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Laguna Beach

Auditions for the upcoming spring musical All Shook Up are now open to all LBHS students 

LBHS is presenting the musical All Shook Up for their spring production, featuring the songs of Elvis Presley in conjunction with the book by Joe DiPietro. The play focuses on a young man who changes everything and everyone he meets when it comes to music.

Auditions for this show are open to all LBHS students, and will take place on Sunday, Dec 10 and Monday, Dec 11 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. The auditions will take place in the LBHS Room 55, otherwise known as the Green Room. 

To sign up for an audition time, fill out a form, or for more information, visit

Dennis’ Tidbits


November 28, 2017

Memories of storm chasing in Oklahoma in May of 1971

Rainfall here in town since July 1 stands at 0.06 inches. Normal to date is 1.85. November’s normal total is around 1.2 inches. Rainless Novembers do occur like in 1956, 1977, 1980, 1991, 1992, and 2006.

Here comes December, the third wettest month of the year with an average of about 2.65 inches. Our wettest December was in 2010 with 11.65 inches, thanks to a very active atmospheric river. Our second wettest was in 1940 with 10.70, and our third wettest was in 1997 with 9.08.

December’s normal hi-lo temp is 66-44. Our warmest Dec. high was 85 on December 3, 1958 and again on December 12, 1980. Our coldest December low was on Dec. 10 with a low of 28 in town and 22 out in the canyon.

The 2017 Pacific and Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end this coming Thursday and folks in the Atlantic are real happy about that.

Storm chasing during the Spring months is becoming more and more popular during the height of severe weather season in places like the Great Plains, the south, and the Midwest. There are literally hundreds of storm chasers out there now, armed to the hilt with all the latest technology, satellite images, and Doppler Radar. Some of the real pros drive armored vehicles just in case the tornado ends up chasing them. It’s a very risky undertaking, and some chasers will drive hundreds of miles sometimes just to be around the energy released by these super cells. They have all the gear, so why not?

Way back in May of 1971, I decided to hit Highway 66 and head east to a place called Norman, Oklahoma, a suburb to the southeast of Oklahoma City. The University of Oklahoma is in Norman, as is the NOAA Severe Storms Center. 

I knew a girl I met in Laguna during her Spring Break, and she told me if I’m ever in Norman, give her a call and we’ll hook up. She was attending the University of Oklahoma, and I could stay at her place. Instead of driving all over the place to find a super cell storm, I would just hang out and wait for one to come to me as odds were pretty good that a storm would hit as it was the peak of severe storm season and Oklahoma has more tornadoes than anyplace in the world. 

Moore, Oklahoma, will vouch for that. Moore is just a few miles from Norman. I didn’t have to wait very long. The day after I arrived, all s--- hit the fan!  I didn’t have all the gadgets that storm chasers today have at their disposal, just a camera. No cell phones, no Doppler, none of that. I took a chance, tossed the dice and they came up a 7. I might have been one of the first storm chasers, heck, I don’t know, but it was really fun!


Dine and donate on #GivingTuesday: Laguna Playhouse reaps the benefit tonight, Nov 28

This evening, on #GivingTuesday, treat yourself to a great meal and, at the same time, donate to the wonderful Laguna Playhouse. Four restaurants in Laguna teamed up to support the Playhouse by donating up to 25 percent of their meal purchases to give to this non-profit. Romeo Cucina, Okura Robata Grill and Sushi Bar, Harmony Tea Bar, and Nirvana Grille collaborated in this effort. 

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Photo by Dianne Russell

New Kye roll with a burst of tobiko at Okura Robata Grill and Sushi Bar

 #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration, and kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. One of the best ways to participate is to eat at one of these restaurants tonight to support Laguna Playhouse.

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Photo by Laura Buckle

Burrata and organic heirloom salad at Nirvana Grille

Romeo Cucina is located at 249 Broadway St, Okura – 858 S Coast Hwy, Harmony Tea Bar – 305 Forest Ave, #103, and Nirvana Grille – 303 Broadway St, #101.

Give them your business and give to the Playhouse.

For further information, go to

Laguna Beach Library presents Author Talk with Rajbir Singh on Dec 9 

Author Talk with Rajbir Singh will take place on Sat, Dec 9 at the Laguna Beach Library, located at 363 Glenneyre Street. 

The event will include a Spiritual Talk with Rajbir Singh, Author of HIMesha. Singh began this book nearly 11 years ago. It includes personal reflections of his own transformation, journey, and spiritual experiences.

For more information on this upcoming event, visit

LB Chamber Singers celebrate holidays and centennial year of LB Presbyterian Church on Dec 3

The Laguna Beach Chamber Singers extends an invitation to attend their Annual Winter Concert on Sun, Dec 3, at 7 p.m., at the beautiful Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church. The concert coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the church. 

This holiday celebration is Laguna Beach Chamber Singers’ most exciting program to date. They are kicking it up a notch this year and will be performing the complete Poulenc Gloria with soprano solo, excerpts from the Bach Magnificat in D with soloists, and a variety of serious and not so serious Christmas and Chanukah music – culminating with the Hallelujah Chorus – all to delight of the attendees as the holiday season begins.

Laguna Beach Chamber Singers (LBCS) was founded in 2008 by Christin Cornell and is conducted by Music Director Cory Winter and Accompanist/Associate Conductor Deborah Glass. It was born out of a strong desire to sing classical and not-so-classical choral music with excellence and artistry.

Admission is free. All are invited to this special holiday event.

Laguna Presbyterian Church is located at 415 Forest Ave.

For more information, go to

LB Fire Stations serve as collection sites for Firefighters’ Spark of Love Toy Drive, Nov 24 – Dec 27

The Laguna Beach Fire Department in conjunction with other local fire agencies will be taking part in the annual Spark of Love toy drive. The Spark of Love campaign began in 1993 as a partnership between ABC7 and Firefighters throughout the five-county areas of Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura. Although there are many worthwhile toy drives taking place this holiday season, the Spark of Love is the only one created and operated by Firefighters! 

Working together as the Orange County Toy Collaborative, these agencies collect and distribute approximately 400,000 toys annually to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not be receiving gifts this holiday season.

This year marks the 25th anniversary for the Firefighters’ Spark of Love campaign, which will run from Nov 24 through Dec 27. The Laguna Beach Fire Department has been involved since the program’s inception and each station will serve as drop-off sites for new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment. 

Fire Station 1 is located at 501 Forest Ave, Fire Station 2 – 285 Agate St, Fire Station 3 – 2900 Alta Laguna Blvd, Fire Station 4 – 31646 2nd Ave.

Toy Request/Family Referral sheets are available at all OC fire stations and at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul office at 730 N. Garfield Ave, Santa Ana.

LB Volleyball Christmas four-person draw tournament will take place on Dec 9 at Main Beach

Laguna Beach Volleyball invites players to celebrate the season with a Christmas volleyball four person tournament, potluck lunch, and toy drive taking place on Dec 9 at 9 a.m., with check-in at Main Beach.  

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Submitted photo

The more Santas, the merrier

Everyone is welcome, players, friends and family alike. It is a weighted draw format. Players will sign up individually and be assigned a team – players cannot make up their own teams. Family teams are allowed but players can’t choose their own ringers. LB Volleyball requests no beginners or kids under 14.

There will be music and “really cheesy but cool prizes.”

Bring a dish for the potluck lunch- think “comfort food”, the group suggests.

Electricity will be provided for crock pots. Optional “Toys For Tots” toy drive drop off is requested. Players can sign up for either division, but the group reserves the right to move players up or down to balance teams. 

For more information or to RSVP, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What do tacos and the LBHS girls water polo team have in common? Today! Get to Rasta Tacos…

Today, Tuesday Nov 28 is a great day to head down to Rasta Tacos. They are going to throw back 20 percent of all proceeds right after the girl’s first home game, from 6 – 8 p.m., so perfect timing to enjoy a table or grab a taco dinner to bring home. 

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Submitted photo

Rasta Taco has amazing tacos – especially when they benefit LBHS water polo

“Taco Tuesday for the Team” will be hosted at Rasta Taco, located downtown at 170 Beach Street.

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Submitted photo

LBHS girls water polo team, the 2017 California State Champions

Come to both the LBHS game at the LBHS Pool and then to Rasta Taco to further support the team and their opening season.

We live a lucky life

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Mary Hurlbut captured amber hues on an autumnal evening – it was a Thanksgiving sunset to remember

The new season of Pageant of the Masters is already in the works, and heating up “Under the Sun”

There will be an abundance of “local color” on display in next summer’s “Under the Sun,” the highly-anticipated 2018 Pageant of the Masters. This world-famous theatrical celebration of great art recreated in tableaux vivants – “living pictures” – will be celebrating the 85th anniversary of “living pictures” presented as part of Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts.

The production that began as a publicity gimmick for the second Festival of Arts in 1933 quickly grew into a summer tradition that now attracts over 140,000 patrons every summer. At its helm is Pageant producer-director Diane Challis Davy, once again summoning her creative energies and inspiring her talented team of theatrical artists as they breathe life into this one-of-a-kind entertainment that presents spectacular stage illusions with original, live music by the Pageant orchestra, and informative and engaging narration also performed live each night under the stars.

“Under the Sun” will be Challis Davy’s 23rd Pageant as director. She and veteran Pageant scriptwriter Dan Duling were working on ideas for the 2018 production even before last summer’s “The Grand Tour” concluded its crowd-pleasing run. Challis Davy is notorious for creating each summer’s shows dramatically different from previous years. 2018 will be no different; she is planning on many unexpected surprises for the audiences.

Asked about her inspiration for choosing the theme, Challis Davy recalled, “I was driving east on Crown Valley one spring evening last year, watching the changing light on the foothills of Saddleback mountain, when I thought, Ah-ha! ‘Under the Sun!’ The phrase is from Ecclesiastes, and I think it serves us very well. I wanted the theme to express an awareness and appreciation of the beauty of nature, to focus on artists who choose to paint in the ‘open air’ and to acknowledge how French impressionism influenced artists around the world to record their own personal reflections.”

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Submitted photo

John Singer Sargeant’s The Garden Wall, as depicted in tableaux vivant

Duling, who researches and writes the narration (performed each night by Richard Doyle), noted another consideration, “We’re taking a cue from two anniversaries next summer: the 100th anniversary of the Laguna Art Museum, and the 85th anniversary of ‘living pictures’ at the Festival of Arts. So, local history and Pageant traditions will get special attention.”

“Two years ago,” Challis Davy added, “I received an invitation from the museum’s director Malcolm Warner to acknowledge the museum’s anniversary in 2018. I had no hesitation in saying ‘Of Course!’ And I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to share a selection of masterworks by artists associated with lovely Laguna Beach.”

In the early years of the 20th century, many natural landscapes attracted artists to Southern California: the Pacific Ocean, mountains, deserts. But more than anything, it was “the light.” A new generation of impressionists and plein air painters set up their easels outdoors and reveled in the natural beauty to be found as far as the eye could see, especially here in the tiny artists’ colony of Laguna Beach. “Under the Sun” will include works by many of Laguna’s early masters: Anna Hills, William Griffith, Phil Dike, Guy Rose, Julia Bracken Wendt, and Joseph Kleitsch, one of Challis Davy’s favorites.

“Joseph Kleitsch was an extraordinary artist in Southern California in the early 20th century,” she stated. “And, like many Laguna painters, he also happened to be an immigrant.”

Challis Davy also said she’s looking forward to paying tribute to Roger Kuntz, another modern master with strong local connections whose works were featured in a memorable retrospective at the Laguna Art Museum a few years back.

Included in Challis Davy’s plans for next summer is a healthy sense of theatrical fun. “We may even present more than one ‘builder’!” she said, referring to those moments when they open up the curtains and show how a living picture is put together. “Builders have been audience favorites since they were first included in the 1966 Pageant.”

As always, Challis Davy and her staff realize the Pageant wouldn’t be possible without their volunteers who return year after year to take part. Challis Davy offered one final thought before getting back to work on plans for the 2018 Pageant. “I’ll never get tired of working and creating in this beautiful amphitheater, on the edge of the greenbelt of oaks and sycamores with its owls, hawks, jays, hummingbirds and an elusive roadrunner.”

The Pageant of the Masters will run from July 7 – September 1, 2018. Tickets go on sale to the public on Dec 1. For information, visit:

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Lynette Brasfield, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

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