It’s not everyday that you get to order a cocktail from a celebrity bartender (at least once they have become famous). But, at the Sundance Institute’s annual New York City gala hosted by President and Founder Robert Redford, it has become a well known tradition.
This year the notable waitstaff included actors Michael Imperioli, Hope Davis, Joey Pantoliano, and Judah Friedlander (30 Rock) who served up drinks and chatted with guests during the cocktail reception of the gala, which raises money to support the organization’s development programs for independent film and theater artists.
Overland Entertainment was commissioned to design the Sundance event with the mantra that it was to be the “non-gala,” gala. The design and event production company took its inspiration from the Sundance Institute Artists’ Lab by bringing to life each of the four seasons of the artists’ programs. Roseland Ballroom was enclosed in 12 foot scenic flats with 10 foot photographic collages of the stunning Utah landscape.
“We wanted to bring the beauty of Utah and mesh it with the urban landscape of New York. That’s why we have a fish jumping out of a fire hydrant,” explains Sophie Geidt, senior producer at Overland. For the silent auction, the designers created a series of vignettes that showcased packages of film and TV memorabilia donated by Glenn Close, Ashley Judd and Al Pacino among others.
VIP guests Alec Baldwin, Maggie Rizer, Kenneth Cole, Chevy Chase, and Jane Fonda enjoyed passed canapes by Hudson Yards Catering and a dinner menu created by Top Chef‘sTom Colicchio, which included a family style spread of Seared Striped Bass with Red Pepper Aioli and Braised Cavolo Nero with Tuscan Kale.
The fundraiser concluded with an after party with DJ and Sundance Alum John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch).
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