As I strolled up the grand staircase to my room the other day, I couldn’t help but notice the strikingly beautiful woman that was passing me on her way down. It was clear that she wasn’t in her twenties or thirties because she had an air of sophistication that only comes with experience. However, she looked better than most women, from what I’d guess, fifteen years her junior. As I admired her for the five seconds that we shared the staircase, I realized that there was something awfully familiar about this woman. By the time she was already out the door, it clicked – that woman was Demi Moore!
The Sundance Film Festival is when, for a 10-day stint, Hollywood descends on Park City. One of the most entertaining attractions of the festival, that is not mentioned in any guide, is staking claim to one of the benches on Main Street and taking in the general splendor. The people watching is glorious! My personal favorite are the ridiculous young girls attempting to negotiate the icy streets in six inch stilettos while trying, many times unsuccessfully, to keep the world from seeing what is under their already dangerously short skirts. Comedy at its best!
Head scratchingly silly winter fashion debacles aside, you cannot board a bus, sip a cocktail, or frequent a restroom without the mention of a movie. This year, out of the 10,279 films that were submitted, a lucky 199 made the cut. And approximately 60,000 people flock to the winter paradise that is Utah to sit in a dark room. If you picked up on a slight hint of scorn you are NOT mistaken. Please do not misunderstand, I love going to movies! I love the anticipation before the opening credits and I love dissecting them well after they’re over. But if you are literally going to be a hop, skip, and a jump from some of the best skiing in the world, you owe it to yourself to get out there! I know what those of you that are not based here are thinking, “the slopes must be packed during Sundance, right?” Wrong. Great conditions, absolutely no crowds! I am NOT complaining about the lack of lift lines, I was just surprised. However, not all Sundance goers forwent the amazing skiing, but I’ll get to that later.
My Sundance experience began, as any of you that have been following my blog know, with the Waldorf’s partnership with Extra, the celebrity news show. Hobnobbing with the Hollywood insiders culminated in a fabulous party co-hosted by the Waldorf, Extra, and the producers of “Win Win.” It was held in Spruce, the Waldorf’s restaurant, which was the perfect venue. Surrounded by chocolate mohair walls and stunning Baccarat crystal chandeliers, it seemed made for a confluence of Park City and Hollywood elite. For the first hour of the party I was content sipping my drink close to the dessert table where Chef Murcko relentlessly kept offering me macaroons dipped in gooey chocolate that were then set by liquid nitrogen. When I tired of the delicious science experiment (which I didn’t, but the collection of skewers that I was accruing was causing people to stare) Chef Murcko twisted my arm and made me try his light as air cotton candy. By then my sugar high was legendary which timed up perfectly with the band’s first song.
1, 2, 3 Go! is not just any band; Stefan Lessard, bass player for Dave Matthews Band, Mike McCready, lead guitarist from Pearl Jam, and members of Fuel rocked it hard and rocked it good! They began with Sex Pistol’s “Pretty Vacant,” which got the crowd going immediately. My favorite was their punk cover of “Revolution” by The Beatles. It should come as no surprise, but there was fist pumping and head bobbing in abundance throughout their set. By the time the last power chord was played, my sugar crash was upon me and I was looking for the door. I wasn’t able to make it before my new friend, Jerry Penacoli, had the chance to embarrass me.
“Come meet Mario,” he yelled while gesticulating fiercely that I needed to get my tookus over there. As Jerry introduced me to Mr. Lopez, to my chagrin, he mentioned that I was a big A.C. Slater fan from his Saved by the Bell days. Admittedly, I did have a soft spot for the jerry curl circa 1996, but I did not think that Jerry was going to throw me under the bus when I, in passing, commented on my pre-teen crush. To Mario’s credit, he graciously thanked me and told me that he had never been skiing before, but given the chance, would love some lessons someday. I highly doubt I will ever give A.C. Slater skiing lessons, but Mr. Belding certainly would be proud of how that rapscallion of a jock turned out!
More Sundance stories soon…