“The only thing better than giving the Nancy Hanks Lecture is introducing the great Maureen Dowd when she gives the Nancy Hanks Lecture,” said Alec Baldwin in a release on the Americans for the Arts website in advance of Monday night’s 27th annual lecture event, which took place at the Kennedy Center.
The Emmy award winning actor returned to “public life” for one night to introduce his “good friend.” Or did he??
Dressed and introduced as “The Y Chromosome,” Baldwin ribbed the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist about her book “Are Men Necessary?,” laughing as he suggested that it’s women who are spatially unaware, have trouble with timing and direction (even taking a fake phone call from Dowd and offering help to the theatre), and suggesting reverse psychology to help them make up their mind. Even as he joked, Baldwin asked the audience to understand that the differences in genders are amusing… and appreciated. And Maureen?
Not just her writings, but she, herself “is a work of art,” praised Y. “After all, she understands men and likes them anyway.”
For her part, Dowd told the audience, “My professional life, my emotional life, my spiritual life would not have been possible without the arts,” giving a powerful speech on the importance of federal funding. From her early adoration of Shakespeare’s most powerful — and pitiful — leading gentlemen, to her fascination with film noir, and then some Presidential pop culture trivia, Dowd detailed why life without culture would be calamity.
The lecture was followed by a post event cocktail hour and dinner at 701 Restaurant.