Broadway Actress Cathy Rigby to Star in Tree Lighting at Fashion Island

Newport Beach, California, October 31, 2008 – Fashion Island has announced that Broadway performer and Olympic medalist Cathy Rigby will star in “The Magical Spirit of Christmas,” a musical extravaganza culminating in the lighting of the center’s spectacular Christmas tree on November 21 and 22 at 6 p.m. both nights.

The song and dance production will feature a cast of more than 60 talented students from the California Conservatory of the Arts in San Juan Capistrano. The performance will tell the story of a magical journey Mrs. Claus, played by Rigby, must make in order to save Christmas.

The Magical Spirit of Christmas features high energy numbers to beloved holiday music, both classics and new. At the end of the show, Mr. and Mrs. Claus fly in a whimsical hot air balloon to light Fashion Island’s stunning 115 ft. white fir, adorned with 23,000 lights, bows and ornaments.

Immediately following the tree lighting, Santa will be available for photos and visits with children at his beautiful custom-designed house, located on Fashion Island’s Atrium Lawn.

Fashion Island’s Christmas tree arrives on November 3 on the flatbed of a semi-truck from Mt. Shasta. Fashion Island works closely every year with Victor’s Custom Christmas Trees of Mission Viejo and the U.S. Forestry Service in finding the white fir. Victor’s Custom Christmas Trees replants an average of 12 trees for every one tree harvested, and trees are only removed from designated timber areas. Fashion Island’s Christmas tree will be recycled after the season, as is done every year.

Fashion Island, owned by the Irvine Company and located on the Newport Beach coast, is Southern California’s premier open-air luxury retail center. Fashion Island has nearly 200 unique and designer boutiques, restaurants and Orange County’s only Neiman Marcus, as well as Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Home Store and Macy’s. Dean & DeLuca will open in June 2009 and Nordstrom will open at the center in spring, 2010. For more information, call (949) 721-2000 or visit