BYLINE: DIANE MARLIN-DIRKX
Once upon a time, being “cool” was a matter of your lifestyle (living far from parents, the more communal the merrier), your hairstyle (the longer, the scruffier, the more things growing in it, the better), your plate of food (paper or tin piled high with vegan-approved organic roots and tubers, no flavor required), and your clothes (wild animal pelts and smells), and, hey, that was the “cool” factor. In the Coachella Valley, being cool has taken on a whole new meaning. We need another kind of cool in the Coachella Valley in the summer. A friend once told me that her husband who wore a toupee, or rug, refused to open the windows in the Mercedes when the A.C. wasn’t working lest it dislodge the thing, literally blowing his cover. They are no longer married. Cool spots ahead. Sunnylands Center & Gardens is open free to the public Thursdays through Sundays from 7am to 2pm until July 31, it is closed in August and re-opens September 1. (760-328-2829) At the Palm Springs Art Museum the arresting Arabic film Pegasus will be screened on July 12, 6pm. Free! ((760-325-7186) Coolest ride in town: The heights of fresh air in the world’s largest rotating tram car takes you up to hike and picnic to your heart’s content in the 13,000-acre Mt San Jacinto State Park. (760-325-1391) Now you’re cool!
Friday, July 13, 8pm. Family Movie Time! Free! The Muppet Movie is coming to La Quinta! All Action! All adventure! All Heroes and Heroettes! Thrills & Chills! Dangerous fencing, both the sport and the electrically charged! It’s Kermit, the Frog, and Miss Piggy, the Mahvalous, at their most, well, of everything.! Music, laughs, slapstick and mayhem, The Muppet Movie unspools during summer’s “Moonlight Movies” series at the Civic Center Campus in La Quinta. The Disney film also stars Academy Award nominated Amy Adams (if Miss Piggy doesn’t sabotage her appearance) and Jason Siegel, both looking for love and laughter in all the right places, starting their journey in Los Angeles (LOL). It’s a great big dose of summertime fun for the kids and adults alike. Don’t cart everything not tied down in your media room, but do bring blankets and chairs, snacks and whatever makes a comfy experience of watching a movie roll along outside as the sun sets behind the Santa Rosa mountains. The Civic Center Campus is right behind the La Quinta Library. On August 3rd, the series presents a favorite “fish tale,” the film Flipper. Bring your swimsuit and enjoy a movie at the Fritz Burns Pool, corner of Avenue 52 and Bermudas. Free! For more information, call 760-777-7035, or go to http://www.La-Quinta.org
Sunday, July 15, 11am – 2:30pm. Happily going to the dogs—and cats and horses and critters with love! The 14th Annual Pets on Parade Awards Luncheon benefitting veterinary care for the Humane Society of the Desert and Pegasus Riding Academy will be at the Doral Desert Princess in the Grand Ballroom. Action packed from start to finish, the event includes a live auction filled with items such as tickets to La Cage Aux Folles in San Diego, golf packages at only the finest courses, an Aloha trip to Hawaii, and tickets to see a show from the pop star of the ages Madonna! A silent auction has more than 175 items for bidding from DVDs and fine wines, to spas and special surprises for your BFF four-legged friend. Tickets available at the door, or call 760-770-0424, or 760-322-3465 for information and to RSVP. Location: Doral Desert Princess Hotel, 67967 Vista Chino, Cathedral City.
Monday, July 16, 9am-Noon. Totally awesome, dudes and dudettes! Science in Action at the Palm Springs Air Museum gets the kids’ digits doing more than fiddling with the TV remote. What a concept! Thanks to SMART Education and Time Warner Cable are giving Summer Robotics Camps at the PSAM. It’s a full week M-F building robots from LEGOs and learning how to use the computer to program the ‘bots to do “cool things.” All materials are provided. Classes combine physics, computer science and technology for an exposure to a grown-up profession that just possibly might push some buttons to open a future of possibilities for your son or daughter! (As if the air museum weren’t enough to do just that with its fabulous exhibits.) There are beginning, intermediate and advanced classes for ages 8 to 14 years of age, plus a beginning class for the little ones, ages 5-7. Classes are $155 per student with a discount for those taking at least 3 classes. Contact www.smarteducation.us for more information, or call 760-449-7530. The last class starts August 6. Location: Palm Springs Air Museum, 745 N. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs. Admission to the museum is separate from class enrollment. Admission price ranges from $8 – $15. Children 5 and under and active military with ID are free. Call 760-778-6262, or visit www.PalmSpringsAirMuseum.org, or
Wednesday, July 18, 7-9pm. “New Moon Drum Circle” gathers under the stars hosted by the Joshua Tree Retreat Center at the Institute of Mentalphysics and facilitated by well-known Morongo Basin percussionist Sam Sloneker. “Summer is definitely here and I’m looking forward to our playing together on a balmy Hi-Desert evening under our beautiful canopy of stars,” says Sloneker, explaining that the new moon is a time of birth and beginnings, relationships, the planting of seeds and new projects, bringing bursts of dynamic and creative energy. All are welcome to participate—beginners to professional musicians—in the drum circle, fun exercises to enhance playing and listening skills, and to increase awareness of vital life energies. Pack up your drums, shakers, tambourines, and other percussive instruments, and bring them to the event. (Some will be available on site.) No charge for the evening, but a suggested $5 per person, or $10 per family will be gratefully appreciated. Held on the patio out-of-doors in front of the center’s Sanctuary—look for the spire! Foul weather? The Circle will convene in the Friendship Hall—look for signage! Location: 59700 Twentynine Palms Hwy. in Joshua Tree. For more information, call 760-365-8371, or go to www.jtrcc.org
Wednesday, July 18, 10am. You’re invited! Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Augustine Casino with the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians, their families, friends and patrons starting with a ceremonial blessing of gratitude, renewed dedication and commitment to the community, followed by fabulous food and refreshments, live entertainment, special presentations and displays—and wait for it—$10,000 in prize money to be given away to the luckiest visitors in attendance! Kaching, kaching! The Augustine tribe has an incredible history to be told and shown at an unveiling of a photographic display. Michael Lombardi, Chairman of the Augustine Band Gaming Commission, says, “The Augustine Band…faced termination when chairperson Mary Ann Green gave consent to build a casino on this sovereign land.” In ten short years, donations to charity have exceeded over $100,000 annually. In 2008, the tribe took the lead in renewable energy with 1.1 megawatt photovoltaic plant on its reservation, taking its stewardship responsibilities seriously by adhering to the Native American proverb: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Location: Augustine Casino, 84-001 Avenue 54, Coachella, CA. For more information, call 760-391-9500, toll-free 888-PLAY 2 WIN, or go to www.augustinecasino.com
Now through July 29. Judy, Judy, Judy! That call could mean only one thing, Cary. The Judy Show is in town. Precisely, the greatest show in town starring internationally acclaimed impersonator Michael Holmes as the escapee from Somewhere-Over-the-Rainbow herself, Judy Garland. It’s an evening at Azul’s of outrageous comedy, tuneful pop standards and just for a surprise (we never know who will show up), Judy’s pals are portrayed as well, including Carol Channing, Tallulah Bankhead, and so on. Holmes is accompanied by renowned Palm Springs musical director and pianist Joel Baker. Azul is offering a pre fixe three course menu and The Judy Show all for $35 per person. Full menu options and cocktails are also available with a $10 entertainment charge. Reserved seating is available in advance by calling Azul, 760-325-5533. Azul Tapas Lounge, 369 N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs.
GO WILD IN JULY AND AUGUST! We know, summer is a zoo for parents. All its inhabitants—though loved and cute— are wild! Here’s the best way to “Bless the Beasts and Children!” The Living Desert Summer Zoo Camp is dedicated to letting kids be kids while offering a selection of experiences themed to the appropriate age from 6 to 14 years. Marketing and P.R. Manager Nyla Patzner says, “Our Summer Zoo Camp is popular with children of all ages and interests. Kids have so much fun they lose track of the fact that they are actually learning about the animals and desert environment. It is also popular with parents who are looking for a safe and unique way to get their children out of the house for a few hours in the morning.” Now there’s an honest woman. We like the way she thinks. Here’s the scoop: Weekly, half-day sessions for ages 4-12 are offered July 16th – July 27th, July 30th – August 3rd include animal encounters, special behind-the-scenes visits, games and more.
Special 2-day ZooCampers, ages 6 to 14, includes Jr. Rangers Program at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: Desert Explorers Programs, ages 10 to 14: Session A, August 6th – 7th, 8am to 12noon; Session B, August 8th – 9th, 8am to 12noon. For more information, including ZooCamp Sleepover, call 760-5694, or visit www.LivingDesert.org
Friday, July 20, 8am. Go to the front of the line! Disable the “snooze” bar on your alarm clock! Put the pedal to the metal and head for the McCallum Theatre box office. Tickets for four hot shows go on sale on this date, at 8 o’clock in the morning. Get your yawning done the night before and listen up to the roster of headliners as the theatre starts the 25th anniversary celebration 2012-2013: Opening act is Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers on Friday, August 31, guaranteed to get your toes tapping, while you laugh your socks off. Grammy nominees and winners of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, when asked what hits they’ll play, Martin quipped, “We don’t play any hits. It’s Bluegrass.” And if you believe that… Next hit performance on Saturday, Sept. 1, is the romantically-inclined sextet “Conjunto Primavera.” Saturday, Sept. 8, “Pink Martini” with lead vocalist China Forbes, known for “Hey Eugene” and “Hang On Little Tomato.” An eclectic program of diverse orchestrations from Cole Porter to Xavier Cugat, Hollywood musicals, Italian folk and Brazilian Samba, and more from the world’s songbook. According to band leader/pianist Thomas Lauderdale, “If the United Nations had a house band in 1962, “Pink Martini” would be that band.” Saturday, Sept. 22, Live Nation presents Mike Birbiglia in the comedy My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. A painfully honest and hysterical journey through romantic blunders that most adults work a lifetime to forget.
Purchase tickets at the McCallum box office, 8am-12pm, 73000 Fred Waring Dr., Palm Desert, or call 760-340-ARTS, or visit www.mccallumtheatare.com.