BYLINE: DIANE MARLIN-DIRKX
Game On! Well, not quite. However, soon the fashion dress-code climate will evolve from Desert Casual (crop-pants and a food-fight-bright print top for her, khaki shorts and polo shirt for him), to Desert Evening Casual (same as above, but with more valet-blinding bling) to breathtaking Gala Garb! The operative word on the “Gala” invitation with its red magic carpet entry will read Black-tie. Don’t even think about it if it reads “Black-tie Optional” unless you want to look like the banker who had no time to go home and change. (His picture-perfect dressed wife will be the one rolling her eyes.) In any case, Black-tie will be the norm for the well-dressed Swells and Swell-istas attending all the evening events that turn the non-profit fundraisers into bottom-line building bonanzas, guaranteeing headlines for the cause. But right now, we have about two months left of the glories summer sloth and slacking-off. I mean if you can stand getting dressed at all. Here are some events you won’t want to miss, so stand up, stand tall, and gird your loins for the joys and easy-going fun of our desert summer—your air-conditioned bliss awaits.
Saturday, August 18, 9am. The Desert Film Society knows how to foster the love of film. Here’s the script. Produce an international award-winning film at a theatre that respects movies and audiences. Provide complimentary refreshments and intelligent moderated discussion after the end credits. If you’re a film buff or buffette, you don’t want to miss the Coachella Valley Premiere of Teddy Bear from Denmark. On the cinematic circuit the film has won awards at Sundance, World Cinema, and Romania’s Transylvania Film Festivals, along with rave reviews from The Hollywood Reporter, among other savvy industry publications. Here’s the non-spoiler synopsis: Dennis, a 38-year-old bodybuilder, is looking for true love. He’s never had a girlfriend and lives with his overbearing mother in Copenhagen. When an uncle marries a girl from Thailand, Dennis tries his luck walking the same path. Camelot Theater, 2300 Baristo Rd., Palm Springs. Free to Desert Film Society members, $15 at the door. For more info, call 760-770-0507, or go to www.desertfilmsociety.com
Saturday, August 18, 8pm. And Sunday, August 19, 10am-12pm. Big Black Master Musician & Storyteller in two “telling the Blues” and “Hand-Drumming Meditation” performances that promise to raise the roof at Harrison House and rattle the senses of the audience with “every note dedicated to peace” according to the flyer. Big Black is acknowledged as the first to integrate the African drum into modern calypso and jazz music. He has performed with musical icons Lord Flea, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Dizzy Gillespie, among others. On Sunday, bring a drum and sit-in with the master! Tickets available at Joshua Tree Health Foods, 29 Palms HWY at Sunset St. Event Location: Harrison House 6881 Mount Lassen Ave, Joshua Tree. Call 760-366-4712 for more information. Suggested donation: Sat. $15/Sun $20; both performances, $30.
Sunday, August 26, 6pm to 9pm. The members of Winewomen are experts in the power play of the grape and all its varietals. An Evening At Arnold Palmer’s will introduce the restaurant’s new Executive Chef, Ivan Flowers, who has impeccable credentials from Le Cordon Bleu SCI, to Chef/Owner of Mary Elaine’s and Fournos Resaturant in Sedona, to his vaunted P.A. on the Food Network’s Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell. Just few outtakes from the menu herewith. The tray-passed hors d’oeuvre is dubbed “Evil Eggs” and laced with chipotle. The amuse-bouche is Chef Flowers’ award-winning Lobster Bisque Shooter. The Entrée is Filet Mignon with crispy Grilled Veggie Lasagna, Shallot Confit and Sauce Bordelaise. Excuse me while I dab the drool from my chin. All 5 courses are paired with the appropriate California wines. The dinner is a benefit for Childhelp PSP that meets the needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. Winewomen members, $70; non-members, $80. Bring a friend and/or your significant other! Dress: Desert Evening Casual. Arnold Palmer’s Restaurant, 78-164 Ave. 52, La Quinta. For more info, call Kathleen, 760-880-5010.
Wednesday, August 22, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner! “There’s always a party at LuLu,” is the bistro’s motto. Trust us, it’s true. So, let’s not hedge our bets. Lulu California Bistro, in honor of the restaurant’s first anniversary, and as a tribute to generous patrons of the community who have helped them support many Desert charities, will donate 50% (that’s half, folks!) of all LuLu receipts on this very day to the Desert AIDS Project and the Palm Springs Art Museum. This includes anything served blooming with taste for the old buds, all day and all night, meaning breakfast (8-11am), lunch (11am-3pm), Early Bird (3-5pm), and dinner (3-10pm). Co-owners Barbara and Jerry Keller had to double the size of the kitchen to accommodate those tastebuds and to keep their creds as “hip, happy and the place to be,” in downtown Palm Springs. (Take that “happiest place on earth” Disneyland!”) For reservations, call 760-327-LuLu (5858). Location: 200 S, Palm Canyon Dr., (corner of Arenas), Palm Springs.
Saturday, August 18, 8 pm. Ole Blue Eyes is back in town! Or someone within striking distance of recognition. (That’s Life.) Fellow New Jersey-ite John Ciccolini performs in Frank Sinatra Screwed Up My Life, filling the bill with the crooner’s classic tunes sung My Way, along with savvy advice on how to attract the chicks with the legendary Ring-a-Ding Ding Rat Pack rules. Clue: I’ve Got The World on A String bikini? Not. Ciccolini, an award-nominated actor (LA Weekly Drama Desk Award), has extensive credits in the theatre, as well as a prodigious gathering of guest appearances on television, including Raising Hope, Dexter, ER, Las Vegas, Everybody Hates Chris, and so many more. A one-man musical comedy! One night only! Doors open at 7 pm. Tickets are $10 at the door. For information, call 760-325-2731. Location: Arthur Newman Theatre at The Joslyn Center, 73—750 Catalina Way, Palm Desert.
Saturday, September 8, 7am Check-in/Breakfast; 9am Shot Gun Start. Gemma Power Systems will sponsor “Golf for Kids,” a tournament for the Angel View Crippled Children’s Foundation with all net proceeds going to assist Angel View’s annual expenditures. Back story: Gemma Power Systems California, Inc., is on a power trip throughout the country, building power facilities along with renewable energy sources and they are really stoked in their mission to give back to the communities in which they house their personnel. The entry fee is $150 per golfer, and that entry fee includes continental breakfast, green fees with cart, lunch at turn—golf lingo for 9th hole food station, dinner and awards. Entries as players by singles, twosomes and threesomes are also encouraged and will be matched to a team by the tournament committee based on date of entry. Make your player’s reservation(s) by September 4, as carts and luncheon space availability are limited. (Members with carts, please note.) If you are unable to play, but would like to make a donation, please make note of it on the entry form. Sponsorship opportunities are available. All donations are tax deductible. Location: Mission Lakes Country Club, 8484 Clubhouse Blvd., Desert Hot Springs. Call 760-671-3243.