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1920s speakeasy-themed gala benefits City Theatre

| Sunday, May 25, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Appealing to the scoundrel who lurks within, City Theatre did its part to try and tempt a record-breaking crowd of 450 out of good behavior during its “Let's Misbehave”-themed Gala and Auction.

“It's a very misbehaving crowd,” said David Massaro, who chaired the event with his wife, Luci.

In what easily could be categorized as the pinnacle of mischievousness, a shirtless, red suspender-wearing Devin Greene began making the rounds as gawkers quickly zeroed in. Serving as a sight for many sore eyes, his presence nevertheless prompted at least one curious inquiry.

“Someone asked me, ‘Where do half-naked men fit into the 1920s?' ” said Jodi Nydes.

Having embraced the “spiffy and swanky for dames and daddies” dress code, a vast majority came dressed for the occasion in flapper and gangster-esque ensembles, some of which had been meticulously put together. “She spent three hours on that wig!” said Jim Crockard of his wife Melanie's sleek red bob.

Still continuing to exhibit a good amount of restraint, guests causing an initial bottleneck at the bar slowly began to dissipate as the action moved farther into the East Club Lounge of Heinz Field. Along the way, a handful of daredevils made a pit stop on the dance floor to try their hand at Charleston-inspired moves, which artistic director Tracy Brigden was confident would pick up momentum as the evening progressed.

“They'll cut a rug once we get enough hooch in them,” she said.

Following a performance by undie-rock duo The Skivvies, in Twenties-era unmentionables, Sally Wiggin and managing director Mark Power kicked off a seven-item auction that included trips to New York City, New Orleans, Mexico, Greece and Palm Springs. By eve's end, $225K had been raised.

Among the crowd May 19 were co-chairs June Yonas, Laura Penrod Kronk and Judy andMichael Cheteyan. Also, Ira andNanetteGordon, Sydelle Kessler, Patricia Ward Kelly (widow of Gene Kelly), Dr. Larry Leahy andJohnVandegrift, Cultural Trust prez KevinMcMahon, Ken andPam McCrory, Richard Parsakian, Greg Barrett and Tacy Byham.

Kate Benz, social columnist for Trib Total Media, can be reached at kbenz@tribweb.com, 412-380-8515 or via Twitter @Kate Benz TRIB.

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