Move Fast as Pageant of the Masters Tickets Go on Sale

Seats for the 2018 Laguna Beach treat, which recreates famous artworks with real people, are now available.

What to Know

  • Laguna Beach
  • July 7 through Sept. 1, 2018
  • Performers "freeze" inside famous paintings

Acting on tickets for a big event that won't even begin in the first half of next year?

It can make a person downright sluggish, and snail-like, and frankly a little devil-may-care. For moving in the direction of making plans or talking to friends or choosing seats for the event in question doesn't feel urgent, like something that has to even happen in the next month or two.

Unless, of course, the event has been around for the bulk of a century, and is known around the world, and is often referenced, with cheer and cheekiness, in other major pop culture properties.

It's the Pageant of the Masters we speak of, and if you think we're about to tell you to move fast for this standing-still spectacular, then you know all of the quips that can possibly be made about the statue-like show.

That's right, this is the grandly staged presentation where real-life, breathing-and-thinking performers play not-real people inside paintings. This is achieved by not moving a centimeter — forget an inch — over several minutes while wearing sumptuous and often bulky, multi-layered costumes, the sort of outfits seen in artworks from Degas and Monet and Picasso.

And, of course, Da Vinci's "The Last Supper," which traditionally closes out the night.

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A night that already has its 2018 theme: "Under the Sun," which "...will honor Laguna's own and other artistic pioneers from around the world who left their studios in search of new inspiration."

As it does, Pageant of the Masters, which runs concurrently with the adjacent (and also huge) Festival of the Arts, will take place from a couple days after Independence Day to right around Labor Day. The 2018 dates are July 7 through Sept. 1, and tickets are available starting on Friday, Dec. 1.

Sitting closer? In order to see all of those living humans attempt not to blink while playing the great figures of art? It's kind of a thing, though rows in every part of Laguna Beach's historic Irvine Bowl fill up for this event, understandably, even those at the back, where rented binoculars do deliver in a pinch.

Advance tickets kick off at $15, and inch, inch, inch up to $240.

Speaking of inching, that's not recommended, should you want a seat next summer. Spring, dash, or sprint for your ticket now, if you just have to witness how this tableau vivant is so charmingly staged.

Really, though: How do bewitchingly costumed and cosmetic'd people stand so very still for so very long in front of so very many guests?

Pageant of the Masters, keep practicing those practical crafts in our CG world, and keep making your modern-day, right-before-our-eyes magic.

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