Come experience beauty...

Laguna Beach is Southern California's premier seaside destination, midway between Los Angeles and San Diego. A year-round retreat for art lovers, nature enthusiasts and beach goers, Laguna Beach features seven miles of soft sand and surf.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Music Brought Us Together

The Laguna Playhouse is featuring a play about the history of American folk music. Actually, this play is more of a musical journey that uses song to tell the story of the “real” American “man” over four decades (30’s to 60’s). Writer/Director James O’Neil uses an average man, Lonesome (played by Justin Flagg), and his muse (played by Jennifer Leigh Warren) to guide us on this musical journey. With a richly talented cast of singers, musicians and actors, you are literally transported back in time with each song. Featuring some of the all-time favorites songs that have become part of the fabric of American life like including ‘This Land is Your Land,’, ‘Hallelujah, I’m a Bum,’, ‘Goodnight, Irene,’, ‘Puff, The Magic Dragon,’, ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ and ‘This Little Light of Mine.’

Lonesome and his Muse don’t allow the audience to sit as silent observers, instead they invite us to join in with the singing and remembering. I found myself tapping my toe and singing along with nearly everyone in the audience. It’s hard to sit there and not be moved by the plight of what the music expresses. The feeling of struggle, hardship, hope and heart that comes through from these classic folk tunes is palpable. Following history from the dust bowl depression of the 30’s through the fight for unionization to the anti- Vietnam War movement, I was reminded of how far we’ve have come, and yet, and still how much furtherfar we still have we can to go. I suppose that is the power of music, it can tap into a social consciousness that is looking for a voice and a platform of expression. The cast of musicians and actors are unbelievably talented, recreating greats like Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, The Kingston Trio and many more.

Even though it is only a light brushing on the surface of American folk history, ‘Lonesome Traveler’ is a show that has heart. It reminds us of a common background and plight for equality…and that music is the place that brings us all together.

 ‘This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie

Lonesome Traveler
Now thru February 5th, 2012
For Tickets click HERE

Also join the cast at ‘Folk Music and Fun’ at the Marine Room
Monday, January 30th
5pm to 7pm
$30 (a fundraiser supporting The Laguna Playhouse)
For Tickets click HERE

By Anne-Marie S.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Cottage Gallery

When Nancy Stubbs moved to California in 1984, she found herself driving down highway 133, which was surrounded by canyon walls, and as she traveled further into town, those walls spilled open to reveal a spectacular view of Main Beach. In that moment, she fell in love with Laguna Beach and this became the town where she wanted to end up one day. Twenty-five years later she followed that dream and opened, The Cottage Gallery.

The Cottage Gallery is the only gallery in Laguna Beach to occupy a historic home. You feel the inviting spirit that only a “home” can invoke, as you enter the gallery doors. Nancy’s vision for The Cottage was to create a space that was artist centric, a gallery thats mission is to propel the artist, whether beginner or seasoned, to greater heights. She made it her goal to find artists that were passionate about their work and focused on that passion above anything else. Nancy is familiar with having passion for one’s art; as she herself is an artist…a painter. Her entire career was spent in the IT field working in offices, yet at her core she was always an artist. She was always painting and studying her art form and in her retirement she decided to follow those artistic leanings and open The Cottage Gallery.

In the few short years The Cottage Gallery has been open, they’ve filled the 1,000 sq. ft. space with a variety of work, with nearly 20 artists in rotation. The art works adorn the walls and take up residence in every corner and yet, as you move between the rooms they don’t feel overcrowded… rather it’s a peaceful and relaxed experience. A full scope of mediums can be found including sculptures, paintings and mixed media, that appeals to the novice collector, as well as the art enthusiast. In fact, famed water colorist Bill Hudson is the gallery’s resident artist. You can find him at work in the gallery on many days.

It was clear on my visit to The Cottage Gallery that Nancy has taken the time to find art that is compelling and thoughtful. She has created a space that is welcoming to anyone that walks through the doors and has given artists a place they can call home in this historic 1930s bungalow, now known as The Cottage Gallery.

1524 South Coast Hwy.
  *across the street from Surf & Sand Resort
Open Wednesday – Sunday, Noon to 5pm or by appointment

By Anne-Marie S.