Having a Ball
A pair of posh parties toasted cool cultural organizations! By Evan W. Black
The 12th annual Mercury gala, the ballroom of the Post Oak Hotel was transformed into a celestial dreamland. This year’s event, once again chaired by Ginny Hart and Robert Navo, adopted the theme of “Under the Nordic Sky.” Sweeping swaths of color and lights, recalling the beautiful northern lights, made a picture-perfect backdrop for a moving performance by the chamber orchestra following a seated dinner. An exciting live auction, along with a silent auction, contributed to the night’s total till.
Meanwhile, the Houston Ballet marked its 50th anniversary with a glam gala at the Wortham, chaired by Beth and Nick Zdeblick and honoring Margaret Alkek Williams for her longtime commitment to the institution. Richard Flowers drew inspiration for the evening’s décor from the “golden” occasion, infusing the space with textured gold light fixtures, linens and mirrors.
An elegant dinner by Jackson and Company started with a French macaron of goldencaviar, naturally, and the final note was a gold-drizzled chocolate sphere dubbed Chocolat a la Margaret. As the mousse-filled desserts were delivered to tables, Houston Ballet dancers performed something of a flash-mob dance, rising from their seats to dance a piece choreographed by the company’s own Oliver Halkowich. The performance was capped off by the presentation of a nine-foot-tall commemorative birthday cake topped with 50 candles — and a burst of gold confetti! Guests snagged cookies in the shape of the prop cake on their way out the door.
In all, the Ballet Ball raised a record-setting $1.8 million. What a birthday party!