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Enjoy Sunset Serenades from your sofa

The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission Sunset Serenades series, due to start today, May 8 at Heisler Park, has been postponed. Due to perform was musician Geoff Pearlman, who has filmed a special performance from his home for the Laguna Beach community.

Pearlman has performed with many musicians including Shelby Lynne and Jakob Dylan. He was also featured with Dylan in the recent film Echoes in the Canyon, which celebrated the music of Laurel Canyon from 1965-67 and featured notable performers such as Eric Clapton and Tom Petty. Pearlman is also featured on the accompanying soundtrack.

Enjoy sunset Pearlman

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Photo by Jim Krantz 

Enjoy a special performance by Geoff Pearlman from your home

Arts Commission Chair Adam Schwerner said, “We are here for you and want to help the community recover in an appropriate manner, taking into account physical and social distancing, and present our Sunset Serenades series to you virtually in the safety of your homes. We hope to be together again with an exciting series in September.”

“Although we will all miss the beautiful setting of Heisler Park for our annual Serenades series, we will soon return, but in the meantime, we appreciate this personal and heartfelt message and performance by Geoff Pearlman,” added Arts Commissioner Karen Wood.

To watch the performance, click here.

Sunset Serenades is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

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No Square Theatre presents Mother’s Day mini-concert

Plans for your Mother’s Day brunch scrapped? Mom sitting at home in quarantine? No problem…No Square Theatre will present a day-brightener to help you show Mom that, virus or no virus, she’s still important to you! Your favorite performers from Lagunatics will present mom-themed songs from several popular musicals in a special online mini-concert on Sunday, May 10 at 10 a.m. 

Songs include “Mama, A Rainbow,” “Every Tear a Mother Cries,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “No One is Alone,” and more. Lagunatics fans will recognize veteran singers Ella, Kristen, Eric, Bree, Marc, Bridget, Rob, Paul, Jay, and Yvonne – who, like Cher, need only first names. 

No Square goats

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Goats crossing Laguna Canyon Rd during last year’s Lagunatics performance 

The dress code is casual. Pants are optional. But feel free to dress up if it will make you feel more festive. Bring your own mimosas and, for once in Laguna, parking is no problem.

P.S. Everyone is free to tune in, even if you’re not a mom!

To keep current with all the latest information, go to www.nosquare.org and sign up for No Square’s eBlasts. 

For additional information, visit www.nosquare.org

Sponsored by The City of Laguna Beach, Lodging Establishments and City of Laguna Beach, Yvonne and John Browning, Patrick Quilter, Dorene and Lee Butler Family Foundation, FOA Foundation, and Laguna Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund.

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Your Hero, My Hero, Our Heroes art installation by Robert Holton pays tribute to first responders

Laguna Beach artist Robert Holton reached out to the City’s Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl with an artistic way to say thank you to first responders, medical staff, and all essential business workers during COVID-19.

As seems appropriate for an arts community, Holton had a concept to revise his Super Hero’s Changing Station temporary sculpture installation at the red phone booth on Forest Avenue and make some artistic revisions to thank the real heroes of our time. 

“I felt as a community that it was incredibly important to thank those people who made sure we are safe and cared for during these incredibly anxious times. I have been an artist my entire life, the best way I can say thank you is through my art,” said Holton.

Your Hero artist

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Artist Robert Holton revises installation to thank first responders 

Arts Commission Chair Adam Schwerner said, “I can’t imagine a more appropriate way to say thanks in our art-filled city than with an artist designed tribute.” 

Super Hero’s Changing Station by Holton was installed in May 2019, funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. It is part of an entire program of temporary installations that include the current sculpture Camouflage House by Tom Fruin located outside City Hall. 

The original Super Hero’s installation included a fist coming out of the top of the booth, filled inside with superhero costumes. Early on Monday morning, Holton painted the fist blue and replaced the costumes with the uniforms of first responders and medical staff.

Your Hero building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

“Your Hero, My Hero, Our Heroes” is a tribute to first responders by artist Robert Holton

Arts Commissioner Donna Ballard added, “We are pleased to be honoring our first responders, who have worked selflessly to help all of us during this crisis. These men and women are true superheroes, and we thank them all!”

“I have been astounded by artists’ responses to the COVID-19 crisis. We are so fortunate as a community to express out thanks through art, our friendship and support through the sing-along with Jason Feddy, T.M. Rives allowing us to screen his film, David Zinn’s virtual chalk art installation, and artist contributions to the online coloring book – all have donated and volunteered their time. I shouldn’t be astounded, after all, we are Laguna Beach,” said Cultural Arts Manager Poeschl.

Robert Holton is an exhibitor at the Sawdust Art Festival along with his wife Marita, and lives in Laguna Canyon.

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Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin live streams on Sunday to benefit Laguna Playhouse

For the first time ever, on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10 at 5 p.m. PST, Hershey Felder comes to audiences with a live stream, from Florence, Italy with his hit production of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin!

To support some of his home theaters during these challenging times, Felder decided to do this special performance.

“We are very grateful to Hershey Felder and his dedication to the Playhouse and his fans by making this one-time-only event available to our patrons. Tickets to this production are entirely tax-deductible, so not only will our audiences have a wonderful time celebrating the very patriotic Irving Berlin on Mother’s Day, they will be supporting the Playhouse as well. It’s a wonderful two-for-one opportunity!” says Ellen Richard, Executive Director. 

Berlin gave America its voice 

In this tour-de-force performance, award-winning musician, actor, playwright, and producer Hershey Felder brings to life the story of one of America’s foremost composers. From the depths of anti-Semitism in czarist Russia to the streets of New York’ Lower East Side – and ultimately all of America and the entire world – this is the story of an immigrant boy who gave a country its voice.

Even if you don’t know Irving Berlin by name, you’ve heard plenty of his songs: “God Bless America,” “White Christmas,” “Easter Parade,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business” – the list goes on and on. Now you have the opportunity to experience the quintessential American composer through the performance of an immensely talented actor, pianist, and playwright. 

Hershey Felder piano

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

“Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin” live streams on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Felder has previously performed as George Gershwin, Beethoven, and Chopin, and in Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, he takes on the role of one of America’s most prolific and iconic composers. Felder’s masterful creation of character and performance features Berlin’s songs performed by Felder, as well as stories about Berlin’s life and how he created the music we still love today. Don’t miss this memorable show – hailed as “richly entertaining and ultimately touching” and a critics’ pick by the Los Angeles Times

A note from Hershey Felder

Dear Friends,

Over the past 25 years, the stages of many theatres across the United States have been my home for eleven out of twelve months each year. Yet, for the first time in all these years, I find myself at that elusive “home,” here In Florence, Italy, the place where the many things I have collected over the years live, and where the dog is king and allows me to visit from time to time. It was here in this city that the Piano and Opera were invented and the city was the centre of the Renaissance, where even today every molecule is still infused with art. It is a place that I had hoped, when all was said and done some years from now, would be the place where I could make music, write and create, and then simply fade away with the most beautiful sunset that ever was. I could never have imagined that it would be because of such world tragedy and sadness, that I would find myself at “home.” As otherworldly as it is here, I am still drawn to the many theatres that have given me homes over the years, and so together we have created a nationwide event paying tribute to America’s greatest songwriter, Irving Berlin. Proceeds from this event will benefit each of the many participating theatres throughout the nation. 

To present this event, we have recreated here in Florence the set of Irving Berlin’s home on Beekman Place in Manhattan, and we have a film crew that has been safe and in quarantine here in Florence. If you’ve seen the production some time ago, there is some new additional material that speaks to our times, as well as a few surprises. Because audiences always request the now infamous “audience encore,” we have even made it possible for you to ask your questions by cell phone text directly to me during the encore section, and I will answer live, just as I do in the theatre. And yes, we will be coming to you live from our stage at 1 a.m. in Italy, 5 p.m. on the West Coast, 7 p.m. in the Midwest, and 8 p.m. on the East Coast, in honor of the beautiful theatres across the nation, and in honor of all the Mothers on this unusual and special Mother’s Day. I look forward to seeing you then! 

The performance is available for a tax-deductible price of $50 contribution per household for viewing on Smart TV, computer, smart phone or tablet. Viewing will be available for an additional 72 hours post live performance. Once purchase is confirmed, participants will receive a confirmation email followed by a reminder email on the day prior to the event with a viewing link and an instructive video demonstration for viewing on your device. Participants will also receive a receipt from Laguna Playhouse for the tax deduction. The proceeds will benefit the Laguna Playhouse. To purchase, click here.

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Laguna Beach Live! reschedules annual Bluegrass & BBQ to Sept 13

Laguna Beach Live! happily reports that it has rescheduled its annual Bluegrass & BBQ concert to Sunday, Sept 13. The popular event will feature the acclaimed band The Barefoot Movement and locally-owned Gnarley BBQ, and will be staged outdoors on the pastoral campus of Laguna College of Art & Design. 

Laguna Beach band

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Submitted photo

Bluegrass & BBQ featuring The Barefoot Movement has been rescheduled to Sept 13 

Supporting local businesses, the event will also feature Laguna Beach Beer Company and Purple Corduroy Wines. Always a fun family time, this is sure to be one of the best events of the year as the community gathers together again to enjoy some wonderful music. 

To order take-out and delivery orders from Laguna Beach Beer Company, visit www.lagunabeer.com. For wines from Purple Corduroy, visit www.purplecorduroy.com

Save the date, tickets will be available soon at www.lagunabeachlive.org.

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Laguna Plein Air Painters Association launches LPAPA Strong & Positive Postcard Art Auction

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association launched its new LPAPA Strong & Positive Postcard Art Auction online today, May 5, to raise funds needed to help support LPAPA and its community of artists. 

This is a unique and fun auction where supporters have the opportunity to bid on an artist who will paint an original 5” x 7” LPAPA Strong & Positive Postcard. Upon auction close, the artist will be notified along with the winning bidder and the painting will begin. 

Laguna Plein Michael

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Submitted photo

Artist Michael Obermeyer 

The winning bidder will receive a one-of-a-kind original painted masterpiece with a personal message to them or a loved one that needs some positive in their life right now. The postcards are special paintable canvas paper that will be protected with a special envelope. 

The auction kicked off today and ends on Friday, May 15 at 5 p.m. PDT. Find our more about the auction via LPAPA’s social media campaign by following the hashtag #LPAPAstrong. Participating artists and supporters are positing their UNselfie photos to show their support.

Laguna Plein Jennifer

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Submitted photo

Artist Jennifer Diehl 

LPAPA is committed to not only survive the pandemic, but to find creative ways to help its artists so that they can care for themselves and their families. LPAPA believes that in these challenging times we all need to stand together to support one another. 

Over 100 artists from across the country have come together to support the LPAPA community – Michael Obermeyer, Jeff Horn, Zufar Bikbov, Mary Aslin, Jennifer Diehl, Daniel Marshall, Saim Caglayan, and Eric Rhoads, famed publisher of PleinAir magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, Outdoorpainter.com, Fine Art Today, Plein Air Today, and American Watercolor (just to mention a few of his accomplishments), make up just a few of LPAPA’s rock stars.

To learn more, visit the auction at site www.32auctions.com/lpapa-strong or LPAPA’s website at www.lpapa.org/lpapa-strong.

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Quorum Gallery celebrates Art Walk virtually

Quorum Gallery in North Laguna Beach will virtually celebrate First Thursdays Art Walk in May, on May 7, with the publication of a new online catalog. The catalog spotlights artwork by its member artists and is available at www.quorumgallery.com.

Established in 1963, Quorum Gallery is one of the oldest galleries in Laguna Beach and is operated by 13 resident artists. Said artist Annette Evans, “While the gallery is temporarily closed, we created the catalog to help keep us relevant, active, and connected in the Laguna Beach arts community.” The catalog was designed by resident artist E.E. Jacks and her husband Jeremy E. Grayson, an independent graphic designer.

Quorum Gallery Joan

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Submitted photo

Artist Joan Gladstone at her easel 

Since the gallery temporarily closed due to the state’s stay-at-home mandate, the artists, all Orange County residents, have sought creative ways to share their works and stay in touch with each other. They held their bi-monthly member meeting in March via Zoom. “As a new member of the gallery, this was a creative way to get to know the other members and keep ideas flowing,” said Laguna Beach resident and member artist Joan Gladstone. 

Quorum Gallery moonrise

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Submitted photo

“Moonrise, Laguna Beach” by Joan Gladstone 

Two of the ideas sparked by the Zoom call were a Paint Splash collaboration to offer new small original works priced at $90 and the virtual Art Walk catalog. The catalog features 42 works and profiles of each artist. “For many years, artists and visitors loved the opportunity to socialize during Art Walk,” recalled Evans. “We thought, now that we’re closed, how can we share our art and stay in touch? That’s how the catalog was born.” 

Quorum Gallery Morse

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Submitted photo

Resident artist Marilyn Morse 

Resident artist Marilyn Morse graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, began her career as a graphic designer and opened her own business. She found a new passion, painting, and enjoys sharing her emotional connection with her viewers. She described her oil painting, Ojai Fountain: “While spending time in Ojai I was drawn to this beautiful fountain in a garden setting. The way the morning sun moved across it was captivating and inspired me to paint a small study en Plein Air. I did a larger painting in my studio from the study and used a palette knife to add texture to the garden.”

Quorum Gallery fountain

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Submitted photo

“Ojai Fountain” by Marilyn Morse 

Joan Gladstone majored in drawing and painting at Boston University’s School of Fine Arts before switching to public relations and founding her PR firm. Her vibrant seascapes, landscapes, and portraits have been featured in more than a dozen juried fine art exhibitions. She serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Laguna College of Art + Design and is a member of several local arts organizations.

One of Joan’s contributions to the catalog is an oil painting, Moonrise, Laguna Beach. “I’m so very fortunate to see the ever-changing view of the sky and ocean from our home,” said Gladstone. “The full moon was incredibly bright on this winter evening. I liked the balance between the moon and a sliver of sunset over Main Beach.”

Quorum Gallery resident artists are: Jim Ellsberry, Annette H. Evans, Tim Genet, Ellen Gladis, Joan Gladstone, E.E. Jacks, Karl Kiefer, Kelly Lingel, Lisa Mansour, Marilyn Morse, Barbara Palmer-Davis, Gail Poltorak, and Emilee Reed, with Laurie R. Miller featured as a guest artist. 

For more information, contact member artist Joan Gladstone at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 633-9900. 

Quorum Gallery is located at 374 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach. The gallery’s phone number is (949) 494-4422.

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Donations for out-of-work musicians being raised by KX FM through #LiveFromHome

Laguna’s radio station KX FM recently launched a fundraising campaign to support gigging musicians who are out of work due to COVID-19. Called #LiveFromHome, 12 participating bands and solo artists performed a song on video, which was shared exclusively to KX FM’s Facebook page. 

Since the fundraiser began on April 23, the station has raised almost $3,000, 100 percent of which will be distributed evenly among the participating artists. 

Donations for Woods

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Steve and Beth Wood 

“People are talking plenty about restaurants, retail, and other businesses that are suffering due to the pandemic,” said station founder Tyler Russell McCusker. “But not enough folks are talking about musicians who are suffering, and many of them are the lifeblood of our artistic culture. This fundraiser is least we could do to utilize our reach to support them.” 

The donation campaign is still active, and you can support and view all the videos by visiting https://www.facebook.com/donate/727276464743495/

Donations for Churchill

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Courtesy of Facebook 

Zach Churchill 

The performing artists included Steve and Beth Wood, The Jacks, Love Ghost, Joey Sykes, Rhett Repko, Belle and the Dragon, Trapdoor Social, The Great North Special with Andrew Corradini, The Brevet, Lenelle Hamil, Paul Mars Black, and Zach Churchill. 

According to Russell McCusker, there is still a lot of participation interest from other artists, so the station may consider a second round.

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Playhouse thanks OC Heroes 

Playhouse thanks banners

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Courtesy of Laguna Playhouse

Laguna Playhouse shows its appreciation to frontline workers as part of its “Thank You Orange County Heroes” program. Find out more at www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

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Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin live streams on Sunday, May 10 to benefit Laguna Playhouse

For the first time ever, on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10 at 5 p.m. PST, Hershey Felder comes to audiences with a live stream, from Florence, Italy with his hit production of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin!

To support some of his home theaters during these challenging times, Felder decided to do this special performance.

“We are very grateful to Hershey Felder and his dedication to the Playhouse and his fans by making this one-time-only event available to our patrons. Tickets to this production are entirely tax-deductible, so not only will our audiences have a wonderful time celebrating the very patriotic Irving Berlin on Mother’s Day, they will be supporting the Playhouse as well. It’s a wonderful two-for-one opportunity!” says Ellen Richard, Executive Director. 

Berlin gave America its voice 

In this tour-de-force performance, award-winning musician, actor, playwright, and producer Hershey Felder brings to life the story of one of America’s foremost composers. From the depths of anti-Semitism in czarist Russia to the streets of New York’ Lower East Side – and ultimately all of America and the entire world – this is the story of an immigrant boy who gave a country its voice.

Even if you don’t know Irving Berlin by name, you’ve heard plenty of his songs: “God Bless America,” “White Christmas,” “Easter Parade,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business” – the list goes on and on. Now you have the opportunity to experience the quintessential American composer through the performance of an immensely talented actor, pianist, and playwright. 

Hershey Felder piano

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

“Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin” live streams on Sunday, May 10 at 5 p.m.

Felder has previously performed as George Gershwin, Beethoven, and Chopin, and in Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, he takes on the role of one of America’s most prolific and iconic composers. Felder’s masterful creation of character and performance features Berlin’s songs performed by Felder, as well as stories about Berlin’s life and how he created the music we still love today. Don’t miss this memorable show – hailed as “richly entertaining and ultimately touching” and a critics’ pick by the Los Angeles Times

A note from Hershey Felder

Dear Friends,

Over the past 25 years, the stages of many theatres across the United States have been my home for eleven out of twelve months each year. Yet, for the first time in all these years, I find myself at that elusive “home,” here In Florence, Italy, the place where the many things I have collected over the years live, and where the dog is king and allows me to visit from time to time. It was here in this city that the Piano and Opera were invented and the city was the centre of the Renaissance, where even today every molecule is still infused with art. It is a place that I had hoped, when all was said and done some years from now, would be the place where I could make music, write and create, and then simply fade away with the most beautiful sunset that ever was. I could never have imagined that it would be because of such world tragedy and sadness, that I would find myself at “home.” As otherworldly as it is here, I am still drawn to the many theatres that have given me homes over the years, and so together we have created a nationwide event paying tribute to America’s greatest songwriter, Irving Berlin. Proceeds from this event will benefit each of the many participating theatres throughout the nation. 

To present this event, we have recreated here in Florence the set of Irving Berlin’s home on Beekman Place in Manhattan, and we have a film crew that has been safe and in quarantine here in Florence. If you’ve seen the production some time ago, there is some new additional material that speaks to our times, as well as a few surprises. Because audiences always request the now infamous “audience encore,” we have even made it possible for you to ask your questions by cell phone text directly to me during the encore section, and I will answer live, just as I do in the theatre. And yes, we will be coming to you live from our stage at 1 a.m. in Italy, 5 p.m. on the West Coast, 7 p.m. in the Midwest, and 8 p.m. on the East Coast, in honor of the beautiful theatres across the nation, and in honor of all the Mothers on this unusual and special Mother’s Day. I look forward to seeing you then! 

The performance is available for a tax-deductible price of $50 contribution per household for viewing on Smart TV, computer, smart phone or tablet. Viewing will be available for an additional 72 hours post live performance. Once purchase is confirmed, participants will receive a confirmation email followed by a reminder email on the day prior to the event with a viewing link and an instructive video demonstration for viewing on your device. Participants will also receive a receipt from Laguna Playhouse for the tax deduction. The proceeds will benefit the Laguna Playhouse. To purchase, click here.

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