Everyone knows what happens when the clock strikes midnight. But only zealots of the Back to the Future trilogy are fully cognizant of the implications of 10:04 p.m., that is, when lightening hits at the perfect moment to vortex the film protagonists on a wild time-space travel adventure.
No details were overlooked in the multimedia recreation of that scene for Mercury's "Bach to the Future" gala on the stage of Wortham Theater Center Friday — with a tuneful twist.
As smoke lifted from behind a see-through screen, from an impeccably maintained DeLorean DMC-12, on loan from retired attorney Chuck Waters and wife Sandy, out came Mercury's maestro, "Doc" Antoine Plante, sporting a mad scientist lab coat and white powder on his curls. A zestful performance of timeless classics that included works by Vivaldi, Bach and "Johnny B. Goode" as a nod to the evening's theme stirred concertmaster Jonathan Godfrey, as a Marty McFly of sorts, to tear up solo riffs on his fiddle on the floor.
Guests let their wallets do the talking and rocked on dancing.
Brigid Spin, a discerning music lover, was so moved by the presentation that she agreed to underwrite the company's purchase of period timpani.
Taking a bow for the gala were chairs Christine and Jan Spin, whose mother Brigid Spin, a discerning music lover who studied piano for 14 years, was so moved by the presentation that she agreed to underwrite the purchase of the company's period timpani for $9,000 — a gesture that earned a standing ovation.
Big spenders Janet Kelly of honoree ConocoPhillips and former COO John Carrig couldn't let go of a holiday package at Plante's home in Isle Verte on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, and Joe Gonzalez and Huntsville-native Bill Baldwin added to their art collection an original David Adickes painting.
With many new faces in the crowd, the energy in the room surpassed the expectations of organizers, who were thrilled at the $210,000 that will support Mercury's operations, performances and community education programs.
In the crowd of 300-plus were Lynn Wyatt, Debbi and Lanny Griffith as emcee, Susan and Dennis Carlyle, Deana and Larry Blackburn, Janine Iannarelli, Tina Raham and Jonathan Stewart, Cathy and Randy Crath, Viviana and David Denechaud, Roy Schlappich, Glenna Scharon, Geoffroy Petit and opera star Ana María Martínez.