The show will not go on

Lagunatics, the annual "roast of the coast" revue that skewers current issues in and around Laguna Beach, has been done in for 2013 by a bit of scenery it didn't expect.

Co-director Bree Burgess Rosen announced in a release Friday evening that the show has been postponed until January because of a mold problem under the Forum Theater on the Festival of Arts grounds.

The show, titled "Gagtime," was scheduled to run Oct. 5 through 20. Before a planned dress rehearsal Sept. 30, the creative team discovered an unpleasant odor in a wall of one of the offices under the theater, which it determined to be caused by mold.

Rosen at first said she hoped the show would resume in the coming days if the mold proved nontoxic. Ultimately, though, the team decided that it would not have time to promote the show even if it got clearance from experts testing the substance.

"We just couldn't wait, and there's still not an answer to the lab tests," Rosen said Monday. "Whether it comes back toxic or not, it's just going to be too late to market the show."

Now, residents who bought tickets for the October performances will receive refunds, and "Gagtime" is tentatively scheduled to take the stage the last three weeks of January. Rosen said the script may change a bit by then — to at least include a reference to the recent problem.

"It's not going to have a lot of changes, but we will have a number about this particular debacle," she said. "There will be a mold number, toxic or nontoxic."

Rosen said some of the planned cast members would have to drop out because of scheduling conflicts, but the team would still go on with rehearsals until the show was ready to stage.

Sian Poeschl, the city's cultural arts manager, said she was disappointed by the show's postponement but hoped to see it in January. She called the revue a longtime favorite among Laguna residents.

"They're always sold out, aren't they?" she said. "I think that proves the point."

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