Pageant of the Masters 2022 ‘World Wonders’ honors premier investigative journalist Nellie Bly


By Lydia E. Ringwald

July 10, 2022 ~ LAGUNA BEACH, CA ~ The 2022 Masters Competition opened on July 6 and continues throughout the summer until September 2 with live tableaux of artwork celebrating the theme “Wonderful World “.

Performances take place nightly all summer long, with tickets starting at $30, which also includes a season pass to the Festival of the Arts.

This year’s Pageant theme “World Wonders” features a world art tour highlighting a stunning tableau of the Parthenon in Athens as well as a mix of artwork including works by Swedish painter Carl Larsson, Mexican artist Diego Rivera, Japanese artist Toyohara Chikanobu and Suite.

Stunning recreations of paintings by Tiepolo’s “Carnival” revelers in Venice as well as African sculptures are included in the 90-minute artwork extravaganza that showcases art from a variety of countries and cultures to worldwide.

“There are so many great works of art to recreate,” commented competition director Diane Challis Davy. “We’re going to do everything we can to ensure that ‘Wonderful World’ is full of thrills, great stories, beautiful music and extraordinary vivid images under the stars.”

A narrative written by Pageant screenwriter Dan Duling links the artwork to the story of Nellie Bly, one of America’s first investigative journalists who, in 1889, was not only the first woman but also the first person to travel worldwide.

Inspired by Jules Verne’s novel “Around the World in 80 Days”, Bly, in 1889, with the sponsorship and promotion of The New York World newspaper, decided to make the fictional narrative a reality.

Leaving as a solo traveler, with only one small satchel and minimal funds for the trip discreetly hidden in her bodice, Bly circumnavigated the globe in just 72 days.

When she returned to New York in January 1990, a popular heroine, local manufacturers created board games and other merchandise to celebrate her incredible achievement.

The classic 2022 Pageant finale features a tableau recreation of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” set to the touching music of the Pageant Orchestra’s heartfelt rendition of Massinet’s “Meditation” from “Thais.”

This year, renowned pianist Colin Freeman performs with the Pageant Orchestra. The festival’s music, dance and pageantry add to the ambiance of the Pageant’s multi-dimensional presentation of theater and performance art that has brought Laguna Beach international fame.

Those who purchase Pageant tickets can also take advantage of multiple visits to the Arts Festival to enjoy the array of art in a maze of artist booths and also the wonderful calendar of events throughout the summer.

Visit the Arts Festival website to explore the many entertainment options, including jazz, classical and pop music performances on the festival stage, a fashion show, art classes and many other wonderful art experiences .

Visitors can bring a picnic and enjoy the atmosphere of wandering through the maze of artists’ booths. Here are some highlights from the artists in the Festival’s fine array of artist booths; visitors can find them and discover many more for themselves.

Artist Debbie Zoller with one of her graphic drawings of Native Americans.

Artist Debbie Zoller explores the depths of the Native American soul in her striking graphic drawings of Native Americans and at a nearby booth, check out the lavish and colorful “Illuminated Letter” paintings by artist Judith L. Haron. Photographer Peter Levshin travels the world and shares his photographic journey through Singapore, Burma, Thailand and Papua in a superb exhibition of his photographs. Wander a little further and see prints by Vinita Voogo and nature drawings by Ray Brown. Scuba diver Beverly Factor exhibits her photographs of underwater flora and fauna and shares her children’s books. Beverly has been a diver and photographed the underwater world for over 25 years.

Scuba diver and photographer Beverly Factor.

The variety of artistic expressions is incredible. David Milton explores the art of historical signs. Charming sculptures by Larry Marley capture the imagination. Kirahsplace’s art delves into the occult. The WizArts collection of occult jewelry captivates. Intuitive mixed media artist Kate Cohen is both whimsical and profound. Troy Poeschl explores bones and vertebrae in an archeology of sculptural inspiration and insight.

This year, Dr. Peter Keller, director of the Bowers Museum, is the judge of the art festival, a particularly good choice for this year’s theme “Wonderful World”.

The Bowers Museum of Orange County, with over 100,000 artifacts, continues to inspire and share the wonders of the world in exhibits of art and cultural treasures throughout the year.

Since its inception in 1932, Bowers has enriched the Southern California cultural community with a program of exciting exhibits as well as educational opportunities, as well as the adjacent Kidseum for teachers and families to explore art and culture. archeology with school children.

The Pageant of the Masters and Festival of Arts also dates back to the early 1930s and has remained over the years an unwavering Orange County cultural phenomenon that connects the art of the local Laguna and Southern California community to the art of the world. Enjoy a summer of art, music, dance and art classes and visit the Arts Festival often.

Please visit the Arts Festival and Masters Competition websites for tickets and a schedule of events throughout July, August through September 2.


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