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Art-inspired Pageant of the Masters starts in July

Looking forward to a summer day trip? Tickets for Laguna Beach’s famed Pageant of the Masters, which runs nightly at 8:30 p.m. from July 7 to August 31, are currently on sale.

The theme for the 80th annual event—which features stunning tableaux of performers and sets made up to look like famous artworks, set to live music from an orchestra and performed in an outdoor amphitheatre—is The Big Picture. The 90-minute show will feature presentations of classic masterpieces that inspired legendary filmmakers.

These “living pictures” include Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, in a nod to the 1965 biopic “The Agony and the Ectasy”; recreated film stills from movies starring the great silent film comedians Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd; recreated film stills and movie posters from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” “Psycho” and “North by Northwest”; and the movie poster from “Snow White.” 

Also on tap are sculptures from the Hearst Castle pool; 2 pieces of art Ferris Bueller and his friends took in during their “Day Off” visit to the Art Institute of Chicago—Caellebotte’s “Paris Street, Rainy Day” and George Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,” plus much more. As is traditional, the show will conclude with a hyper-realistic interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”

You can head out early and take in the Festival of the Arts, featuring a vast marketplace of arts and crafts, hands-on demonstrations, art workshops and wine tasting. Simply display your Pageant ticket and get in free to the festival throughout its season run, which is June 30 to July 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and July 5 to August 31 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (The festival closes at 3:30 p.m. on August 24).

Both the Pageant and the Festival of the Arts are held at 650 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. Admission to the Pageant of the Masters ranges from $15 to $55, depending on seating. For tickets or information, call 1-800-487-3378 or visit http://www.foapom.com.

Patrons of both the Pageant and the Festival are encouraged to arrive early and allow extra time for parking. There are 8 public parking lots in the city of Laguna Beach, priced from $15-$15 all day, with slight increases on weekends and holidays. There are also parking meters located throughout town, including Laguna Canyon Road, which charge $.025 per hour (quarters only), with a 3-hour maximum.

Laguna Beach Transit offers free shuttle service to the Festival, running continuously from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., from locations along Pacific Coast Hwy and Laguna Canyon Road. For information on handicapped parking, click “Parking Information” under the Visitor Info tab on the Festival of the Arts/Pageant of the Masters website.

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