Recent Press and Praise

Jan 19, 2009

Thoughts On Our World Premiere

WOW! WOW! WOW! How's that for a start? :)

Cast and crew arrived on Friday to a whirlwind of activity on Main Street and all were anxiously awaiting our premiere Saturday night. John and Patty Sayre, John and Ann Parker, Linda Blackmore Cates and Eric Roos---all of whom were involved in Up With People and are featured in SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS---were among those that joined us for the screening. It was their first opportunity to see it and participate in an electric and emotionally moving Q&A that followed. I was surprised that the first questions would be about Glenn Close and her participation in Up With People. I was even more surprised when Linda Blackmore Cates delivered a moving and thoughtful response. We hope to post a video of the Q&A soon. It was a sold out show and the audience responded with great enthusiasm---laughing at times, perhaps tearful at others. There is no doubt all left still thinking about the experience of the film.

The premiere was followed by a party at The Spur. Although Jim Carrey RSVP'd to our guest list, he didn't show. Neither did Robert Redford or Ben Affleck (but then again, I didn't ask them to come when we met a couple of nights ago.) However, we did have a great rock band from Phoenix perform for us: Crisis! They traveled to join our celebration and play a song written especially for SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS called "Stand Up!". Check out their website and listen for yourself. . A highlight of the party was to see Jeff Dowd (aka "The Dude") and Jack Lechner sing "Honky Tonk Woman" on stage with the band. It was a crowd pleaser to be sure, and they were good!! Hopefully I can post a clip of that soon too.

The next day was a blur with cast and crew leaving Park City, various press and TV interviews and yes, more parties!!! We are now gearing up for our second screening tomorrow night. If it is anything like the first, I'm confident we will have another lively audience followed by another thought-provoking Q&A.



  1. I was at the premiere screening on Saturday night. The film was excellent and provided a balanced yet probing look at the phenomenon that was Up With People. How was it that a squeaky clean show group was able to prosper as a counter to the counter-culture of the 60's? Who and what was behind them? Who's message were they delivering? And untold story till now. Well done and worth seeing.

  2. I haven't yet seen the film. As an alum of the program - which has evolve SO MUCH from it's roots and is now far from conservative and REALLY diverse (and celebrating of this) in terms of religion, nationality, beliefs, sexual orientation etc - I"m afraid to get a skewed view that presents the past as the present. WE used to laugh at how far we'd come from it's origins as we looked around the pierced, tattooed, long haired Buddhist, Athiest bi-sexual cast-members amongst us! You name it, we had it... and all were respected for their uniqueness. I'm hoping it's balanced and clear to point out how different the organization has been for the past 15+ yrs!!

  3. I have not yet seen the film but hear much about it. I too being a Sing-Out member and traveled with the National Cast, I will withhold opinion until I seen the entire film. Obviously times do change. I had a hard time accepting the changes for a time when I saw the dramatic wardrobe and music changes UWP did after 1970 with the longer hair, beards and more carefree lifestyle but my views were part of the MRA feed and "Tomorrow's American News" stuff I read. I still support UWP to this day and now that I am much older and wiser, I look back and know it was fun, and something I will never forget. My heart is in the 65 to 70 era but hey, times change!