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You’re a Mean One, Courtney Finch opens at No Square Theatre on Dec 13

No Square Theatre announces a new musical, You’re a Mean One, Courtney Finch, by youth education director Ella Wyatt, who says, “Think A Christmas Carol but with SnapChat.” This production is directed by Ms. Wyatt with music direction by Susan Geiser and Roxanna Ward accompanying at the piano. Performances are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, December 13 - 15 at 2 p.m. 

You're a mean one

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

“You’re a Mean One, Courtney Finch” runs Dec 13 - 15 at No Square Theatre

The cast of talented youngsters and adults includes Malin Glade, Grace Gilchrist, Lila Goldstein, Kate Motherway, Giselle Basto, Charlie McClung, Claire McClung, Kelly Goldstein, Gary Greene, Jonah Goldstein, Lula Buckle, Elisa Camacho, Ravelle Haddy, Leah Turner, Luka Salib, Laura Buckle, and Ryan Haddy. Also featured are Claudette Basto, Quinn Butler, Story Bullington, Sarina O’Neill, Kate Hennessy, Hadley Hunt, Piper Hunt, Maris Morgan, Sophie Russ, Nathan Ryan, and Elise Schultz.

You’re a Mean One, Courtney Finch updates the traditional lessons conveyed in A Christmas Carol with contemporary characters, situations, and songs. Children and adults alike will enjoy the modern references, the music, and the timeless wisdom of the story.

For additional information on events, auditions, classes, and to purchase tickets, visit

No Square Theatre is located in the Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St, two blocks south of Laguna Beach High School.

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The adventure begins tomorrow at the Laguna Playhouse with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirates’ Christmas

Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham, Executive Director Ellen Richard, and Lythgoe Family Panto (LFP) are thrilled to announce that Lincoln Clauss (Broadway’s Bat Out of Hell) will star as “Peter Pan,” Dakota Lotus (Disney’s Coop & Cami Ask The World) will star as “John Darling,” Bryce Charles (Pasadena Playhouse Ragtime, The Book of Mormon) will star as “Wendy Darling,” Ben Giroux (Back to the 90s, Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger) will star as “Smee,” and Clarice Ordaz (So You Think You Can Dance) will star as “Tiger Lily” in Lythgoe Family Panto’s Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirates’ Christmas, written by Kris Lythgoe, with choreography by Kitty McNamee, musical direction by Doug Peck, and directed by BT McNicholl. 

They will join the previously announced TV and Broadway actor John O’Hurley (Seinfeld, Dancing with the Stars, Broadway’s Chicago) starring as “Captain Hook” and Ashley Argota (Laguna Playhouse’s Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose) starring as “Tinker Bell.” 

The adventure pirates

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“Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirates’ Christmas” opens at the Playhouse tomorrow (Dec 4) 

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirates’ Christmas will begin performances on Wednesday, Dec 4 and run through Sunday, Dec 29, with a press opening on Thursday, Dec 5 at 7 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse. 

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirates’ Christmas is a singing, swashbuckling adventure performed in the high-flying style of a British holiday Panto. Take off on a wild quest with Tinker Bell, Wendy, and Peter Pan as they try to put a stop to the plot of some dastardly pirates who plan to kidnap Peter as a present to Captain Hook. Filled with big laughs, magic, dancers, and contemporary songs by everyone from Taylor Swift to The Bee Gees, this family show has a little bit of something for everyone.

Performances are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 7 p.m, and Saturdays and Sundays at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. 

There will be added performances on Thursday, Dec 12 at 11 a.m. and Saturday, Dec 14 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.; Sunday, Dec 22 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.; Monday, Dec 23 at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.; and Thursday, Dec 26 and Friday, December 27 at 3 p.m.

Tickets range from $41 - $76 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 subject to change.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

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Local artist Kate Lyons to be featured for Artwalking on KX 93.5 on Thursday

Laguna artist Kate Lyons Landry is to be the featured guest this Thursday, Dec 5 on Artwalking radio on KX 93.5. Lyons will be sharing her interests working with children, art, and environmental issues.

 As a graduate of College of the Holy Cross, Kate holds a Master’s of Education and is a seasoned art educator. She has taught both abroad and locally in the public and private sector. She graduated from LCAD with a Master’s of Fine Arts. 

Local artist Lyons

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Tune into KX 93.5 on Thursday to hear Kate Lyons on Artwalking 

Recently Lyons traveled to San Jose del Cabo as an artist in residence sponsored by the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association, working with the local Mexican students from San Jose del Cabo. 

The project is the largest bottle cap mural in Mexico intended to decorate a wall of a new youth center built on the remains of a trash dump. Kate is passionate about community driven art and recently returned from a “Surfboard Repurposing” project there where students designed and painted discarded boards.

Arwalking is co-hosted by Leah Vasquez, artist and creative editor, with Craig Cooley, and is sponsored by Coastal Eddy a Gallery. 

To download podcasts of this and prior interviews with Laguna’s extraordinary creative talent, visit Listen in live on Thursday on the air or at

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Laguna Beach Live! announces Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series lineup

Laguna Beach Live! is pleased to return to [seven-degrees] for Winter 2020 and to present another great line up of outstanding artists. Tickets are on sale now to members and to the public.

Kicking off the new decade is the acclaimed John Jorgenson Quintet on January 22 with some dynamic Gypsy Jazz and 21st century world music. 

Laguna Beach band

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The John Jorgenson Quintet kicks off Laguna Beach Live!’s Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series on Jan 22

Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series runs from January 22 through April 15, featuring some special favorites and some exciting new groups.

On February 12 is Grammy Award-winning drummer Peter Erskine Trio, followed by Black Market Reverie on February 26 and Jazz & Blues legend Barbara Morrison on March 11. 

Celebrated Latin Jazz flutist Danilo Lozano performs on March 25 and renowned trumpeter Bijon Watson and acclaimed vocalist Meloney Collins pay tribute to Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong on April 8. The series ends on April 15 with critically acclaimed vocalist Kathleen Grace Quartet.

Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, and $180 for the full season.
Concerts are at [seven-degrees] 891 Laguna Canyon Rd and are from 6 to 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 and a full bar will be available. [seven-degrees] is offering a choice of different delicious dinners at each concert that is available online by pre-sale only. 

To purchase tickets, visit or call (800) 595-4849.

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Laguna Art Museum presents Lunchtime Lecture on Dec 4 

On Wednesday, Dec 4 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Laguna Art Museum presents its next Lunchtime Lecture. 

Julia Friedman will discuss “Impressionist Landscape: 1860s to 2019” in this lecture in a series on landscape in Western painting from the 1800s to the present day.

Laguna Art painting

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Claude Monet, Impression, Sunrise, 1874, oil on canvas, Muse Marmotton, Paris

The impressionist revolution that began sometime in the late 1860s showed a whole new way of representing nature. Optical perception and observation-based painting took over memory and concept.

Cutting edge and controversial at first, impressionist technique turned into a style as the century turned, creating a school of plein air landscape that continued to thrive alongside unceasing innovations within the genre.

Tickets are $25, or $20 for museum members. Advance tickets are recommended.

To purchase tickets, visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

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Community Chorus to present Holiday Lights concert


LagunaTunes will perform its second concert of the year at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec 15 at the Artists Theatre on the Laguna Beach High School campus.

Admission to “Holiday Lights” is free. Concertgoers might want to find a seat early. The audience at the spring concert overflowed onto the steps leading down to the stage. 

 “Holiday Lights” will include familiar and newly arranged holiday favorites and some off-beat tunes such as “Ugly Christmas Sweaters,” said soprano Diane Kloke, a member of the chorus since 2009.

The performance will be directed by Bob Gunn, artistic director of MenAlive Gay Men’s Chorus since 2018, who also serves as music director at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Park Avenue and has directed LagunaTunes since 2012. 

LagunaTunes has been providing entertainment for music lovers since 2003. The group’s mission is to provide local residents with the opportunity to learn and perform music together. All ability levels are welcome. No auditions are held. Fast-paced, mood-lifting rehearsals are accompanied with laughs.

Community chorus 2018 performance

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Courtesy of LagunaTunes

Previous LagunaTunes Holiday Concert

The group gives two concerts a year. The limited number is understandable when you learn an estimated 26 rehearsals were held for the spring concert. 

Sawdust Festival jeweler Patti Jo Kiraly was the founding president, an office she still holds.

 Arts Commissioner Pat Kollenda, Lisa Morrise, and No Square Theatre performer and music teacher Roxanna Ward were founding members. Ward was the first director. 

“We began with seven members,” said Kollenda. “Only one of them was a man, and we couldn’t let him quit.”

Three of the 13 current board members are men: Jacoby Hickerson, Jay Recherter, and Ed Hanke. Hanke’s wife Kathy is also a member of the board. They are the only married couple in the chorus.

Also on the board: Angela Irish, Rebecca Bishop, Robin Casselman, Patti Columbus, Rebecca Lyles, Alice Harmon, Kathy Robbin, and Regina Hartley.    

The group rehearses at 7 p.m. Mondays at Thurston Middle School. 

LagunaTunes is a nonprofit organization and is sponsored by the Festival of Arts and the Business Improvement District, a collaboration of Laguna’s lodging establishments and the city.

Artists Theatre is located at 625 Park Ave.

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Laguna Canyon Artists will hold holiday open studios and art sale Dec 7 & 8

Dozens of artists who work in the studio spaces at Laguna Canyon Artists will open their doors for conversation, refreshments, and sales of original art on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Laguna Canyon Judi

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Painter Judi Smolin is among featured artists 

Visitors are invited to stroll through 27 art studios to talk with artists and view their works that represent a wide range of mediums: drawing and painting, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, photography, assemblage, and more. 

Admission and parking in the building’s courtyard are free. Most of the artists accept credit cards as well as cash and checks.

Laguna Canyon Tom

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Artist Tom Swimm will also be featured 

Artists opening their doors for the weekend include: Elizabeth Bridy, Cynthia Britain, Lyn Burke, Bruce Burr, Hedy Buzan, Sandra Jones Campbell, Marianne Champlin, Elaine Cohen, Lani Emanuel, Michael Ervin, Shelley Evans, Adrienne Fayne, Paul Gardner, Vicki Gumm, Teresa Hill, Phillipe Horvath, Kathy Jones, Michael Obermeyer, Lorraine Passero, Sheryl Smith Seltzer, Betty Shelton, Michael Situ, Judi Smolin, Tom Swimm, Cheyne Walls, Wendy Wirth, and Karin Worden.

Laguna Canyon Artists is a creative collective of private studio spaces where artists can work and interact as a community. Follow Laguna Canyon Artists on Facebook for updates.

Laguna Canyon Artists is located at 3251 Laguna Canyon Rd.

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Help artists in need by staying at the Surf & Sand

Surf & Sand Resort is offering a special promotion that supports local charity The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts. Guests will enjoy 40 percent off the best available rate for bookings purchased on Giving Tuesday, December 3. Ten percent of each purchase will be donated to The Artists Fund. 

Top rated by Conde Nast and Travel + Leisure Magazine, Surf & Sand Resort is noted for its spectacular shorefront setting, easy beach access, soothing Aquaterra Spa, luxury amenities, and walkable Laguna Beach location.

Help artists outside

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Surf & Sand presents special promo to support The Artists Fund at FOA 

 The Artists Fund provides aid to artists suffering hardship from disaster, medical necessity, or other unforeseen hardships. “We are extremely grateful to Surf & Sand Resort, and all those who buy on Giving Tuesday,” said Wendy Wirth, Artists Fund President. “This campaign will help ensure that our working artists stay healthy and productive and honor the legacy of Laguna Beach as an artist’s colony.”

To purchase on December 3, call (844) 679-4689 or visit

The promo is valid on stays through March 31, 2020. Blackout dates and some restrictions apply.

To learn about The Artists Fund, visit

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Festive Festival 

Festive Festival outside

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Festival of Arts gets in the holiday spirit

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Sawdust Festival dons its holiday duds and transforms into a Winter Fantasy


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Everywhere you look, there’s magic. For 29 years, the Sawdust Winter Fantasy has been a holiday tradition, and the enchantment hasn’t waned.

A little boy runs past me, eyes wide, exclaiming with delight, “There’s a Christmas tree, there’s another one. There are Christmas trees everywhere!”

In the newly designed Towne Square area, there are trees galore, decorated in bright ornaments of every color and design – along with Santa’s House, a sleigh, a gingerbread house, and even snow. It’s as if a wizard has cast a spell on the Sawdust Festival, restaging it into a Winter Wonderland.

Have your picture taken with Santa or in his sleigh, and listen to music from three different stages, dine at the numerous restaurants, or participate in a workshop. There is something for everyone.

Sawdust Festival sign

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Sawdust Festival has a new window

The Winter Fantasy features 180 artists from all over the country. Unlike the Summer Festival, the Winter Festival doesn’t require that exhibitors live in Laguna.

Right next to the Santa pavilion area, with a ringside seat to the excitement, is Trevor LePenske’s Jewelry booth with boxed gift sets on display. He’s been exhibiting for five years at both the summer and winter events.

Trevor says, “Opening weekend of Sawdust Winter Fantasy was fantastic. It’s a wonderful feeling walking through the gate to find Laguna’s own winter wonderland, a beautifully decorated marketplace filled with holiday cheer, great entertainment, and artisans working on their craft. I’m looking forward to four more weekends of this magic.” 

Diane Valentino of Mysdiva Designs has been exhibiting for several years. Her hats and purses are favorites. She says, “Our first weekend was so good...thankful for all who came out to enjoy and support us as artists and very small business owners. Winter Fantasy is a fabulous way to share the spirit of the holidays with friends and family. Four more weekends to go!”

Sawdust Festival Towne Square

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Newly designed Town Square 

Linda Ward, who does ceramic sculptures, has a wide variety of Christmas ornaments, every animal you could think of, and if she doesn’t have it, she’ll make it for you. She’s paid for two trips to the Amazon with the sale of her unicorn ornaments. 

It’s the fourth year for jewelry designer Alejandra Velazquez, who has painted an array of giant poinsettias on her booth. “I’ve won twice for best decorated booth. I want to win again to make it three.” 

Robert Holton, whose public art installation Changing Station is in the red phone booth downtown is exhibiting next to his wife Marita of AristoKrown (custom headpieces and accessories). Holton says, “This is my sixth year at the Winter Festival and my wife’s third time. We love it.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit. Winter Fantasy is open November 29, 30, December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 20, 21, and 22 from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. at the Sawdust at 935 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For all activities and information, go to

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