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Laguna Beach Community Concert Band presents Cinco de Mayo show

The pulsating beats of Latin rhythms will fill the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre on Sunday, May 5, celebrating Cinco de Mayo. All are invited to enjoy the musical program by the Laguna Community Concert Band and the Laguna Jazz Band, offered free to the public at 2 p.m.

Featured will be trumpet soloist George Karmazyn, insurance executive and principal trumpet in the band. After a formal musical education in New York including a Master’s degree from Julliard and years playing professionally in New York, he included other interests, but the trumpet was still his first love. 

Laguna Beach band

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Join the Laguna Beach Community Concert Band for a fun Cinco de Mayo performance

Trumpet classics will include “Mask of Zorro,” “La Virgen de la Macarena,” and a medley of Herb Alpert songs. 

Also featured will be Laguna Beach’s favorite soprano, Lisa Morrice, whose knowledge of Spanish complements this lively concert. The MC of the program will be the popular and multi-talented Pat Kollenda.

The Laguna Community Concert band has been a fixture on the Laguna Beach performing arts scene for almost 20 years. The conductors are Mark Lowery and Peter Fournier (associate conductor) who is also the conductor of the Laguna Jazz Band. 

This sister musical organization plays numbers that show the creativity of the members in well-known jazz standards. The jazz band plays in the second half of the Cinco de Mayo program.

For more information about the band, visit

The LBHS Artists Theatre is located at 625 Park St.

Laguna Art Museum announces Gala 2019 will be at FOA grounds

On Saturday, September 21, 2019, Laguna Art Museum will host its Gala 2019 from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at the Festival of Arts grounds in Laguna Beach. More than 350 guests will attend the new highlight of Orange County’s gala calendar in support one of the premiere museums of California art. The event promises performance art, dancing, exquisite wines, and fine dining crafted by celebrity chefs.

The museum will recognize longtime museum supporters and community philanthropists Jane and Joe Hanauer as the Honorary Chairs for Gala 2019, and will honor the acclaimed and beloved California artist Lita Albuquerque with its Wendt Award. Proceeds from the event will benefit the museum’s art education and exhibition programs.

Laguna Art Hanauer

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Honorees Jane and Joe Hanauer 

The Honorary Chairs for Gala 2019 are Laguna Beach residents and civic leaders Jane and Joe Hanauer. Even among the many individuals who have gone above and beyond in support of important causes in this city, Jane and Joe are exemplary. Both participate in the city’s arts organizations as trustees, tirelessly volunteering their time and expertise. 

Laguna Art Museum has been fortunate to count Jane as a Trustee for over eight years, fulfilling the critical role of Secretary of the Board. Joe has volunteered numerous times to the museum’s benefit and most recently has served as a vital advocate at the City, helping secure the four-year $1 million Matching Grant Program for both the museum and Laguna Playhouse. Because of this funding the museum has been able to make critical infrastructure improvements that will last for years to come. Joe also serves on the Board as a Trustee.

Lita Albuquerque is the Wendt Award recipient for 2019. Albuquerque has created an expansive body of work that ranges from painting, sculpture, poetry, and multi-media performances to large-scale ephemeral projects in sites around the globe. Active since the early 1970s, and often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, she has developed a unique visual and conceptual vocabulary using astronomical images, the earth, the body, color, motion, and time to explore human identity in its relation to the universal.

Laguna Art Lita

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Wendt Award recipient Lita Albuquerque 

Lita was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant for her Stellar Axis: Antarctica project, which culminated in the first ephemeral artwork created on that continent. In 2014 her outdoor performance An Elongated Nowwas was the centerpiece of Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature festival, complementing the installation Particle Horizon inside the museum. Since 2015, Albuquerque has served on the museum’s Board of Trustees.

The Wendt Award is named for the great landscape painter William Wendt, a leading light in the museum’s founding organization, the Laguna Beach Art Association. It recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to California art. Previous recipients of the award include Ruth Westphal, Wayne Thiebaud, Peter Alexander, Yvonne Boseker, and Tony DeLap.

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LAM’s Gala 2019 promises dancing, wine, art and more

The Gala 2019 committee is led by co-chairs Deborah Engle, Laura Rohl, Kristin Samuelian, and Leslie Weaver; and committee members Kathy Abel, Wendy Aird, Rick Balzer, Susan Davis, Michelle Fisher, Chuck Fry, Amy Fulford, Jane Hanauer, Betsy Jenkins, Lucetta Kallis, Lester Savit, Deborah Schlesinger, Marnie Wall, Blythe Wheaton, Lizanne Witte, and Susie Wood.

For more information, visit

Laguna Beach Live! presents Bluegrass & BBQ featuring The Miskey Mountain Boys, June 8

Tickets are on sale now for Bluegrass & BBQ presented by Laguna Beach Live! on June 8 at LCAD. Doors open at 4 p.m. for the BBQ and social hour and the concert is from 5 - 7 p.m. 

The Miskey Mountain Boys is a powerhouse act that combines virtuosic musicianship with heartwarming comedy to create an unforgettable evening for their guests. 

Featuring their signature sound, “Classgrazz,” they infuse traditional bluegrass with jazz, swing, and classical music by incorporating such innovative elements as bluegrass cello, duo style mandolin, high-energy slap bass, stellar flat picking, and soaring vocals.

Laguna Beach band

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The Miskey Mountain Boys will perform for an unforgettable and fun Bluegrass & BBQ event on June 8

The cost for concert-only tickets is $20 in advance for adults, $25 at door; and $10 in advance for children 12 and under, $13 at the door.

VIP tickets are available in advance only for $100, and include reserved table seating, the concert, and your choice of BBQ served at your table. 

General admission includes seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Chairs are provided. Barbecue and beverages will be sold separately. No outside food or beverages will be permitted.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit or call (949) 715-9713.

LCAD is located at 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Laguna Playhouse announces Hershey Felder, A Paris Love Story, opening May 8

Laguna Playhouse in association with Hershey Felder Presents is thrilled to offer a very special event production, Hershey Felder, A Paris Love Story, featuring the music of Claude Debussy, written and performed by Hershey Felder, and directed by Trevor Hay. Hershey Felder will open on May 8 and perform through May 19. 

Virtuoso actor and pianist Hershey Felder takes us on his own personal journey as he explores the life and music of Impressionist composer Claude Debussy. For decades Felder’s “Great Composer Series” has celebrated the brilliance of Beethoven, Berlin, Tchaikovsky, and more. 

In this glorious new production, he brings to life a visionary who proclaimed nature his religion, creating music of ravishing beauty, color, and compassion. From the sweeping La mer to the evocative Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, and the mystical Clair de lune, this soaring tribute will never be forgotten. 

Hershey Felder has played over 5,000 performances of his self-created solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and has broken box office records consistently. 

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Actor and pianist Hershey Felder 

His compositions and recordings include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano; and An American Story for Actor and Orchestra

Hershey is the adaptor, director, and designer for the internationally performed play-with-music The Pianist of Willesden Lane with Steinway artist Mona Golabek; producer and designer for the musical Louis and Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara, directed by Taylor Hackford; and writer and director for Flying Solo, featuring opera legend Nathan Gunn. 

Upcoming projects include a new musical based on the award-winning book Out on a Ledge by Eva Libitzky. Hershey has operated a full-service production company since 2001. He has been a scholar-in-residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music and is married to Kim Campbell, the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 11 at 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 18 at 1 p.m.’ and Sundays at 2 and 6 p.m.

Tickets range from $85 - $125 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling (949) 497-2787 ext. 229.  Prices are subject to change. 

The box office is open Mondays - Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is open until showtime on performance days.

The Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

7-year-old FOA Youth Art ceramist wins multiple national honors

The Festival of Arts is thrilled to announce that Fitz Gfeller, a 7-year-old ceramics student from the Festival of Arts Youth Art Classes, received multiple national honors and recognition for his piece titled “Master Fish.” 

The Orange County student was selected from hundreds of entries nationwide and received Honorable Mention from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), the ICAN Elementary Award, and a Bailey Pottery cash award.

“The Festival of Arts youth classes are a summer favorite for my children because of the amazing instructors,” commented Erika Gfeller, Fritz’s mother. “Fritz really connected with Marty because Marty encourages the kids to push limits, be creative, and to not be limited by what something ‘should’ look like. As the youngest of my four children, this experience has really made Fritz feel special and we thank Marty and the Festival of Arts team for that.”

Gfeller’s imaginative “Master Fish” mask is a ceramics piece he made in the Festival’s Youth Art Classes last summer (2018) with instructor Marty Barth. The class was Gfeller’s third ceramics class and he shared that his mask was inspired by “fish big and little and all colors of the rainbow.”

7 year old winner

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7-year-old FOA Youth Art ceramist Fitz Gfeller wins top national honors

Gfeller’s piece was awarded the NCECA Honorable Mention award and the 2019 ICAN Elementary School Award (given out to only one student out of over 500 entries). His mask stood out among the hundreds of art pieces submitted across the nation, and was also honored with a cash award from Bailey Pottery. “Master Fish” will be on display for the public to enjoy in the Junior Art Exhibit at the Festival grounds this summer.

In addition to the young artist’s enrollment in the youth art classes, the Gfeller family are regular attendees to the Festival of Arts and the different art programs offered each summer. Erika Gfeller recalled her son’s first Festival of Arts hands-on art experience when he was three years old, making prints at the Art Center 

“As a family, we love how art can grow us,” stated Gfeller. “The visual manifestation of imagination is the best part of the children’s art classes at Festival of Arts. We get to see what our kids dream about.”

Erika Gfeller adds, “Fritz will absolutely be returning to the Festival of Arts this summer, along with his three siblings. We are considering the new unlimited program (Art Explorers), because he is just so excited to make art.”

The Festival of Arts is now accepting reservations for Youth Art Classes, available July 8 - August 17, Monday through Friday from 1 - 3 p.m., open to children ages 5-12. In addition to ceramics, classes are available in painting, printmaking, assemblage, and more. Each youth art class is $20 per student. Ceramic classes are $30. Space is limited and reservations are required.

New this year is the Festival of Arts Art Explorers program. Purchase online for unlimited youth art classes all summer long. Other perks of the Art Explorers program include special VIP entrance passes, a kid’s art apron, gift shop discounts and more.

To sign up for Youth Art Classes or Art Explorers at the Festival of Arts, visit or call (949) 464-4234. 

The Festival of Arts Fine Arts Show will take place July 5 through August 31, at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Laguna Beach Live! presents Blues is a Woman on May 15

On Wednesday, May 15, Laguna Beach Live! presents Blues is a Woman at [seven-degrees] from 6 to 8 p.m., with social hour starting at 5 p.m.

Blues is a Woman blurs the boundaries between concert and theater, using storytelling and music to bring to life the colorful history of the bold and singular women who wrote and popularized the blues.

Laguna Beach ladies

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Blues is a Woman will bring to life the colorful history of the blues

Some of the names are well known – Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin – and others should be – Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, Memphis Minnie, and so many more. The voices of these women are vibrant, challenging, inspirational, and dynamic, and Blues is a Woman seeks to ensure that these women, their histories, and their message will be remembered and celebrated.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

A full bar and buffet menu is available for purchase starting at 5 p.m. when doors open for dinner and social hour. 

Reservations can be made at or by calling (800) 595-4849. The information line is (949) 715-9713.

[seven-degrees] is located at 891 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Third Street Writers releases newest anthology, Beach Reads: Paradise

Third Street Writers is thrilled to release Beach Reads: Paradise, its third anthology, at a public reading on Sunday, May 5 from 4 - 6 p.m. at Laguna Beach Books,. All are welcome to attend the festive event, portions of which will be broadcast live on KX 93.5. 

“We’re excited to share this year’s edition through our collaboration with the radio station,” says Third Street president Amy Francis Dechary. “Each image and story takes the reader on an adventure into unexpected places with intriguing people.” 

Chosen from submissions from throughout the country, the 43 selected entries include essays, short stories, poetry, and photography. The annual publication showcases works on universal topics that also reflect the unique qualities of Laguna Beach. 

Third Street bird

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Third Street Writers’ newest anthology, “Beach Reads: Paradise”

The Paradise theme builds upon the past two years of Beach Reads anthologies, which covered the topics of Lost and Found and Here Comes the Sun. “They say it takes an author three books to be considered a success. It’s so exciting to see Third Street Writers’ third book published,” says Christine Fugate, founding member and Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts Associate Professor. “I am very proud to be a part of the new wave of writers in Laguna Beach.” 

Longtime Laguna Beach artist Jennifer Griffiths, who designed the book’s cover, was impressed with the final publication. “This is a multi-layered and blissful journey through the works of a diverse group of writers. Each piece carries its own heart and soul.” 

The authors who will be reading and available for signing during the May 5 event include: Elaine Barnard, Michael Conlon, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Ris Fleming-Allen, Amy Francis Dechary, Christine Fugate, Anita Grazier, Susan Heiligman, Theresa Keegan, Victoria Kertz, Rina Palumbo, Dennis Piszkiewicz, Lisa Richter, Cecile Sarruf, Sarah Wolsey, and Gloria Zimmerman. Local poets Robin Hudechek, Ellen Girardeau Kempler, Sande Robert, and Britta Wilder will join them. 

Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event for $12.99 or can be ordered online at The nonprofit Third Street Writers group meets at the Laguna Beach Library on Mondays at 10 a.m. for group writing sessions, critiques of ongoing work, and professional development discussions. The group also sponsors writing workshops, public reading events, and community outreach to promote the art of writing.

Jacket description for Beach Reads: Paradise Paradise

The word “Paradise” conjures images of a place of beauty and delight. But often, it is the journey to or from paradise and the relationships we form along the way that creates the reality. This anthology of forty-three essays, short stories, poetry, and photographs explores the human quest for paradise. The perfect piece of pie. A hot summer fling in the holler. The crisp, unexplored pages of a new book. A child on a swing. The gathering of ball players on a glorious spring day. These things and more are part of the exploration and discovery of paradise in Beach Reads: Paradise.

Laguna Beach Books is located at 1200 South Coast Hwy.

Laguna Playhouse announces its 99th season of shows

Laguna Playhouse is excited to announce its 99th season of shows. Executive Director Ellen Richard comments, “Construction continues apace to update our Moulton Theatre in time for our centennial anniversary in 2020. Coupled with a spectacular season that includes three premieres, this will be a remarkable year for our theatre and community.” 

This summer, the party begins with the infectious music of Abba in the electrifying smash-hit Mamma Mia followed by the hilarious new Yoga Play. The fall will bring James Goldman’s landmark play, The Lion in the Winter

Laguna Playhouse Melanie

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Melanie Griffith will star in “Barefoot in the Park”

January ushers in a world premiere musical adaptation of To Sir With Love, followed by the return of Academy Award-nominee Melanie Griffith starring in Neil Simon’s hilarious Barefoot in the Park

Audience favorite Hershey Felder returns and stars in the world premiere of Anna and Sergei about famed composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. Emmy Award-winner Jayne Atkinson will star as Texas Governor Ann Richards in the Southern California premiere of the acclaimed play Ann

“Two world premieres, one Southern California premiere, Melanie Griffith, Hershey Felder and Jayne Atkinson! Our 99th year simply could not be more exciting and we are thrilled to bring so many exceptional theatrical experiences to our subscribers and audiences as we get ready to turn 100,” adds Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham.

Laguna Playhouse Jayne

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Emmy Award-winner Jayne Atkinson will star in “Ann”

Mark your calendars for these exciting shows for the Playhouse’s 99th season: Mamma Mia will play from July 5 - July 28 with press opening on July 7; Yoga Play will begin on September 25 and run through October 13; The Lion in the Winter will run from November 6 - 24; To Sir, With Love runs from January 29 - February 23, 2020; Hershey Felder returns in a world premier of Anna and Sergei, April 15 - May 3, 2020; Jayne Atkinson will star in the Southern California premiere of Ann, May 13  - June 7, 2020; and the Youth Theatre will perform I Never Saw Another Butterfly on October 18 - 27, 2019. 

Subscriptions to the Laguna Playhouse 2019-2020 season are now available.

7-Play Season Tickets range from $261 - $534 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling (949) 497-2787 ext. 229. 

The box office is open Mondays - Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days).

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Artists at work 

Artists at students

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Artists create on the spot at Grapes for Grads

LAM presents dance and art at First Thursdays Art Walk on May 2

Laguna Art Museum will host Laguna Dance Festival during First Thursdays Art Walk on May 2. Dancers from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will perform a dynamic display of dance at 6:30 and 7 p.m. 

First Thursdays Art Walk celebrates the diverse cultural art scene of Laguna Beach and is free to the public with participation by more than 30 member galleries. First Thursdays Art Walk is held on the first Thursday of every month from 6 to 9 p.m.

LAM presents dancers

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LAM presents a night of dance and art at First Thursdays Art Walk this week

Laguna Art Museum offers free admission from 5 to 9 p.m. on First Thursdays Art Walk nights and docents are available for tours. 

Now on view, Self-Help Graphics, 1983-1991 highlights a selection of prints from the East LA printmaking workshop and arts center that emerged from the Chicano movement of the 1960s; Titu, Nunu, and Klembelo: Helena Modjeska’s Fairy Tale Book reveals a handwritten manuscript with ink-and-watercolor illustrations; and Centennial Gifts: Recent Additions to the Permanent Collection features outstanding donations of art in recognition of the museum’s centenary.

For more information, visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

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