A chance to laugh at Laguna

From parking and light pollution to the Laguna goats and the fishing ban, every topic is fair game for "Lagunatics," the annual show that turns the city's events into song-and-dance skits.

"The town has yet to fail coming up with goofy material," said Bree Burgess Rosen, who created the show that's now in its 19th year.

Some of the numbers include tap-dancing goats in "It Had to Be Chewed" or the city's new electric charging stations in "A Chain of Fuel."

"We hit all the big topics in town," Burgess Rosen said. "We offer up an explanation for some of the more complex issues … but in a comedic way."

Carrie Reynolds has been participating in "Lagunatics" for five years and said she couldn't pass up the opportunity to be a part of it.

"I went to the first one, and I thought: How could you live in this town and not love it more by having 'Lagunatics?'" she said. "There's not many towns where you could celebrate the headlines and have it be that funny."

Reynolds joked that she didn't grow up singing and dancing, and her fifth-grade son, Sam, who was in "LagunaTots," has no problem pointing it out.

When she offered help with his show, he responded: "Mom, you're third row 'Lagunatics'…"

The show even makes fun of itself with a skit about those who want to be in the show. "Lagunatics" doesn't hold auditions; it instead auctions off roles in the show as a way to raise funds.

Locals might recognize some city officials' names on the playbill.

City Councilman Kelly Boyd, who has performed in the show before, is doing his first solo act, which involves singing, Burgess Rosen said. Mayor Toni Iseman will also join the cast, along with first-timer Councilwoman Verna Rollinger.

Two arts commissioners will also hit the stage with solos.

Lisa Mansour has been an arts commissioner and in "Lagunatics" for three years.

"The best part is just the community of people — the crazy family that we become, the laughs and support and friendship that's formed," she said. "It's a nice diversion from everyday life, and we get to be kids again."

Joe Lauderdale, who was part of the original 1992 cast, reflected on how the first shows were put together with scraps of paper for scripts and hardly any rehearsal time.

"We made fun of parking in 1992 and now make fun of parking in 2011," he said. "Some things don't change, but there's always something new to make fun of in Laguna Beach."


Twitter: @joannaclay


If You Go

What: "Lagunatics"

When: Oct. 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

Where: Festival of Arts' Forum Theatre, 650 Laguna Canyon Road

Contact: (949) 715-0333, nosquare.org

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