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Our Laguna: Celebrity event at Festival lives up to its name

August 29, 2012|By Barbara Diamond | By Barbara Diamond
(Courtesy Festival…)

The stars were out Saturday night — in the sky and on the grounds of the Festival of Arts.

Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy award-winner Christopher Cross performed for a crowd of almost 3,000 fans at the 2012 Acura Celebrity Event, which included celebrity guests who entered the grounds via the red carpet.

The event grossed about $230,000 for future arts programming and improvements of the facility, according to festival publicist Sharbie Higuchi.

"We're looking forward to a bright future for our premier juried art festival, our Laguna Beach high school scholarship program, our many other activities in support of this community and, of course, the world-famous Pageant of the Masters," said festival President Fred Sattler.

Sattler also thanked the event sponsors Acura and KOST radio.

He and his wife, Jan, were among the first to trod the red carpet and to be interviewed by Lisa Berman, owner of Sculpture to Wear, a wearable art gallery in Santa Monica. She also recently hosted the Festival Runway Fashion Show.

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"Did you see her earrings?" asked festival board member and Arts Commissioner Pat Kollenda, who considers fashion an art.

Cross was also an early arrival. His shoes were blue, although not suede, but he rocked the audience.

"It was a spectacular concert," said Special Events Director Susan Davis. "The fans loved it!"

Following the concert, ticket holders for the Pageant of the Masters proceeded to the Irvine Bowl, where they were welcomed by Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden.

"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.

Her daughter, Eulala Scheel, 13, was in the cast of the Pageant that night for the gala performance.

"I had a friend who was in the pageant last year," Eulala said.

Harden's 8-year-old twins, Hudson and Julitta, were in the audience.

Active in film, television and theater, Harden has forged a career that earned her Oscar nominations and awards and a 2009 Tony Award for "God of Carnage," which she reprised last year at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

She has also been nominated for an Emmy for an appearance on "Law & Order: SVU" and an Independent Spirit Award for "American Gun."

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