensemble rapidly distinguishing itself as one of the newest leading groups of its generation.

For tickets, click here.

Tuesday, June 4, 7 p.m.

Beth’s Tuesdays

Gabe Friedman and Mark Turnbull

Sunday, June 9, 4-7 p.m.

Annual Bluegrass & BBQ

Laguna Beach Live! Annual Bluegrass & BBQ is taking place on Sunday, June 9, 4-7 p.m. This Laguna Live! favorite returns to the picturesque grounds at Laguna College of Art and Design, 2222 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Rain or shine. Chairs are provided.

This year’s Bluegrass and BBQ entertainment is the Wimberley Bluegrass Band. They are comprised entirely of four siblings based in Southern California and were named one of Los Angeles’ Top Five Bluegrass Bands by CBS-LA. They provide fun and wholesome musical entertainment and strive to keep the traditional sounds of bluegrass music alive and well by taking it to new audiences.

Tickets: Concert only $25 in advance $30 at the door, kids 12 and under are free; Concert and BBQ $52 in advance, $57 at the door; VIP $110 (incl. concert, BBQ and reserved table seating).

Tickets are non-refundable: Thank you for your understanding.

Sorry, no outside food or beverages.

Barbeque is provided by Richard Jones Pit BBQ with beverages by Bianchi Winery, offering a selection of their award-winning Paso Robles wines, plus, Costa Mesa’s master beer maker, Salty Bear Brewing Co. will be serving their most popular brews.

For tickets, click here.

Open story in new window…

LAM offers kids a summer of fun, art and learning

Kids Camp

A Summer of Fun and Learning, begins in June

Throughout summer 2024, LAM will be welcoming kids into the museum for expanded learning and creative opportunities that can be found only at Laguna Art Museum. Starting off with their Summer Camp, they will announce new phases of LAM Kids Summer on this page. Stay tuned and make sure you register!

For classes, click here.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LAM

Kids Camp runs through July 29

LAM Kids Summer Fridays

Drop in and create masterpieces of your own. From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. every summer Friday, their Studio/Lab is open to all kids who want to explore their creativity and participate in hands-on art projects. Members of the Education Staff will be onsite to help kids find inspiration and create their works of art.

Drop ins are free with museum admission.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LAM

Adam Neeley, “Modern Alchemy” continues through July 29

–Modern Alchemy: The Fusion of Art and Nature in the Jewelry Designs of Adam Neeley

Adam Neeley is an award-winning artist/jeweler who transforms precious metals and gemstones into wearable art by traditional goldsmith techniques and modern technologies. His unique designs are inspired by the vast variety of shapes and colors found in the natural world. In fact, it was his childhood interest in collecting rocks that eventually drew Neeley to the master goldsmiths in Italy, where he would study the art of jewelry making. Eventually he developed his own style and techniques of goldwork that have won him international acclaim, as well as prestigious awards across the jewelry industry.


Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LAM

“Skyward” by Eric Theodore

Reflections of Resilience through August 25

Reflections of Resilience presents a sampling of the artwork from the 2024 Master of Fine Art graduates from Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD). Remarkable artists are attracted to LCAD because of the understanding that time-honored skill joined with personal contemporary concerns can create vital, memorable art.

LAM is delighted to introduce Cara Baxter, Jason Dowd, Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

On the Edge through September 2

Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection

Joan and Jack Quinn represent a crucial moment in art history, as Los Angeles came to symbolize an innovative and prolific brand of creative freedom. On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection, explores the experimental approaches to minimalism and new materials from the 1960s through 2000s, the diversification of practices and makers, and the vital role the Quinns played in both documenting and contributing to the story of Los Angeles art. Revealed is a period of artmaking that is pivotal to understanding current practices and the west coast mentality, and collectively exudes a unique spirit of anti-conformity and the “California Cool” ethos.

Courtesy of LAM

Art Workshop – May 24

Friday, May 24, 4-7 p.m.

Art Workshop, Figure Drawing

Join Peter Zokosky, Chair of MFA Drawing + Painting at LCAD, for a figure drawing workshop. Learn the basics and build on your knowledge of how to draw the human form with a live model. Supplies included with purchase of ticket.

Class Dates: May 24, June 21, July 19

Please note that the model will be nude.

Advance tickets recommended. Adults (18+) only. Museum members: $30, Non-members: $45. For tickets, click here.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LAM

Kids Studio – May 25

Saturday, May 25, 11 a.m.

LAM Kids Studio

Unleash your imagination and create your own masterpieces at their monthly LAM Kids Studio program. With guidance from LAM’s Education Team, kids will experiment with different artistic mediums and styles, explore the museum galleries and engage in fun-filled activities.

LAM Kids Studio activities and themes change every month.

This month, kids will practice printmaking to create fun abstract portraits inspired by Laguna Art Museum’s On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection exhibition.

Free with admission: Members: Free; Adults: $12; Youth 12 and under: Free; Active Military, Seniors, Students: $9.

Every student must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the workshop.

For tickets, click here.

Courtesy of LAM

A Jeweler’s Muse – June 1

Saturday, June 1, 6 p.m.

Nature: A Jeweler’s Muse

Join curator Timothy Adams for a fascinating talk that will explore Mother Nature as a muse in the work of four visionary artist-jewelers: Carl Fabergé, Paulding Farnham, Katey Brunini and Adam Neeley. They each have a unique interpretation of the world around them which they express through gold, gemstones, enamel and more. Though 100 years separate Fabergé and Tiffany & Co.’s Farnham from Brunini and Neeley, one thing that connects them is the inspiration from the greatest designer of all – Mother Nature.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to embark on a journey through the eyes of these remarkable artists and experience the magic of nature brought to life in precious jewels.

Advance tickets are recommended. Members: $12 per person, Non-members: $18 per person.

For tickets, click here.

Click open story button to continue reading…

Open story in new window…

LBCAC screens The San Onofre Syndrome on May 22

Through May 25 

Exhibition: Climate: Air, Earth and Water

April is Earth Month, an extension of the annually recognized Earth Day on April 22. In the 34 years since Earth Day went global, environmental awareness has improved. Our situation has not.

Climate: Air, Earth and Water is on display at LBCAC through May 25. Photographers Jacques Garnier and Tom Lamb are joined by artist Roberto Salas in this special exhibition.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of LBCAC

The San Onofre Syndrome – May 22

Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 p.m., doors open 6 p.m., free event

SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy

Post screening Q&A with featured cast members Torgen and Lindsey Johnson, and Gary and Laurie Headrick

Filmed over 12 years, SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy dramatically chronicles how Southern California residents came together to force the shutdown of an aging nuclear power plant only to be confronted by an alarming reality: tons of nuclear waste left near a popular beach, only 100 feet from the rising sea, that – with radioactivity lasting millions of years – menaces present and future generations.

The film portrays San Onofre as a microcosm of this national problem – the mismanagement of lethal radioactive waste. This is a syndrome shared by all 55 nuclear reactor sites across the United States.

SOS spotlights the essential role citizens must play to ensure public safety is the top priority. Told largely from the perspective of five main characters, the film shows how they mobilize their communities as they become experts on the issues and tactically wiser in the face of adversity.

SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome is a critical warning that America’s 55 nuclear power plants, each with their own tons of intensely radioactive waste lasting millennia – in inadequate temporary containers with no plans to repair them – are putting their local communities and national security at grave risk.

SOS is an urgent call to action. Will viewers rally to embrace this lifeline in time?

Directed by James Heddle, Mary Beth Brangan and Morgan Peterson, and produced by Mary Beth Brangan, the film is a production of EON – The Ecological Options Network, features nuclear experts Donna Gilmore, Dan Hirsch, Gordon Edwards, activists Karen Hadden, Rose Gardner, Torgen Johnson, Gary and Laurie Headrick and key whistleblowers.

Click on photo for a larger image

Luke Pytel Band – May 31

Friday, May 31, 8 p.m.

Luke Pytel Band

Known for his fiery guitar playing along with his solid vocals and high energy blues. When you catch his band, be ready to interact with him and sing along as you will be a part of the show.

For more than 17 years, Pytel has backed up many artists at Blue Chicago including Shirley Johnson, Big Time Sarah, Nellie Travis, Grana Louise, Laretha Weathersby, Claudette Miller and Sheryl Youngblood. In addition, he has performed with local and national legends of the blues: Jimmy Johnson, Chico Banks, Big James Montgomery and Buddy Guy, to name a few.

Pytel, now leading his own band for the past 13 years, will bring you the sounds of old school blues, contemporary blues, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King and many more.

Having been fortunate to travel the world, Pytel has performed in Belgium, France, England and Latvia, to name a few. He is a gifted and popular performer, and a valuable addition to the line-up at Blue Chicago.

For tickets, click here.

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center concessions available, not currently ADA accessible, steep stairs only.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Ave., Newport Beach.

Check out the calendar at

Open story in new window…

Sawdust Festival looks forward to more exciting classes

Sawdust Art Classes has many expressive and informative classes offered every week that the Sawdust Art Festival wants to share with you (far too many to mention here!). For more information, click here.

Sunday, May 26, 11 a.m.

Fused Glass – Reactions and Metals

In this class, you’ll learn about the alchemy of glass types and how they react with each other. The magic of copper and silver foil will surprise and delight you. Create abstract ideas in glass and transform it into a wall pocket vase using frit (small pieces of glass), glass powder and sheet glass. Step-by-step, Barbara Lolli will guide you on how to design, assemble and prepare your glass for firing. Create a piece of art that will truly be unique to you.

Please note: The firing of your pieces will be done offsite and will be available for pickup at the Sawdust or mailed to you by USPS priority mail at a small extra cost depending on the size of the piece.

Cost: $125.

Photos courtesy of Sawdust

Art Meets Technology – May 22

Wednesday, May 22, 10 a.m.

Art Meets Technology

A brand-new pop-up class where you can really let your imagination fly. With AI technology, you will create a computerized image using your ideas. This printed image will be the basis for your painting. You’ll transfer this image onto paper using a printing plate.
The process is simple with really satisfying results. You will learn to use different types of medium in this fun class, including gelli plates, posca markers, acrylic paints, and other mixed media including Mica powder and stencils. This is a great way to loosen up those creative juices.

Suitable for both adults and children over 10 years of age.
Cost is inclusive of all materials, a colored digital print and a finished acrylic painting that will be framed in a mat board for you to take home.

Once you have registered for this class, they will ask you for a few short sentences to best describe what you would like to paint so that they can prepare your digital image. If you wish, you may bring your own image or design.

Cost: $50.

Click on photo for a larger image

Cyanotype Indigo Printing – May 23

Thursday, May 23, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Cyanotype Indigo Printing

Learn this fascinating and oldest form of photography. Cyanotype photography is a camera-less method that involves laying items such as leaves, flowers or other objects onto paper that has been pre-treated with a sensitizer before exposing it to UV light. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you will move on to combining this method with other materials (sea salt, turmeric, mixed medium) to add shimmering, gold effects to your work. This is a simple yet stunning way to create beautiful white and indigo blue images that will look fabulous on any wall. Your final piece will be framed on a mat board.

Cost: $50 per person which is fully inclusive of all materials used including mixed media items and a mat board.

Click on photo for a larger image

Mixed Media Collage – May 25

Saturday, May 25, 2-4 p.m.

Mixed Media Collage

Embark on a journey of texture, color and composition in Michelle Burt’s creative explorations Mixed Media Collage class where the traditional boundaries of art meet innovative expression. This class is designed to allow you to dive into the world of mixed media, exploring the unique potential of handmade and specialty papers, sheet music, mixed mediums and Burt’s own images. In this engaging class, you will discover the limitless possibilities of incorporating diverse materials into your collage, allowing you to freely explore and express your creativity to create a truly unique composition.

All levels are welcome – all you need is enthusiasm and a desire to explore.

Cost: $110.

Click on photo for a larger image

Fused Glass Pocket Vase and Coaster – May 26

Sunday, May 26, 11 a.m.

Fused Glass Pocket Vase and Coaster

Learn how to create a scene or abstract idea in glass and transform it into a wall pocket vase and coaster using frit (small pieces of glass), glass powder and sheet glass. Glass artist Barbara Lolli will guide you step-by-step on how to design, assemble and prepare your glass art for firing. The firing of your pieces will be done offsite and will be available for pickup at the Sawdust or mailed to you by USPS priority mail at a small extra cost depending on the size of the piece.

Cost: $125 per student. This three-hour class includes all materials and firing costs.

Click open story button to continue reading…

Open story in new window…

LPAPA looks forward to Less is More” show

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of LPAPA

“Waterworks” Juried Art Show

Show Overview & Timeline:

Online Art Catalog Exhibition (Finalists and Semi-Finalists): through Monday, June 3.

LPAPA Gallery Show (Finalists): through Monday, June 3.

Pick Up of Unsold Artwork at the Gallery: Tuesday, June 4, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Click on photo for a larger image

John Cosby – Art Walk Opening Reception

John Cosby, Artist in Residence

Online Preview & Auction June 3-6

LPAPA Gallery Exhibition June 6 through July 1

John Cosby “Artist in Residence” LPAPA Gallery Solo Exhibition

Looking West, a Portrait of the Places I Love

“Plein Talk with John Cosby,” Save the date: Saturday, June 8

The LPAPA Gallery is proud to present a special “Artist in Residence” Solo Exhibition featuring major works, and plein air studies, created by Signature Artist and Founding Member John Cosby on June 6 through July 1.

Looking West, a Portrait of the Places I Love will open online with a preview auction on Monday, June 3, followed by the LPAPA Gallery opening on Thursday, June 6 with a special First Thursdays Art Walk Opening Reception with the Artist (6-9 p.m.; free entry); the exhibition will continue through Monday, July 1.

In addition, Cosby is leading a three-day Laguna Plein Air Painting Workshop on June 10-12.

Click on photo for a larger image

Less is More – Show opens on July 1

18th Annual Less is More

The show opens with an online Art Catalog and Preview Auction on Monday, July 1, followed by the LPAPA Gallery opening for First Thursdays Art Walk on Thursday July 11, 6-9 p.m. (a week after the first Thursday due to July 4th holiday).

Four cash awards to be presented.

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association/LPAPA Gallery is located at 414 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

For more information, go to

Open story in new window…

Artists Fund announces Art-To-Go Preview at City Hall on June 6

First Thursday Art Walk

Thursday, June 6, 6-7 p.m., Reception Event, Art-To-Go exhibit at City Hall, free to the public

Enjoy 40 originals donated by Festival exhibitors.

City Hall, 505 Forest Ave., during regular business hours.

April – May 2024

Spring Collection at City Hall – View 40 originals by Artists Fund Board Members and Art-To-Go winning artists. Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Viewing is available during regular business hours.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of Artists Fund

“Early Moon” by Wendy Wirth, part of Spring Collection

Special Sale Gallery

Now through May 2024, view the Artists Fund “Special Sale Gallery” collection of affordable originals. Proceeds from sales support their Hardship Grant fund.

Click on photo for a larger image

“Botanical” by Natalia Eremeyeva-Duarte, 17” ceramic platter

All works are originals donated by past and present Festival exhibitors. Prices shown are reduced – to support their Hardship Grant fund for artists in need. Works may be collected in Laguna Beach or shipped at an additional cost.

To purchase artwork, contact curator Mike Tauber, call or text at 949.497.3597.

Thursday, June 6, 6-7 p.m.

Art-To-Go Head-To-Toe, Reception Event at City Hall

First Thursdays Art Walk

The public is invited to an opening reception of Art-To-Go Head-To-Toe at Laguna Beach City Hall, June 6, 6-7 p.m. The event is free.

Click on photo for a larger image

Susan Hoehn, Wendy Wirth and Chris Brazelton

On view will be 35 originals donated by Festival of Arts exhibitors. Viewers will enjoy seeing how various artists interpreted the theme Head-To-Toe, which is inspired by the Pageant of the Masters A’ La Mode: The Art of Fashion program.

Click on photo for a larger image

“Anemone” by FOA exhibitor Sharon Williams

Among the Head-To-Toe subjects are those covered in spots, fur and even tentacles. Refreshments will be provided, and live music by Felicia Dunne will add to the fun. Attendees are encouraged to wear festive or creative attire. The event is presented by The Artists Fund in collaboration with the City of Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Department, and First Thursdays Art Walk. Takes place at 505 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

Coming Up

Through May 30: Spring Collection at Laguna Beach City Hall and Online.

June 3-28: Art-To-Go Preview Show at Laguna Beach City Hall.

June 6, 6-7 p.m.: Reception Event, Art-To-Go at City Hall, free to public.

June 15:  FOA Exhibitor Yearbook (digital) launches.

July 2, 5-9 p.m.: Art-To-Go opens at FOA Preview Night Invitational.

July 2-5: Vote for People’s Choice Art-To-Go piece at the displays.

July 6, 5:15 p.m.: Awards Presentation to winning Art-To-Go exhibitors.

To view them online, click here.

Open story in new window…

LOCA offers unique custom classes for adults and children

Art lovers will meet Laguna Beach’s most fascinating artists and industry professionals at LOCA Art Talks. Events are Thursday evenings through May in Downtown Laguna Beach. Attendees will receive a post-event coupon for 15% off dining at nearby restaurants.

LOCA’s New Teaching Location:

LOCA’s newest teaching location is in the south end of Laguna Beach, easily reached from Downtown, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and San Clemente.

The expansion allows LOCA to offer “extended learning” series of classes whereby students, both adults and families, can build a “toolbox of skills” over several weeks.

LOCA students will enjoy the hilltop location, panoramic ocean views and free onsite parking. Laguna Beach Community and Recreation Center, 30516 S. Coast Highway. Enter on Cardinal Drive, just south of Nyes Place.

Know someone who loves art and Laguna Beach? Surprise them with a LOCA 2024 membership and they’ll enjoy a full year of art experiences of their choice! Your $50 purchase ensures them a bounty of benefits including free admission to six LOCA Art Talks lectures, an exclusive Membership Sunday Brunch and Art Talk, a shout-out feature in their eNewsletter, half-priced registration to LOCA’s workshops taught by well-known Laguna Beach artists throughout the town – and much more.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LOCA

Give the gift of art experiences for a full year

What they’ll get:

Your thoughtfully chosen gift will be presented as a charming reusable box, topped with a LOCA pencil, and elegantly wrapped with a bow. Inside is a 2024 membership card listing the fantastic benefits. A $250 value!

Buy it now for $50:

Use LOCA’s secure and easy “Gift a Membership” red checkout button on their membership page by clicking here. Your package will arrive by mail in 4-7 business days.

Courtesy of LOCA

(L-R) LOCA teachers Allison Keefe and Elizabeth McGhee

–Thursday, May 23, 30, 4-5 p.m.

Art Classes for Kids at the Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach.

“Art Classes for Kids” held in the Children’s Wing of the Laguna Beach Library – Thursdays at 4 p.m. through June 6. Classes are free and no registration is required, but space is limited on a first come, first served basis for children 5 and up. Please gather at 3:45 p.m.

Families Love LOCA at the Library

LOCA’s Family Art Classes at Laguna Beach Public Library have been a smashing success. The “happy hour” 4-5 p.m. timeslot has made it convenient for parents and kids to enjoy a creative learning space, led by Allison Keefe. “We encourage parents and kids to work together,” Keefe said.

LOCA Arts Education has provided top quality visual arts education to all ages in Laguna Beach, and beyond, for more than 30 years. LOCA’s unique strength is its ability to be mobile, providing free and affordable lectures, demonstrations, and classes throughout the city at commercial spaces, community centers, galleries, parks, resorts and studios.

Courtesy of LOCA

Student loves art

Laguna Beach Public Library is among LOCA’s many institutional partners. Here, in the children’s wing, LOCA conducts a series of art classes, free to the public, each season. Spring 2024 brought “Family Art Day,” where parents and their children do an art project together and “Art Classes for Kids” which begin with a librarian reading a book, followed by an art project that ties to the theme. The drop-in classes offer a new creative project each week for up to 20 children at a time. Students may attend one, several, or all, and many do.

LOCA and Me, The Teachers

LOCA hires local professional artists to teach their classes, who assist and complement their full-time careers as artists. Library classes are taught by Allison Keefe and Elizabeth McGhee, both accomplished exhibitors at local festivals. According to McGhee, “I enjoy teaching at the library because not only do local Laguna Beach kids attend, but children from throughout Orange County come to learn new art techniques and stories. These classes not only help the students and parents who attend, but also engage and retain teachers like me in the community, and for that I am so grateful.”

Click open story button to continue reading…

Open story in new window…

A glimpse at Crystal Cove in May

During the spring, the beaches and park are less crowded, providing the perfect opportunity to hike, explore and discover the flora and fauna, and take in picturesque ocean vistas.

Here is a glimpse at two of the upcoming offerings as the month comes to a close.

Friday, May 24: Full Moon Hike from 7:45-10 p.m.

Explore the Park After Dark, on a guided interpretive two-hour, four-mile Full Moon Hike at Crystal Cove State Park. A park naturalist will lead hikers on this moderate to difficult loop trail with uneven terrain and a steep uphill climb, elevation gain of 600 ft. This hike is suitable for ages 10 and up. Hikers must wear sturdy shoes, bring water, a snack and dress in layers. Bring a red flashlight, but if you don’t have one, they will have plenty to share. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs to the Ranger Station). $5 entrance fee. Please RSVP to Lets Go Outside at

Speaker event with Rich German, founder of Project O: Tuesday, May 28 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Crystal Cove State Park

Rich German, founder of Project O

Join Crystal Cove Conservancy as they fall even more in love with the ocean during a special speaker event featuring marine conservation advocate and founder of Project O, Rich German.

Guests will enjoy a special presentation and Q&A conversation with German, as he highlights the ocean’s beauty and its marine life as seen through his eyes, while also sharing about the perils our planet faces that impact humans. A post-event reception will be held for guests to mingle, as they enjoy complimentary lights bites and drinks on the Cottage Check-in Deck #35.

The event is free to attend, but RSVP is required, so register here.

For a complete calendar of events, go to

Open story in new window…

Laguna Beach Master Community Calendar

The following are calendar links for regularly scheduled meetings and events in Laguna Beach:

City of Laguna Beach meetings & events calendar

Laguna Beach Public Library – everything at the library calendar

Laguna Beach Unified School District news & events calendar

Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce community events calendar

Open story in new window…

Artists Fund: Program that helps Pageant artists hold shows at City Hall, readies for summer showcase


This story is a part of our Arts section. For more arts stories as well as our arts calendars, visit

If The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts had a theme song it would be the Beatles “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

Helping fellow artists who are, or have been, presenters at the Festival of Arts is the mantra of this all-volunteer innovative financial program and each year it gets a boost from the artists themselves. This year is no different.

A show at City Hall this month, Spring Collection, features work by Artists Fund board members and artists who were recognized for their work in last year’s Art to Go program.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Wendy Wirth

The “Spring Collection” show at City Hall features work by Artists Fund board members and 2023 Art-To-Go winners. Proceeds support the artists and the fund. Artist Wendy Wirth’s piece “Early Moon” (above) is part of the exhibition.

In June, a larger Art-to-Go program will be unveiled at City Hall, and then the pieces will be transported to the pageant grounds, where they will be on sale throughout the summer. Those sales are what generate the majority of the Artists Fund funding.

“We open with 65 pieces on opening night of the Festival of Arts,” said Mike Tauber, Art-To-Go program coordinator. “We have 120 artists (in the pageant) and usually 100 will donate to Art-To- Go throughout the season.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Mike Tauber

The June 6 opening night reception of Art-To-Go at City Hall is open to the public and will include complimentary drinks and food. Board members (L-R) Susan Hoehn, Wendy Wirth and Chris Brazelton will be greeting folks who drop by.

Tauber added that artists who may not be able to donate a piece, such as sculptors with massive pieces, or artists who only produce a few big-ticket paintings, will often support the program in other ways – taking pictures, helping to set up, etc.

“Whether donating or volunteering, it’s a community thing,” said Tauber. “It’s a good way to get to know us, working together. It’s a win-win situation.”

The fund started about 20 years ago, when a festival artist encountered a health challenge, and another artist wanted to assist. The Artists Fund has since helped local artists through many of life’s challenges, including the mudslides and fires that ripped through Lagunas. The fund has distributed more than $270,000 in the past 20 years said Wendy Wirth, a long-time board member and supporter of the Artists Fund program.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Mike Tauber

Chris Brazelton is seen with his hand-painted photo “Heisler Park”

“It’s all voluntary,” she said, from the artists who provide pieces to the people who will be serving food and pouring drinks during the June 6 opening night at City Hall. “It’s a way for the artists to be involved and give back. It’s near and dear to their heart…you never know who you’re going to help. It could be you. You just never know.”

The Artists Fund has helped with emergency expenses, often affiliated with an illness. According to Wirth, distribution is always anonymous, and the group prides itself on being able to help quickly. The red tape that often accompanies other financial programs does not exist in the Artists Fund.

“The people in the arts understand other artists,” said Wirth. “They know how solitary it can be, how you’re sometimes flying without a parachute. Having that safety net is a real consolation. It ties the community together.”

In addition to the hardship grants, the Artists Fund also offers support for artists delving into new formats, such as a photographer who maybe can’t fully afford a new lens for a new body of work, or a painter who wants to attend an educational workshop.

“It’s a way to further explore their career development,” said Wirth. “They’re smaller grants, for turning points in people’s careers.”

The group also has created online webinars that support artists in their career, addressing things such as marketing and development.

“We try and do as much outreach as we can,” said Wirth. “We hope to be career support…because when we can engage and educate, people don’t end up needing the financial support as much.”

But since life and unexpected events do happen, each year the dedicated volunteers are creating the program that will raise money for when it’s needed by their fellow artists.

Click open story button to continue reading…

Open story in new window…

Iconic high heel by Alexander McQueen to be re-created as a “Living Picture” in 2024 Pageant of the Masters

This summer in Laguna Beach, The Pageant of the Masters steps into the world of fashion with their new production themed À La Mode: The Art of Fashion. Anticipated to be one of the most exciting seasons yet, audiences will be swept off their feet with this captivating journey through history’s most iconic fashion trends and spectacles. Among the highlights is the re-creation of the famed Angel Shoe from Alexander McQueen’s groundbreaking 2010 Fall Collection.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Jaron James/V&A Photography Studio ©Victoria and Albert Museum London

Angel Shoe, a high heel by Alexander McQueen, will be re-created at the Pageant of the Masters’ “À La Mode: The Art of Fashion”

High heels transcend mere footwear – they have become fashion statements, accessories and sometimes, like the Angel Shoe, they evolve into bold pieces of art. This iconic high heel made its debut in the Angels and Demons collection that followed McQueen’s death in February 2010. The shoe features a sculpted resin heel shaped like an angel, complemented by an intricate feather that forms along the sole. Leather wings with silver embroidery gracefully frame the foot, giving a sense of flight.

“I think it illustrates Alexander McQueen’s immense creativity,” said Diane Challis Davy, Pageant of the Masters director. “McQueen drew inspiration from Byzantine art and Old Master paintings. I love the way he reinterprets art history into contemporary fashion. He is a true master of costume, materials and construction.”

The history of high heels traces back to the 10th century when Persian calvary wore them to help keep their shoes in their stirrups. In the 17th century, influenced by the shoes worn by Persian emissaries, European nobility embraced the eye-catching footwear, which were often brightly colored and crafted from luxurious materials. High heels rose to prominence as a symbol of power and status for both men and women. Before undergoing a dramatic shift in the 18th century. As fashion became more gendered and men’s trends began to emphasize practicality, high heels transitioned to primarily women’s footwear. Today, high heels continue to captivate fashion enthusiasts worldwide, serving as both a statement of style and a celebration of individuality.

During the first act of this summer’s Pageant of the Masters, audiences will be treated to a series of works that Challis Davy has dubbed “Fabulous Footwear.” This portion of the production will feature re-created masterpieces showcasing the artistry of footwear through the ages like the “Royal Parisian Wedding” from a 14th century manuscript; “The Swing” by oil painter Jean H. Fragonard and of course, “Angel Shoe” by Alexander McQueen.

“McQueen’s Angel Shoe was the first time I had ever come across a shoe with a sculptured human figure. We knew instantly we needed to include it in the show,” shared Challis Davy. “It should be spectacular to see a much larger-than-life re-creation of the shoe on the Pageant stage.

From the opulent grandeur of royal courts to the contemporary glamor of today’s runways, À La Mode: The Art of Fashion will unravel the narrative of attire through the ages, revealing its inherent power and significance. Presented under Laguna Beach’s starry summer night sky, the 2024 Pageant of the Masters will also feature live, original music and narration, breathtaking theatrical illusions and some surprises. This is all presented in the 2,600-seat amphitheater of the Irvine Bowl.

À La Mode: The Art of Fashion will grace the stage nightly from July 6 through August 30. Early ticket purchase is recommended, as the Pageant is highly sought after and draws art enthusiasts from around the world. A Pageant ticket also serves as a season pass to the 2024 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, taking place from July 3 through August 30 (closed July 4). To stay up to date on all things Pageant of the Masters and Fine Arts Show visit, or follow @FestivalPageant on social media.

Open story in new window…

Laguna Ocean Foundation celebrates National Ocean Month

The Laguna Ocean Foundation (LOF) is gearing up for National Ocean Month in June. What better time to celebrate the ocean and the amazing life it supports than the start of summer? Events kick off on Saturday, June 8 on World Oceans Day with LOF’s annual event KelpFest and culminate on June 28 with a Pacific Vocal Series recital.

Guided Tidepool Tour – Saturday, June 8, 9-10 a.m.

Join LOF’s biologists for a guided tidepool tour at Heisler Park.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of LOF

LOF biologist points out different species found in the tidepools during a guided tidepool tour

Kelpfest* – Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Join LOF and other local organizations as they promote ocean awareness through hands-on educational activities. Stop by the LOF booth to receive free raffle tickets for items donated by KelpFest sponsors. Enjoy live music provided by Mana and the Garden Band as you check out the day’s festivities.

Click on photo for a larger image

Participants learn how to do the Kelp song and dance during KelpFest in 2023

Click on photo for a larger image

Learn all about cetaceans at the booth of KelpFest exhibitor American Cetacean Society Orange County Chapter

Film ScreeningSaturday, June 8, 6-9 p.m.

Continue celebrating World Oceans Day at the Rivian South Coast Theater where you can catch an ocean-themed movie screening. KelpFest raffle items will be raffled off after the screening. so be sure to stop by the LOF booth at KelpFest to receive your free raffle ticket!

Beach Clean-UpSaturday, June 22, 10-11 a.m.

The Laguna Ocean Foundation is partnering with the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce and The Ritual Refill to host a beach clean-up at Main Beach. Anyone interested in assisting with the clean-up is asked to register ahead of time by visiting

Click on photo for a larger image

Beach Clean-up: Group shot of volunteers who participated in the Beach Clean-up at Crescent Bay on Earth Day showing off the amount of trash picked up in just one hour

Pacific Vocal SeriesFriday, June 28, 7-9 p.m.

To round out National Ocean Month, join the Laguna Ocean Foundation and the Pacific Vocal Series for Out of the Sea – Arts & Conservation on Friday, June 28, 7-9 p.m. Hosted at the historic Rivian South Coast Theater in Laguna Beach, this “Art for a Cause” recital invites listeners into a meaningful story of conservation and nature through music, cinematography and curated storytelling, and features Southern California artist Jana McIntyre who has been seen on the stages of the world’s most prestigious opera houses.

Tickets are now available to the public with all proceeds going towards supporting Laguna Beach nonprofits. To learn more about the event and all that is included in this special evening of pure Laguna Beach culture, click here.

*A special thank you to the sponsors of KelpFest who keep the event free for everyone to enjoy: Marc & Rose Hospitality, Laguna Beach County Water District, Laguna Bluebelt, Beach Cities SCUBA, South Coast Water District, Raising Canes Laguna Hills location, Breaking Free Industries, Raw Elements, Alani & the Giant Kelp Elf, KX FM, 12 Tides, Waterlust and Rivian South Coast Theater.

Laguna Ocean Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to preserve and protect the beaches, intertidal zone, watersheds and ocean waters of Laguna Beach by promoting ocean literacy, emphasizing the importance of coastal ecosystems, community involvement, and an interest in nature for all residents and visitors of Laguna Beach.

For more information on upcoming events or how you can help support LOF, contact Alayna Ader at Event details can be found at

Open story in new window…

Going on a journey: A tough situation turns into a love story of acceptance in No Square Theatre’s newest show


This story is a part of our Arts section. For more arts stories as well as our arts calendars, visit

No Square Theatre is continuing its season of presenting shows with an unexpected twist when Dogfight – the Musical begins on May 17.

“My goal has been to choose shows not done very often, but which have a following,” said Ella Wyatt, artistic director. “I really wanted to present a unique season.”

The plot of Dogfight revolves around three Marines heading to Vietnam in the early days of fighting. Their last night stateside they embrace a cruel challenge to find the ugliest woman. However, the interaction between Eddie Birdlace and Rose takes the plot down a different path.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos by Abby Matossian

Gavin Hamze (above) portrays one of a group of young Marines whose action the night before they deploy to Vietnam is the catalyst that creates the plot in “Dogfight”

“It’s an unexpected love story,” said Wyatt. “They meet under lies and manipulations, and they end up getting to actually know each other. It’s really about this relationship and getting to know each other at a different level.”

Wyatt and Karen Rymar, who is making her No Square directorial debut with this show, were confident they could get the cast they needed – even though it’s traditionally difficult to get men for musicals. The theater is earning a reputation for excellence and producing challenging shows.

“I’m super blessed with who this cast is – they came in with their hearts ablazing,” Rymar said of the auditions. “We had big numbers that showed up to audition and we got to pick from really, really strong people.”

Braxton McGrath, who plays Eddie, was thrilled to be selected for the part.

“Early on, when Dogfight first came out (in 2012) people in the theater community were raving about it, but I never really got into it,” he said. “Then when it came to my college (Cal State Fullerton) I fell in love with how raw the show is – it’s very real. I appreciate that authenticity.”

He played the alternate for Eddie in the college production, and really began to understand the character.

Click on photo for a larger image

Braxton McGrath is thrilled to play the lead role of Eddie, a Marine who goes on a journey to discover what he values

“He (Eddie) has one of the biggest arcs in musical theater – he goes from being very abrasive – because of the fact he doesn’t know better – to becoming his own man,” said McGrath. “He’s taking that shift through the show, when he’s discovering himself and having Rose to guide him on that journey…now he has more options for who he can be as a person.”

The timeless story of redemption and growth resonated with Wyatt. The musical, which came out in 2012 is based on the 1991 film, which is set in the early 1960s, on the brink of the Vietnam war. The music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul – they also wrote the score for La La Land – is both funny and insightful.

“It’s so relevant for today,” said Wyatt. “It’s really a love story and about finding yourself. There are trying times in the world and yet you can still find goodness around you.” She cautions the show is not intended for younger audiences because of strong language and an assault scene.

Rymar believes the issues at the heart of Dogfight will likely never fully disappear, but believes the show is educational, as well as entertaining.

“My hope is that our audience is able to find something that resonates with them,” she said, “and (that) prompts continued conversation regarding compassion and the true source of beauty within each of us.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Brooklyn Vizcarra has been enamored with the role of Rose ever since the musical “Dogfight” previewed, and is thrilled to portray this main character in the show

Brooklyn Vizcarra, who plays Rose, was drawn to the part ever since one of her favorite actors, Lindsay Mendez, originated the role of Rose in the off-Broadway production.

“I love that this story goes through different people’s interpretations of innocence,” she said. “Not only Rose’s innocence, but Eddie’s innocence and the country’s innocence. The world is about to change completely and everybody’s idea of life…is about to change. It’s about real things that happen…People can relate.”

Click open story button to continue reading…

Open story in new window…

Güneş Çağlarcan presents a new and impressive exhibition, Not Without You

International Artist Güneş Çağlarcan brings together art lovers with a new and impressive exhibition. Çağlarcan’s fourth solo exhibition titled, Not Without You, will open at GGLB Gallery on Saturday, May 18.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of GGLB Gallery

From the “Shadow Collection”

For his fourth solo exhibition, Çağlarcan was inspired by Laguna Beach, where he fell in love with the sunrises and sunsets. During the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Çağlarcan will present art lovers with his collection of a series of works that reflect his romantic and sensual nature.

Click on photo for a larger image

Another selection from Çağlarcan’s “Shadow Collection”

The opening ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 18 from 3-6 p.m. at GGLB Gallery, 347 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the artist and examine his works closely.

Not Without You will be on exhibit until May 31.

Open story in new window…

Festival of Arts brings art, music and more to Laguna Beach July 3 through August 30

One of Southern California’s most beloved summer attractions, the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, returns July 3 through August 30. Set in the vibrant arts destination of Laguna Beach, this annual event continues to captivate and inspire audiences with a stunning showcase of creativity and talent from local artists. In addition to the artwork on display, guests can enjoy daily live entertainment, art classes, special events and more. The Festival of Arts is sponsored in part by Volvo Cars, City of Hope Orange County, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club and KOST Radio 103.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Festival of Arts features 120 exhibiting artists

Taking center stage at the Festival of Arts are the 120 exhibiting artists, showcasing their talents at the fine art show during its two-month summer season. This professionally juried art exhibit features a diverse selection of artwork, including paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry and more, all crafted by artists from across Orange County. Since its inception in 1932, the Festival has served as a platform for thousands of artists to showcase and sell their creations, with many pieces finding their way into the private collections of esteemed art collectors, celebrities and museums worldwide.

Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to engage directly with the artists, gaining insight into their inspirations, techniques and creative processes. Interactive art classes (sponsored by Bank of America), live demonstrations and guided art tours (sponsored by PBS SoCal) further enrich the visitor experience, fostering a deeper connection between the creators and their audience. For a comprehensive list of the 2024 participating artists, click here.

During the two-month summer season, the Festival of Arts hosts daily live concerts and a variety of event series, sponsored by City of Hope Orange County and Yamaha. After making their debut at South Coast Plaza, The Music of Hope continues at the Festival of Arts all summer long. City of Hope’s blue “Hope” piano will be prominently featured on the Festival’s stage, honoring everyone whose lives have been touched by cancer. As part of this partnership, the Festival introduces Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano on select Saturday nights, showcasing talented musicians who will enrich the lives of community members through this uplifting concert series.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Attendees mingle at FOA 2023

On Sunday, July 14, the ever-popular Family Art Day returns with an exciting new animal theme featuring creature-inspired art projects as well as furry and feathered special guests! For the adults, Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate (sponsored by Charles Schwab and Cambria Estate Winery) provides the perfect atmosphere to pair wine, chocolate and smooth jazz amongst an unmatched gallery setting.

According to Sharbie Higuchi, Festival of Arts marketing and PR director, “The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show has something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a music lover, or simply looking for a fun artful experience – the Festival has it all.”

Event Information:

Special Events:

For a complete list of special events, click here.

Free with admission unless otherwise noted.

Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate

Thursdays, July 8 – August 26, 5:30 p.m.

$25 additional fee for tastings

Sponsored by Charles Schwab & Cambria Estate Winery

Tremendous Tributes Music Series

Fridays, July 12 – Aug 29, 5:30 p.m.

Concerts on the Green

Saturdays, July 6 – Aug 17, 1 p.m.

Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano

Saturdays, July 6 – Aug 10, 5:30 p.m.

Sponsored by City of Hope Orange County

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of FOA

Festival of Arts features a variety of art experiences

Wow…That Girl Can Sing! Music Series

Sundays, July 7 – Aug. 25, 5:30 p.m.

Family Art Day

Sunday, July 14, 12 p.m.

Festival Runway Fashion Show

Sunday, August 18, 12 p.m.

Art & Fashion Affair Gala

Saturday, Aug. 24

Separate ticket required

Art Workshops for Everyone (Presented by Bank of America)

For schedule and reservations, click here.

Creativity runs wild at the Festival’s Teen and Adult Art Classes where students will make their own masterpieces under the instruction of professional artists. ($45)

Uncork your creativity Thursday nights at Prints and Pinots or Friday nights at Paint and Sip Classes. Create a work of art with easy-to-follow instruction by Festival artists and enjoy complimentary wine or beverage. Must be 21 and up. ($50)

Friday through Sunday, the Festival hosts Youth Art Classes, art classes for children ages 5-12. Classes include sculpture, mixed media, painting and much more. ($25)

The Festival Art Center will be open weekdays from 4-8 p.m. and weekends from 12-8 p.m. for hands-on artistic fun. Reservations are not required, so drop in anytime.

Click open story button to continue reading…

Open story in new window…

American Legion and VFW to conduct Memorial Day ceremony

On Monday, May 27, Laguna Beach American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will conduct their Memorial Day ceremony in remembrance of all their comrades who died in all the wars and conflicts, protecting our country. The ceremony will take place at Monument Point in Heisler Park beginning at 11 a.m. sharp.

The keynote speaker will be Carla Hogan, Gold Star Mom. Music will begin at 10:30 a.m. The public is invited to come early, as seating is limited.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Laying of wreaths in honor of our veterans at a previous Memorial Day ceremony

Many organizations place floral offerings on the Heisler Park Memorial Monument during the ceremony. If you send or bring floral arrangements, please make sure your organization’s name is attached. It is suggested that those having flowers to have them delivered by 9:30 am. If you intend to send or bring floral arrangements, call Sandi Werthe at 949.494.6016. No glass containers please.

For more information, contact Richard Moore at 949.637.4437.

Heisler Park is located at 375 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

Open story in new window…

Laguna Playhouse presents the final production of the season, Holmes & Watson, starting on May 29

Laguna Playhouse presents Holmes & Watson, written by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by Laguna Playhouse artistic director David Ellenstein. Holmes & Watson will begin previews on Wednesday, May 29 (with a press opening on Sunday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m.) and run through Sunday, June 16 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Prepare for a fast-paced, thrilling, suspenseful story that will keep you guessing until its final moments. In this worthwhile addition to the Sherlock Holmes canon, there are more twists and turns than a rollercoaster! The legendary Sherlock Holmes is dead. Or so it is assumed. When a telegram arrives informing his loyal companion Dr. Watson that there are three men who each claim to be Holmes, it’s left up to the famous sidekick to take on the case and try to discover if one of the mad men is actually the real Sherlock Holmes.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Laguna Playhouse

“Holmes & Watson” runs from May 29-June 16

Commented David Ellenstein, “Some years back, I had a great time directing Jeffrey Hatcher’s Holmes & Watson. It is a thrilling mystery that keeps you guessing right up until the last moment. It was as exhilarating for those of us that worked on the production as it was for the audience that experienced it and overwhelmingly cheered for the wild ride that they had. Years later, audiences that saw that show still tell me what a great time they had.

Before I directed this play, I was not a huge Sherlock Holmes enthusiast, but the play led me to read the Conan Doyle source material and I gained a new understanding for the lasting appeal of the detective. These stories are extremely well written. I became captivated by the detail and specificity of the character and literary style. I became a Sherlock fan. There is a reason Mr. Holmes endures through all sorts of adaptations and across time.

“Jeffrey Hatcher is such an accomplished and skillful playwright. His specialty is exactly this genre – so this play bristles with intrigue, humor and verve. It truly captures the Holmesian style and mystery. The idea of a new production of Holmes & Watson at Laguna Playhouse fills me with eager anticipation. I am so excited by the exemplary cast we have assembled and the amazing design plans that will lift this play to its full potential. I believe Laguna Playhouse audiences are going to have a great time with this one.”

David Ellenstein (Director). Born into a theatrical family, Ellenstein has been working in professional theater for the better part of five decades. In May 2023, he was named artistic director of Laguna Playhouse, after filling the role in an interim capacity since September 2023. In addition, he has been the artistic director of North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach since 2003.

Jeffrey Hatcher (Playwright). His Broadway, off-Broadway, theater and film/television credits are varied and numerous. Grants and awards he has received: NEA, TCG, Lila Wallace Fund, Rosenthal New Play Prize, Frankel Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Barrymore Award (Best New Play) and the 2013 Ivey Lifetime Achievement Award.

The cast of Holmes & Watson features (in alphabetical order): Richard Baird as “Watson,” Matt Koenig as “Holmes #2,” Matthew Floyd Miller as “Holmes #1,” Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper as “Dr. Evans,” Mike Peebler as “Orderly/Moriarty/Inspector,” Alice Sherman as “The Matron/The Woman” and Christopher M.  Williams as “Holmes #3.”

The design team for Holmes & Watson is as follows: scenic design by Stephen Gifford; costume design by Kate Bergh; lighting design by Jared A. Sayeg; sound design by Ian Scot; props design by Kevin Williams, and hair and wig design by Peter Herman. Casting is by Michael Donovan, CSA & Richie Ferris, CSA.

The Production Stage Manager is Vernon Willet.

Schedule and Pricing:

Holmes & Watson will preview on Wednesday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, May 30 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 1 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; (with a press opening on Sunday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m.) and run through Sunday, June 16.

Performances are Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. There will be added performances on Thursday, May 30 at 2 p.m.; Thursday, June 6 at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. There will be no performance on Sunday, June 16 at 5:30 p.m. There will be a post-show talkback following the Friday, June 7 performance.

Tickets range from $45-$84 and can be purchased online at, or by calling 949.497.2787. Group discounts are available by calling 949.497.2787 ext. 229. Prices subject to change.

The box office is open Tuesdays through Sundays: 12-4 p.m.; On Mondays it is open two hours prior to show time and until 15 minutes after curtain. It is open until showtime on all performance days.

For more information on all shows and programming, visit

Open story in new window…

Compiled by Suzie Harrison

Police Beat derives from information in the daily police and arrest logs published on the City of Laguna Beach’s website and required under CA Government Code Section 6254 (f). Additional information is obtained through communication with the Laguna Beach Police Department’s Public Information Officer.

Information in the logs is deemed reliable and Stu News Laguna is not responsible for any mistakes made available as public record by the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Any person arrested is innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

Send this to a friend