The Sundance Film Festival actually started on Thursday, but the two most exciting events happened on Friday that really kicked off the festival: the celebrity gift lounges opened and James Franco came to town.
Sotheby’s Chefdance along with SocialShopper.com teamed up, along with Belvedere, to throw the after party for James’ screening of Three’s Company: The Drama Friday night. The party was the most happening place on Main Street with James sporting a long blonde Suzanne Somers wig and at one point getting on stage and rapping a song called “Chewing Gum” with performance actor Kalup Linzy. But none of the partygoers really knew exactly what they were celebrating.
The screening earlier that night had been fairly exclusive and held as part of an art exhibit, which I was lucky enough to snag an invite to through some friends. In the end it was questionable whether James meant the screening as art, a film or a practical joke. Perhaps it was a little of all three. When guests arrived we were told to go into a room and choose from various vintage ’70s attire and a pile of wigs. It was Three’s Company dress-up!
Around 30 of us including Eliza Dushku and Rick Fox, as well as the original Larry Dallas from Three’s company, Richard Kline, packed inside the tiny room for the screening shortly after. The film appeared to be more of an at-home movie that James and a few of his friends put together on a whim. They wore Halloween-caliber wigs and acted out a satirical and mildly naughty version of Three’s Company.
James played Jack while his old assistant Dana played Janet, his producer Vince played Larry and another male friend filled in as Chrissy, complete with a long blond wig with chest and facial hair. The plot revolved around a love triangle between Larry, Janet and Jack.
As for the dress-up? That was just to get us in the mood for the screening.
Eliza Dushku and Rick Fox didn’t know what to make of the scene, while another attendee said it best: This is not how I remember Three’s Company. The fact that there was an after party half a mile a way on Main Street for this at-home film that turned out to be one of the biggest parties of the night, makes the whole spectacle even more comedic.
After spending a few hours with James Franco and his blonde wig at the after party I made my way to Oakley’s bash where Mischa Barton’s ex-boyfriend Cisco Adler was performing after Don Pendleton‘s Original Art Show at the Oakley Tour Snowball Run Party. His new fiancée, model Barbara Stoyanoff, was filming his performance and seemed happy to share the spotlight more than his previous exes Kimberly Stewart or Mischa did.
The Oakley party was the best place to end the night since it had also been the location where I started the day getting a snowboarding lesson from a pro snowboarder at the Oakley Learn to Ride Fueled by Muscle Milk. I was decked out in the best equipment from Oakley, New Era and DC and set up with pro rider Zach Leach who took me a few other boarders to the slopes. Zach had taught Entourage‘s Adrian Grenier how to ride for the last few years at Sundance along with a handful of other celebrities so we knew we were in good hands. While I may not be ready for the X Games next week, Zach did teach my boyfriend how to ride a snowboard, which was about as difficult. After an hour and a half, the lounges had opened and it was time to scoop out celebs so we left the slopes for the suites.
For the last two years the celebrity gift lounges had mostly died down due to the recession, but this year they were back in full force times three. The spot to be was the Samsung Galaxy Tab Lift, which had the Stella Café for celebs to grab a meal at in the day, the gifting lounges and at night it turned into the Tao nightclub.
Don Cheadle, Paul Giamatti, Maria Menunous, Rachel Leigh Cook and Lake Bell all swung by the Samsung Galaxy Tab Lift. Not only did the gift lounge hook celebs up with an actual Samsung Tab to use throughout the festival to document their travels, but they were hooked up with clothes from American Apparel and CAVI, sunglasses by Solstice, jewelry by Lia Sophia, boots by Sorel, shoes from Puma, makeup from Sephora and more. Hopefully the celebs brought an empty suitcase on the trip.
The Lift wasn’t the only place celebs could get hooked up. There was also the Levi’s and Dockers House, the PlayStation Green Room with Fresh beauty products at the Silver Restaurant, The Carrera Sunglasses Escape, Fred Segal at the Style Lounge and Kari Feinstein’s Style Lounge where Bachelorette‘s Trista and Ryan Sutter even made a cameo to pick up some Obermeyer gear. I made the rounds at the gifting suites for a couple hours to scoop out the celebs, but still hadn’t hit up half of them.
Who knew what other celebrities had been hiding out all day at the beauty lounges? The drought of celebrity style suites was officially over and Sundance had begun!