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The Valley Line: Summer's a time for art and Rose Parade 'floaters'

July 06, 2012|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Chatting at the Happy Hour are John Burrows, from left, and Gloria and Terry Beyer.
Chatting at the Happy Hour are John Burrows, from left,… (Photo by Chuck Terhune )

Summer is humming lazily along in its happy way. I’ve been enjoying the soft rhythm as the days and evenings unfold. The only thing that would make summer better would be if we had lightnin’ bugs that flitted by with their tiny illuminations — you know, the kind that you see in the South and used to catch in jars so that you could see where the light was coming from. They didn’t stay in the jar for long; we always let them fly away.

The music beat goes on, too. “Music in the Park” tonight will feature the sound of Jack Lantz’s Big Band. Plan on going. I know it will be great dancing music.

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I went with a friend the other night to see the play, “War Horse” at the Ahmanson Theatre. Wow! What an amazing production. I was mesmerized. This is a multiple Tony Award winner and I can see why. The horses that are full-sized equine puppets are so amazing they seem to become real in front of your eyes. There are so many surprise elements to this production that it is absolutely unforgettable. I hope that you can find a free evening (or afternoon) to go see this because I can assure you it is one of the most intriguing productions to come to the stage.

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One of my most favorite summer events opened last night and runs through Aug. 31: The Laguna Beach annual Art Festival and “Pageant of the Masters.” The pageant is celebrating its 80th year. You’ve just got to see it to believe it! I have been going to this event since I was a young girl so it is my summer tradition.

The pageant is known for bringing artistry and theatrical illusion to make “living pictures and sculpture” on an outdoor amphitheater stage. The theme for this year’s presentation is “The Genius.” A couple of weeks ago I had a sneak peek at several of the tableaux and they are beautiful. One of the stunning pieces I saw is called “Gallery of the Louvre” by American artist Samuel F. B. Morse. He was not only an internationally known fine artist but also the inventor of the Morse Code. He was truly a Renaissance man who did blend art and science — a genius!

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