Audiences eager to revisit the peaks and valleys of Gwyneth Paltrow’s legal battle over a skiing accident should consider a trip to England, where a stage musical based on the much-publicized trial will premiere next month.
Set to open Dec. 13 at London’s Pleasance Theatre, “Gwyneth Goes Skiing” is billed by theater company Awkward Productions as “a story of love, betrayal, skiing, and (somehow) Christmas.”
Actor Linus Karp stars as Paltrow, while longtime collaborator Joseph Martin portrays Terry Sanderson, the retired optometrist who accused the Oscar winner and Goop founder of crashing into him on the slopes of Utah’s Deer Valley Resort in 2016.
Although the March trial ended in Paltrow’s favor, attendees will serve as the jury and ultimately decide the outcome in its theatrical counterpart.
“She’s the Goop-founding, Door-Sliding, Shakespeare-In-Loving, consciously-uncoupling Hollywood superstar,” a logline on Pleasance Theatre’s website reads. “He’s a retired Optometrist from Utah. In 2016, they went skiing. On the slopes of Deer Valley, their worlds collided, and so did they ― literally. Ouch. Seven years later in 2023, they went to court. Double ouch.”
Actors Linus Karp, left, and Joseph Martin star in "Gwyneth Goes Skiing," which opens Dec. 13 at London’s Pleasance Theatre.
On Wednesday, Leland teased his involvement with the show with a tongue-in-cheek post on X, the social platform formerly known as Twitter.
“Wait till you hear the 11 o’clock number,” he wrote.
Just how “Gwyneth Goes Skiing” will fare with critics and theatergoers remains to be seen. However, it’s safe to say that the real-life case on which the musical is based became a televised, meme-ified spectacle that seems ripe for dramatic treatment.
Media coverage of the two-week trial was breathless. Sanderson’s legal team claimed their client had been left with broken bones and lasting brain damage as a result of the run-in, and painted Paltrow as a wealthy, out-of-touch diva who didn’t care about another skier’s injuries. He initially sought $3 million in damages, though the figure was later reduced to $300,000.
In a countersuit, Paltrow claimed it was Sanderson who was responsible for the 2016 collision. Her defense portrayed the former doctor as an “obsessed” man who saw dollar signs when he realized he’d collided with an A-list actor. She asked that Sanderson pay her $1 and cover her legal fees.
The New Yorker deemed it Paltrow’s “best role in years,” noting that the actor had “unabashedly leaned into every stereotype that has ever been used to label her, in a performance that rises to the level of Ryan Murphy-esque high camp.”