LAGUNA BEACH SPLENDOR: Southern California may be having its first real, multi-day rain since last winter, and its damp 'n chilly charms may be setting many a mood to colder thoughts and many a fireplace to high. But summer is on the far yonder, and there are few things that speak of that mythical season more than one of the Golden State's most mimicked, buzzed-over, and homaged cultural events, a happening that will hit its centennial in less than two decades. We speak of The Pageant of the Masters, also known as a tableaux vivant, also known as the on-stage show where people freeze in place, barely breathing, in order to accurately portray a famous work of art. Tickets went on sale on Monday, Dec. 1 for the 2015 event, so Pageant buffs can those close, close, close-up seats, the better to see the real human beings portraying painted human beings.
AND, OKAY... you got us: Everyone on stage is definitely breathing, and thank goodness. In fact, watching for little signs of life within the masterfully recreated works of art is one of the many charms of the Pageant, which recently marked its 80th year as a Laguna Beach and California icon. Yes, for sure, you want "The Last Supper" and that Monet and this Picasso to be exquisite and perfect, from costume to frame. And yet? It's rather fun to see the Mona Lisa blink, or a Degas ballerina slightly tilt her head before your eyes.
AS FOR THE 2015? It's "The Pursuit of Happiness." But best be on the pursuit for those tickets: The Pageant of the Masters, which is part of the larger Festival of the Arts, traditionally only fills out the months of July and August. We say "only" in a slightly greedy fashion, because it is a popular event, and those seats, particularly near the stage, fill up with art lovers, culture fans, and audience members looking for the slightest breath and blink.