After undergoing a total overhaul, the W New York – Times Square is looking cooler than ever. The Living Room bar alone boasts a rotating DJ booth and bites care of restauranteur Matt Levine of indieFORK, and to celebrate the redesign the hotel group enlisted Alan Cumming to write and direct a short film entitled Ultimate Encore starring Mr. Cumming himself and Jerry “The Stray” who sneaks his way into a pooch-filled holiday party in the lobby. “It was funny because when we were prepping for it, the space wasn’t finished,” Mr. Cumming recalled. “People were just telling me what it was going to be like. Thank God it worked out. I like the mix of styles. It’s got pizzaz, so I like that.”
In addition to a slew of Internet-famous dogs, he is joined by his Manhattanite pals like the trans nightlife impresario Amanda Lepore, actors Michael Urie and Carol Kane, models Cory Bond and Selita Ebanks, Broadway staple Bernadette Peters, and Cynthia Rowley who designed a limited edition dog bowl and mat to mark the occasion. “[Working with dogs] wasn’t as bad as you might think. The good thing was that a lot of the people in the film had either their own dogs or their owners were nearby,” he said following the all-day film shoot at the pet friendly hotel. “There were a few doggy skirmishes on the set, so I’m glad there was no sound in the film. That would have even a nightmare! Keeping 20 shrieking dogs quiet would be impossible.”
To further celebrate the film, Ultimate Encore will also raise money and awareness for pet charity Broadway Barks, co-founded by Ms. Peters, with proceeds from the items featured in the film donated to the cause. The full short film here.