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A smoking hot party: Bach to the Future gala turns up the theatrics, moves big spenders

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17, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Jan Spin, Christine Spin, Debbi Griffith, Jan Griffith
Jan and Christine Spin, from left, with Debbi and Lanny Griffith Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
28, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Antoine Plante, Lynn Wyatt
Antoine Plante and Lynn Wyatt Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
26, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Amanda Chambers, Veronica Bourque
Amanda Chambers, left, and Veronica Bourque Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
25, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Robert Woods, Marylou Erbland, Tawnia Willis, Darryl Willis, Kate Hall
Robert Woods, from left, Marylou Erbland, Tawnia Willis, Darryl Willis and Kate Hall Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
27, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Charlene Ripley, John Folnovic
Charlene Ripley and John Folnovic Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
12, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Antoine Plante, Christine Spin, Jan Spin
Antoine Plante, left, with chairs Christine and Jan Spin Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
24, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Gabriel Attal, Ana Maria Martinez
Gabriel Attal and Ana Maria Gonzalez Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
23, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Deborah, Carol Mohrman
Deborah Lugo, left, and Carol Mohrman Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
21, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Bill Olson, Lauren Olson
Lauren and Bill Olson Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
20, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Jeff & Pat Sheets, Janet Kelly, John Carrig, Julie Fette, Luc Messier
Jeff and Pat Sheets, from left, Janet Kelly, John Carrig, Julie Fette and Luc Messier Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
18, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Richard Ethun, Karen Ethun
Richard and Karen Ethun Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
14, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Mickey Henry, Francoise Henry
Mickey Henry and Francoise Henry Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
9, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Tim Sulser, June Barth, Steve Barth, Marianne Sulser
Tim Sulser, from left, June and Steve Barth and Marianne Sulser Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
6, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Kevin Poynter, Denise Poynter
Denise and Kevin Poynter Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
5, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Roy Schlappich, Glenna Scharon
Roy Schlappich and Glenna Scharon Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
2, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Linda Fowler, Joe Fowler
Linda and Joe Fowler Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
1, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Elizabeth Charles, Lorento Jolofeev
Elizabeth Charles and Lorento Jolofeev Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
17, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Jan Spin, Christine Spin, Debbi Griffith, Jan Griffith
28, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Antoine Plante, Lynn Wyatt
26, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Amanda Chambers, Veronica Bourque
25, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Robert Woods, Marylou Erbland, Tawnia Willis, Darryl Willis, Kate Hall
27, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Charlene Ripley, John Folnovic
12, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Antoine Plante, Christine Spin, Jan Spin
24, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Gabriel Attal, Ana Maria Martinez
23, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Deborah, Carol Mohrman
21, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Bill Olson, Lauren Olson
20, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Jeff & Pat Sheets, Janet Kelly, John Carrig, Julie Fette, Luc Messier
18, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Richard Ethun, Karen Ethun
14, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Mickey Henry, Francoise Henry
9, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Tim Sulser, June Barth, Steve Barth, Marianne Sulser
6, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Kevin Poynter, Denise Poynter
5, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Roy Schlappich, Glenna Scharon
2, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Linda Fowler, Joe Fowler
1, Mercury Gala, March 2013, Elizabeth Charles, Lorento Jolofeev

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.

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