Bond girls, Bentleys and perhaps even Agent 007 himself will convene next month down by the St. Louis riverfront. And no, they’re not attending the premier of the new James Bond movie, rather they’re coming together for ‘Shaken, Not Stirred: A 007 Affair,’ a gala benefit for The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.
The black tie event at the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday, Nov. 14, will feature dinner and dancing, a rare luxury car display, casino games, spy giveaways and a ‘Dazzling Diamond Drawing,’ according to event co-chair Ven Houts. “We’ve never had a venue like the Four Seasons, and it’s the first time many people will get the opportunity to see it,” he says.
Houts notes that the new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, will be released on the same day. “We encourage people to dress like their favorite spy or villain. We’ll have some Bond girls there, as well as a Mr. Bond, or two,” he says.
In addition, a 1954 customized Bentley Continental, said to have inspired author Ian Fleming when writing On Her Majesty’s Secret Service will be on display, along with a 1965 Aston Martin DB6 convertible and a 2009 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster. Houts says guests will also have the opportunity to participate in a drawing featuring a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind piece of diamond jewelry from Genovese Jewelers.
Tickets are $300 per person or $1,500 for a patron couple, which includes a complimentary room at the Four Seasons that evening. “We invite guests to spend the day of the event relaxing at the hotel spa and then stay for the night so they have the convenience of getting ready for the party on-site and not having to worry about the drive home,” Houts says. Along with Ven Houts, co-chairs for the event are Cynthia Houts and Paul and Lynn Ann Vogel.
Houts says proceeds from the event will support The Rep and its productions. “While our theater does 13 to 14 performances a year, only 66 percent of our revenue comes from ticket sales; the rest comes from contributions and special events like ‘Shaken, Not Stirred.’” The Rep’s 2008-2009 Mainstage season includes Jane Austen’s Emma, A New Musical and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Throughout its 42-year history, Houts notes The Rep has dedicated itself to producing live theater of superior quality. “Live theater is something that everyone needs to enjoy in their life,” he says. “It’s incredible to see people 50-feet in front of you bring something to life.”