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Pageant of the Masters, a Southern California Tradition

Pageant of the Masters
650 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(800) 487-3378
  • Dates: Every night, early July through early September
  • Location: Laguna Beach, Orange County
  • How Long: Each performance lasts about 90 minutes

About Pageant of the Masters

It started in 1932, when artist and vaudevillian Lolita Perine dressed local residents in costume and seated them behind a makeshift frame to recreate famous works of art. Laguna Beach's Pageant of the Masters has lost none of its appeal over the years. Every summer, audiences pack the Irvine Bowl to watch real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in recreations of original art pieces.

Over the 90-minute performance, about 20 different art works go on display accompanied by a professional orchestra playing an original score.

Smoking, cameras, audio recorders and babies-in-arms are not permitted.

Festival of Arts

Over the same time period as the Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Beach hosts the Festival of the Arts, a rigorously-juried show of original works in all media. The festival takes place in a in a six-acre canyon park near the ocean and is open daily.

A Pageant of the Masters ticket or ticket stub gives you unlimited free admission to the festival. For those who don't attend the Pageant of the Masters, the festival charges a small admission fee. Laguna Beach residents with ID receive free admission, as do children under the age of 12.

Pageant of the Masters Tickets

Everyone who attends the Pageant of the Masters must have a ticket, regardless of age. No babies-in-arms permitted.

Pageant of the Masters ticket prices start at $20. You can order online or by calling the box office at (949) 497-6582 or (800) 487-3378, but do it early. The best seats sell out by January for performances starting in July. There is no waiting list.

If you find you've procrastinated too long, you may be tempted to try buying tickets from a street scalper. It can be risky, but if you're determined, these tips may help you keep from getting cheated:

  • Know what the ticket looks like. Politely ask someone if you can see theirs.
  • Bring a seating chart. Unscrupulous scalpers may show you an altered one.
  • Bring cash.
  • Test the seller by asking if they'll walk to the gate with you. If they're reluctant, it could mean the tickets are fake and they don't want to be nearby when it's discovered.
  • Be patient. You may get a better deal if you wait until just before the show starts.

You may also find Pageant of the Masters tickets for sale on eBay. This is an even more risky way to get them. If you decide to try it, be sure the seller has a good feedback rating, with more than just a few entries. Try to get the seller to give you a physical address where you can contact them in case of trouble.

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