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12th annual Fête de la Musique to fill the streets of Laguna Beach with music on June 15

On Saturday, June 15, the streets of Laguna Beach will be filled with music and much fanfare when the 12th Annual Laguna Beach Fête de la Musique presented by Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association (LBSCA) takes place. The day’s festivities start at 12 p.m. at Main Beach with the Laguna Community Big Band playing their first swing/jazz set. From 12 - 12:30 p.m., youngsters can get face painted and costumed for the Children’s Parade that starts at 12:30 p.m. Starting on the Main Street Cobblestones, kids will march up and down the boardwalk, and finish with dancing on the cobblestones.

Opening ceremonies with local dignitaries take place from 1 - 1:20 p.m. on the cobblestones, with welcoming speeches by a Laguna Beach City Council member, Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, and Karyn Phillippsen, founding president of the LBSCA. The U.S. national anthem will be sung by 13-year-old Lauren Kimball, and La Marseillaise (the French national anthem), will be sung by April Walsh, accompanied by the Community Band.

12th annual Fete Folkloric Dancer

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Photo by Takata Photo

A Folkloric dancer performs at last year’s Fête de la Musique

Additional performances will take place at Main Beach throughout the afternoon, including a second set by the Community Band; The Andersons, a five-piece soft rock band; JJ and the Habibis (Laguna Beach belly dancers); Corazones Alegres Folkloric Dancers; and a band yet to be determined. Throughout the streets, artists will perform from 1:30 - 4 p.m. at approximately 48 locations, with most along Ocean and Forest avenues, and along Coast Highway. A few musicians will be located in the HIP District, further south along Coast Highway.

This year, among the popular returning performers are The Budrows playing their unique cigar-box guitar music in the Kush Gallery alcove; The Montones with their island-inspired melodies at Wells Fargo Bank; The Andersons, a five-member band from LA, performing on Main Beach; April Walsh, chanteuse, on the steps of 2bella Boutique; The Agave Brothers at Skyloft; the bluesy guitar/vocals of Yael & Vlady in the Lumberyard patio; Charles Fullwood inside Hobie Sports; student performances in the Presbyterian Church garden; Elvis; and our French mimes, to name just a few… 

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Laguna Craft Guild hosts local art show on Sunday at Main Beach

On Sunday, June 9, from 9 a.m. - sundown, the Laguna Craft Guild will hold an art show at Main Beach featuring local artists. There are always many treasures to be found at the show, you won’t want to miss it.

Laguna Craft vases

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

From art, clothes, and hand-blown glass vases…there’s an abundance of beautiful handmade goods to choose from

Laguna Craft Guild is a small group of local Laguna Beach artists that sell their handmade goods on the cobblestones at Main Beach one to two times a month. Many of them are also Sawdust Festival artists.

The show is very special and a fun way to spend a Sunday strolling along the boardwalk with friends, family, and pets while gazing at the ocean. The art show is kind of like looking for that perfect seashell along the shoreline. 

For more information, visit www.lagunacraftguild.org or follow on Instagram at @lagunacraftguild.


Harvey opens at Laguna Playhouse with an enchanting ensemble that proves magic is real

By DIANNE RUSSELL

The wizardry of Harvey is its ability to conjure up the illusion of an imaginary six-and-a-half-foot tall white rabbit that the audience never sees. On opening night of Harvey at Laguna Playhouse, the masterful pairing of French Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd and Vanessa Claire Stewart as his sister Veta Louise Simmons – along with the entire ensemble – accomplishes just that, using their collective talent to bring Harvey and the play to life. It’s equal parts whimsy and a disturbing observation of today’s society, and Sunday’s opening night crowd loved it.

A comedy classic, Harvey wraps up the Playhouse’s 2018-2019 season – its 98th – in the ideal way. When introducing Director Andrew Barnicle, who was in attendance, Ann E. Wareham, Playhouse artistic director, said, “I wouldn’t put this play into any hands but his.”

Harvey opens French

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Courtesy of LB Playhouse

French Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd

With flawless nuanced gestures, French Stewart as Elwood possesses just the right amount of mischief and pathos to captivate the audience from his first appearance on stage. Vanessa (his real life wife) is the perfect Veta, brandishing a fiery and inextinguishable spark. They play off each other with skill and well-practiced finesse.

All the cast members contribute to the wonderful allure of the story: Lily Gibson as Myrtle Mae Simmons brings to mind Betty Boop, and that’s a big compliment. Nick Gabriel as Dr. Lyman Sanderson and Roxane Hayward as Nurse Ruth Kelly demonstrate palpable chemistry. Gregory North as Dr. William Chumley and Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper as Duane Wilson are crackerjack comedians. Teresa Ganzel as Betty Chumley, Larry Cedar as Judge Omar Gaffney, Carole Ita White as Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet, and Tom Shelton as E.J. Lofgren contribute just the right touches…

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LagunaTunes presents “Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles” with special guest star Jason Feddy

On Sunday, June 23 at 4 p.m., LagunaTunes Chorus (Laguna’s own all community, no-audition vocal group) celebrates the TV appearance of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 with “Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles.”

The program includes high-energy hits that make us want to dance, smile, and sing along, as well as a few poignant ballads and unforgettable melodies. Special bonus: an appearance by Jason Feddy, transplanted Brit and Laguna Beach Arts Alliance Artist of the Year. 

Feddy is well known for his entertaining Beatles programs, witty asides, and audience participation. 

The concert is in the Artists Theatre at Laguna Beach High School and it’s free!

LagunaTunes presents group

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Submitted photo

LagunaTunes performs again on June 23 featuring Jason Feddy 

LagunaTunes Director Bob Gunn also directs the St. Mary’s choir and Men Alive (the Orange County’s Gay Men’s Chorus). His Men Alive concerts have brought audiences to their feet all over southern California, across the U.S., and in Europe. 

New members are encouraged to join LagunaTunes, without fearing an audition. It’s a friendly and inclusive group, and singers of all training and experience levels are welcome. Some members read music, some do not, age levels cover a broad range, and all are united by a love of music. 

Emphasis is on fun, learning, improving performance skills, and the joy of group singing. After a few weeks of rehearsal, new members are typically surprised at how well they can sing.

LagunaTunes Chorus also presents another concert in December, with fall rehearsals starting September 16. Rehearsals are weekly, Monday nights (7 - 9 p.m.) at Thurston Middle School, 2100 Park Ave. Two or three Saturday practices are also held in preparation for the concert.

 LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone and presents two free concerts per year. The Festival of Arts Foundation and The Lodging Establishments and City of Laguna Beach provide funding. For more information, visit www.lagunatuneschorus.org or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The LBHS Artists Theatre is located at 625 Park Ave.


Artists get ready to welcome the public for 53rd Sawdust Summer Festival season 

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

For nine weeks during the summer, Sawdust Art Festival draws more than 200,000 visitors. Guests are invited to shop along sawdust-covered paths in a hand-built village of fine art and eclectic craftsmanship. Summer artists are Laguna Beach residents. Sawdust also offers a robust year-round art program onsite, Sawdust Art Classes, featuring a comprehensive array of art and studio workshops taught by working Sawdust artists.

Preview night is Tuesday, June 25; Opening day is June 28.

Artists get Patsee

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Looking for a little shade, photographer Patsee Ober builds her booth around a pomegranate tree

In the mid 1960s, personal freedom of expression broke out and with it, a vibrant arts and crafts movement. In Laguna Beach, that creative energy brought together an influx of young artists and craftspeople, as well as talented local artists who had been juried out of the only summer art festival in town. Fueled by a passionate desire for artistic independence and wanting something fresh and exciting, the Sawdust Festival was born.

Artists get David

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A warm welcome from artist David Nelson

In 1965, the very first show was held in a vacant lot across the street from present-day Laguna Beach Public Library, but it wasn’t until ‘67 at another locale on Coast Highway that sawdust was used along the grounds to help keep dust down. It was then the press coined them the Sawdust Festival.

Artists get Star

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Tree booths are popular; Star Shields builds his booth around the pepper tree again this year

When the show reformed the following summer at what would be its permanent home, 935 Laguna Canyon Rd, the founding artists erected the first official Sawdust Festival sign.

The Sawdust Art Festival is open daily Friday, June 28 – Sunday, September 1, 2019.

Summer Festival Hours are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

(Festival will close early at 6 p.m. on July 4th.)

Tickets to the 53rd Annual Sawdust Art Festival are available for purchase before arrival. Allow two to five hours for online ticket sales to process. If planning to attend the same day, purchase tickets at the box office.

For tickets, go to www.sawdustartfestival.org.


Community Art Project presents opening reception for Expressions Grand tomorrow

Starting June 8 and showing through September 27, Community Art Project (CAP) will present Expressions Grand. The opening reception is tomorrow, Saturday, June 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited to come meet the artists and see their work up close and personal.

The CAP Gallery celebrates summer with abstract art in Expressions Grand, showcasing two remarkable Laguna Beach abstract artists, Elizabeth Bridy and Elaine Cohen.

Abstract art, not unlike the summer season, is pure fun. Swirling shapes, an array of colorful patterns, or maybe pure energy is what the viewers see. It is open to interpretation and only requires an open, inquiring mind. It gives you the freedom to explore the artwork and assign your own meaning to it.

Form, colour, line, texture, pattern, composition, and process are the formal qualities of abstract art: they describe what the art looks like and how it is created. Meaning is derived from how these formal qualities are used to create a visual, emotional, or cerebral experience.

The paintings by Elizabeth Bridy and Elaine Cohen feature abstract art consisting of bold colors, original designs, layered compositions, and the use of mixed media. Their art reflects passion, spontaneity, and emotional freedom.

Community Art pink

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Submitted photo

Elizabeth Bridy, “Jamais,” Mixed Media, 84” x 60”

Art has been a part of Elizabeth Bridy’s life since her youth. Growing up in Quebec, Canada, she was always fascinated by the seasons and the way the colors, textures, and materials could blend together to form something new and beautiful.

Bridy has studied various art mediums over the years, and her paintings have been displayed and collected locally and internationally. She has been particularly drawn to mixed media because of her desire to incorporate various materials on a blank canvas. She takes different aesthetics to create compositions that speak to the viewer in many ways.

Each layer tells a story. Each layer evokes a different emotion. The compositions of her mixed media works are layered with fabrics, magazines, clippings, charcoals, crayons, and acrylic paint. Colors, textures, and the overall composition define this artist’s emotions.

Born in New York, Elaine Cohen was raised in California. She first dreamed of becoming an artist when she was five years old. After raising a family and having a career in several fields, she eventually studied sculpture with Robert Cunningham, a former Artist-in-Residence at the Getty Museum.

Cohen has since received numerous commissions for sculpted and pencil portraits. She was the featured “Emerging Artist” on PBS White House Chronicles on three separate occasions. She has developed a passion for abstract art, which is completely different from the figurative sculptures she has created. She creates her paintings with mixed media, which consists of acrylic paint, found objects, ink, pastels, and printed materials. Her paintings are all original, no reproductions, and as she forms her creative process, she may take a few minutes or weeks or months to complete a painting.

CAP’s mission is to increase the visibility and appreciation of art and serve as a catalyst for art education. Ongoing exhibitions can be enjoyed at The CAP Gallery, in the unique Rotunda Gallery space located on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building, 260 Ocean Ave. 

Visit www.caplaguna.org for information about ongoing or upcoming exhibits, to be added to the email list, or to become a member and supporter of CAP. 

CAP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by the member supporters, the Festival of Arts Foundation, the lodging establishments, and the City of Laguna Beach.


LagunaTunes presents “Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles” with special guest star Jason Feddy

On Sunday, June 23 at 4 p.m., LagunaTunes Chorus (Laguna’s own all community, no-audition vocal group) celebrates the TV appearance of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 with “Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles.”

The program includes high-energy hits that make us want to dance, smile, and sing along, as well as a few poignant ballads and unforgettable melodies. Special bonus: an appearance by Jason Feddy, transplanted Brit and Laguna Beach Arts Alliance Artist of the Year. 

Feddy is well known for his entertaining Beatles programs, witty asides, and audience participation. 

The concert is in the Artists Theatre at Laguna Beach High School and it’s free!

LagunaTunes presents group

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

LagunaTunes performs again on June 23 featuring Jason Feddy 

LagunaTunes Director Bob Gunn also directs the St. Mary’s choir and Men Alive (the Orange County’s Gay Men’s Chorus). His Men Alive concerts have brought audiences to their feet all over southern California, across the U.S., and in Europe. 

New members are encouraged to join LagunaTunes, without fearing an audition. It’s a friendly and inclusive group, and singers of all training and experience levels are welcome. Some members read music, some do not, age levels cover a broad range, and all are united by a love of music. 

Emphasis is on fun, learning, improving performance skills, and the joy of group singing. After a few weeks of rehearsal, new members are typically surprised at how well they can sing.

LagunaTunes Chorus also presents another concert in December, with fall rehearsals starting September 16. Rehearsals are weekly, Monday nights (7 - 9 p.m.) at Thurston Middle School, 2100 Park Ave. Two or three Saturday practices are also held in preparation for the concert.

 LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone and presents two free concerts per year. The Festival of Arts Foundation and The Lodging Establishments and City of Laguna Beach provide funding. For more information, visit www.lagunatuneschorus.org or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The LBHS Artists Theatre is located at 625 Park Ave.


Laguna Craft Guild hosts local art show on Sunday at Main Beach

On Sunday, June 9, from 9 a.m. - sundown, the Laguna Craft Guild will hold an art show at Main Beach featuring local artists. There are always many treasures to be found at the show, you won’t want to miss it.

Laguna Craft vases

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

From art, clothes, and hand-blown glass vases…there’s an abundance of beautiful handmade goods to choose from

Laguna Craft Guild is a small group of local Laguna Beach artists that sell their handmade goods on the cobblestones at Main Beach one to two times a month. Many of them are also Sawdust Festival artists.

The show is very special and a fun way to spend a Sunday strolling along the boardwalk with friends, family, and pets while gazing at the ocean. The art show is kind of like looking for that perfect seashell along the shoreline. 

For more information, visit www.lagunacraftguild.org or follow on Instagram at @lagunacraftguild.


LagunaTunes receives $2,500 grant from FOA Foundation supporting music in Laguna

LagunaTunes Community Chorus, a local non-audition choral singing group, is pleased to announce a grant for $2,500 from The Festival of Arts Foundation. Thanks to this kind of community support, LagunaTunes Chorus is able to present two free concerts every year.

Under the direction of Bob Gunn, the sixty-member group rehearses on Monday nights at Thurston Middle School. This year’s June concert, “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles! “will be on Sunday, June 23, at Laguna Beach High School.

LagunaTunes receives group

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Submitted photo

LagunaTunes will perform again on June 23 at LBHS

LagunaTunes, a 501(c)(3) organization, accepts everyone who enjoys singing and learning about different musical styles. The chorus includes schooled musicians as well as non-musicians who just like to sing. Music genres have ranged from serious and traditional to pop, rock, and jazz.

The emphasis is on improving skills, learning to perform, and enjoying the experience.

For more information, contact LagunaTunes President Patti Jo Kiraly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.lagunatuneschorus.org.


Laguna Beach Chamber Singers presents Spring Concert on Sunday at Laguna Presbyterian

Laguna Beach Chamber Singers is ready to wow audiences once again with a Spring Concert this Sunday, June 2 at 4 p.m. at the Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church.

LBCS will be presenting one of the most eclectic concerts that they have offered, featuring the totemic, challenging yet intoxicating Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms (I, II, III).

Laguna Beach choir

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Courtesy of lbchambersingers.org

The talented Laguna Beach Chamber Singers will perform their Spring Concert on Sunday 

This is of particular interest to pianists of all ages, as the Stravinsky is not usually performed as 1-piano/4 hands with chorus – it’s a first, certainly in the SoCal area. They take on Verdi, and the choruses they will be singing are wonderfully representative of his genius. 

The Bernstein Broadway tunes are both familiar and not so familiar, with a piece specially arranged for the Chamber Singers, and will be a fun way to end this wide-ranging concert. The singers are planning a special intermission event so that concertgoers can emphatically say “the intermission’s great!”

For more information on the LBCS, visit www.lbchambersingers.org

The Laguna Presbyterian Church is located at 415 Forest Ave.

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