August 9, 2017

Art Comes to Life at the Laguna Beach Pageant of the Masters

20543780_1926577430689362_7556162307800956848_oNo matter how many times one has been to the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, it never gets old!  About half of the DayTripper Tours passengers traveling with me and driver Ernesto to experience this unique production were going for the first time, however.  I venture to say it won’t be their last… For those of you who don’t know what the Pageant is, let me explain.  It’s basically “living pictures” or “tableaux vivant” where art comes to life right before your eyes.  Every year hundreds of volunteers and dozens of staffers put on costumes and makeup.  Then, they pose to look exactly like their counterparts in the original art pieces, holding perfectly still for 90 seconds as they create living versions of paintings, sculptures and other artworks.

20690209_1932616820085423_505734609141519091_oThe secret is the lighting and hand-painted backdrops that make a three-dimensional scene look two-dimensional. Music is played by a live symphony orchestra and live narration by voice actor Richard Doyle provides the back story to each presentation in an outdoor amphitheater that seats 2600. It is absolutely fabulous. This year’s theme is “The Grand Tour” taking us on a trip echoing those taken by wealthy people in the 17th and 18th centuries to experience the world’s great art firsthand. The two hour show took us to England, Paris, Florence, Rome, Scotland, Versailles, Pompeii, Venice and finished, as it has every year (with 3 exceptions), in Milan, Italy with Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”  Not to be overlooked before the show was the Festival of the Arts featuring 140 of Orange County’s most accomplished artists.  Everyone enjoyed checking out the $10 million renovation of the festival grounds including the beautiful live concert area where musician Steve Oliver performed on the Festival Green.

20423932_1918218104858628_1724947221254087935_oOther passengers explored the Sawdust Festival across the street and enjoyed the variety of ceramics, clothing, glass, jewelry, painting, photography, woodwork and sculpture not only on display, but up for sale at more reasonable prices than those at the juried art show at the Festival of the Arts. The Sawdust Festival was started in 1966 by artists who were not chosen for the more exclusive Festival of the Arts. Many folks like the more relaxed atmosphere there.  Since we arrived in the middle of the afternoon, there was plenty of time to walk into the heart of Laguna Beach as well.  The free trolley shuttle was a welcome option on this hot August day.

IMG_6937After dinner on our own and as the sun started to sink into the ocean, we made our way to the Irvine Bowl for the show we had all come to see, The Pageant of the Masters! This is the 85th year of this amazing presentation and we all felt honored to witness the magic.  Comments as our DayTripper passengers boarded the motor coach afterwards were, “Unbelievable!,” “I’ve never seen anything like that,” and “Fantastic!”  No matter  what words you use, they always fall a little short.  This is a show you just have to see for yourself!  And luckily for us, Daytripper Tours offers many dates to make it possible!  I’ll be going up again on the final day, August 31 and would love to have you on board! I’ll even tell you what it’s like firsthand as I was lucky enough to be IN the show back in the ’80’s.

PatBrown– Pat Brown
Tour: Laguna Beach Festival of Arts & Pageant of the Masters
Date: August 3, 2017


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