Pageant Fills a Scene in Family’s Theater Tradition


By Loreen Berlin, Special to Laguna Beach Independent

Alexandra Nottage, a seasoned and returning hopeful, is being measured for a possible part in the 2018 annual Pageant of the Masters production in Laguna Beach
Alexandra Nottage, a seasoned and returning hopeful, is being measured for a possible part in the 2018 annual Pageant of the Masters production in Laguna Beach

It’s Pageant of the Masters tryout time. Front and center were members of the Nottage family of Laguna Beach, all three who had participated before. Douglas Jr., 7, and sister Alexandra, 9, accompanied by their father Douglas Sr., filled out paperwork and made their way to the measurement and photography rooms this past weekend during a casting call for next summer’s production.

Both youngsters from Top of the World Elementary are seasoned performers as well as being “returning” Pageant of the Masters’ cast members. Douglas Jr. stepped into Winslow Homer’s “The Country School” while his sister posed in “Middle Age: Season of Strength,” a Currier and Ives print, both featured in the 2015 pageant.

Last spring, the Nottage children also won roles in the Laguna Beach High School production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” under the direction of Alexis Karol. The show earned numerous awards and the siblings were fortunate to perform with the cast during the Music and Arts Commendation for Youth (M.A.C.Y.) Awards show in the Segerstrom Center.

“They have their fingers crossed they get cast in this year’s show,” said their mother Suzanne Nottage. While Douglas likes making friends behind the scenes with the crew and other cast members, Alexandra delights in being part of Laguna Beach history, she said.

Her young thespians are also excited to start rehearsals for the upcoming musical parody Laguna Tots, a No Square Theatre production they have participated in previously, she said.

: It’s a family affair for the Nottages, Douglas Sr. and children Douglas Jr. and Alexandra, who last weekend tried out for roles in next summer’s Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun.”

Allie, with her red hair and blue-green eyes, and her blond-haired and blue-eyed brother Douglas Jr., clearly are comfortable in the spotlight. They also performed in the musical “Damn Yankees,” at the Rose Center Theatre in Westminster last summer under the direction of theatre veteran Tim Nelson.

Both children are pianists and began taking lessons at age 4. Recently, Alexandra won for musical composition in the Laguna Beach PTA Reflection competition. She now advances to the district competition.

Joining his children on stage for the second time this year is Douglas Sr., a technology executive, who praised the Pageant community as being, “a wonderful family.”

“After our children performed in 2015, I couldn’t wait to join the Pageant and in 2017, I was fortunate to sub for the role of Johnny Baker, the sharpshooter in the ‘Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show’ sequence and enjoyed it immensely,” he said. “From the time a person walks through the door, you know you’re part of something special,” Douglas Sr. continued.

“Having lived in Laguna for a decade, I love being an active part of the Laguna Beach community and this unique, world class pageant.”

Since the make up of the cast changes depending on the works being depicted, potential cast members rejected one year should try again, director Diane Challis-Davy said.

Appointments to be measured and photographed for a possible slot in one of the recreated oil paintings, billboards or sculptures will be taken for another three months, she said. Call the casting department at 949 494-3663.


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