Pelosi, Baucus, Biden Honor First Responders at Ford’s

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Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Paul Pelosi, an investor, and Representative Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.

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Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Paul Pelosi, an investor, and Representative Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. Close

Paul Pelosi, an investor, and Representative Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Phebe Novakovic, chairman and chief executive of General Dynamics, and her husband, David Morrison. Close

Phebe Novakovic, chairman and chief executive of General Dynamics, and her husband, David Morrison.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Kasey Crowley, and Representative Joe Crowley, the New York Democrat. Close

Kasey Crowley, and Representative Joe Crowley, the New York Democrat.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Melodee Baucus, and Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat. Close

Melodee Baucus, and Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Clare Bowen, the "Nashville" actress. Close

Clare Bowen, the "Nashville" actress.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Sam Palladio, the "Nashville" actor. Close

Sam Palladio, the "Nashville" actor.

Photographer: Margot Schulman/Ford's Theatre via Bloomberg

Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, presents Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state, the Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal. Close

Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, presents Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state, ... Read More

Photographer: Margot Schulman/Ford's Theatre via Bloomberg

Eric Holder, attorney general, presents Bill Russell, the former basketball center, with the Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medal. Close

Eric Holder, attorney general, presents Bill Russell, the former basketball center, with the Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medal.

Emergency workers who responded to the devastation in West, Texas, Newtown, Connecticut, and Boston were honored at last night’s Ford’s Theatre Annual Gala, where Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise appearance.

The theater, which is known for its all-American musical productions, was a good setting for asking red-carpet arrivals to name their favorite musical.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi came in right behind Brian Stokes Mitchell and cited the show for which he won a Tony nomination. “I’d have to say ’Ragtime,’” said Pelosi, “considering the present company.”

Sam Palladio, who arrived with his “Nashville” co-star Clare Bowen, said his heart belongs to “Pirates of Penzance,” because, well, Penzance is his hometown. “Sweeney Todd” is a favorite of Bowen’s, who wore a creamy, diaphanous vintage number.

Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat, said he preferred “Oklahoma!” while his wife, Melodee, has long admired “West Side Story.”

Opera singer Denyce Graves and Eric Stonestreet, the Emmy-winning actor from “Modern Family,” also appeared on the red carpet. Inside, right after the responders were saluted, Stokes Mitchell sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel.” Broadway performer Heidi Blickenstaff, in short J. Mendel, sang “New York, New York.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Hall of Fame basketball center Bill Russell were given the Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal for exemplifying the legacy of the president, who was assassinated in the theater in 1865.

Emergency Aid

The responders honored were Sergeant David Kullgren of the Newtown Police Department; Chief of Police Douglas S. Fuchs of Redding, Connecticut; Matt Patterson of the Lynn, Massachusetts, Fire Department; and Robert Payne of the West Volunteer Fire Department.

The new chairman and chief executive of General Dynamics Corp. (GD), Phebe N. Novakovic, said her relationship with Ford’s Theatre dates back to her teens when she saw her first show there.

After the awards ceremony, guests dined on a buffet at the nearby National Portrait Gallery featuring five-mushroom tarts, pecan-crusted tenderloin, and key lime cheesecake.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Joe Mysak on books, Elin McCoy on wine.

To contact the writer on this story: Stephanie Green in Washington at sgreen57@bloomberg.net or on Twitter @stephlgreen.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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