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'Bond-ing' for Canyon Theatre Guild

Annual gala fundraiser offers mystery, adventure and intrigue

Posted: October 11, 2008 8:37 p.m.
Updated: December 13, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Guests at 'Casino Royale 008' peruse auction items. The live auction raised more than $12,000 for the Canyon Theatre Guild.

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It was a warm night in the Octopussy Lounge in Newhall as guests arrived "by invitation of Her Majesty's Secret Service" for "Casino Royale 008." The fundraising evening to benefit the Canyon Theatre Guild offered "mystery, adventure and intrigue" as guests dressed as their favorite characters from the "James Bond" series.

More than 100 attendees gave the evening an elegant ambiance as guests arrived in "007" glory. Tuxedos were almost mandatory for the men, with women dressed in everything from cocktail to floor length dresses.

Shaken, not stirred
It was an evening of "can you guess who I am" as guests sampled the "shaken, not stirred" martinis from the bar or played the casino games on the outdoor patio of the CTG.

Festively decorated tables, decked out in black and red, with casino chips, dice and plenty of "glam" were arranged on the CTG's backyard patio. An elegant "Slot Machine" cake crafted by Heidi Meiseles, made guests do a double take - was it real? Or cake?

Guests were entertained by Leslie Berra who sang a medley of Bond movie title songs (before she was dragged from the stage by gun toting thugs) and an amusing short skit featuring secret agents, hidden identities and a laser beam.

A high-stakes game
The event also featured a silent and live auction with proceeds to benefit children's theater in the Santa Clarita Valley, said TimBen Boydston, CTG director of operations.

"It's a wonderful night and we're so pleased to see so many people supporting this event," said Boydston.

Boydston and Greg Finley served as auctioneers for the live auction which featured a range of items including a cruise to Ensenada, golf with Finley at Valencia Country Club, golf at Tournament Players Club, a package of theme park tickets and Remo drums.

The CTG offered bidders a chance to "star" in a CTG production (with a walk-on appearance), a 12-inch personalized gold star on the CTG Wall of Stars with dedicated lighting, a private play sale, a CTG patio party and a chance to be immortalized with your hands in cement at the CTG.

After the dust had settled from the live auction bidding frenzy the community theater group had netted more than 12,000.

"The Canyon Theatre Guild is a key arts and entertainment asset of our community," said John Dow, who arrived "dressed to kill" as the villainous "Scaramella" with a vicious (fake) scar that ran the length of his face. "I had a terrific time this evening and would not have missed it."

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