BYLINE: DIANE MARLIN-DIRKX
Hey, it’s only April! That’s not you waving with abandon, hair streaming in the wind and burning rubber at warp speed as you head out of town on the I-10? Yes, you’ve broken a sweat—or a “glow” for the genteel—in the triple-digit heat we’ve suffered this week, but we’ll let you know when the Coachella Valley desert summer gets serious and you feel clothed in shrink-wrap. Stop being a wuss. There are too many events you won’t want to miss. Slather your body till slippery in 30 SPF (no less, and no more is necessary according to the derma-xperts), lock-and-load your portable fan mister and come out to play with the rest of us desert denizens. We’ll be looking for you!
Saturday, April 28, 1 pm. An eyewitness to history, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Vincent Anderson tells his story at Palm Springs Air Museum and it’s a fascinating, though harrowing one. Anderson was the last seaman to disembark from the damaged USS Lexington CV 2, an aircraft carrier which was scuttled to avoid capture by the Japanese and sank beneath the violently churning waves during the Battle of the Coral Sea on May 8, 1942. Anderson was an anti-aircraft gunner on board the ship the sea men affectionately called the “Lady Lex.” Historians have classified the Battle of the Coral Sea as one of the five critical sea battles that turned the tide, changing the outcome of World War II, altering America’s course and our destiny forever. The logbooks kept by Anderson are on display in the Library of the PSAM on the 2d floor. At the PSAM there’s a lot more to see and to do! With the price of admission, you can go for a Stearman Biplane ride on Saturdays, $150 for 15 minutes. Open daily, 10 am to 5 pm, ranging from $8 to $15. Free for kids 5 years and under and for active military with ID. 745 N. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs. Call 760-778-6262, or www.PalmSpringsAirMuseum.org
Saturday, April 28, 10 am – 2 pm. The Palm Springs Library concludes its month-long reading program with “Spring into Reading DREAM BIG,” as well as “El dia de los ninos/El dia de los Libros—Day of the Child/Day” of the Book programs. Opening the event is a local student violin group performance, followed by representatives from community organizations providing information and lots of fun activities. A balloon artist will make fun balloons with games for all ages! Swazzle will perform a bilingual musical puppet show based on the children’s book “Dream Carver!” And the interactive performance of Bubble-ology 101 which is a fascinating story of bubble technology where kids to adults will be invited to be inside a life-size bubble! Youth and teens will receive a free book while supplies last. Seating is limited so come early to this free event! The Library is at 300 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs. For more information, call 760-322-READ, or www.palmspringslibrary.org
Saturday, April 28, 8 pm and Sunday matinee, 2:30pm, through Sunday, May 29. “The Circle” by Somerset Maugham, first produced in 1921, is the perfect specter, and perfectly fashionable representation of that time. The comedy of manners opens at the award-wining Groves Cabin Theatre in Morongo Valley, The Circle was named in 1998 as among the 100 most significant plays of the 20th century in a National Theatre Poll. Maugham’s play is as witty at its British-dry best, and wisest at its intellectual core. The play shines the blazing light of the time on the upper classes’ hilarious romp and ravishment through the state of a union–meaning marriage, infidelity and “the battle between passion and practicality” in all the relationships circling each other, looking for an opening, or a closure, on the stage. Of course, it is considered one of Maugham’s finest comedies. Tickets for all seats, $10. Groves Cabin Theatre is at 8768 Desert Willow Trail in Morongo Valley, north of HWY 62. Look for the large red, white, and blue stone on the north side of the highway. For information/reservations, call 760-365-4523, or go to www.grovescabintheatre.org
Saturday, April 28, 6:30pm pre-show, curtain up 7:30 pm. Stand-up provokes fall down laughing! See the hottest stand-up comedians during Comedy Night at Azul while sipping cocktails, savoring dinner and enjoying “side-splitting laughs.” Produced by the team of Blackwell – Black Palm Springs, the show stars comics who take the art of stand-up to the highest —and presumably the lowest—levels of the comedy genre from Los Angeles to New York and other venues, including Las Vegas, Chicago, and London. Audiences may have seen their television appearances on the Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, and Oprah shows, etc., which have given them national prominence. Look at the line-up: Tammy Jo Dearen (The Comedy Store, Hollywood Improv, Laugh Factory), Justin Martindale (Logo’s One Night Stand Up, The Comedy Store, and the film The Wish Makers of West Hollywood) and Renee Gauthier (Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing). “Audiences tell us they are excited to see, meet and talk with them,” says Michael Blackwell. Azul is at 369 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. For more information/reservations, call 760-325-5533, or go to www.azultapaslounge.com
Thursday, May 3 through Sunday, May 6. Thursday, 7 pm, Friday and Saturday, 8 pm, Sunday matinee, 2pm. Jekyll & Hyde, The thriller Musical with score by Frank Wildhorn (The Scarlet Pimpernel) and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (Doctor Doolittle, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) is based on the Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story about a brilliant doctor whose experiments with the human personality creates a murderous monster. The epic battle between good and evil, the musical was a smash-hit on Broadway. Performed at the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts by the award-winning actors at the College of the Desert, the show is fully staged and features the complete Broadway orchestration. Songs include “Once upon a Dream,” “This is the Moment,” “Someone like You,” “In His Eyes” and “A New Life.” Tickets, $25 – $35. For information and tickets, call 760-340-ARTS.
Saturday, May 5, 7 pm. Jinxed is a first look at a new play on the Coachella Valley’s own pilot Jackie Cochran in a staged reading at the Indian Wells Theater CSUSB Palm Desert. Playwright Stacey Luftig was named a finalist for his play Jinxed by the 2011 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and the Winner and Audience Favorite at the 2011 Dayton Playhouse FutureFest. You won’t want to miss this conflict, friendship and rivalry between two high-strung women making history in the skies. American icon Amelia Earhart is well-known, but few know about the hot-tempered, beautiful and ambitious aviatrix, Jackie Cochran, who earned more records for speed, distance and altitude than any pilot in history. The playwright’s central thesis is why Amelia became better known and synonymous with adventure, while the more accomplished Jackie truly disappeared from the public consciousness. Free admission. For availability, call 760-345-7938.
Friday, May 4, 5 pm – 7 pm; Tuesday through Saturday, through September 8, 10 am – 4 pm. Spies and Seamstresses, slaves and fashion stylists. Get ready to be shocked and touched by the new exhibit “Ladies of Lincoln’s Era” at La Quinta Museum. The exhibition features biographies and photographs of 13 courageous women including Rose Greenhow, a spy for the Confederate army, and Sarah Emma Edmonds who spied for the Union army disguised as a man. The relationship between Mary Todd Lincoln and her personal seamstress Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who bought her freedom and followed Mrs. Lincoln to the White House, is portrayed. Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, Clara Barton (American Red Cross founder), are all detailed with their accomplishments. Not a boring woman or story in the bunch! This is a traveling exhibition form the California Exhibition Resources Alliance, originated by the Mission San Juan Capistrano – Orange County’s mission, historic landmark and museum. Free to the public. La Quinta Museum, 77885 Avenida Montezuma (just off Eisenhower) in the historic La Quinta Cove district. Call 760-777-717, or go to www.playinlaquinta.com
Sundays through May, 6 – 8 pm. Big Band swing music is back and better than ever with bandleader/conductor Ted Herman and His Orchestra calling the tune as he has since 1963 when he created his own band with the “Hermanaires.” The names of musicians he has worked with is legendary: Harry James, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand and Elvis Presley. Since 1988, after moving to the desert permanently, Herman has continued striking up the band with a judicious selection of local musicians for a 17 piece orchestra that can’t be beat. Dine, dance and thrill to the sounds you love at Indian Wells Resort Hotel featuring guest vocalists Larry Capeloto, Lee Hartley and Frank DiSalvo, every Sunday evening from 6 to 8 pm through May. The Indian Wells Resort Hotel, 76-661 HWY 111, Indian Wells. Reservations, call 760-345-6466, or go to www.indianwellsresort.com
Thursday, May 10 and Friday, May 11. Celebrating 25 years in the Coachella Valley, the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert is jazzed to kick-off a fundraiser for the future! The Thursday Kick-Off evening event at 6 pm is primed to go at the Discovery Museum, 71-407 Gerald Ford Dr., Rancho Mirage, with refreshments, hors d’oeuvres and the best jazz riffs in the valley. On Friday, golfers may still be jazzed yet ready to tee-off for the CDMOD Golf Tournament at the Classic Club, 75200 Classic Club Blvd., Palm Desert. Tickets for the golf tournament are $300 per person; each includes two tickets for the night-beforeKick-Off at the museum, auction and $15 voucher for food on the golf course. Tickets for the Kick-Off evening only are $100 per person. All money raised will fund educational programs at the Children’s Discovery Museum. For information, and to purchase tickets, call 760-321-0602, ext. 122. Online: www.cdmod.org
Saturday, May 12, 7 pm and Sunday, May 13, 2 pm. They sing, they dance, and they fall in love—and out. That’s the TV version. But the original glee club, The Young Americans, is a whole ‘nother show and they are returning to Palm Springs with their song and dance spectacular, The Golden Anniversary Celebration. The group founded by Milton C. Anderson in 1962 will feature the newest generation of talented youngsters and some very special young Americans from earlier performances, singing traditional choral music as well as the newest Broadway hits, with choreography in every dance genre from classical ballet, to rock ‘n roll to hip-hop! Ric Supple, chairman of the board for The Palm Springs Cultural Center, says “We are thrilled to be able to share this once-in-a-lifetime event with Coachella Valley. They’ve been entertaining audiences all over the world for years.” Palm Springs High School Auditorium, 2401 E. Baristo Rd., Palm Springs. Tickets: $25 each, or Family Four Pack, $80. Go to the Camelot Theatres Box Office, daily from 11:30 am to 8 pm, or Monday-Friday 6 am to 6 pm, call 888-718-4253. Or go to www.camelottickets.com