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Laguna Playhouse to honor Hershey Felder at May 18 gala

On May 18, Laguna Playhouse will honor an artistic icon, Hershey Felder, for his commitment to Laguna Playhouse, bringing original content and performing to sold-out audiences for a decade, and for his work to keep regional theatres, such as Laguna Playhouse, alive and vibrant across the world. 

This year’s gala, co-chaired by Trustees Lisa Hale and Glenn E. Gray, will begin with a VIP reception where Hershey Felder and special guests will perform in front of an exclusive intimate audience. 

Hershey Felder is an accomplished pianist, performer, playwright, producer, and director. He has staged over 4,700 performances of his unique solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres. 

Laguna Playhouse group

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Photo by Chuck Weinberg

Hershey Felder with Aviva and Fred Forster at previous Laguna Playhouse event

Felder has portrayed many world-renowned composers such as George Gershwin, Fryderyk Chopin, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, bringing both their music and their stories to life. 

Hershey is also the writer and director for the internationally performed play-with-music The Pianist of Willesden Lane, based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane; the producer and designer of Louis and Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara, directed by Taylor Hackford; and writer and director for Nathan Gunn Flying Solo.

“Hershey Felder is a unique talent that transcends traditional theatrical boundaries putting the roles of artist, writer/composer, and director into that of one. He is no less an internationally acclaimed World Treasure, and we are proud to be able to honor him on this special evening,” said Ellen Richard, Laguna Playhouse Executive Director.

The evening’s program will also feature a performance by Hershey Felder and a heartfelt tribute to him. The gala will conclude with live music and dancing. Nearly 400 are expected in attendance at the gala. Last year, the Orange County Business Journal named the gala in the top five net fundraising galas in Orange County. 

More on the gala can be found at www.lagunaplayhousegala.org

Laguna Playhouse will also conclude its renovation of the historic Moulton Theatre in May celebrating 50 years since it was built, and will celebrate its Centennial Season in 2020-2021.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
opens this weekend

Laguna Beach High School Drama and Park Avenue Players return to the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre tonight, Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m., with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The musical is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers, and the coat of many colors. The show will continue on March 16, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m., and on March 17 and 24 at 2:30 p.m.

The musical follows preferred son Joseph who, after being sold into slavery by his brothers, ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the amorous advances of Potiphar’s wife. 

LBHS Drama school

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Join LBHS Drama and Park Avenue Players for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” opening this weekend

While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled, Elvis-inspired, Pharaoh. Joseph’s solution to Egypt’s famine elevates him to Pharaoh’s right-hand man and reunites him with his family.

The company of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” includes more than 50 Laguna Beach High School student cast and crew members and 12 students from El Morro Elementary, Top of the World Elementary, and Thurston Middle School in the children’s choir. 

The musical is directed and choreographed by guest artist Paul Nygro. A veteran performer, Nygro has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in productions across the globe. His credits as a producer, director, choreographer, and actor span a range of mediums, including theatre, film, and television.

“Paul’s (Nygro) energy is infectious. He dives into projects with passion, commitment, and creativity,” said Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School Drama Teacher and Director, Alexis Karol. “We are grateful that amidst his many professional commitments in Los Angeles he is willing to share his talent and skill with our Laguna Beach High School students,” she concluded. 

Tickets are on sale  at lbhs.booktix.com. Tickets are $12 for students, $17 for adults, and $22 for premium. 

Laguna Beach High School is located at 625 Park Ave.


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opens this weekend

Laguna Beach High School Drama and Park Avenue Players return to the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m. with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The musical is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers, and the coat of many colors. The show will continue on March 16, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m., and on March 17 and 24 at 2:30 p.m.

The musical follows preferred son Joseph who, after being sold into slavery by his brothers, ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the amorous advances of Potiphar’s wife. 

LBHS Drama school

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Join LBHS Drama and Park Avenue Players for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” opening this weekend

While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled, Elvis-inspired, Pharaoh. Joseph’s solution to Egypt’s famine elevates him to Pharaoh’s right-hand man and reunites him with his family.

The company of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” includes more than 50 Laguna Beach High School student cast and crew members and 12 students from El Morro Elementary, Top of the World Elementary, and Thurston Middle School in the children’s choir. 

The musical is directed and choreographed by guest artist Paul Nygro. A veteran performer, Nygro has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in productions across the globe. His credits as a producer, director, choreographer, and actor span a range of mediums, including theatre, film, and television.

“Paul’s (Nygro) energy is infectious. He dives into projects with passion, commitment, and creativity,” said Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School Drama Teacher and Director, Alexis Karol. “We are grateful that amidst his many professional commitments in Los Angeles he is willing to share his talent and skill with our Laguna Beach High School students,” she concluded. 

Tickets are on sale  at lbhs.booktix.com. Tickets are $12 for students, $17 for adults, and $22 for premium. 

Laguna Beach High School is located at 625 Park Ave.


Live! at the Museum presents SAKURA cello quintet on Thursday

Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Art Museum are proud to present the talented cello quintet SAKURA on Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m.

A unique and versatile cello quintet, hailed as “brilliant” and “superb” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, SAKURA is built on the artistry and virtuosity of its members: Michael Kaufman, Benjamin Lash, Gabriel Martins, Yoshika Masuda, and Peter Myers. 

Live at Sakura

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Enjoy a night of captivating music with SAKURA on Thursday

SAKURA explores great music of the past through dazzling arrangements that offer fresh perspectives on familiar notes, and continually expands the five-cello repertoire into the future by commissioning new works. In the tradition of the great chamber ensembles, the quintet distills its interpretations through time, reveling in the pure sonic pleasure of a unified and colorful sound.

Live! at the Museum is a partnership between Laguna Art Museum and Laguna Beach Live! and is generously sponsored by Compass.

Tickets are included with museum admission ($7 for adults and $5 for seniors or students), however advance reservations are recommended due to limited seating and can made here. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


Laguna Playhouse presents seven-day Dublin Theatre Festival Tour, October 1-7, 2019

Theater buffs can experience an extraordinary seven-day trip to see the best of Irish and international theater at the Dublin Theatre Festival with insider access in an intimate group with an experienced tour guide. The trip takes place October 1-7, 2019.

Doug Vogel of Laguna Playhouse says, “The tour idea came about because Helen Rigby of Dramarama Theater Tours used to work for Playhouse Executive Director Ellen Richard at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and used to lead these trips for donors at ACT. Now she independently offers them and came to us with this opportunity for Dublin. There is a Dublin Theatrical Festival going on during this time, so that is the rare opportunity to experience the festival through a knowledgeable theatre guide. I believe this is the first of this kind for Laguna Playhouse and we are hopeful that patrons will want to attend.”

Laguna Playhouse Abbey

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Submitted photo

Historic Abbey Theater

Rigby explains how she became a theater tour guide, “I was first enamored of combining my two passions, theater and travel, when I spent five days in Dublin, Ireland, with a book club, in 2008. It wasn’t even ‘my’ book club, but I met the leader at a party and she invited me to join the group. Having never been to Dublin, I thought, why not? When my boss, the executive director of the theater where I was currently Director of Development, heard about my plans, she said she would like to join me…and by the way, did I know that the Dublin Theatre Festival was going on while we would be there? I didn’t – but when I looked it up, I was fascinated by the myriad choices of performances and booked as many as I could possibly fit into a five-day jaunt. We never saw the book club members, but we did see two performances a day and three shows on one day (which made it really hard to remember which one was which!). We toured Dublin’s historical sites, ate food that surpassed any ideas of “Irish food,” drank numerous pints and Irish coffees and saw fresh new works as well as classics. I was hooked. Travel and theater – that is what I want to do!” 

Tour highlights

This tour offers theater access in a small group in the hip and historic city of Dublin, Ireland. Guests will enjoy performances at the Dublin Theatre Festival, including shows at the historic Abbey and Gate Theaters, plus talks with visiting guests led by a knowledgeable artistic guide. From the quaint hotel located in the city center, attendees will explore Dublin on a guided walking tour, take a day trip into the Irish countryside, enjoy fine dining and shopping – all offered with a dash of wonderful Irish hospitality.

Tour highlights include: Six nights at the treasured Buswells Hotel, complimentary Irish breakfast at the hotel each morning, five to seven productions featured at the Dublin Theatre Festival, discussions with festival artists led by a theatre professional, backstage tours, private chats with actors, directors, and other guest artists, post-show discussions, welcome and farewell dinners at fine restaurants (plus additional dinners), a guided tour of Dublin, hosted dinners at some of Dublin’s best restaurants, accompanied by Laguna Playhouse staff and led by a seasoned tour director, Helen Rigby.

Laguna Playhouse countryside

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Submitted photo

Tour of the Irish countryside is a trip highlight 

Why these tours?

Rigby says, “Each tour meets with guest artists in discussions led by knowledgeable artistic guides, who also lead post-show discussions. This tour season we met with the two actors in the cast of Indecent, the director of Downstate (and the new artistic director of ACT in San Francisco) and a group of five young actors working (or not working) in Chicago. In Dublin we were treated to a discussion with Richard in Richard the III, Polonius from Hamlet and the playwright of Rathmines Road. Each discussion brought us more understanding of the thought and creative talent that is involved in ‘putting on a show.’” 

She adds, “And the big one: the patrons on my tours are theater aficionados. They love theater. They attend theater, they enjoy talking about theater and sharing their opinions about theater. Somehow, every single time, the group becomes a family of wine drinking, loud laughing, discussion hungry theater critics.”

Deeper understanding of theatre

“We hope that this trip will help facilitate a deeper understanding of theatre for many of our patrons who wish to take the journey with us and a greater sense of what theatre means to the Dublin community and what it could mean to our community,” says Vogel.

 The cost is $4,450 per person, double occupancy, and $5,250 for single occupancy. There is an early bird discount of $200 for reservations made before April 5, 2019. The tour group is limited in size, so places should be reserved. Reservations require a $1,000 per person deposit, along with a completed and signed reservation form, which will reserve a place for each participant(s) on this program. The balance of the trip is due on or before July 15, 2019.

For more information, contact Doug Vogel at (949) 497-2787 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Helen Rigby at (510) 350-7675 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Pageant of the Masters to hold additional casting call on Thursday

Can you stand still for 90 seconds? Perfect, you could be a volunteer cast member in the 2019 Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. The Pageant of the Masters will hold another casting call on Thursday, March 14 from 6:30 - 9 p.m. 

The team behind the world’s most famous presentation of living pictures is in search for men, women, and children of all sizes and ages to be cast members for this summer’s Pageant of the Masters, The Time Machine.

 “I’m thrilled that we can offer another opportunity for folks to get a look backstage at the Irvine Bowl and sign up to be a volunteer cast member for the Pageant,” comments longtime Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy. “I especially wish to invite the ‘locals’ who have never seen our wonderful amphitheater and facilities.”

Pageant of the kids

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Submitted photo

All ages are invited to volunteer in the 2019 Pageant of the Masters 

Volunteering for the Pageant of the Masters is a terrific way for people of all ages to spend their summer, and it is common to see several generations of the same family volunteering for different aspects of the show. Additionally, students can earn credit towards community service requirements.

“Back when the Pageant started in the 1930s, all the volunteers lived right here in Laguna Beach. Today, they come from all over Southern California,” Davy continues. “The production staff and creative team are looking forward to offering new-comers a warm welcome.”

The Pageant of the Masters casting call is an exciting experience for all involved. Prospective volunteers will be measured and photographed, enjoy refreshments and meet the behind-the-scenes Pageant staff. No theater experience is necessary. The only requirement is the ability to stand still and have fun.

Pageant volunteers are also needed for positions in the wardrobe, make-up, and headdress departments, as well as, cast area coordinators and refreshment servers, among other positions. 

The casting call will be held at the Irvine Bowl Park at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information on volunteering, call (949) 464-3663.


Laguna Beach Live! presents Kristin Korb Trio tomorrow at Jazz Wednesdays at [seven-degrees]

Tomorrow night (March 13), Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series 2019 presented by Laguna Beach Live! will feature the critically acclaimed bassist and vocalist Kristin Korb, with Andy Langham on piano and Duncan Moore on drums, at [seven-degrees].

There are few bassists who can sing and there are even fewer who can do it well. Kristin Korb is one of those artists who make you forget that she is playing the bass when you hear her crystalline voice. Inspired by the days when music was romantic and made you want to dance, Kristin and her trio embody that spirit and carry their audiences along for the ride.

Laguna Beach trees

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Courtesy of Kristinkorb.com

Critically acclaimed bassist and vocalist Kristin Korb performs tomorrow night at Jazz Wednesdays presented by Laguna Beach Live!

Kristen has taught at the University of Southern California where she was coordinator of vocal jazz studies, Azuza Pacific University, Grossmont Community College, and was Director of Jazz Studies at Central Washington University.

She continues to be involved in educational outreach and teaches at universities, jazz camps, and festivals with young students. She tours across the world and has performed with jazz artists such as Llew Matthews, Kim Richmond, Pete Christlieb, Jeff Hamilton, Alex Riel, and Jan Lundgren.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Seating is assigned. Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out.

The concert is from 6 - 8 p.m., with doors opening at 5 when a full bar and buffet dinner menu are available for purchase. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713. 

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


LagunaTots returns to No Square Theatre – the kids take over the stage on March 15

Fun for the whole family abounds as youngsters take the stage at No Square Theatre in LagunaTots 2019. Performances run from March 15 to March 24.

You think it’s hard being an adult? Kids nowadays have serious things to worry about: dress codes, vaccinations, phones, lice, puberty, phones, brace, hormones. And did we mention phones? This original musical parody spoof zeroes in on the issues that plague the younger set…with hilarious results. 

No Square’s Youth Theatre Director Ella Wyatt is the writer and director with additional lyrics by Rufino Cabang and some of the kids in the cast. Music direction is by Susan Thoren. The show is choreographed by Ella with Rylee Bullington, a LagunaTots alumnus and senior at Laguna Beach High School. Rylee is featured in the high school’s current production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

LagunaTots returns colorful

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Stu News Archives Photo

Laugh your socks off at LagunaTots this month, featuring local talented youth addressing the issues that matter most to them

The talented cast of LagunaTots includes Katie Baker, Chase Benson, Tatum Brennan, Will Briggs, Mason Bruderer, Lula Buckle, Story Bullington, Quinn Butler, Elisa Camacho, Nicolas Camacho, Harlo Cozzens, Sarina Doshi-O’Neil, Chloe Flaherty, Anna Gabriel, Laird Garcia, Grace Gilchrist, Jonah Goldstein, Lila Goldstein, Kate Hennessy, Hadley Hunt, Piper Hunt, Hannah Kaiser, Lauren Kimball, Lydia Kimball, Marco Lapayese-Calderon, Jude Lifeset, Sienna Mason, Maris Morgan, Douglas Nottage, Chloe O’Kane, Karina Pitz, Nathan Ryan, Kate Storke, Allie Swellen, Lila Tacklind, and Leah Turner.

Opening night is on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m., with shows continuing on Saturday, March 16 and 23 at 2 p.m., Friday, March 17 at 6 p.m., and Sunday, March 17 and 24 at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for kids (ages 12 and under) and $25 for adults. All seats are reserved, and this show always sells out. So plan ahead and get your tickets now at www.nosquare.org

No Square Theatre is generously supported by The Lodging Establishments and the City of Laguna Beach, The City of Laguna Beach, Yvonne & John Browning, Dorene and Lee Butler Family Foundation, Patrick Quilter, FOA Foundation, Laguna Beach Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St. It is a small venue and all seats are good.

For additional information on events, auditions, classes, and to purchase tickets, please visit www.nosquare.org.


Live! at the Museum presents SAKURA cello quintet on Thursday, March 14

Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Art Museum are proud to present the talented cello quintet SAKURA on Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m.

A unique and versatile cello quintet, hailed as “brilliant” and “superb” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, SAKURA is built on the artistry and virtuosity of its members: Michael Kaufman, Benjamin Lash, Gabriel Martins, Yoshika Masuda, and Peter Myers. 

Live at Sakura

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Enjoy a night of captivating music with SAKURA

SAKURA explores great music of the past through dazzling arrangements that offer fresh perspectives on familiar notes, and continually expands the five-cello repertoire into the future by commissioning new works. In the tradition of the great chamber ensembles, the quintet distills its interpretations through time, reveling in the pure sonic pleasure of a unified and colorful sound.

Live! at the Museum is a partnership between Laguna Art Museum and Laguna Beach Live! and is generously sponsored by Compass.

Tickets are included with museum admission ($7 for adults and $5 for seniors or students), however advance reservations are recommended due to limited seating and can made here. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


Rock for the Cause concert raises $8,100 to benefit Friendship Shelter

Marshall and Elizabeth Ininns, Ivan Spiers, Clay Berryhill and Danielle Cavallucci, Lea Abel-Stone, Catherine Talarico, Katrina Puffer, Nicole Anderson, Danielle Ward Shuster, and Meghan MacGillivary Weil organized the Rock the Cause event on Monday, March 4 at Skyloft to benefit Friendship Shelter. “Working together to end homelessness in our community one person at a time” was the foundation for a great evening of fun, food, and music by local favorite 133.

Rock for band

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Photo by Ellen Germano

133 plays for happy crowd at Skyloft on Monday, March 4

Ininns reports, “We raised $8,100.00. Today so many of us are very concerned about homelessness in Orange County and especially our home Laguna Beach. Rock for the Cause is a concert to support the Friendship Shelter. The Friendship Shelter provides homes for the homeless in South Orange County. All your generous donations went to the Friendship Shelter. The Friendship Shelter will not stop providing housing until all the homeless are housed. If you missed your chance to come to the Rock for the Cause concert, you can still donate to the Friendship Shelter at www.friendshipshelter.org/events.”

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