Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Style & Culture | SOCIAL CLIMES

Masters of the pageant

September 07, 2003|Ann Conway | Times Staff Writer

FLORENCE HENDERSON thought he was a cold marble statue until she touched him -- and he moved. Mortified, the actress broke into a fit of laughter as she posed for paparazzi at a gala celebrating the final season performance of a 70-year Southern California tradition, the Pageant of the Masters.

"If I'd known he was a real person I'd never have reached under his tunic," she deadpanned during the Aug. 30 event at the Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach. Guests need to look before they leap at the event where volunteers depict works of art -- onstage and off -- while helping to raise funds for the Festival of the Arts.

Joining celebrities such as Jane Seymour, Hal Linden, Donna Mills and Bernie Kopell, hundreds of guests cruised an art exhibition on the bowl grounds and dined on gourmet fare before watching "Seasons," an onstage presentation of tableaux vivants. Although Steven Brezzo, the Festival of Arts' first executive director, told close friends at the event that he was resigning after just a year in the post, there was no apparent buzz on the subject.

"Since we're celebrating our 70th anniversary, this year's show focuses on nostalgia," pageant director Diane Challis Davy said during dinner at the bowl's Tivoli Terrace restaurant. "Our goal is to leave the audience happy, but feeling a yearning for the past."

Seated in the tree-framed outdoor amphitheater, guests watched as models portrayed everything from figures in a flowery vintage valentine and holiday-themed Currier & Ives lithograph to Edward Hopper's moody "Summer Evening." Also on view: Norman Rockwell's "First Day of School" cover for a 1935 edition of the Saturday Evening Post.

Davy and her committee have already dreamed up the theme for next year's pageant. "We're calling it 'Portrait of the Artist,' " she said. "We're going to take a look at the psychology behind the artistic personality."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|