'Red and Green' oil painting by Joseph Kleitsch (1923) of his wife, Edna Gregatis, in the gardens of Mission San Juan Capistrano comes alive in 'Under the Sun,' the Pageant of Masters an exhibition of Tableau Vivant in Laguna Beach, California
Though sometimes it might feel as though there is nothing new under the sun, or as the French say, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose," once in awhile life surprises you with a modicum of pleasure within reach. Such was the case with the 85th presentation of the Pageant of Masters a 2-hour theatrical performance where famous works of art are brought to life onstage in 3-D glory. A live narrator guides the audience through the story of each piece, complete with music by a full orchestra.
Audiences love having a back stage sneak peak as eventually the question arises, "How do they do it?"
This year's theme 'Under the Sun' is a veritable an art history lesson of plein air painting in California starting with the local Laguna Woman, the oldest human remains in the Western Hemisphere. The era of the Ranchos were depicted next, the cattle drives as the taste for beef increased in the late 1800's along with Spanish influenced fiestas showing off fandagos for times to celebrate.
Turning to the 20th century we learn about the 'Orange Rush' an earlier iteration of 'farm to table' that inspired a new kind of graphic design for its time showing up as box labels accompanying idealized fruit.
The 20th Century also ushered in a critical mass of interest in California as a utopic place to settle down. 2018 is the centennial year for the artist colony that was born in Laguna Beach alive and well today. The second half of the first act is devoted to the colony's first citizens and founding members.
Little did I know that the iconic, The Endless Summer (1964), a lithograph that started out as a film poster by John Van Hammersveld, belongs to a lineage of a Southern California art movement originating 100 years ago.
The surprising and entertaining ongoing art history lesson goes on. Pageant of the Masters is part of the larger Festival of Arts a highly-acclaimed juried fine art shows that can be perused prior to the show in the newly renovated Irvine Bowl, a kind of mini-Hollywood Bowl.
Come early, enjoy the beach, swim or walk and then take in the work of exhibiting artists, demonstrations and art workshops, daily art tours, live music and the on-site restaurants. If you haven't had enough stimulation also know there is the Sawdust Art Festival across the street.
Tara Fass, LMFT #35078, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, California. She treats adults and couples dealing with a broad range of issues from navigating the legacy of divorce in one's life, to the quarter life crisis and conscious aging. Together we attempt to make meaning [...]