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Mission Marvel

The Romance of the Mission benefit at the Mission San Juan Capistrano melds art and history.

Honorees The Honorable H. Warren and Jan Siegel

Walk About  
Walking tours of historic
San Juan Capistrano, including
the recently restored Montanez
Adobe in the Los Rios District,
which was recognized by the
California Preservation
Foundation as one of the best
projects of 2012, can be arranged
through the San Juan Capistrano
Historical Society.
::  sjchistoricalsociety.com

It’s hard not to feel a little thankful when walking around the grounds of the Mission San Juan Capistrano, whether one belongs to the faith the place was founded upon or not. Even the most severe secularist can be moved by the history of the place and the plight of the many who labored, prayed and died there over the past two centuries. The Romance of the Mission benefit draws preservationists, padres and patrons of the arts out to support plans and projects at the Mission – and this year there was a phantom about the place as well.

Davis Gaines, who performed the title role in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera more than 2,000 times, sang before supper for the admiring crowd. Maybe it was just me, but I enjoyed several moments when Gaines played things a bit fey in his song selection and banter. But then again, we noticed an influx of attractive gentlemen adding to the aesthetics of the evening. Gaines fans, no doubt, were out to see the actor and singer in surroundings that are nothing less than spectacular.

Jan and Warren Siegel were the honorary chairs of the black-tie affair, which featured a spectacular dinner courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. With additional support from Microsemi and Traditional Jewelers, the gala raised some $200,000 toward the $3.3 million budget of the Gatehouse Preservation Project, now under construction at the Mission’s main entrance. An additional $100,000 anonymous matching pledge was made as well, so cut a check soon to contribute to the future of OC’s most historic place.

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