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Laguna Playhouse offers free tickets to Harvey this weekend to underage patrons

Thanks to the generosity of Suzanne and James Mellor, Laguna Playhouse is offering patrons age 21 and under two free tickets to Harvey this weekend, May 31 and June 1.

Harvey, a Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy by Mary Chase about a six-foot tall invisible rabbit, stars French Stewart (3rd Rock from the Sun, Mom) and real-life wife Vanessa Claire Stewart (Laguna Playhouse’s “Keely” in Louis and Keely: Live at the Sahara), and is directed by Playhouse veteran Andrew Barnicle.

“We could not think of a better play to end our 98th season with than Harvey, starring French and Vanessa Claire Stewart under the inspired direction of Andrew Barnicle,” said Playhouse Executive Director Ellen Richard.

Laguna Playhouse Mellors

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Courtesy of Laguna Playhouse

Thanks to the generosity of Suzanne and James Mellor, Laguna Playhouse is offering free tickets to “Harvey” this weekend to underage patrons

To take advantage of this free ticket offer, use the code 21UNDER!* when ordering online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com, or call (949) 497-2787 ext. 229.

There is a limit of two free tickets per order. A valid photo ID is required to pick up tickets at will call. Free tickets are not available for all performances or productions, just those tonight and tomorrow, on May 31 and June 1.

The free ticket offer is not applicable for previously purchased tickets and cannot be combined with other offers. When ordering online, be sure to enter the promotional code and click “submit” before choosing your seats. Ticket handling fees are added to all online and phone orders. Additional restrictions may apply.

Tickets for other patrons range from $60 - $85 and can be purchased at www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

Laguna Playhouse is at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Local favorite 133 band performs at Mozambique on Monday

On Monday, June 3, join together with friends for a night of rockin’ fun at Mozambique, as local favorite 133 band performs from 7 - 10 p.m.

The 133 band includes music director Steve Wood and his wife Beth (also of Honk), Jason Feddy, Missiles of October’s Poul Pedersen, lead guitarist Bob Hawkins, drummer Frank Cotinola, bass guitarist Alan Deremo, Nick Hernandez, and songwriter Clay Berryhill.

Local favorite 133 band

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Photo by Traci Pedersen

The 133 band putting on a lively show 

The band represents a mixture of diverse genres such as reggae, rock, and “Mad Englishmen.” They have an album in the works, and a video of them making it.

Mozambique is located at 1740 South Coast Hwy.


Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre presents Hamilton themed summer camps in July

The Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre will host an exceptionally creative two-week experience this July at the Laguna Playhouse, for youth entering grades 3 - 10. Youngsters are invited to join the Playhouse for two fun and educational two-week Musical Theatre Day Camps. 

Hamilton and Friends, which is for grades 3 - 5, will take campers on a time travel adventure with Alexander Hamilton and explore songs, scenes, and choreography from history based musicals. The camp is July 8 - 19, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Laguna Playhouse group

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Students can sign up to join the two-week summer camp at Laguna Playhouse

The Final Showcase will be performed on the Laguna Playhouse main stage on July 19 at 11 a.m.

Hamilton and Hansen in La La Land, for grades 6 - 10, includes singing and dancing to Hamilton, Dear Evan Hanson, and La La Land, with campers also creating their own material. The program is from July 8 - 20, Monday through Friday, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Laguna Playhouse acting

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Students enjoying Musical Theatre Day Camp

The Final showcase will be held on Saturday, July 20 at 11 a.m. at the Laguna Playhouse. 

Instructors for both camps are Care’n Chato (Choreographer), Bethanie Knieser (Acting), and Joseph Mulroy (Musical Director). 

Sign up online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com/youththeatre/summer-camps

For further information, call Bethanie Knieser (949) 494-8022. 

Partial Scholarships are available.


87th Annual Festival of Arts kicks off July 5 

The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show will celebrate its 87th year July 5 through August 31 here in Laguna Beach. Live music, hands-on art activities, exhibitions of local student artwork, and a wide variety of special events round out one of southern California’s favorite outdoor summer festivals.

The Festival of Arts is sponsored in part by Southern California Acura Dealers, Fidelity Investments, KOST Radio 103.5, San Diego County Credit Union, and the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.

The Festival has been rated one of the top festivals in the nation and each year hosts 140 of Orange County’s most talented artists. Recent accolades include PC Register’s Best Place to Buy Original Art, Art Fair Calendar’s Top Five Art Fairs in the West, and Top 5 Art Festival in the nation voted by USA Today readers.

“Avid art collectors and festival-goers will have an outstanding variety of fine art to browse and purchase as they walk among the artists displays,” says Marketing and Public Relations Director Sharbie Higuchi.

87th Annual event

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Photo by Lili Fassnacht

Patrons enjoying art at the Festival of Arts Laguna Beach

The Festival of Arts is a professionally juried fine art show featuring a diverse selection of artwork including paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry, and more from artists around Orange County. Since opening in 1932, thousands have shown and sold their artwork at the Festival and many have their work featured in the private collections of leading art collectors, celebrities, and museums around the world.

In addition to the variety of artwork, the Festival of Arts offers a wide range of daily activities that the whole family can enjoy. The calendar includes nightly live music, guided art tours, art workshops, and a weekly series including Concerts on the Green (sponsored by Cambria Estates Vineyard and Winery) and Art, Jazz, Wine, and Chocolate (sponsored by Charles Schwab). Several special one-day events will return this year, including the very popular Festival Runway Fashion Show and Family Art Day.

Fascinating and informative discussions with the Festival of Arts exhibitors will be held every Wednesday during Art Talks and Tea (sponsored by PBS SoCal). For families, Art and Story Time is a weekly series for children 5 and under. Every Monday will feature a different children’s book read aloud and a hands-on art project, along with special surprise visits from illustrators, book characters and more. Back by popular demand, weekly music series Tribute Tuesdays and Step into the Spotlight on Friday nights will return to the Festival of Arts entertainment lineup for 2019.

“Looking back at the original Festival of Arts in 1932, there was something for everyone to enjoy. That tradition continues today,” said Higuchi. “With beautiful art, nightly live music, workshops for all ages, and unique events, the Festival is truly a full arts experience.”

For more information, including the schedule of events and tickets, visit www.lagunafestivalofarts.org or call (800) 487-3378. 

Festival of Arts Grounds is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Laguna Beach Live! invites all to an afternoon delight at Bluegrass & BBQ on June 8

Enjoy a delightful afternoon of incredible bluegrass music and delicious BBQ on Saturday, June 8 at Bluegrass & BBQ presented by Laguna Beach Live!. 

Laguna Beach Live! is once again partnering with three very talented local companies to bring an even greater hometown experience. 

Laguna Beach Beer Company, established in 2014 by lifelong Laguna Beach residents, will be serving Tuava Guava (Hefeweizen) and Ruby St. (Grapefruit IPA). Purple Corduroy, a California culture inspired wine company produced by the three Bromigos, Dr. Riptide, SLi Dawg, and “Brandavi,” with a Laguna Beach-to-Lodi connection, will be offering Red Siren (Zinfandel) and Blonde Siren (Sauvignon Blanc). 

Gnarly Q will be there too, offering freshly smoked choices of Pulled Pork, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs, Tri Tip of beef or vegetable skewers (all plates include baked beans, baked corn mash, and Hawaiian style coleslaw).

Laguna Beach outside band

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Enjoy a delightful afternoon with live bluegrass music, beer, and tasty bites at Bluegrass & BBQ on June 8

Entertaining the crowd will be The Miskey Mountain Boys, featuring world-class musicians who have performed all over the worl  and at such events and venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, the Disney Studios, Pops Symphony Orchestras, The Tournament of Roses, and The United Artists Theater In Los Angeles. They have also been featured performers in radio, televisio,  and film, including The Academy Awards, A Prairie Home Companion, and HBO’s Big Love

Bluegrass & BBQ will be held on the pastoral campus of Laguna College of Art & Design, 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

The concert is from 5 - 7 p.m., with doors opening at 4 for BBQ and social hour. Concert-only tickets are $20 in advance for adults, $25 at the door. Children (12 and under) are $10 in advance, $13 at door. VIP tickets, available in advance only, are $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. Sorry, no outside food or beverages are permitted.

To purchase tickets, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (800) 595-4849. For more information, call (949) 715-9713.


Laguna Beach Live! hosts “Musical Petting Zoo” at Boys & Girls Club with LBHS Jazz Band students

Inspired and coordinated by Laguna Beach Live!, musicians from the Laguna Beach High School Jazz Band came to the Boys & Girls Club on Friday afternoon to give youngsters a chance to experience the feel and sound of instruments such as the violin, clarinet, and various saxophones. 

Laguna Beach instrument

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LBHS Jazz Band students shared the gift of music with Boys & Girls Club youth

Before allowing the instruments to be tried and “petted” by B&G Club attendees, the musicians, Elijah Dawson, Adam Retana, and brothers Will and Theo Coffey, demonstrated their instruments and talked about the joys and benefits of being in a band. 

At the end of the visit, club director Hans Laroche encouraged an impromptu performance by the band members, enjoyed by everyone at the club. Laguna Beach Live! hopes to bring the Petting Zoo back to the B&G Club on a regular basis.

Laguna Beach Live!, a nonprofit organization, strives to increase the awareness of and participation in diverse musical experiences, enhancing the reputation of Laguna Beach as a music town.

To this end, Laguna Beach Live! presents high-quality live musical performances that are accessible…affordable, intimate, and in our community. Education for our kids is a high priority too.

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


ART4KIDS, INC. receives $2,000 Grant Award from Festival of Arts Foundation

The Festival of Arts Foundation has awarded $2,000 to ART4KIDS, INC. to provide art materials for Laguna Beach children in distress. Since 2001, ART4KIDS, INC. has donated supplies of art materials to various Laguna Beach nonprofits that aid children. 

This year’s grant funds will be used to provide art materials to Waymakers Teen Shelter, Even Start Boys & Girls Club preschool, Laguna Beach Community Clinic, Laguna Art Museum’s children’s program, and Laguna Food Pantry. 

Funded by private donations and grant awards, ART4KIDS, INC., serves social service agencies in Orange County. Since its inception, ART4KIDS, INC. has helped 50,000 children – ill, hospitalized, abused, orphaned, or homeless children facing major life challenges.

ART4KIDS INC painting

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Photo by Pam Schader

A two-year-old chemotherapy patient carefully creates her first painting, using materials supplied by ART4KIDS

The value of the program is supported by research showing visual art to be one of the most effective modalities for processing trauma. 

Founder Pam Schader, M.A., has directed the nonprofit for 18 years. She commented, “ART4KIDS serves children at more than 50 Orange County social service agencies each year. We are striving to meet the demand for donated art materials. The message of ART4KIDS is that art is a life skill available to all at difficult times. Therefore we hope to increase our capacity to include ‘to go’ artpacks for the teen clients at the Waymakers shelter to take with them when they leave. We currently supply one Laguna agency with 45 artpacks per year but they have expressed their need for 250 per week!”

ART4KIDS provides workshops for children at the Braille Institute, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, and special needs classrooms. 

ART4KIDS, Inc. welcomes donors and volunteers to assemble artpacks, work at art booths and workshops, make handmade cards, and identify children in distress.

Learn more at www.art4kidsinc.org.


Local artists host fourth annual Art Show and Open Studio on June 1

Award-winning sculptor Ron Whitacre and author/artist Kathryn Lang-Slattery will be hosting their fourth annual Art Show, Open Studio, and champagne reception on Saturday, June 1, from 4 to 9 p.m. 

This exhibition will be held at their private residence on the intimate and historical Fredrick M. Lang estate in South Laguna. 

Local artists toast

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Ron Whitacre and Kathryn Lang-Slattery will host the fourth annual Art Show and Open Studio in their beautiful home on June 1

In Laguna Beach, Ron Whitacre’s best known work is “Harmony,” a large steel sculpture of a man, woman, and child, installed in 1998 over the entrance to the Art-A-Fair. 

Ron Whitacre will be available to discuss his process and his inspirations. His welded steel sculptural works are unusual in their fluidity and movement. 

Classic legends, mythical creatures, and the human figure in motion such as dancers, acrobats, musicians, and contortionists inspire him. In addition, his humorous greeter figures are popular with art collectors. 

Pen and ink drawings and pastel paintings by Kathryn Lang-Slattery will also be on display. 

Sip champagne, nibble chocolate treats, and enjoy the art. RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive address.


Community Art Project presents “Expressions Grand,” opening June 8

Starting June 8 and showing through September 27, Community Art Project (CAP) will present “Expressions Grand.” The opening reception is 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 Bridy

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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 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.orgfor 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.


First LagunaPalooza Concert this weekend will raise money for great causes

The first-ever LagunaPalooza Concert for Charity, featuring American Idol contestant Andrew Bloom, will raise money for Waymakers Laguna Beach Youth Shelter and the National 9-99 Police and Sheriff Foundation.

The concert takes place this Saturday, May 25, from 4 - 11 p.m. at HotelSeven4one in Laguna, and will include an open bar, gourmet cuisine, silent auction items, and other special entertainment to raise funds for the two worthy causes.

The 9-99 Foundation, which organized the event, is thrilled that Andrew Bloom will be headlining the show. Bloom, a pop and R&B guitarist and vocalist, counts among his influences Allen Stone, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and John Mayer. He was just 17 years old when he was a contestant on American Idol Season 14. (He is now 21.)

With an emphasis on resolving the crisis and providing long-term stability, Waymakers works with families and leverages community resources to create healthier situations at home. Waymakers Youth Shelters have touched more than 13,457 family members and served more than 5,317 at-risk Orange County youth since opening in 1979.

first laguna bloom

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American Idol contestant Andrew Bloom

The National 9-99 Police and Sheriff Foundation assists the law enforcement officers who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our community. Their bravery brings great sacrifices of career-ending injuries, post-traumatic stress, and line of duty deaths. The 9-99 Foundation is there for these heroes when they need it most, providing support, guidance, and relief to injured law enforcement officers and their families through financial aid and mental health.

The 9-99 Foundation Grant Recipient Justin Ellis is just one example of the wonderful work that the Foundation does to help law enforcement personnel.

“Thanks to the donation from the 9-99 Foundation, I was able to complete four physical therapy training sessions at REACT. These are two-hour sessions where I worked with two different trainers who pushed me towards a goal. Mine was to stand in my leg braces and build up my endurance & strength,” Ellis says.

“Due to me pushing myself and having this money to make these sessions happen, for the first time in two years I was able to stand without a walker in my leg braces for our family Christmas photos. This was an incredible experience for me, and for both my children and wife to see me stand after it being so long since I last stood. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

There are several opportunities for Lagunans to make a difference in the lives of local youth and law enforcement heroes. Tickets to attend the event can be purchased online for $150. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. The event organizers also appreciate donations and silent auction items. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 11683, Newport Beach, CA 92658 and checks made payable to The 9-99 Foundation.

For more information, visit www.lagunapalooza.org.

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