Town Crier: Week of June 2

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LagunaTunes Community Chorus takes a break from rehearsing their greatest hits. The chorus will put on a 20th-anniversary celebration featuring their most popular tunes on June 11. Photo/LagunaTunes

LagunaTunes Community Chorus to Perform Greatest Hits at Anniversary Concert

LagunaTunes Community Chorus is in rehearsal for a 20th-anniversary celebration performance called LagunaTunes—Greatest Hits. The concert is a look back at the group’s favorite music from 2003, when the group was founded, to the present. In a survey sent to all past and present members, participants were invited to vote for their favorite songs from the last 20 years. Directors from past years will make guest appearances and past members are particularly urged to attend, greet old friends and join in this nostalgic trip down memory lane. The concert, LagunaTunes—Greatest Hits, will be June 11 at 4 p.m. in the Artists’ Theatre at Laguna Beach High School, and admission is free. The high-energy program will include songs made popular by the likes of Queen, The Beatles, ABBA, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Gladys Knight and the Pips, plus a few surprises. It’s not your traditional community chorus! The chorus is led by Bob Gunn, former long-time director of Orange County’s Men Alive chorus and Laguna’s St. Mary’s choir. LagunaTunes is a nonprofit organization that provides choral singing to everyone (no auditions). Funding is by the FOA Foundation, and The Lodging Establishments and city of Laguna Beach. More information is available by visiting www.lagunatuneschorus.org or by emailing [email protected].

Tickets are selling out fast for Susi Q’s “Evening with an Author” featuring Janelle Brown

Tickets are selling out fast for “An Evening with an Author,” featuring talented and entertaining best-selling author Janelle Brown, whose latest book, I’ll Be You, provides book clubs with meaty issues to discuss and suspenseful enjoyment. 

The event takes place on Tuesday, June 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., with doors opening at 4:30 p.m. for attendees to mingle while sipping wine and enjoying light hors d’oeuvres prior to the program.

Brown’s latest book, I’ll Be You, is included in the $35 cost of the program.

Esteemed arts columnist, published short-story writer and podcaster Marrie Stone will be in conversation with Brown, whose novels are perfect summer reads. Set in Hollywood, I’ll Be You is a page-turner that touches on cults, twinship and celebrity culture. 

The event is the second of a series of “Evenings with an Author” planned for the Susi Q. Novelist Lisa See will be featured on Sept. 13.

Those interested can register online for “An Evening with an Author” at www.thesusiq.org and click on Classes. To RSVP by phone, call (949) 715-8105 or email [email protected].

“We like to think of the Susi Q as the place where the generations meet,” said Nadia Babayi, executive director. “This event is a good example of programming that attracts every age group. We’re thrilled at the response.”

The Susi Q is operated by Laguna Beach Seniors, established in part to enable older adults to “age in place.”

Blessings of the Artists Prayer Service on June 4

All are invited to attend a non-denominational prayer service at St. Catherine of Siena Church on Sunday, June 4, at 4 p.m., bringing together those in the community who keep the reputation of Laguna Beach as a City of Art alive. It recognizes the talents and gifts the artists share with prayer and blessings, especially now, as Laguna enters its Summer of Art. An outdoor reception will follow the prayer service at 1042 Temple Terrace, Laguna Beach. More information is available by contacting Angela at (949) 510-6930. 

Laguna Comes Together in Support of South Swell Donuts Owner

A family-owned Laguna Beach business is getting a big help from their community after the owners were in back-to-back car crashes. According to a GoFundMe page set up for the owners of South Swell Donuts, owner Jackie was hit by a suspected drunk driver on her way to work last weekend, suffering serious injuries including broken ribs. Jackie’s husband had also been in a car accident recently.

Due to her injuries, Jackie is unable to work for the rest of the month, so the community is raising money to support the business in her absence. In a matter of hours, more than $11,000 has been raised to support the South Swell Donuts family. 

To view the GoFundMe, please visit: https://gf.me/v/c/jwbr/ppurdk-please-help-jackie-with-south-swell-donuts 

Aloha Week at Health in Balance Offers Free Treatment

Health in Balance will offer free treatment for the community from June 6 to 9 at 330 Park Avenue, Suite #3, Laguna Beach. The visit will include a full body health and postural assessment, hands-on therapeutic bodywork and a gentle adjustment. A $15 donation is suggested. Money raised will go towards Schoolpower and The Friendship Shelter. Those interested can book an appointment by calling (949) 497-2533.

Kelpfest hits Main Beach this Saturday

The 12th Annual Laguna Bluebelt Photo Contest is open for submissions of images captured over the past year. The submission deadline is July 7 with an artist reception later at the Laguna College Art & Design Gallery. 

The Bluebelt Photo Contest highlights and celebrates Laguna’s Citywide network of marine protected areas connected as a Bluebelt for sea life restoration serving as a nursery supporting regional fisheries from Dana Point and Newport Beach. Photo contest rules for submission can be found at contest.lagunabluebelt.org.

Tomorrow, June 3 at Main Beach, the 13th Annual Laguna KelpFest, sponsored by the Laguna Ocean Foundation, will celebrate and educate visitors about the important contributions Laguna’s Kelp Forests play in providing a home for sea life and mitigating the effects of climate change by sequestering carbon and shading the sea floor to cool rising sea temperatures – a necessary step in addressing sea level rise. More information about KelpFest is available at www.lagunaoceanfoundation.org.

The Chakra Shack to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Metaphysical shop and spiritual community center the Chakra Shack has officially posted its sign-up roster for its annual Summer Solstice Celebration on June 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 976 S. Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach. This free event will be comprised of live music, a sound bath ceremony, intention setting, a solstice blessing, games, prizes, food and drink. The Chakra Shack strives to create a safe, positive experience at all of the events hosted in store for those who are part of and want to be part of the local spiritual community.

The Summer Solstice Celebration has been the Chakra Shack’s most popular and sought-after event for three consecutive years, filling the store with individuals from all walks of life.

“In beautiful Laguna Beach, California, the Chakra Shack resides in a large storefront on Pacific Coast Highway. Our motto is Adventures in Energy Awareness and Soulful Living. And we carry these values with us as we assist the community in finding spiritual products and services to promote growth,” founder and owner Jill Templin shared.

The Chakra Shack’s experienced staff has mindfully curated all of the in-store events, including the Summer Solstice Celebration and Winter Solstice Event. This small business aims to continue creating a positive, eye-opening and community bonding experience for everyone who chooses to participate in the events and browse the shop.

More information can be found by visiting chakrashack.com. 

Laguna Art Museum Programs

June 3 at 6 p.m. – Wine & Herb Tasting

Join the museum for an unforgettable evening celebrating the closing of Unseen Ties: The Visual Collection of Sherman Library & Gardens. Delight your senses as Chef Jessica Roy of 608 Dahlia, Sommelier Ali Coyle of Fable & Spirit and Culinary Garden Designer Ashley Irene of Heirloom Potager present a unique wine and herb pairing experience. You’ll savor a four-course small-bite menu featuring seasonal produce complemented by carefully selected wines. This exclusive culinary adventure is a true celebration of great art, and advance tickets are recommended due to limited space.

June 4 at 10 a.m. – Jean Stern Presents: Missions of California

In this lecture, art historian Jean Stern will take you on a captivating journey through the beginning of the California Missions in this informative lecture. Through approximately 80 slides and engaging insights, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of this historical period. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session, allowing you to further explore this fascinating topic.

June 10 at 6 p.m. – LAM Goes BOOM: A Pride Celebration

In honor of Pride Month, join us for a night that pays homage to Laguna’s legendary gay bars, including the renowned The Boom Boom Room. The museum’s galleries will screen Fred Karger’s documentary Save the Boom, followed by a lively DJ set by DJ SoulFire to set the stage for dancing and celebration.

‘Groove for Good’ at The Drake Restaurant in Laguna Beach 

The Drake Restaurant will host an elevated culinary and entertainment experience on June 6, benefiting The Drake Gives and Save The Music Foundation. The evening will feature a three-course meal curated by The Drake, complete with wine pairings, plus entertainment provided by Cueva Entertainment. The bordeaux and gold-themed evening, produced by Elite O.C. Productions, will fuse together community leaders and difference makers who are committed to making an impact locally. Immersive fundraising opportunities will be available alongside a silent auction and live auction led by auctioneer extraordinaire Zack Krone. The experience will offer valuable sponsorship opportunities that include VIP perks from table-side butler service to promotional exposure. Capacity is limited due to the Drake Restaurant’s unique footprint, and sponsorships, including tickets for the evening, are expected to sell out. Sponsorship and attendance details can be found at www.thedrakegives.org.  

Mad Scientist of Music Coming to Laguna

Elvis Schoenberg’s Orchestre Surreal is coming to the Artist’s Theater at Laguna Beach High School on June 18, starring the Mad Scientist of Music, Ross Wright (aka Elvis Schoenberg) and featuring classical guitarist Eric Henderson. Free parking is available.

A wild and seductive orchestral ride that pushes against the boundaries of genre and dares to suggest a world stripped of those borders, the Orchestre Surreal presents radically different artistic expressions that, in Elvis Schoenberg’s world, have every obligation to collide. The result is a celebratory deconstructing of known and unknown songs with the wit and whimsy of Spike Jones and the musical complexities of Frank Zappa and a showcasing of the wackiest wacky-savant orchestra of twenty-five musicians in recent history. Local musician Phil Goff will also be featured. The doors open at 7 p.m. for VIP ticket holders and 7:30 p.m. for general admission. Tickets can be purchased here www.eventbrite.com/e/elvisshoenbergs-orchestre-surreal-featuring-eric-henderson-tickets-624918256327.

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