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City Theatre rocks 'n' rolls with gala, silent auction

Sunday, May 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

For most of the guests of Let's Rock This City!, all that leather and lace was a welcome departure from the norm.

For others, it was just another day.

“This looks like last weekend at my house!” laughed Cyrus Erickson.

True to form, City Theatre saw to it that the majority of the 405 attending its Silent Auction & Gala on May 20 took the rock 'n' roll dress code seriously, eschewing anything remotely close to formalwear for the opportunity to dig into closets and resurrect some old favorites.

“I just picked it out,” admitted board prez David Massaro (with Luci), who arrived clad in a black-fringe leather jacket and faded Rolling Stones T-shirt.

Elsewhere, age did nothing to deter the desire to let loose in the East Club Lounge of Heinz Field, where it was few and far between who admitted to actually having to go out and buy something symbolic of the evening.

“I've had these for ages,” said Paul Gitnik of his leather pants.

As DJ Kelli Burns turned up the volume on the kind of soundtrack that had everyone blissfully remembering when, co-chairs Laura Penrod Kronk, June Yonas and Michael and Judy Cheteyan were welcoming the likes of Ira and Nanette Gordon, Jim and Melanie Crockard, Ken and Pam McCrory, Athena Sarris Simms and Ian Simms, Candace Sarris and fiance Tino Rionda, Dolly Ellenberg, Ed Harrell and Chas Pelusi, David Whalen, Kevin and Kristen McMahon, Dr. Larry Leahy, Richard Parsakian and Mark Phillis.

Meanwhile, more than a few takers were waiting to straddle a parked Harley-Davidson, while elsewhere, colorful cocktails came fast and furious to parched partygoers experiencing gridlock at the dinner stations.

WTAE's Sally Wiggin helmed a live auction that offered an escape as bidders staked claim to their favorite playgrounds — Aspen, Colo.; the French Riviera; Vegas; the Italian countryside — but really, it was the theme and, in turn, the people-watching, that took center stage.

“Rock 'n' roll is born out of a rebellious spirit. We're like the rock 'n' roll of theater,” offered artistic director Tracy Brigden.

The gala, the biggest and most successful in City Theatre's history, raised $275K.

Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-380-8515.




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