Pageant Of The Masters Brings Art To Life

July 2, 2012 6:00 AM


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Pageant of the Masters
Irvine Bowl
650 Laguna Canyon Rd
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(800) 487-3378

Dates: July 7 to August 31
Time: 8:30 p.m.

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The Pageant of the Masters is the most famous attraction of the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, which will be held this year during July and August. Starting July 7th, the Pageant of the Masters will present ninety minutes of “living pictures,” faithful recreations of classical works done by real-life people frozen in a way to resemble those in the pictures. Those of you who are readers can picture Lily Bart during her tableau vivant (living picture) in “The House of Mirth” when she presented herself as Reynold’s “Mrs. Lloyd” and caused more than one person at the Bry’s fashion show to be scandalized.

The Pageant of the Masters allows you to see “living pictures” come together right before your eyes and materialize well-known works of art in an outdoor amphitheater. Accompanied by a live orchestra playing an original score, this event is supported by intricate stage settings, lighting and narrations.

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The theme of this year’s Pageant of the Masters is “The Genius.” Accordingly, the “living pictures” presented will celebrate the works of some of the masterminds in art history – Peter Paul Rubens, Michelangelo, Diego Velasquez, Vincent Van Gogh and many more. Performed in front of a live audience, attendees will see colors, sets and people arrange themselves to bring to life famous pieces like “Las Meninas” and “The Thinker” as a buildup to culminate the evening with one of the most recognizable paintings of all time – Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”

It is easy to imagine the effort and the time that preparing a show of this magnitude entails, especially considering that it involved the willingness of over a thousand volunteers who, earlier this year, presented themselves to be photographed and measured and later waited to see if they would be called to be part of the “living pictures.” The lucky ones have since rehearsed and made themselves available with great enthusiasm and dedication. They take this still-life job seriously and will surely put on an impressive display.

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Soon, their efforts will delight the thousands that will see the finished product nightly at 8:30 p.m. throughout the summer. Prepare yourself for one of the most enchanting shows you will ever see. A list of the works that will be recreated can be found here so that you can familiarize yourself with the content prior to the show. Choose one of your favorite images and see how it is recreated in this unique style.

Related: Best Impressionist Art In Los Angeles

You are recommended to arrive at the Irvine Bowl early, consider bringing along a picnic basket and if possible, get a hold of some binoculars (there are also some available for rent). Even if your seats are very close, binoculars will help you appreciate the details, which are done very carefully. Purchase your tickets as soon as possible to get involved with this event. This is the 80th anniversary of the Pageant of Masters and will be, without a doubt, a fast-selling celebration.

Related: Best Upcoming Art Festivals In Los Angeles

Dena Burroughs is a freelance writer living in Azusa, CA. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. Her work can be found at

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