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A masquerade fit for a queen

Canyon Theatre Guild fundraiser offers entertainment, dinner, dancing

Posted: February 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.

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Who’s behind that mask? That was the theme Feb. 8 when the Canyon Theatre Guild hosted the Queen of Hearts Masquerade Ball, a new take on its annual “Night of a Thousand Stars” fundraiser.

“I’ve always wanted to attend a masquerade ball,” said event chairwoman Claudia Alexopoulos. “This event is very important to support all the programs of the theater.”

Guests arrived in elegant attire and wearing a variety of masks, everything from expensive and elaborate Mardi Gras-type masks to hockey and “Lone Ranger” type masks.

“I’m thrilled that everyone got behind the idea and showed up in masks,” Alexopoulos said.

The masks lent an air of mystery to the annual event which featured silent and live auctions, dinner, dancing and entertainment.

“The Canyon Theatre Guild is a stalwart of our performing arts community,” said John Dow, chairman of the Santa Clarita Arts Commission. “I think it is important to celebrate what they bring to Santa Clarita.”

Canyon Theatre Guild executive and artistic director TimBen Boydston said the support of the community is crucial to the theater.

“We are so grateful for the support we receive from the community,” Boydston said. “We are always so honored when so many members of the community come to support the Canyon Theatre Guild.”

Performing for nearly 100 guests were Dave Norman, Jill Kocalis Scott and Jarod Scott, Aubree Garman, Stephanie Klimek and George Chavez, Bill and Kathy Lively and Kara Slocum.

Norman, with the assistance of Sierra Fortman, performed a little “magic” that had the audience roaring with laughter.

The Scotts sang a perfect rendition of “I’ll Know” from “Guys and Dolls.”

The Livelys sang “Come What May” from “Moulin Rouge” with such feeling they brought tears to the eyes of members of the audience.

Soloists Garman and Slocum sang “On My Own” from “Les Miserable” and “Sooner or Later” from “Dick Tracy.”

After the entertainment Greg Findley and Boydston acted as auctioneers to raise funds for the theater.

Among the items up for bid were a play sale, patio party, a chance to star in a Canyon Theater Guild production, an Angel membership to the Canyon Theatre Guild, a Maui condo and a personalized artist print.

After the formal program concluded guests were able to dance to the Good Vibe Trio.

In addition to silent auction baskets $10 mystery boxes were sold that offered the lucky winners either a 50-inch high-definition television, a Coach purse or a wrought iron candle holder.

If guests were not a “big” winner, they received a piece of candy in the box.

Guests attending the event offered a variety of reasons for attending.

Some stated they were there to have “a good time,” others were attending to “enjoy a party” and nearly everyone said they wanted to support the Canyon Theatre Guild.”

“Theater is important to society,” said Nancy Lantis. “And it’s fun to dress up.”

The Canyon Theatre Guild produces 10 shows each season.

More than 30,000 people attended last season’s performances, said Boydston.

In addition the Canyon Theatre Guild has more than 500 volunteers who work in front of — and behind the scenes for the community theater group.

“Tonight is a joyous night to celebrate the Canyon Theatre Guild,” said Bill Lively, one of the evening’s entertainers.

Julie and Darryl Roberts were surprised to be named King and Queen of the Ball.

“They pulled out names out of a hat,” said Julie Roberts.

The couple were given crowns and a bouquet of flowers .

City Councilwoman Marsha McLean is a long time member of the Canyon Theatre Guild.

“Live theater is very important in Santa Clarita,” McLean said. “I’m so happy that residents have the choice of some wonderful entertainment in our own valley.”

City Councilwoman Laurene Weste said she was happy to attend the event to support the Canyon Theatre Guild.

“This is amazing group of talented people who put their hearts and souls into entertaining the people of Santa Clarita,” Weste said.

For more information about the Canyon Theatre Guild visit www.canyontheatre.org. The Canyon Theatre Guild is located at 24242 Main St., Newhall.661-799-2702.

mbuttelman@signalscv.com

661-287-5590

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