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LAM Film Night to feature La La Land on March 21

Laguna Art Museum will feature the Oscar-winning La La Land as part of its Film Night series on Thursday, March 21, at 6 p.m. The romantic musical stars Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as an aspiring actress, who meet and fall in love in Los Angeles while pursuing their dreams.

La La Land is a 2016 American romantic music film written and directed by Damien Chazelle. The film was critically praised, particularly for Chazelle’s screenplay and direction, Gosling and Stone’s performances, musical score, musical numbers, cinematography, and production design. 

La La Land won a record-breaking seven awards from its seven nominations at the 74th Golden Globes. It also received a record-tying 14 nominations at the 89th Annual Academy Awards, winning in six categories including best actress and director.

LAM Film Night La La Land

Photo from bfi.org.uk

Enjoy the award-winning romantic comedy “La La Land” at LAM on March 21

Advance tickets are recommended. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors 60+ and college students, and free for those 17 and younger. 

For more information and tickets, call (949) 494-8971 or visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


LagunaTots returns to No Square Theatre – the kids take over the stage tonight

Fun for the whole family abounds as youngsters take the stage at No Square Theatre in LagunaTots 2019. Performances run from tonight, March 15, to March 24.

You think it’s hard being an adult? Kids nowadays have serious things to worry about: dress codes, vaccinations, phones, lice, puberty, phones, brace, hormones. And did we mention phones? This original musical parody spoof zeroes in on the issues that plague the younger set…with hilarious results. 

No Square’s Youth Theatre Director Ella Wyatt is the writer and director with additional lyrics by Rufino Cabang and some of the kids in the cast. Music direction is by Susan Thoren. The show is choreographed by Ella with Rylee Bullington, a LagunaTots alumnus and senior at Laguna Beach High School. Rylee is featured in the high school’s current production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

LagunaTots returns colorful

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Stu News Archives Photo

Laugh your socks off at LagunaTots this month, featuring local talented youth addressing the issues that matter most to them

The talented cast of LagunaTots includes Katie Baker, Chase Benson, Tatum Brennan, Will Briggs, Mason Bruderer, Lula Buckle, Story Bullington, Quinn Butler, Elisa Camacho, Nicolas Camacho, Harlo Cozzens, Sarina Doshi-O’Neil, Chloe Flaherty, Anna Gabriel, Laird Garcia, Grace Gilchrist, Jonah Goldstein, Lila Goldstein, Kate Hennessy, Hadley Hunt, Piper Hunt, Hannah Kaiser, Lauren Kimball, Lydia Kimball, Marco Lapayese-Calderon, Jude Lifeset, Sienna Mason, Maris Morgan, Douglas Nottage, Chloe O’Kane, Karina Pitz, Nathan Ryan, Kate Storke, Allie Swellen, Lila Tacklind, and Leah Turner.

Opening night is on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m., with shows continuing on Saturday, March 16 and 23 at 2 p.m., Friday, March 17 at 6 p.m., and Sunday, March 17 and 24 at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for kids (ages 12 and under) and $25 for adults. All seats are reserved, and this show always sells out. So plan ahead and get your tickets now at www.nosquare.org

No Square Theatre is generously supported by The Lodging Establishments and the City of Laguna Beach, The City of Laguna Beach, Yvonne & John Browning, Dorene and Lee Butler Family Foundation, Patrick Quilter, FOA Foundation, Laguna Beach Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St. It is a small venue and all seats are good.

For additional information on events, auditions, classes, and to purchase tickets, please visit www.nosquare.org


CAP and LPAPA present Artists’ Conversation on Saturday 

Community Art Project (CAP) and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) present another Artists’ Conversation, “Unexpected Places,” this Saturday, March 16, from 12 to 1 p.m. at the CAP Gallery.

Award-winning artists Brandon Gonzales and Toni Danchik will share some insights to their work and some of the unexpected places that have inspired them when painting out in the field. Unlike painting in a studio, there are many factors that can make painting on-site, outdoors, and en plein air exciting and unexpected.

CAP Gonzales

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Courtesy of CAP

Brandon Gonzales, S. Union Ave, 16 x 8, oil

This free event is open to the public to not just give insight into the world of plein air painting, but to enhance and expand people’s knowledge base in a casual and unique setting. Come enjoy learning more about this style of Art that is a part of Laguna Beach’s history.

CAP Danchik

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Courtesy of CAP

Toni Danchik, Shanty Town Chic, 12 x 16, oil

The CAP Gallery is located at 260 Ocean Ave, second floor, in the Wells Fargo Bank building. Visit www.caplaguna.org for information about ongoing or upcoming exhibits.


LCAD Post-Baccalaureate program opens new
doors for women

Laguna College of Art and Design’s (LCAD) Post-Baccalaureate program gives artists a bridge in pursuit of a professional career or an MFA degree. 

Laguna Beach architect and resident Donna Ballard always wanted to major in art, but she took a more practical approach to marrying her love of drawing, painting, and math to forge a successful career as an architect. 

Today, as Principal Architect of BB Architects, Inc., a nationally and internationally recognized firm, Ballard decided it was time to pursue her lifelong dream and was accepted to the LCAD Drawing and Painting BFA program.

However, after closer inspection, Ballard found a perfect fit in LCAD’s Post-Baccalaureate in Drawing and Painting, a one-year, 30-unit program that focuses on representational drawing and painting skills. 

LCAD Post houses

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Submitted photo

Artist and LCAD alumni Donna Ballard

“My work has improved in leaps and bounds,” she said. “By learning best practices in how to apply the paint and important technical skills, my paintings are at a whole new level.”

Not surprisingly, Ballard’s work focuses on buildings, especially their geometry and light and shadows. In 2017, she graduated with her fellow classmate and architect Brad Neal. She is eagerly working on a collection she hopes to display at the Festival of Arts.

“The hardest part of the program was coming home after a long day at work to do my homework,” Ballard said. “I was working in my dining room while my home was being remodeled. But it was worth it. I would do it over again.”

Betty Shelton, who heads the program, said that this program gives serious artists a first step to pursuing a professional career or pursuing a terminal degree in their field. Approximately one-third of students continue into LCAD’s MFA program in Painting, while two-thirds pursue a professional career. 

“In the absence of these programs, a number of people who would be great artists would give up because they may not want to go through a second bachelor’s degree or have the skill for an MFA program,” Shelton said. “Our curriculum helps students develop conceptual and narrative skills to use their unique voice in their work.”

LCAD Post-Baccalaureate is attractive to students who earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art or a related major and are ready for a serious course of study. Just as with its other majors, LCAD screens applicants through a rigorous portfolio review. 

Lisa Mansour regularly studied with professional artists as she focused on raising her three daughters in Laguna Beach. Like Ballard, she was also accepted to LCAD’s BFA program in Drawing & Painting but transferred to its Post-Baccalaureate program.

LCAD Post painting

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Submitted photo

Local artist Lisa Mansour

“I wanted to get better,” she said. “I could paint but I was missing the fundamentals. The most important thing LCAD teaches is to learn what you have to say in your art.”

Mansour started LCAD’s Post-Baccalaureate the same year her oldest daughter started university and then matriculated the same year her youngest daughter graduated from Laguna Beach High School. Throughout the program, Mansour rigorously painted a series of works until she found her voice as an artist and realized a 20-year dream that she shared with her three daughters. 

“Every year we went to the Sawdust, my girls would ask, ‘when are you going to do apply, mom,’” she said. This past summer, Mansour participated in her first Sawdust Festival and is already at work preparing her next body of work for summer 2019. Her work was also exhibited at LCAD Gallery as part of the 2017 Study Aboard program.

Both Mansour and Ballard enjoy the perks as LCAD Post-Baccalaureate alumni who can audit one course per semester at LCAD. As current and former members of the Laguna Beach Arts Commission, they inspired current Laguna Beach arts commissioner and friend Suzanne Mellor to apply to the program. The three now share a studio space in South Laguna Beach.

For more information about LCAD’s Post-Baccalaureate program in Drawing and Painting, contact Betty Shelton, chair, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Renee Johansson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about LCAD admissions, news, events and the college’s Annual Fund, visit www.lcad.edu.

Laguna College of Art and Design is located at 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Laguna Playhouse to present Heisenberg,
opening March 31

Laguna Playhouse is excited to present a co-production with the Rubicon Theatre Company, the critically acclaimed (LA Times Critics’ Choice) production of Heisenberg, debuting on Sunday, March 31 at 5:30 p.m., and running through Sunday, April 14. 

Written by Simon Stephens, directed by Katherine Farmer, and starring Faline England (Valentine’s Day) and Joe Spano (Hill Street Blues and NCIS), this is going to be a production you won’t want to miss.

Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard comment, “What a special opportunity to co-produce this critically acclaimed production with the Rubicon Theatre Company. Simon Stephens has written a funny, tender and quirky love story that celebrates human relationships in all their complexity. Faline England and Joe Spano are giving masterful performances under the brilliant direction of the gifted Katharine Farmer. Our subscribers and audiences are sure to fall in love with this wonderful and extraordinary play.” 

Laguna Playhouse jacket

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“Heisenberg” debuts on March 31 at the Laguna Playhouse

In a bustling London train station, free-spirited American Georgie unexpectedly plants a kiss on the neck of mid-70s British butcher Alex. When she turns up in his shop a few days later, she sets the suspicious man’s world reeling. As Alex is drawn into Georgie’s anarchic world, his conventional life becomes chaotic, uncertain, and undeniably richer. Peeling away the many layers of everyday relationships with subtle humor and quiet poeticism, Heisenberg brings to poignant theatrical life the uncertain and often comical sparring match that is human connection.

Playwright Simon Stephens’ plays have been produced in many languages throughout the world. Stephens won the Tony Award for his adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which premiered at the National Theatre in London in 2012 under the direction of Marianne Elliott. 

Director Katharine Farmer is a London-based artist who has been Rubicon’s Director of International Programming for the past three years. At the Rubicon, she recently directed an intimate version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Performances will be Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 1 p.m. There will be added performances on Thursday, March 28 at 2 p.m.; Tuesday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, April 11 at 2 p.m. 

Tickets range from $56 - $86 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.

The Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Dr.


LOCA Birthday Bash on March 24 to feature contributions from Nelson Coates & Chef Craig Strong 

LOCA Arts Education invites the public to its Birthday Bash fundraising party on Sunday, March 24, from 4 - 7 p.m. at Bridge Hall at Neighborhood Congregational Church. 

Nelson Coates and Chef Craig Strong are among the many esteemed donors. “We are grateful for their amazing generosity, and thrilled to feature their contributions!” exclaimed event chair Pat O’Brien.

LOCA hosts smile

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Executive Chef Craig Strong of Ocean at Main is among the contributors to LOCA’s Birthday Bash

Executive Chef Craig Strong, formerly of Studio at Montage and operator of prominent Michelin starred kitchens from Barcelona to Los Angeles, has recently opened Ocean at Main in downtown Laguna Beach. Strong is providing a certificate for a dinner for 12 in his private dining room, which promises to be an exceptional culinary experience.

LOCA hosts studio

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A tour of a film set by Nelson Coates is among items featured at LOCA’s Birthday Bash

Nelson Coates is an Emmy-nominated production designer and artist whose recent film projects include Crazy Rich Asians, Fifty Shades of Gray, and On The Basis of Sex. An enthusiastic supporter of LOCA programs, Coates is providing a special a day on the set during the filming of In the Heights by composer and co-creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. The package includes vouchers for air travel to New York, and a stay at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge – offering expansive views of the East River and Manhattan Skyline.

  The LOCA Birthday Bash will feature great food and wine, festive games for grownups including a musical cakewalk, live music by South Laguna Garden Band, and spectacular auction items. Proceeds support LOCA’s award-winning programs serving people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities throughout Laguna Beach. 

Tickets are $50 each or $180 for a party of four. 

For more information including tickets, visit www.locaarts.org/event/loca-birthday-bash-annual-fundraiser/ or call (949) 363-4700. 

Neighborhood Church is located at 340 Saint Ann’s Dr.


Laguna Playhouse to honor Hershey Felder at May 18 gala

On May 18, Laguna Playhouse will honor an artistic icon, Hershey Felder, for his commitment to Laguna Playhouse, bringing original content and performing to sold-out audiences for a decade, and for his work to keep regional theatres, such as Laguna Playhouse, alive and vibrant across the world. 

This year’s gala, co-chaired by Trustees Lisa Hale and Glenn E. Gray, will begin with a VIP reception where Hershey Felder and special guests will perform in front of an exclusive intimate audience. 

Hershey Felder is an accomplished pianist, performer, playwright, producer, and director. He has staged over 4,700 performances of his unique solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres. 

Laguna Playhouse group

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Photo by Chuck Weinberg

Hershey Felder with Aviva and Fred Forster at previous Laguna Playhouse event

Felder has portrayed many world-renowned composers such as George Gershwin, Fryderyk Chopin, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, bringing both their music and their stories to life. 

Hershey is also the writer and director for the internationally performed play-with-music The Pianist of Willesden Lane, based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane; the producer and designer of Louis and Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara, directed by Taylor Hackford; and writer and director for Nathan Gunn Flying Solo.

“Hershey Felder is a unique talent that transcends traditional theatrical boundaries putting the roles of artist, writer/composer, and director into that of one. He is no less an internationally acclaimed World Treasure, and we are proud to be able to honor him on this special evening,” said Ellen Richard, Laguna Playhouse Executive Director.

The evening’s program will also feature a performance by Hershey Felder and a heartfelt tribute to him. The gala will conclude with live music and dancing. Nearly 400 are expected in attendance at the gala. Last year, the Orange County Business Journal named the gala in the top five net fundraising galas in Orange County. 

More on the gala can be found at www.lagunaplayhousegala.org

Laguna Playhouse will also conclude its renovation of the historic Moulton Theatre in May celebrating 50 years since it was built, and will celebrate its Centennial Season in 2020-2021.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
opens this weekend

Laguna Beach High School Drama and Park Avenue Players return to the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre tonight, Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m., with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The musical is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers, and the coat of many colors. The show will continue on March 16, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m., and on March 17 and 24 at 2:30 p.m.

The musical follows preferred son Joseph who, after being sold into slavery by his brothers, ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the amorous advances of Potiphar’s wife. 

LBHS Drama school

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Join LBHS Drama and Park Avenue Players for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” opening this weekend

While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled, Elvis-inspired, Pharaoh. Joseph’s solution to Egypt’s famine elevates him to Pharaoh’s right-hand man and reunites him with his family.

The company of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” includes more than 50 Laguna Beach High School student cast and crew members and 12 students from El Morro Elementary, Top of the World Elementary, and Thurston Middle School in the children’s choir. 

The musical is directed and choreographed by guest artist Paul Nygro. A veteran performer, Nygro has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in productions across the globe. His credits as a producer, director, choreographer, and actor span a range of mediums, including theatre, film, and television.

“Paul’s (Nygro) energy is infectious. He dives into projects with passion, commitment, and creativity,” said Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School Drama Teacher and Director, Alexis Karol. “We are grateful that amidst his many professional commitments in Los Angeles he is willing to share his talent and skill with our Laguna Beach High School students,” she concluded. 

Tickets are on sale  at lbhs.booktix.com. Tickets are $12 for students, $17 for adults, and $22 for premium. 

Laguna Beach High School is located at 625 Park Ave.


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opens this weekend

Laguna Beach High School Drama and Park Avenue Players return to the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m. with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The musical is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers, and the coat of many colors. The show will continue on March 16, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m., and on March 17 and 24 at 2:30 p.m.

The musical follows preferred son Joseph who, after being sold into slavery by his brothers, ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the amorous advances of Potiphar’s wife. 

LBHS Drama school

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Join LBHS Drama and Park Avenue Players for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” opening this weekend

While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled, Elvis-inspired, Pharaoh. Joseph’s solution to Egypt’s famine elevates him to Pharaoh’s right-hand man and reunites him with his family.

The company of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” includes more than 50 Laguna Beach High School student cast and crew members and 12 students from El Morro Elementary, Top of the World Elementary, and Thurston Middle School in the children’s choir. 

The musical is directed and choreographed by guest artist Paul Nygro. A veteran performer, Nygro has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in productions across the globe. His credits as a producer, director, choreographer, and actor span a range of mediums, including theatre, film, and television.

“Paul’s (Nygro) energy is infectious. He dives into projects with passion, commitment, and creativity,” said Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School Drama Teacher and Director, Alexis Karol. “We are grateful that amidst his many professional commitments in Los Angeles he is willing to share his talent and skill with our Laguna Beach High School students,” she concluded. 

Tickets are on sale  at lbhs.booktix.com. Tickets are $12 for students, $17 for adults, and $22 for premium. 

Laguna Beach High School is located at 625 Park Ave.


Live! at the Museum presents SAKURA cello quintet on Thursday

Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Art Museum are proud to present the talented cello quintet SAKURA on Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m.

A unique and versatile cello quintet, hailed as “brilliant” and “superb” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, SAKURA is built on the artistry and virtuosity of its members: Michael Kaufman, Benjamin Lash, Gabriel Martins, Yoshika Masuda, and Peter Myers. 

Live at Sakura

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Submitted photo

Enjoy a night of captivating music with SAKURA on Thursday

SAKURA explores great music of the past through dazzling arrangements that offer fresh perspectives on familiar notes, and continually expands the five-cello repertoire into the future by commissioning new works. In the tradition of the great chamber ensembles, the quintet distills its interpretations through time, reveling in the pure sonic pleasure of a unified and colorful sound.

Live! at the Museum is a partnership between Laguna Art Museum and Laguna Beach Live! and is generously sponsored by Compass.

Tickets are included with museum admission ($7 for adults and $5 for seniors or students), however advance reservations are recommended due to limited seating and can made here. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.

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