On August 25th, Grammy-winning producer and vocalist Steve Tyrell performed during one of the most momentous nights of the summer art season: The Celebrity Benefit Concert and Pageant at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. The event was sponsored by Southern California Acura Dealers, KOST Radio 103.5 and Yamaha. “The concert was fantastic. Steve put on a fun and exciting concert that the audience loved,” said Special Events Director Susan Davis. Guests also enjoyed a private showing of the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show with the work of 140 Orange County artists on display.
Ever since Steve Tyrell’s glorious surprise version of “The Way You Look Tonight” in the 1991 film Father of The Bride, he has been setting A New Standard (the title of his 1999 debut album) for interpreting the Great American Songbook. Nine of Tyrell’s own albums have reached top-five status on Billboard’s Jazz charts, with his most recent “A Song For You” hitting #1. He continually works to reinvent the American Standards Songbook and connect classic tunes to a modern audience, performing extensively with his band and with orchestras across the country and around the world-from the Hollywood Bowl to Carnegie Hall to Buckingham Palace.
After the concert, guests proceeded to the Irvine Bowl to enjoy a special performance of the Pageant of the Masters hosted by actress Sarah Drew. Drew is best known for her roles as Dr. April Kepner on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Hannah Rogers on WB’s Everwood, and the voice of Stacy Rowe on MTV’s Daria. Other television credits include Nora/Demon on WB’s/CW’s Supernatural, Suzy Pepper on FOX’s Glee, Kitty Romano on AMC’s Mad Men, Rachel Rosenzweig on USA’s In Plain Sight, Chloe Richardson on ABC’s Castle, Judy on ABC’s Private Practice, and Suzie Keener on CBS’ Medium. Drew most recently starred as Cagney in the CBS pilot reboot of Cagney & Lacey. Film credits include Moms’ Night Out, Tug, Front of the Class, Reinventing the Wheelers, American Pastime, The Baxter, and Radio. This past year, Drew ventured behind the camera, making her directorial debut directing the six part web series Grey’s Anatomy: B-Team. She can next be seen in theaters this October starring in the feature film Indivisible, which she also produced. Drew resides in Los Angeles with her husband Peter, children Micah and Hannah, and rescue dog, Lucy.
Drew talked about her first visit to the Pageant and how she purchased artwork from the Festival of Arts that hangs in her home. Earlier in the evening, Drew got to take a peak behind the scenes and shared with the audience, “Theatre has always felt like family and community to me, and that’s what I saw backstage: Staff and volunteers having a great time working together to create something completely unique and amazing.”
After a brief introduction, Sarah Drew then pulled the winning ticket the Festival’s summer-long raffle. The winner of 2019 Acura RDX was Lisa Schabloski from Scottsdale, Arizona. After the winner was announced, guests enjoyed a captivating performance of the critically acclaimed Pageant of the Masters production of “Under the Sun.”
The event grossed over $200,000 for future arts programming and the Building Fund for improvements of the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters facility. Festival of Arts President David Perry thanked the sponsors of the event and also the patrons. “Today, the Pageant of the Masters is more than a summer entertainment; it’s a source of pride.” Perry said. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the real stars of the Pageant: its family of volunteers. You’re an inspiration to us all. I’d also like to congratulate Pageant director Diane Challis Davy and her team for creating a remarkable love letter to our community in ‘Under the Sun.’”
Also in attendance were many other celebrity guests including James Callis, Gabrielle Carteris, Shawn Christian, Patrika Darbo, Mark Derwin, Kate Flannery, Matthew Gray Gubler, Dennis Haskins, Tricia Helfer, Daniel Henney, Maria-Elena Laas, Kate Linder, Joe Mantegna, Dallas Raines, Caryn Richman, and Arianne Zucker.