The cast and crew of "Schlock and Awe" seemed to have as much fun as the audience at the gala performance Sunday of "Lagunatics," which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.
A beaming "Lagunatics" founder and director Bree Burgess Rosen had culled 25 numbers from all the shows since 1992. What was still so funny after all these years?
"In the Nude," said Chris Quilter, who wrote or co-wrote with Burgess 19 of the parodies in the show.
"It was among my happiest writing experiences."
The number premiered in the 2007 show, an expose of the Pageant of the Masters.
He also loved "Stuck on Coast Highway," (2007), performed by veteran cast member Rufino Cabang and Steve McIntosh to the tune of "My Way."
However, one of Quilter's all-time favorites, "Circle of Cars," a parody of the Lion King's "Circle of Life," didn't make the cut.
"Bree hates it," said Quilter.
Quilter's brother, Charlie, said "Circle of Cars" was also at the top of his hit parade. And he would have liked to see "Hallelujah Chorus," which featured Arts Commissioner Pat Kollenda in her role as Sister Mary Pat.
But for this year's show, his vote went to "Montage Cash," the "Monster Mash" from the 2003 show, first performed when Jim Spriene was still police chief and reprised at the gala.
"Jim nailed it," said Quilter.
No surprise — "Montage Cash" was also the favorite of Richard Hall, who was heavily involved in the transformation of Treasure Island Mobile Home Park into a high-end hotel.
Charlie Quilter's other choice: "The Modern City Manager," his brother's send-up of former City Manager Ken Frank, from the 2007 show, set to Gilbert and Sullivan's "Very Model of Modern Major General."
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kristine Thalman named that number Best in Show.
"Gilbert and Sullivan set the highest standards," said Chris Quilter. "I had the idea, and I just kept playing with it.
"It took three years. The only thing that rhymes with city manager is scarlet tanager and there was no room for that.
"So I used very close rhymes, and I hate that because it seems like you are not doing your job. "
Quilter's niece, Emily, visiting from her new home in Georgia, picked "Diarrhea" from the 2008 show, also chosen by Lee Kucera.
Kucera flew home from Bangkok to attend the show and came straight from the airport to the gala.
"'Diarrhea' was pretty funny," said Laguna Beach Police Employees Assn. President Larry Bammer. "I can't tell you how many hours of overtime I spent standing at Bluebird Canyon Drive."