Things to do at Sundance when you’re bored
Forget the premiers and the celeb sightings, check out our Sundance Film Festival after dark guide:
According to the New York Times, ‘the world has found Sundance.’ Stated in a ‘barbarians have toppled the Xanadu gates’ sort of way, the statement itself lends to an idea that Park City, Utah, in winter, was never a place of posers and dressed down pseudo-intellectuals until now. That it was not, during the Sundance Film Festival, a place that had more cosmetic surgery per square foot than the average witness protection program. But there’s an upside to the invasion. Park City is no longer pretending. It has fully embraced itself as a circus that would insight P.T. Barnum to envy because there is ‘a sucker born every minute.’
Held only one week out of the year, during the film fest, the Park City Circus has a host of fun attractions for locals, foreigners, fat execs, disillusioned filmmakers and even more disillusioned critics in an effort to make the entire Sundance Film Festival an unforgettable experience.
On Historic Main Street, the auto-pay, Animatronic Robert Redford, circa 1969 as the Sundance Kid, will recite his impassioned Sundance Film Festival manifesto for a buck. If you want a photo op, it’s two-bucks. Only small bills and credit cards are accepted. Pay slot is on his back.
A little further up the street in the parking lot of a local eatery is the Weinstein Bros. Shooting Gallery – Women Preferred. An animated Jeremy Piven lookalike is the door hawker. Here, for a few dollars a woman can sport a sleek, white Lady Smith & Wesson and shoot blanks at life-size wooden pop-ups depicting the infamous Harvey and Bob or other celebrated misogynists from last century like Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso or Diego Rivera.
If you’re not the Annie Oakley type and prefer a modern day experience visit the Malia Obama Holographic Lounge. This chic, minimalist martini bar offers a one-of-a-kind experience where the former first daughter and her current best-boy, ‘Harvard’ Farquharson, will sit at your table and smoke cigarettes while portraying a general sense of ennui at your existence because they are so much smarter and entitled than, well…everyone. For a minimal extra charge, a holographic Lena Dunham will join the party to talk about why Adam Driver was not the biggest star on Girls.
After dark, the James Franco Gay/Straight Dance Review – Minors Welcome is not to be missed. The show plays every night at the quaint Egyptian Theater on Main Street. In his review, Franco reprises his role on the soap opera General Hospital; a role he created. Franco will portray ‘Franco,’ a multimedia artist and serial killer who tries to find meaning in the town of Port Charles. The signature number is glittering gold with a sequined Franco as serial killer Franco, singing and dancing his heart out. Then in a flash, Franco becomes Frances, serial killer Franco’s long lost transvestite twin “sister.” Dressed in even more sequins and a Lady Gaga-esque pink wig with a feather boa, Frances shuffles and stomps her way through Franco’s (the actor) description of Franco (the serial killer’s) pathos. The song is reminiscent of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, “Wicked Little Town.”
Frances on Franco by Franco: “Franco is an artist who works with death. He works in a lot of different ways. He does graffiti, performances, photographs. He creates installations based on murder scenes featuring murders he possibly was involved with. He’s interested in pushing the boundaries of art – both aesthetically and ethically – and he will go way too far!”
James Franco’s own quote about his own character Franco is nothing short of extraordinary when set to music. Franco as Franco and his transvestite twin “sister” Frances is a revelation!
So, forget the snow, the skiing, the parties and the film fest. Just come to Park City, and enjoy the circus!
Photo Credit: Alex Varsa