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'Pageant of the Masters' worth the trip


Last updated 8/11/2017 at Noon

2017 Pageant of the Masters

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to the Village News

Not to be overlooked this year is the "Pageant of the Masters". It can be enjoyed nightly from now until Thursday, Aug. 31 at the Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach, Calif. With 85 years of continual experience, the over 1,200 volunteers know what they are doing.

For anyone unfamiliar with this fine production it is a living-reenactment of world class art reproduced on stage by real people. The performance includes all forms of visual art, i.e., statues, paintings, posters and some mixed media. Here is what they do.

Each piece of art is brought to life using performers of a certain body measurement which sometimes even include children to create the depth of field necessary for larger masterpieces. Costumed, wigged and cleverly made up, each person is positioned in front or in the picture to replicate the Master’s hand. Visually it is amazing.

And while the show is enriching, there is much to do before going inside. For instance, there is a juried art exhibit on the grounds – free with your admission ticket. All art work is for sale, too.

Additionally, every day and night there is a live musical performance with special shows by well-known celebrities and artists like Jayne Lynch, with a benefit on Aug. 26 featuring Herb Alpert and Lani Hall hosted by Bryan Cranston the award-winning actor. Plus, the extraordinary raffle of a new 2018 Acura TLX!

There is so much to do. Go early and enjoy a nice supper at Tivoli Terrace restaurant under the trees. It is really good. Or grab a slice of pizza at Gina’s Alfresco concession stand. You will want to plan an hour or so just to stroll the galleries.

Included with your admission, there are activities for the entire family. Tables for the kids, besides workshops and demos including printmaking and ceramic workshop. Some with fees. Other are free. You will want to visit the website to plan your trip.

Oddly enough, Laguna Beach is only about an hour north of Fallbrook. Not much further than downtown San Diego. Plan your date and you’ll just scoot up the I-5 to the Coast Highway and follow your GPS to Lot 16 (for a $7 parking fee) and a free shuttle to and from the Pageant grounds. Easy-peasy.

Bring a sweater. The pageant starts at 8:30 p.m. with an intermission. The shuttles are frequent to and from the parking lots. Closer lots just cost a bit more. Visit for more information. If you have lots of stamina you can also take in either of the nearby art exhibits at the Laguna Art-A-Fair and the Sawdust Art Festival.

Pageant of the Masters and Festival of the Arts are located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Information: (949) 494-1145. Ends Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017.


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