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The New York City Ballet Fall Gala brought some celebrity wattage — both expected and unexpected — to David H. Koch Theater Thursday night. The arrival of honorary chair and newly elected NYCB board member Sarah Jessica Parker had paparazzi lining the red carpet and fans literally pressed against the building’s glass doors snapping photos of the actress. It would seem Parker would be a coveted addition to any arts board in the city, but the actress begged to differ.
“I don’t think so at all, my god, I would bring most institutions to a screeching halt,” she said modestly, though when it comes to the NYCB the partnership clearly makes sense. “I think Peter Martins knew I was a great enthusiast and big supporter of New York City Ballet and he asked and I have my first board meeting next week and the idea of it is very exciting and daunting but I hope to be helpful in some small way.” A less visibly supportive Natalie Portman, whose boyfriend Benjamin Millepied’s ballet “Plainspoken” was premiering that night and who stars later this year as a ballerina in Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” skipped the red carpet and tried to fend off all photo ops, as she huddled with her parents during an intermission. And Jake Gyllenhaal caught the ballet with a friend, an appearance that surprised even the event’s press people. The tuxedo-clad actor hightailed it out of the theater — with a backpack no less — eschewing the black tie dinner following the performance.
Luckily, plenty of guests filled those seats including Anne Bass, Francesco and Alba Clemente, Fe Fendi, Gilles Mendel, Charlotte Moss, Helen and Tim Schifter and Candace Bushnell.