Time Machine Giveaway

1 Sawdust
53rd Annual Summer Sawdust Art Festival (2019). You’ll have to trust me it looks like a little man in the spaceship. Photo by M.C.

Sawdust Festival Artists & Makers

Walking into the Sawdust Festival’s outdoor Hobbit house, we are greeted by the white rabbit sitting in a shack topped with a gray spaceship with a tiny man inside. Note the man and not an alien. Straight ahead is Kirk Milette Jewelry booth, the woman’s alarm on her phone rings. She says Kirk made the UFO and that it will move at this very minute. We stare, but no action.

Close to the time travel installation, is new-to-Sawdust, Artist David Kizziar from Blue Bird Studio Arts. Prisma pencil drawings of Laguna Beach are sepia tone photo like. Ornate, dark wood frames give the art a time travel vibe. I imagine being in a coffered ceiling and wainscoted family room with a lit stone fireplace and brown leather sofas. Let’s make them pleather. One frame is ordained with beach rock.

His effervescent wife explains David is self-taught and only went public with his art three years ago. She points at a piece and says he spent 300 hours working on the drawing. Pulling out a sample with sketches here and there, she explains he likes to draw the most difficult part first. From a photo, David begins sketching the grass rather than the buildings. Renaissance Man says, “He could have grown the grass faster.” She laughs and says, “I told him the same thing.”

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Ascend by Artist David Kizziar. Photo of card by M.C.

At the entrance of the booth is a huge replica of David’s oil painted mermaid, which won the City of Laguna Beach Banner Juried Competition. His wife shows us a photo on her phone. It’s of David in his classic jeans and T-shirt standing under Ascend as the banner hangs from a streetlight on Coast Highway 101 in Laguna Beach.

David’s art has many personalities. His earthy drawings that Bo Derek and Robert Englund, known as Freddy Krueger, (Photos sit on a desk.) bought are completely different from his paintings of the blue mermaid. According to David’s postcard, “He wants his art to emit a ‘mood’ that reflects life’s camera and moves the person to ‘feel’ something.

Nancy gives me one of David Kizziar’s Ascend cards. I’d love to give you the card along with my new book Superfly, book three in the MerSea series. Sign up for my newsletter and one lucky winner will be mailed the mermaid card with a signed copy of my book. I’ll choose the winner from the new names on my newsletter list. Just go to my Newsletter page and wait for the pop-up. Newsletter sign up. (Contest is from July 11-July 15, 2019. This time around I’ll only mail to U.S. entrants.)

4 Pageant TIme Machine
The Pageant of the Masters 2019. Photo by M.C.

 Pageant of the Masters

Across the street at The Pageant of the Masters, we stroll through fine art exhibits while waiting for The Time Machine show. I notice a jeweler who was at the Sawdust last year is showing at the Pageant. And the guy who makes gorgeous wood furniture is at the Sawdust and not at the Pageant like he has been for years. I’m not sure why people switch, but hopefully they are getting more traffic. I go to both because both exhibits are fabulous. An artist and I were saying how much we love being at the Sawdust. It’s good vibes.

The Time Machine production loosely follows H.G. Wells’ novella “The Time Machine” and one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks. The Victorian gentleman and his steampunk carriage are joined by Countess De La Maitrie in her equestrian dress and with her dachshund from the painting by Charles Albert Walhain. The Victorian gentleman finds Da Vinci’s notebook and they are off in a gold vehicle with a large disc and red carpet.

Napoleon And His General Staff In Egypt, Jean-Leon Gerome, Oil, 1867. Photo of painting from Wikimedia Commons.

Living art begins with Napoleon And His General Staff In Egypt, 1867. Napoleon is on his camel with his men on camels and horse trudging through the desert. Narration explains the pyramids and hieroglyphs. There is only a mention of the advanced civilization and that there isn’t real explanation as to why. In the program under the photo of the painting is a quote.

“What is history but a fable agreed upon?” ~Napoleon Bonaparte

The show moves through different chapters like The Art of Science which includes Sir Isaac Newton with Prism, Unknown, Engraving, 1868 to Nikola Tesla Monument, Les Drysdale, Bronze, 2006 to Stephen Hawking Ubermensch, J. & D. Chapman, Fiberglass, 1995.

Marty McFly and Doc ride in their “modified” DeLorean, yep a DMC-12, in The Music Machine chapter. Jumping out of the car and onto the stage, Marty surprises the dancers around the jukebox as Working on the Jalopy, Stevan Dohanos, The Saturday Evening Post, 1950 sets up. There is a lot of great Jitterbugging as an audience member sings along.

One of the final chapters takes us to the moon with Norman Rockwell’s The Final Impossibility, Man’s Tracks On The Moon, 1969 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. The props disappear and “Neil” floats reminding the audience these are real people not just paintings.

There is a floating earth and a floating spaceship. The show seems to have gotten cheesier through the years, but I still love it. We have been taught historical inaccuracies in school and in media and many are repeated in the show. The Time Machine isn’t enough to satisfy a MUFON member, but the “living pictures” are always perfection, which is what the show is about.

Sawdust • 935 Laguna Canyon Road • Laguna Beach • CA • 92651

Festival of Arts • Pageant of the Masters • 650 Laguna Canyon Rd • Laguna Beach • CA • 92651 • 1-800-487-3378 (On 7/11/2019 I received an email with a savings code. Main Tier Madness $25, 3 Dates Only, Use Code: MTM25. Main Tier is where I sat and is good seating. Director’s Tier is also on sale, but too far.)

Copyright 2019 Melissa Crismon

Much Ado About Talk

much ado dance
Sarah Topham as Beatrice, Michael Hayden as Benedick, Morgan Taylor as Hero, Carlos Angel-Barajas as Claudio and the company of Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare, directed by Kathleen Marshall, runs August 12 – September 16, 2018 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

Three-time Tony Award winner and director Kathleen Marshall frolics through a post-war Italian Riviera playground at the Old Globe in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. She’s the perfect hostess from the masque ball to a wedding that almost happens, and a celebration with a company dance.

In a bathing suit and fiery, tight-curled hair, Beatrice (Sarah Topham) enters with a confident stride through the French doors with Hero (Morgan Taylor) through the other. The lovable, sassy Beatrice makes it clear to her uncle (Leonato as René Thornton Jr.) she is not interested in love. She and Benedick (Michael Hayden) have a charming chemistry that everyone notices but them. Benedick is older than she is, which makes sense, since he swears he will die a bachelor.

Scenic design, by John Lee Beatty, lends itself as a comedic hideaway and complementary surrounding. The pink villa casts a cheery and romantic glow on the actors. Benedick squirms from the greenery then crawls across the floor as Leonato lies to Don Pedro (Michael Boatman) and Claudio (Carlos Angel-Barajas) that Beatrice will kill herself if Benedick doesn’t return her love. Then Hero and Ursula (Larica Schnell) do the same and gossip of Benedick’s love for Beatrice. Beatrice stands in the statue niche then slinks behind the ladies to the fountain. She lies down as the girls lounge and twirl their hands below the waterline causing Beatrice to flatten herself on the step. When headstrong Beatrice and confirmed bachelor Benedick are properly set up, Benedick does a dance on the balcony in and out of the bedroom while Beatrice dances on the patio and through the French doors.

The men open the French doors and pause for the audience to take in the masks. There is a collective sigh as everyone gets a tickle out of the 1980s song “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Taco, chosen by music director Abigail Grace Allwein. (Allwein also plays the violin with guitarist James Michael McHale.) The men do a smooth dance with a bend of the knees. Director Marshall has also won the Astaire Award—ergo all the dancing. From having fun with dog and pig masks, costume designer Michael Krass, celebrates the feminine with all the dresses. Beatrice’s red dress with spaghetti straps hugs her slim body then gradually flares out to her feet. Hero changes from her flowy pantsuit to a pleated pink-lavender dress to a damask and lace, cream wedding dress.

But Claudio and Hero’s wedding is interrupted as more lies are woven by jealous Don John (Manoel Felciano), the illegitimate brother of Don Pedro. Claudio has come home after the war with approval from Don Pedro. Don John conspires with his bad boys Borachio (Eric Weiman) and Conrade (Yadira Correa) dressed in black of course. When Borachio stands in the window with Margaret (Nora Carroll) groping her and calling out Hero’s name for Claudio to see, I can’t help but giggle even though it is mean spirited. The other tertiary character, gravel-voiced Conrade, channels Joan Jett as he smokes, drinks wine from a bottle, and spreads his legs when he sits. Conrad always has a pissed off face and with the same expression, as a prisoner, is forced to shake a gourd in the last song.

Much Ado About Nothing is a delightful romantic comedy. I’ve never enjoyed listening to a couple bicker more.

The Old Globe • Lowell Davies Festival Theatre • 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, CA, 92101 • August 12 – September 16, 2018 • (619) 234-5623

Copyright 2018 Melissa Crismon