BYLINE: DIANE MARLIN-DIRKX
Is it safe to say that I think we are in the throes of summer? Alternately tantalizing and tortuous? Here’s our check-it-out list. Sun? Check. Fruit smoothies? Check. Heat? Check. Pool temp over 90? Check. Thinking beach break? Check. Near-naked dress code? Check. Sunscreen with moisturizer? Check. Portable mister-fan? Check. Uber-hyped trash (The Hunger Games?)in a brown-paper cover titled War and Peace? Check. Guilty pleasures ETA? Now! Summer calls for fair-play among all genres—soppy romance, ravishing bodice-rippers, busy-body biographies, marvy-me memoirs, mayhem and murder mysteries, science- and historical-fiction and what our snooty college professors termed as “literature” that eons from now will still be read and re-read. Yeah, right. And students will do what we did. Check out the CliffsNotes. For more pleasures without guilt, take notes on the herewith calendar.This is not a tease! From Jazz to Siss Boom Bang, Doo-Wop to dueling, serious safety measures to esoteric short films, it’s a cool, tantalizing directory. Even in tortuous triple-digit temps. After all, some like it hot. Check? Check.
Now through August 4. En Garde! If the words “foil,” “saber” and “épée” seem taken from a gourmet recipe, or an edgy new fragrance, hie thee to the Summer Fencing Program at the Desert Fencing Academy. (Spoiler: The three words are the 3 weapons in modern competitive fencing.) DFA founder and Head coach Leslie Taft, has 25 years in teaching students who want to channel their inner Zorro and Zorro-ette in the beautiful sport known for its ability to improve posture, flexibility, balance, and is rigorously replete with many other physical benefits. “It’s never too late to take up fencing,” says Taft, fencing coach .at the College of the Desert, who is a national fencing champion, has competed in three World Cup competitions and has worked with fencers on the U.S. Pentathlon team. “It’s fun, it improves coordination, and it’s also great exercise,” Taft adds. There’s a chic-factor in the fencing gear, too, and everything is provided. Beginning fencing lessons are 30 minutes, $20. For information on one-on-one and group lessons, and to register, call Coach Taft, 760-218-1343, or visit www.desertfencingacademy.com Desert Fencing Academy is located at 73-760 Dinah Shore Dr., Suite 103, Palm Desert in the My Gym Children’s Fitness building.
Saturday, June 23, 8pm. Oh, my Alice, how we’ve evolved! From Lewis Carroll’s nonsensical Jabberwocky to George Clinton’s Doo-Wop to Clinton’s Parliaments to the Funkadelics from chart-busting “Atomic Dog” and finally to induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Wow! What a trip for the mastermind of rhythm and blues who’s now going to take the stage with Lakeside and Grandmaster’s Furious Five at Spotlight 29. That’s some segue from a barbershop in New Jersey! George Clinton, he of the colorful costume and outsized personality, has been called a true genius of modern music with legendary concerts that are unforgettable and riveting in both presentation and musical madness that somehow make sense for today! Hits include the afore-mentioned “Atomic Dog,” plus “One Nation Under a Groove, “Flash Light,” and “Do That stuff.” For tickets, visit Spotlight 29 Gift Shop/Box Office, the website www.spotlight29.com, or call 1-800-585-3737. Spotlight 29, 46-200 Harrison St., Coachella.
Monday, June 25, 5pm-7pm. Business as usual, but unusually! The NestEggg Group, LLC, a Palm Springs-based firm providing a variety of bookkeeping, financial and insurance services, is hosting a “Scramble Mixer” at the showplace of one of their clients: All Custom Golf Carts, 77750 Country Club Dr, Ste. C, in Palm Desert. And, what’s more important, a common interest has them teeing off together and joining hands for a good cause. For the entire week from June 25 to July 2, All Custom Golf Carts which provides pre-owned and new custom golf carts and e-bikes to the most discerning clients in the Coachella Valley, will donate 10% of sales at every desert location to help the good services of the Cathedral City YMCA.. For more information, call 760-322-4622, or visit www.nesteggg.com
Tuesday, June 26, 8pm. K.d. lang is the Grammy award-winning cross-genre guru of song/songwriting and she’ll be singing up a storm to thunderous applause with Siss Boom Bang at the McCallum Theater presented by the theatre and Jim Fitzgerald in the Fitz’s Jazz Café Jazz Café series. Last November, her appearance was sold out as befits the popular singer, well-versed in jazz, punk, kitschy country, crooning, standard pop and alt-country menu of musical mastery. Tony Bennett, who collaborated with lang on a duets album, calls her, “The best singer of her generation.” This is a rare summer concert and tickets will go fast, so put pedal to the metal for the McCallum box office for your favorite seating at $99, $79, $69 and $59. Or call the box office, 760-340-2787, online at www.mccallumtheatre.com. The McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Dr., Palm Desert, accepts payment by cash, personal check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
Saturday, June 30, 7pm. For an out-of-this-world evening, head to the Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts theatre, for the presentation of Scorpio Moon, featuring the evocative music by two local artists: Steve Rushingwind, an awarding winning Native American flute Player, and Clive Wright, one of the valley’s foremost Electronica, beats, Ambient guitarists, and middle-eastern Oud player. The concerts will be performed in the beauty of nature’s purest scenery, accompanied by state-of-the-art astronomy under the stars starring live images projected on two cinema-sized screens. Images will focus on the moon’s craters which will be shown in sharp relief, and also on seldom, if ever, seen images of the planets Saturn (not the car) and Mars (not the candy bar). Please bring chairs and warm clothing! Some food, refreshments and camping will be available. Donation, $10. Contact Southern California Desert Video Astronomers (SCDVA) at www.scdva.org, or on Facebook. Directions to the Joshua Tree lake and campground, off Sunfair Rd. in Joshua Tree, CA, or go to Google maps.
SAFETY AND EMPOWERMENT CLASSES FOR WOMEN AND TEEN GIRLS OFFERED AT CHRISTOPHER’S CLUBHOUSE IN A NEW SETTING
Class 1: Tuesday, June 26 – June 28, 6pm – 9 pm., and July 3, 5pm – 8pm. Class 2: June 29-July 1, 3pm – 6pm, and July3, 5pm – 8pm.
With the catastrophic news from the FBI that 1 in 3 women can expect to be sexually assaulted in their lifetime and forcible rape occurs in the U.S. every 7 minutes, the RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) is a basic personal defense system that every woman and teen girl should learn. The nationally recognized program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques are taught by Mika Moulton, the founder of Christopher’s Clubhouse a non-profit 501(c)3 which was named for Moulton’s abducted son. Not a martial arts program, RAD is deigned for the average woman and teen (age 13 and up). Every student receives a manual for reference and free return practice for a lifetime with any RAD instructor in the U.S. and Canada. The 12-hour course is $50 per person and some scholarships are available. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Please email: email@example.com with your class preference. Christopher’s Clubhouse permanent classroom space is at 74854 Velie Way, Ste.6, in Palm Desert. For more information, go to www.christophersclubhouse.org.
Tuesday, June 19 through Monday, June 25. The Palm Springs International ShortFest, Short Film Festival & Film Market calls “action” on its 18th year in Palm Springs with receptions, seminars, master classes and scheduled “one-on-one” meets with industry and filmmaking insiders! Just announced: American director and screenwriter Gus Van Sant will be presented with the ShortFest Spirit of Short Film Award as part of a special Directing Master Class presentation celebrating his work in film. Good Will Hunting and Milk both were Best Picture Oscar contenders. On Saturday, June 23, 2:30pm a selection of his shorts will be screened and a moderated discussion will take place with Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. The ShortFest is amovie showcase for the world! Presenting over 300 short films from more than 40 countries, the ShortFest has a library of more than 2,700 films available to film buyers, industry and press in its concurrent Short Film Market, the largest of its kind in America. Sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 86 short films seen at the ShortFest have garnered Academy Award nominations. The Festival offers twenty awards in six categories (including student and non-student work) with cash awards or film production prizes, worth in all, over $100,000! Camelot Theatres, 2300 E Baristo Rd., Palm Springs. For more info, and tickets, call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7526, or visit www.psfilmfest.org
Sunday, July 1, 5pm – 8pm. “Jazz It Up” with Bill Marx & All Star Band for ACT for MS (Multiple Sclerosis) does just that and so much more at its 4th annual fundraiser at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage. Just one ticket at the special price of $75 (inclusive of tax/tip) through June 25, pays the tab for beer, wine or soft-drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a light buffet, a silent auction, plus all that jazz music acknowledged as the distinctive, exclusively American art form, the hottest around played by composer/pianist Bill Marx, known for his dancing digits and humorous patter. Hey, that’s cool! Another cool fact: The $40 donation to the Palm Desert-based charity helps Coachella Valley residents with MS by providing free physical therapy and other programs at no charge to enhance their quality of life. For reservations, call Anne at 760-773-9806, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Mission Hills Country Club, 34-600 Mission Hills Dr., Rancho Mirage.
Thursday, August 2, 5:30pm – 7:30pm. The USC Alumni Club of the Desert in partnership with Trojan League Associates of the Desert and Trojan Club of the Desert invite you to the “Scend Off!” for new USC students, and those returning scholars and their families. Enjoy a meet and greet cocktail reception, delicious buffet dinner, fun presentations, student gift bags, and “AWESOME” raffle prizes. All students with parents or two guests attend at no charge as guests of USC Alumni. For additional guests, alumni and friends may attend at $35 per person. Dress code: Business casual. (Warning to revolutionaries: No jeans, short-shorts, t-shirts, hats, or collarless shirts!) For more information, call Craig at 760-832-8620, ext. 40, or RSVP by July 27 to email@example.com. Location: Desert Falls Country Club, 1111 Desert Falls Parkway, Palm Desert.