big bang, baby

Houstonians go sexy, spacey, and silly in $800,000 Orange Show Gala

Houstonians go sexy, spacey, and silly in $800,000 Orange Show Gala

Orange Show Gala 2021 Melissa Dobrowski
Space goddess (and co-chair) Melissa Dobrowski. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Mark Sullivan Catherine Anspon Libbie Masterson
Mark Sullivan and Libbie Masterson (right) called their shots. (Pictured with Catherine Anspon, center.) Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Dixie Friend Gay, Marilyn Oshman, Rickey Polidore Jr., Kelly Moran
Dixie Friend Gay, Marilyn Oshman, Rickey Polidore Jr., and Kelly Moran. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Chris Gillman, Katherine Gillman, Amy Stargel, Slade Stargel
Chris Gillman, Katherine Gillman, Amy Stargel, and Slade Stargel. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Beth Abramson-Meltzer, Lane Schultz
Beth Abramson-Meltzer and Lane Schultz. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Morris Day
Morris Day brought the "Jungle Love." Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Gonzo 247
Gonzo 247 took viewers on a voyage. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Fabricio Esquivel, Florencia Vial, Dean Putterman
Fabricio Esquivel, Florencia Vial, and Dean Putterman. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Austin Waiter
Tony's chef Austin Waiter. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Ashley Langley
Ashley Langley. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Tommy Ralp Pace Lina Hidalgo
Tommy Ralph Pace and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Aida Eltorie, Surena Matin, Laura Rathe, Tracy Levit Larner, Glen Larner
Aida Eltorie, Surena Matin, Laura Rathe, Tracy Levit Larner, and Glen Larner. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021
The colorful scene. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Lance Valerie Rosmarin
Lance and Valerie Rosmarin. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Katherine Barthelme, Melissa Lujan
Katherine Barthelme and Melissa Lujan. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Julia Will Robinson
Julia and Will Robinson. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Hannah Bull Alex Lechin
Hannah Bull and Alex Lechin. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Orange Show Gala 2021 Melissa Dobrowski
Orange Show Gala 2021 Mark Sullivan Catherine Anspon Libbie Masterson
Orange Show Gala 2021 Dixie Friend Gay, Marilyn Oshman, Rickey Polidore Jr., Kelly Moran
Orange Show Gala 2021 Chris Gillman, Katherine Gillman, Amy Stargel, Slade Stargel
Orange Show Gala 2021 Beth Abramson-Meltzer, Lane Schultz
Orange Show Gala 2021 Morris Day
Orange Show Gala 2021 Gonzo 247
Orange Show Gala 2021 Fabricio Esquivel, Florencia Vial, Dean Putterman
Orange Show Gala 2021 Austin Waiter
Orange Show Gala 2021 Ashley Langley
Orange Show Gala 2021 Tommy Ralp Pace Lina Hidalgo
Orange Show Gala 2021 Aida Eltorie, Surena Matin, Laura Rathe, Tracy Levit Larner, Glen Larner
Orange Show Gala 2021
Orange Show Gala 2021 Lance Valerie Rosmarin
Orange Show Gala 2021 Katherine Barthelme, Melissa Lujan
Orange Show Gala 2021 Julia Will Robinson
Orange Show Gala 2021 Hannah Bull Alex Lechin

Only one gala in Houston can make Halloween seem like an afterthought. Once again, the Orange Show Gala lived up to its (unofficial) title of Houston’s most over-the-top costumed affair.

And oh, those costumes. From co-chair Melissa Dobrowski and her space goddess getup, to Marilyn Oshman in shades and space robe, a shirtless, “bang!”-tatted Dean Putterman, and Mark Sullivan and Libbie Masterson showing up as life-sized shotgun shells, all were on-point for the 40th fete’s theme, “The Big Bang,” an event that raised a bangin’ $800,000 for the work of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.

As if the spacey, sexy, and silly costumes weren’t enough, music came via Morris Day & the Time (more on that later) and visuals included immersive art installations from the city’s best up-and-coming digital art teams including Input/Output; Moon Papas; and Hannah Bull of BamBullBlack, which transformed the 31,000 square-foot Orange Show warehouse into a psychedelic spaceship.

The more than 500 guests guests were  treated to specialty sips including Cosmic Cosmos courtesy of Ketel One, espresso martinis by William Price Distillery, and a decadent oyster bar from San Leon’s Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House, which created a massive ice table to keep things chill.

Festooned visitors mingled, sipped, and perused the more than 160 silent auction items up for grabs. Co-chairs Beth Abramson-Meltzer and Lane Schultz furnished artwork from by Mel Chin, Sharon Kopriva, Michael Tracy, Angelbert Metoyer, Gerard Caliste, Bert Long Jr., and more. Local street art celebrity Gonzo247 treated the crowd to a splashy, live painting.

Hot auction items also included trips to The Kentucky Derby, San Miguel de Allende, and The Grammys. Local opportunities included bespoke dinners from Steak 48 and B&B Butchers and a $10,000 pair of diamond earring donated by Valobra Master Jewelers — which one lucky guest scored during a balloon-popping “Big Bang Moment.”

Dinner was a sumptuous feast catered by  Tony’s and led by executive chef Austin Waiter. Later,  Orange Show executive director Tommy Ralph Pace addressed the Orange Show’s 40-year history of celebrating and promoting creativity in the Houston community and  beyond. Pace also announced a partnership with architect firm Rogers Partners to build a world-class facility on the current property.

Then, it was time for The Time. Lead singer/head flirt Morris Day shook, strutted, and preened as astronauts, sci-fi characters, aliens, Astros, and more took to the dance floor.

Speaking of big bang: The whole venue nearly exploded when Day and The Time kicked into the’80s dance phenom, “Jungle Love,” with a thunderous chant of the chorus, “oh-we-oh-we-ohhhh!” marking a wild, cosmic journey.