Not long after I moved to California, a friend that grew up in the area told me that I had to go to the Pageant of the Masters. Being new to SoCal I had no idea what that was so headed straight to the web and found out that Pageant of the Masters is an annual show put on by the Festival of Arts Laguna Beach - "Watch art come to life right before your eyes in a star-lit amphitheater." Ok, that sounded interesting so I got a couple of tickets and off we went to the Pageant of the Masters 2017.
This show was absolutely fantastic! I loved everything about it; the uniqueness, the orchestra, the story, the elaborate sets & costumes, sitting outside with the coastal breeze and a mountain backdrop while sipping on the wine we brought with us, just everything. It really is like no other show or art event I've ever seen.
(No photography is allowed so extra special thanks to the Festival of Arts Laguna Beach for the photos!)
Even after looking at the website and reading reviews I didn't know exactly what to expect or what we would be seeing. The theme for this year was "The Grand Tour" which consisted of a narrated story of a wealthy young man traveling through Europe in the 1800's. Letters between the young man and his father were used to tie in and present the show.
As the narrative is read and the orchestra plays the curtains open to a recreated piece of art - say a famous painting. The painting is framed on the stage and larger than life, obviously. Actors/models are part of the recreation along with elaborate backdrops & props. Marvelously, the design, costumes and make-up were done so well and with such detail that in works containing several subjects it was difficult to say for certain which were actual people - even with binoculars! (Below are photos of how this looks from the audience and then a close up of the same painting.) Pretty cool, eh?
Paintings were only one art form in the show. There were also marble and bronze statues, porcelain pieces, posters and more. The photo below of the Portland Vase was one of my favorites. This was on the stage and that's a person!
Ok. A few more paintings and then I'll show you some 'how it's done' photos. Just look at the details. Those are real people!
Below is a backstage makeup photo and then the finished deal. The young actor is in the painting on the far left.
Here are several photos that show some of the process for the Annie Oakley poster that was part of the show; beginning with casting.
A few extra goodies about attending the Pageant of the Masters: (1) you can bring your own beverages (including alcohol but no glass containers); (2) Laguna Beach Shuttle that runs in the summer has a drop off right at the Festival of Arts; (3) there is a wonderful art show featuring local artists before the Pageant begins; (4) a restaurant and bar are located right there (make reservations to be safe) (many restaurants are within walking distance also); and (5) binoculars and seat cushions are available for rent for an extremely low fee ($10 for binoculars and $3 for seat cushion). (You can read the rules of the Festival of Arts here.)
I could go on and on but really you need to see this unique show for yourself! We are planning on going again next summer and can't wait to take our summer house guests to the show also. Are you visiting SoCal next summer? If so, be sure to add Pageant of the Masters to your list!
What was your favorite artsy event this summer?
Come along with this southern girl on my fun travel adventures! I’m taking the tours; seeing the sites; trying out the hotels; dining at the restaurants; cruising on the cruise ships; and sharing the experiences on this blog. I hope you enjoy reading about my travel escapades and that they will be inspiring and helpful when planning your own fabulous adventures.