Sunday, April 02, 2006

Our First International Celebrity Sighting (or, Man, I Feel Like a Loser) /

That's right, my friends -- it's finally (already?) happened. This past Saturday night, Bryan and I took the opportunity of our one night in tiny Arrowtown, New Zealand, to see a movie (our first of the trip!) in the unique, guide-book favorite Dorothy Brown's Theater. It's a super-cool little place, with a funky bookstore and cafe attached to a small theater sporting huge, sofa-like seats. In addition to popcorn and soda, Dorothy Brown's also provides wine, beer, and a CHEESE PLATE that you can take inside during the movie. Pretty close to heaven.

Anyway! We arrived at Dorothy's half-hour prior to our 9:00 showing of Syriana. I waited for Bryan while he went to the bathroom, sipping my sauvignon blanc and hoping I'd be able to follow the film and appreciate George despite the weight gain. Bryan returned abruptly -- looking pale and harried and anxious to tell me something. "What's wrong?" I asked, fearing gastric distress or perhaps a precipitous spike in cheese prices.

"Um," he replied, looking at me with raised eyebrows, "I think we're about to see Syriana with Shania Twain."

So exciting! Our very first overseas sighting. We were aware of Shania's purchase of land in New Zealand, so this wasn't a huge surprise, though Arrowtown is miniscule and the theater even smaller, and we just happened to make this our first theater outing, etc.) I began having visions of discussing the social issues of Syriana with Shania, her then inviting me and Bryan back to her compound for drinks, eventually asking us to stay for a few days or as long as we like...

Needless to say, it was a bit difficult to focus on the terribly complicated movie while plotting to meet up with Shania after (and hopefully score a photo for my collection.) For the record, I chose not to accost her before the movie or even at the Dorothy Brown "intermission" -- trying to respect her privacy and right to enjoy a George Clooney film in peace. But of course, me being me, I had to make a move at some point. Also, mind you, the theater held maybe 20 people and not a single one of them appeared nearly as sharp as my star-spotting husband; so I wasn't anticipating any sort of papparazzi maelstrom.

So... After the movie ended, we saw Shania go to the bathroom. I slipped into the waiting area after her. When she came out, I made my classic, nicest, sweetest, celebrity approach. "Shania? Hi! I'm a big fan from the U.S. -- my husband and I noticed you during the movie. We were really excited to see you, and were wondering -- could we possibly bother you for a quick photo before you leave?" She was looking at me oddly, with maybe the notion of a smile on her face, maybe shy, perhaps a bit afraid of me. "I mean, we were just in Fiji, where they played your CD all day [true story], and our friends and I really loved listening to it!" Nothing. "I mean, it would be really cool if we could get a picture, but is that weird?" Shania finally spoke. "Um, it would be a little weird, yeah, but thanks. Sorry." And that was it. I watched her walk back out to the cafe and head for the stairs with her husband.

It's unusual that a celebrity proves impervious to my photo request plea. This leaves me to wonder. I've heard Shania is a lovely person, very nice and genuine and all -- so I only have to try to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she's awfully shy, or perhaps really upset by Syriana. I mean, there was no one around, and we're in Arrowtown, New Zealand, and a photo would've taken like 2 seconds. Clearly she hasn't seen my shot with Bono.

Since you want to know: Cute flare jeans and orange puffer vest, light khaki Timberland baseball hat, long, glossy, brown ponytail pulled through the loop. Not a lot of makeup, but some. Teeny-tiny.

I think Sydney could be our next big coup -- especially since Russell Crowe is playing (with some non-rock band, I'm confused) all over Australia in April. However, I do insist that celebrities only reveal themselves to Bryan if they are ready for the photographic consequences. I just hate being disappointed like that. Oh, Shania!



At 4:20 AM, Blogger kelly said...

Tell the truth - is this the "Edited Version of Story for Blog" which leaves out the part where you mention Jerry?

And she definitely is tiny. You should have just picked her up and put her in your purse and toted her on over to Bryan where you could have had him take the picture.

Too funny!

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Laura said...

i can't believe she denied you! did you tell her bono didn't deny you?? that's just wrong. we heard about her owning land over there too - near the vineyards.

At 9:17 PM, Blogger allyson said...

Haaaaaa! I swear on my llama's life I did not mention my secret connection. Not even on this here blog for fear of exposure! LOL. Laura -- I know. I honestly think this is the first true celeb shoot-down I've ever experienced. Bono really needs to teach these younger celebs a thing or two!

At 8:45 AM, Blogger square said...

you forgot to mention i'm a new fan and that i was home recovernig from jetlag. you need some kind of story. that would have done it.

but more important -- SHE will always recall being approached in NZ during syriana. listen for tales of yourself in her next album.

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Great story.

Yes, we loved her music in Fiji. But we were probably drunk and the alternative was church music. How dare she deny you! I saw the "Behind the Music" and you should have reminded her of her humble beginnings as a showgirl in the Catskills. I am disappointed. But proud of you, as always. How you persevere.

I especially love the detailed description of Bryan's face -- it's almost like his celeb spotting is an unwanted superpower that takes hold, and promotes indigestion.

What was her husband Mutt like? He's such a recluse. Does he have a mullet?

At 6:24 AM, Blogger Heather said...

P.S. If you need an icebreaker with Russell Crowe, tell him he was my #1 celebrity crush after "Gladiator" but he has since dropped out of the top 5.

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, the real coup here is that you seem to have had a Robert John "Mutt" Lange sighting! He is the 6th Leppard, and I would have tackled him to get a picture. Screw Shania.

I insist you track them to their castle and steal me a framed and autographed platinum "Pyromania" disc. Then keep taking his picture until he agrees to produce another Leppard album.

-Joe Elliott

At 10:06 PM, Blogger bryan said...

I feel saddened about my lack of knowledge of the Leps as I had no idea of this mysterious 6th Lep. I feel like I let you down, Joe. Is Mutt married to Shania? I think he may have thought I was eye-balling him all night.

At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, Mutt and Shania are married, mate. How else can you account for her startling success?

Enjoy Australia!


At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family was fortunate enough to meet Shania backstage at a concert and spend a couple minutes with her just before she went on stage for her show. She was extremely gracious, posed for a picture and signed an autograph for my son.

I think the difference may be that this was a family night and not a photo op. Not to mention that waiting for her at the bathroom is rather... well, she said it more politely... "weird".

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shania is a very private person, and her husband Mutt, who wrote and produced all the hits for AC/DC, Def Leppard and a recluse. There are a handful of photos of him out there.
Shania literally moved to Switzerland for privacy. She realized she didn't get it when photos of her chalet appeared on the internet. .....soooo she moved to one of the most remote places on Earth....Motatapu Station in New Zealand. For its beauty, and for privacy. I have met Shania and she happily posed for photos with me, at an advertised promo event. Key word: promo. When Shania is Working, she is Shania. When she is not working, she is Eileen, her real name, by the way. She deserves her privacy. Plain and simple.


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