Getting Out


Trio Closes Out Jazz Series

Drummer Jeff Hamilton, center, leads the trio with bassist Christof Luty, left, and pianist Tamir Hendelman that performs next week at Hotel Laguna.

April is Jazz Appreciation month and Laguna Beach’s opportunity to celebrate begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, with the Jeff Hamilton Trio, closing out the winter jazz series presentation by Laguna Beach Live! at Hotel Laguna.


The cover charge is $12 online at or $15 at the door, which opens at 5 p.m. for a sunset view and supper or beverages for purchase.


Jazz returns to the hotel’s Rose Garden June 13.


Finding Excuses to Ditch Work


Laguna Beach’s Pacific Edge Hotel offers “The Occupation Vacation Package,” a deal to encourage people to ditch work and spend weekdays in a surf-themed cabana.


The package, which starts at $299, includes a list of the best excuses to explain away your absence.


The package runs through September. Reservations at 949-494-8566.


Sampling for a Good Cause


Montage Laguna Beach will host the second annual Share Our Strength: Taste of the Nation event on June 3, where eight celebrity chefs are coming together to prepare fresh farm-to-table delicacies al fresco on the

Alan Wong prepares a beet salad during last year’s event.

grounds of the resort, 30801 S. Coast Highway.


All proceeds benefit Share Our Strength’s mission is to end childhood hunger.

Montage’s Executive Chef Craig Strong of Studio, will be joined by chefs William Bradley, Addison at the Grand Del Mar; Floyd Cardoz, North End Grill, New York City;  Suzanne Goin, The A.O.C., Lucques, and Tavern, Los Angeles; Naomi Pomeroy, Beast, Portland, Ore.; Lee Smith, Montage’s pastry chef; Michael Voltaggio, ink., Los Angeles; and Alan Wong, Alan Wong’s Restaurant’s, Honolulu.


Guests can choose between two packages: “Celebrity Chef Tasting” from 4-7 p.m., $150 in advance or $175 at the door; or the “VIP Meet the Chefs Reception” from 4-9 p.m.,  $250 in advance or $275 at the door.


To purchase tickets, visit


Angling for a Comeback

Former Laguna Beach resident Duke Fightmaster, who envisioned himself as a suitable replacement for talk show host Conan O’Brien, over two years recorded 100 weekly podcasts, first from his bedroom and later in Laguna’s Legion Hall.


Lack of finances made him give up his dream and NPR’s “This American Life” chronicled his downward spiral. Since then, Fightmaster has focused on stand-up comedy. He’s back from the ashes of talk show failure for a shot as a headlining comedian on Friday, April 6, booked by Laguna resident Lynn Epstein for Tustin’s Encore Dinner Theater, 690 El Camino Real.




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