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Applause: Carol King's “Beautiful” comes to OC and "Carnivale" dazzles

It looked like France, tasted like the Hamptons and felt like Newport Beach all at one dreamy, Gatsby-esque party.

Guests at the kickoff for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ annual Candlelight Concert gathered at the chateau of Roger and Tracy Kirwan to cruise an alfresco, Hamptons-inspired raw bar of shucked oysters, crab claws and shrimp and mingle in the ocean breeze that makes Newport Coast one of Orange County’s primo summer soiree destinations.

As guests sipped Veuve Clicquot the buzz was about Carole King, who will star at the Dec. 2 Candlelight Concert in Segerstrom Hall, capping the center’s 30th anniversary celebration. The Tony Award-winning show about her life, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” plays at Segerstrom Hall in October.

“We are definitely going with the theme of ‘Beautiful’ for Candlelight because of our event’s star and that wonderful show,” said Tracy Kirwan, co-chair with her husband, Roger Kirwan, a longtime member of the board, and David and Jaynine Warner, also a board member.
Observed Jaynine Warner: “We are thrilled to plan the event around a performance by Carole King, one of the great songwriters of all time.”

Masterpiece Theater: What do you get when you combine a famous couple with a fabulous work of art? “Partners,” the theme of this year’s Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, where art annually comes to life onstage at the Irvine Bowl. This year’s production featured eye-popping re-creations of dozens of duos, including Adam and Eve, the Wright brothers, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, even colorful movie poster depictions of dancers Fred and Ginger. Through it all, actor Richard Doyle voiced a sonorous narration of each presentation. A founding member of South Coast Repertory, Doyle is in his sixth year with the world-famous pageant under the stars. He loves the opportunity to read from a 4,000- to 5,000-word script and “tell good stories about great art for 2,500-plus people 60 consecutive nights,” he said. “Here, I get to tell the whole story, not just from my character’s point of view.” Watch for Doyle in his signature role of the Ghost of Christmas Past in SCR’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol.”

Arty Party: With a nod to the Olympics in Brazil, masked partygoers swayed to a samba beat under a multihued balloon arch to celebrate “Carnivale,” the opening night of the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. With a dizzying display of artwork on view, guests snaked through exhibits, visiting with craftsmen and artists such as plein air specialist Michael Obermeyer. “I love being outdoors, and each of my paintings reflect what I am feeling in the moment,” said Obermeyer, who has been painting for 20 years. “I hope my passion shows.”

Bay Watch: The tranquil beauty of Upper Newport Bay was the setting for the annual juried art show staged by the Southern California Plein Air Painters Association at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. Guests at the kickoff cruised a colorful exhibition of 60 original works of art depicting scenes from Orange County parks, including the Back Bay and Newport Harbor. First place went to Susan Jarecky’s “Springtime on the Bay”; second to Tony Danchik’s “Gray Day on the Lake.”; and third to Kevin Davidson’s “Before Dawn.” Event co-chairs were Barbara Davidson and Kathleen Williams. A portion of art sale proceeds benefited the Newport Bay Conservancy.

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