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Laguna Beach Art: A Time Machine

Published on: June 25, 2019

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Pageant of the Masters re-creation of Frederick Arthur Bridgman’s “Cleopatra on the Terraces of Philae.”

Art is always a “thing” in Laguna Beach, which has more art galleries per capita than most cities in the nation. But when summer comes, it’s like the sleeping giant awakens with new energy and inspiration to welcome world travelers with a treasure trove of fresh ideas, artworks and three major art festivals, plus the Pageant of the Masters performance art event.  In 2019 the theme for the Pageant is, “The Time Machine.”

The 2019 showcase includes many surprises and new, elevated special effects. A first in the Pageant’s history, the story line takes audiences on a journey through a series of clues and instructions from a notebook inspired by a famous artist.

Established in 1932, the concept is unique–volunteer actors of all ages spend months auditioning, rehearsing, then performing as part of famous paintings that include people in them. These oversize stage presentations are unveiled one-by-one throughout an evening as the audience gazes and looks for clues as to what’s painted and what is actually human in the presentation before them.

Often a moth attracted to the light at night will cause an actor to blink, move an arm or some other body part so the surprised audience catches a glimpse. Once you see an actor move, you understand how the “3-D paintings” are composed in your “aha” moment. If you’ve never attended this pageant, it’s pure magic!

The Pageant of the Masters July 7 – August 31, 2019 runs in conjunction with the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show starting on July 5th.  Pageant tickets start at $15.

Across the street is Sawdust Festival June 28-September 1, and Art-A-Fair June 28-September, 2019.

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