A Summertime Confabulation in Laguna

Weird spring weather and the calendar have finally synchronized, and summer has come at last to Southern California! What better way to celebrate the season than an alfresco dinner and cocktails before attending Laguna Beach’s outdoor Pageant of the Masters?

C’est la Vie Restaurant on South Coast Highway is my go-to place in Laguna. The refreshing Taste of Summer cocktail lived up to its name, with rum, pineapple juice, vodka with sweet & sour, all turned vivid green with Midori. After a bit of palette-cleansing orange sorbet, the taste buds were ready for the light lobster and fettuccine Alfredo. A summer tart of six fruits was the perfect exclamation point to a very seasonal meal.

For 78 years, the Pageant of the Masters has celebrated a vast spectrum of artistic expression in tableaux vivant (“living pictures”), in which live models are juxtaposed within recreations of paintings, sculpture, jewelry, bronzes, etc. This year’s theme is Only Make Believe and the pageant staff has created a wondrous assemblage of works. My favorite recreation was of Scott Gustafson’s 2009 painting, Confabulation of Dragons. Over intermission cocktails, many guests were heard chatting – confabbing – about the fabulous scenes of make believe, and looking forward to more myths and monsters.

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