Famed science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury will observe his 90th birthday next month, and Laguna's Gallimaufry Performing Arts is planning a huge celebration. The local company, which turned Bradbury's "2116" into a musical last year, will be holding a fundraising event called "Masters and Masterpieces" on June 5 at the Masterpiece Fine Art Showroom, 1945 Laguna Canyon Road.
On the eclectic menu will be exhibitions of music, dance and art, helmed by Bradbury himself as master of ceremonies of the event. Proceeds will go toward Gallimaufry's production of "2116" at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. "Masters and Masterpieces" will begin at 6 p.m. with a VIP reception.
Tickets range from $40 to $100, with those in the top ranks meeting Bradbury and receiving an autographed limited edition poster. Contributors at the $40 level will join the VIPs from 7 to 10 p.m. for wine, hors d'oeuvres, special music and dance performances — as well as a sneak peek at the European tour production of "2116." Should patrons feel especially flush and donate $1,000 or more, they'll also receive a framed painting of their choice valued at between $2,800 and $3,500.
Bradbury's epic, then titled "Merry Christmas 2116," premiered 55 years after its inception at the Forum Theater on the Festival of Arts grounds last year under the direction of Steve Josephson, artistic director of Gallimaufry. The show then moved to Pasadena.
Reviewing the production, this column observed, "With Bradbury's book and lyrics and a musical score by John Hoke, 'Merry Christmas 2116' is a Twilight Zonish glimpse into a future imagined back in the 1950s, with Josephson's robotic ballets playing a crucial role in the story. Performances are splendid, with the robots often stealing the spotlight." It took Ray Bradbury 55 years to realize his dream of writing a musical, and that dream still is being realized with the Edinburgh Festival still ahead.
Tickets to "Masters and Masterpieces" are tax-deductible and can be obtained by calling (949) 499-5060 or by going online at www.gallimaufry.org /masters.