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The Phantom of the Opera Was Here

Broadway star Davis Gaines was the featured guest at Mission San Juan Capistrano's annual benefit gala.

Forget Phantom of the Opera. Broadway star Davis Gaines is now Phantom of the Mission.

Gaines, the longest-running Phantom in Los Angeles’ version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber play, was the VIP guest at Mission San Juan Capistrano’s annual gala Friday.

Instead of hanging out in the underground passages beneath the theater, Gaines took to his music of the night to the Great Stone Church.

Proceeds from the benefit gala, dubbed "Romance of the Mission," go to support the Mission’s $3.3. million gatehouse renovation project, which is expected to be completed by March.

Organizers are estimating net proceeds of just less than $200,000, said Barbara Kimler, a spokeswoman for the Mission. In addition, an anonymous donor said he would give $100,000 more if the Mission can raise another $100,000 in the next 60 days.

In remarks before those gathers, Mission San Juan Capistrano Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence-Adams welcomed attendees along with Mission Preservation Board President George O’Connell saying, “As a product of the collective efforts and ingenious spirits of the past, we gather this evening to celebrate the past, to remember the meaning of this place, and make
sure that the Mission matters in new and previously unimaginable ways to people living today.”

Honorary chairs for the evening were San Juan residents Jan and the Honorable H. Warren Siegel, who have been regular supporters of the Mission for many years, according to the Mission.

“You don't have to be Catholic to appreciate the Mission,” Jan Siegel said in a Mission press release. “For us, the Mission represents the art, culture and history of California and particularly of San Juan Capistrano.”

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