Pageant Behind-the-Scenes Pics Enchant

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Tuesday, Jul 28, 2009  |  Updated 9:23 PM PDT
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Pageant Behind-the-Scenes Pics Enchant

Pageant of the Masters

People -- real people -- mixed with painted backdrops at Pageant of the Masters

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Many mysteries do and should surround a beautiful and evocative performance, and lifting the gossamer veil, if the chance arises, should be up to each individual fan. We don't exactly want to know how Peter Pan flies over an audience, or how the Phantom of the Opera jumps into the foggy depths. Not at all, in fact. We want to think it is just really happening.

We are, however, a mite obsessed with the wondrous techniques of standing-stillness and make-upping that go hand-in-hand with Pageant of the Masters. The historic, been-around-for-decades Laguna Beach staple is famous for erecting elaborate work-of-art backdrops and then "painting" -- via make-up and costumes -- and posing actors in front of them.

The obsession comes in two parts. One: How does everyone stand so still? Surely there are techniques. We could use some for all the various grocery store lines we find ourselves waiting in; if only we weren't constantly running back to aisle 11 for another can of tuna every two seconds. If only we could be Pageant-of-the-Master-like in our unmovingness.

And two: make-up. Make-up and costumes for the Pageant are primo, and so suited to creating painterly figures. That's why we're spending time on the Pageant site with these pretty pictures showing performers getting the pre-show treatment. They're revealing, they're fascinating, and we don't think they spoil the final surprise all that much. Maybe calling them a "how-to" is a stretch, but we're seeing things in them that we'd never notice from faraway.

Still, we're not looking into how Peter Pan flies. Nope. Don't want to know.

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