Stars Turn Out for Pageant Gala



Festival of Arts board member Anita Mengels with noted lawyer Gloria Allred.

Festival of Arts board member Anita Mengels with noted lawyer Gloria Allred.

Nearly 3,000 fans swarmed the Festival of Arts’ grounds to hear award-winning performer Christopher Cross in concert last Saturday, the capstone special event of the summer season.

Special guests, including television and sports celebrities, enjoyed a private showing of the Festival of Arts’ exhibition.

Cross helped define adult contemporary radio, winning five Grammys in 1981, including best new artist and song of the year for “Sailing.” He followed with Oscar-winning scores and top selling albums.

After the concert, guests enjoyed a performance of the “Pageant of the Masters” hosted by Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden, whose daughter, Eulala, was in the pageant cast that evening.

Laguna Beach resident and Olympic gold medalist Annika Dries attended the gala.

“My daughter and I attended the Pageant last year and were amazed not only by the beauty of the production but also by the dedication of the many volunteers in the cast and behind the scenes,” said Harden, who also pulled the winning raffle ticket for the 2013 Acura.

The winner was Sheila Yee-Murrin from Bellflower.

Last year Harden reprised the role she originated on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning play “God of Carnage” along with the original cast at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles. Last March, she also won a best supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal of Lee Krasner in “Pollock.”

The gala event grossed $230,000 for future arts programs and building fund improvements, spokeswoman Sharbie Higuchi said in a statement.

Also in attendance were many other celebrity guests including Gloria Allred, Barry Bostwick, Seamus Dever, Annika Dries, Bruno Gunn, Robert David Hall, Hal Linden, Al Joyner, Richard Karn, Christopher Knight, Jerry Mathers, and Donna Mills.

Friends Britt Jonnaert and Lisa Rodarti revel in the scene.

The festival and pageant end this Friday, Aug. 31.







Entertainer Christopher Cross dazzled on the festival’s plaza.
Oscar and Tony-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, along with her children, drew the winning raffle ticket and provided introductions at the “Pageant of the Masters” production.
Festival of Arts board member Pat Kollenda and her husband.


Photos courtesy of the Festival of Arts

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