My Night Out: On The Red Carpet At New York Stage And Film Winter Gala

On Sunday, December 4, 2016, New York Stage and Film honored four-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening and Tony-winning designer and architect David Rockwell. I caught up with both honorees, and some of the presenters and guests, on the red carpet at The Plaza Hotel.

Annette Bening

Congratulations on being honored tonight. You have had such a storied career with some amazing roles. Which role is your favorite?

That's a tough one. When I met my husband, I was doing Bugsy. So, to tell you the truth, I sort of say that role because it was a turning point in our lives. We've been married 25 years. We have our lives together, our children together. So Bugsy was very special.

What's one show on Broadway that you would love to see but haven't had a chance to see yet?

Because I live in Los Angeles, I miss seeing so many of the shows. My husband has not yet seen Hamilton, so I'd like to take him to see that.

David Rockwell

Congratulations on being honored tonight. It's so well-deserved. What's the best part of your job?

Working with really amazing people. I don't take it for granted that I get to do what I love - putting together really smart people, asking a lot of questions, doing a lot of research and conjuring a solution.

What's the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part is dealing with all of the realities of budget and schedule and balancing all of that with the creative work.

Was there something in Kinky Boots that you wanted to do that you had to scrap?

No, I'd done six or seven shows with Jerry Mitchell before doing Kinky Boots so I had a very trusted relationship with him. The hardest part was the treadmills. We thought we could use available technology but we had to develop something for that.

Lena Hall

I know you just finished launching the tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch in California. You also got to play Hedwig for a few shows- how was that?

It was fantastic! So much fun. I was sad because I only got to do it eight times, and I felt that I had just begun to dive into her and make her my own, so I'm hoping that they will give me a run at some point.

What's special to you about this night?

I've worked for New York Stage and Film before. They are great at being a hub for new works, and being supportive for new up and coming talent as well. And I've done a couple of workshops at Vassar. They have always been such fans of mine and I feel so special when they ask me to perform.

What will you be performing tonight?

A song I've never sung! Feeling good. A traditional song, but I'll Lena Hall it out.

What's up next for you?

I have a film coming out, and I'm doing a youtube series where I bring concerts into your living room. And I have another album coming out. I also have something else really cool - I can't tell you but I can't wait for it to be announced!

What's one show on Broadway that you would love to see but haven't had a chance to see yet?

The Color Purple. I've heard nothing but incredible things about it.

Billy Porter

What's special to you about this night?

I tend to really love the tributes. They get the tributes right, the entertainment portion is very fun. And I'll be performing something from Kinky Boots tonight which will be a lot of fun.

What's up next for you?

I'm working on a new album called Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rogers. Its me and guests, me and friends, hip people of color who are crushing it on Broadway right now. It's Richard Rodgers through a soul music lens. Aiming to release it in the spring.

What's one show on Broadway that you would love to see but haven't had a chance to see yet?

Les Liaisons Dangereuses. It's one of my favorite stories.

Jordan Roth

What's special for you about this night?

I was an apprentice at New York Stage and Film when I was in college, and I worked here the summer after college. So this place is really seminal for me. Some of my really early experiences, dipping my toes into professional waters, were on this magical campus, in this remarkable community that stage and film creates. And I'm thrilled to come back every year and cheer for them.

What's up next for you?

This spring, we have the Broadway shows Groundhog Day and Amelie and Present Laughter. And next season we have Frozen.

What's one show on Broadway that you would love to see but haven't had a chance to see yet?

I have a four month old baby, so I have not seen a lot! A lot of the shows I've seen many times in their development are now on Broadway. I'm thrilled to be seeing The Great Come of 1812 very soon.

From the red carpet, that's a wrap!