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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 amazon.com. 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 www.lagunaplayhouse.com 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 www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Gallery Q calls for artists for new exhibition, art will be accepted on Thursday

The Susi Q Center’s Gallery Q is holding a call for artists for its new exhibition, “Harmony.” Art will be accepted on Thursday, May 2 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., and from 5 - 7 p.m. Exhibition dates are May 13 through June 28. The Artists’ reception will be held on Friday, May 24 from 5 - 6:30 p.m. 

Orange County artists are invited to submit artwork that explores our society’s diverse perspectives and inspires us to work together to create a better world – “Harmony.”

All media will be accepted for this juried exhibition including collage, paintings, drawings, mixed media, photographs, jewelry, sculptures, textiles, mosaics, relief, or ceramics. 

Gallery Q Harmony

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Submissions for Gallery Q’s “Harmony” exhibition will be accepted on Thursday

Gallery Q celebrates a creative community and presents up to six shows per year at the Susi Q Center. Many works are for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Laguna Beach Seniors. Gallery Q is always looking for arts-minded volunteers to help with their opening night receptions. 

For more information, visit www.thesusiq.org/gallery-q or call (949) 715-8106.

To apply, visit the Susi Q Center’s front desk for an application.


FOA Artist Rick Graves to present 40-foot long art at foaSOUTH Exhibit

The Festival of Arts is making a splash at the foaSOUTH Gallery this summer with a giant, 40-foot long photography piece taken by 12-year exhibiting artist Rick Graves. 

The display will showcase Grave’s unique photography captured by his custom-built camera system including the three-wall-length piece titled “Hana Highway General Store.” The exhibit is open daily at the foaSOUTH Gallery and runs through September 16. 

FOA Artist wave

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Photo by Rick Graves

Rick Grave’s 40-foot long wave photo

“It’s truly an honor to be featured at the Festival of Arts’ foaSOUTH exhibit. I’m beyond thrilled to not only display these pieces to the public for the first time ever, but to also offer people the chance to experience what I coined my ‘distacam’ captures,” said Graves. “My DistaCam captures time and space on a 66-inch roll of film allowing an entire roll of film to be used to shoot one single frame of action.”

The concept of Rick Graves’ presentation is to create panoramic images that encompass the entire gallery space. “Hana Highway General Store” gives the viewer a sense of dynamic movement and scale through the uniquely engineered slit-scan process. Graves has been recognized internationally due to his distinctively creative approach to photography. A graduate from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, he has been an exhibitor in the Festival of Arts summer exhibit since 2008.

FOA artist camera

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Rick Graves in his natural element

“Every time Rick Graves creates an image, it is an experiment in photography, and this exhibit is no exception,” says Sharbie Higuchi, Festival of Arts PR and Marketing Director. “As a longtime Festival of Arts exhibitor, Rick has sparked interest with many of our attendees and we know his showcase at foaSOUTH will help create one of the most exciting displays the exhibit space has ever seen.”

foaSouth is part of an ongoing series of shows that the Festival of Arts is holding at the location year around. The building is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Admission is free. 

The Festival of Arts is a nonprofit organization whose proceeds support the arts in and about Laguna Beach. For more information call (949) 494-1145 or visit www.lagunafestivalorarts.org.   

The foaSOUTH exhibit is located at 1006 S. Coast Hwy.


FOA Artist Rick Graves to present 40-foot long art at foaSOUTH Exhibit

The Festival of Arts is making a splash at the foaSOUTH Gallery this summer with a giant, 40-foot long photography piece taken by 12-year exhibiting artist Rick Graves. 

The display will showcase Grave’s unique photography captured by his custom-built camera system including the three-wall-length piece titled “Hana Highway General Store.” The exhibit is open daily at the foaSOUTH Gallery and runs April 22 through September 16. 

FOA Artist wave

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Rick Graves

Rick Grave’s 40-foot long wave photo

“It’s truly an honor to be featured at the Festival of Arts’ foaSOUTH exhibit. I’m beyond thrilled to not only display these pieces to the public for the first time ever, but to also offer people the chance to experience what I coined my ‘distacam’ captures,” said Graves. “My DistaCam captures time and space on a 66-inch roll of film allowing an entire roll of film to be used to shoot one single frame of action.”

The concept of Rick Graves’ presentation is to create panoramic images that encompass the entire gallery space. “Hana Highway General Store” gives the viewer a sense of dynamic movement and scale through the uniquely engineered slit-scan process. Graves has been recognized internationally due to his distinctively creative approach to photography. A graduate from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, he has been an exhibitor in the Festival of Arts summer exhibit since 2008.

FOA artist camera

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Rick Graves in his natural element

“Every time Rick Graves creates an image, it is an experiment in photography, and this exhibit is no exception,” says Sharbie Higuchi, Festival of Arts PR and Marketing Director. “As a longtime Festival of Arts exhibitor, Rick has sparked interest with many of our attendees and we know his showcase at foaSOUTH will help create one of the most exciting displays the exhibit space has ever seen.”

foaSouth is part of an ongoing series of shows that the Festival of Arts is holding at the location year around. The building is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Admission is free. 

The Festival of Arts is a nonprofit organization whose proceeds support the arts in and about Laguna Beach. For more information call (949) 494-1145 or visit www.lagunafestivalorarts.org.   

The foaSOUTH exhibit is located at 1006 S. Coast Hwy.


Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre presents Ken Ludwig’s Treasure Island

Laguna Playhouse presents its Youth Theatre production of Treasure Island, opening April 27. Donna Inglima directs the production, with Fight Choreography by Jo Ann Mendelson. 

Treasure Island is the classic tale of pirates and buried gold. Told through the eyes of young Jim Hawkins, the play travels back to 1775 England and the West Indies. It’s an unforgettable adventure with Long John Silver and a band of pirates who will do anything to recover Captain Flint’s map and the treasure.

Laguna Playhouse chairs

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Photo by Stacia Stabler

The Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre will perform Treasure Island 

Performances are Saturday April 27 and Sunday, April 28 at 1 and 6 p.m.; Thursday, May 2 at 7 p.m.; Friday May 3 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, May 4 at 1 and 6 p.m.; and Sunday, May 5 at 1 and 6 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse Moulton Theatre. 

Tickets range from $18 - $25 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com 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. and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (open until show time on performance days).

The Laguna Playhouse Moulton Theatre is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Avenue Q brings fun and frivolity to No Square Theatre for performances beginning May 10

For older teens and adults, Avenue Q will be a rollicking good time and includes puppets and lots of humor. The 2004 Tony Award Triple Crown winner (Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book) Avenue Q is the funny and touching story of a starry-eyed college grad named Princeton in New York with big dreams and little money. Although he can only afford to live on Avenue Q, he lands in an intriguing neighborhood full of funny characters. 

Avenue Q has music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, and is based on a book by Jeff Whitty and an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. The story, complete with puppets and plenty of humor, follows a group of young adults seeking their purpose in big city life.

Avenue Q comes to No Square Theatre directed by Joe Lauderdale, with music directed by Roxanna Ward, and with the puppetry skills of Puppet Master McKay Mangum teaching the talented singers and actors how to maneuver their alter-egos, the puppets. The cast includes Eileen Goodwin, Ella Wyatt, Eric Anderson, Gloria Henderson, Jonathan Haidl, Richard Kilgo II, and Sarah Loya.

Avenue Q puppet

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Eric T. Anderson rehearses with his (un-costumed) puppet

With all those adorable puppets, is Avenue Q appropriate for kids? Adults love Avenue Q, but they seem a little fuzzy on whether it’s appropriate for kids. Avenue Q is great for teenagers because it’s about real life. It may not be appropriate for young children because Avenue Q addresses issues like sex, drinking, and surfing the web for porn. It’s hard to say what exact age is right to see Avenue Q – parents should use their discretion based on the maturity level of their children. But No Square promises that if parents bring their teenagers to Avenue Q, they’ll think you’re really cool.

Performances are on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, May 10-26. Performances on May 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25 are at 7:30 p.m., and on May 19 and 26 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at www.nosquare.org for $25 and $35. 

Other upcoming No Square productions include: Bugsy Malone, July 18-21; Heathers, July 26-Aug 4; My Midlife Crisis, Sept 15; and Hilarious, Sept 22. 

Avenue Q group

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“Avenue Q” cast: (L-R) Richard Kilgo II, Gloria Henderson, Eric T. Anderson, Eileen Goodwin (center), Sarah Loya (partially covered in the back), Ella Wyatt, Jonathan Haidl,) and un-costumed puppets rehearse

No Square Theatre is generously sponsored by the Lodging Establishments and City of Laguna Beach, Yvonne & John Browning, Dorene and Lee Butler Family Foundation, Patrick Quilter, and FOA Foundation, with additional support from Stella Charton in Memory of Lloyd Charton, Ann & Charlie Quilter in Honor of Joe Lauderdale, Patrick Quilter/Quilter Labs, Dr. Korey Jorgensen/Jorgensen Family Charitable Gift Fund, William, Jeff, & Jennifer Gross Family Foundation, Laguna Beach Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund, Vicki & Steve McIntosh and the Hall Family Foundation, Nolet Spirits USA, Chris Quilter, Nina & Larry Ragle, and Mark Brisley DDS.

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St, two blocks south of Laguna Beach High School, which has ample free parking. Seating is extremely limited and the theatre has enjoyed a long run of sold-out events, so tickets must be purchased in advance. Drinks and refreshments are available for purchase.

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


Kate Buckley, poet and artist, announces two events

On Saturday, April 27, Huit Laguna presents an Art Showing of Kate Buckley’s The Sea & Stars Collection, conceived and created in Laguna Beach. The event will run from 2 - 6 p.m. Champagne and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Books will be available for purchase as well. 

Huit Laguna is located at 1492 S Coast Hwy.

kate buckley poet

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One of Kate Buckley’s paintings in her “Sea & Stars Collection”

Then on Wednesday, May 1, Kate will join poets Karina Byrne and Jodi Hollander for a book signing at Laguna Beach Books. The event begins at 6 p.m. and concludes at 7:30. 

Laguna Beach Books is located at 1200 S Coast Hwy.

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