Popular three-character comedy tells the story of the legendary actress Mae West
Coyote StageWorks, the Coachella Valley- based award-winning Actors’ Equity professional theater company will kick off its 2018 theatrical season with a production of “Dirty Blonde,” a popular three-character comedy about the legendary Mae West, starring Steve Gunderson, Bets Malone, and Larry Raben, and directed by James Gruessing. The production will run February 2 – 11, 2018 with nine performances at the Annenberg Theater in the Palm Springs Art Museum. Performances run at 7:30 p.m. or 2 p.m. depending on the day. A Q&A session with cast members will follow the Thursday matinees. Tickets are $45 – $55 for matinees and $50 – $60 for evening performances. To purchase individual tickets or subscriptions, call 760-325-4490 or visit annenbergtheater.org. For group sales, call 760-318-0024.
“We are starting our season with an outstanding production that will be sure to resonate with our local audiences,” said Chuck Yates, Founding Artistic Director of Coyote StageWorks. “Dirty Blonde is a little cheeky, which our company is known for and does best. We are delighted to once again offer this production in the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg Theater.”
Written by Claudia Shear with an original score by Bob Stillman, this funny and bawdy Broadway hit explores the legendary Mae West, one of America’s most enduring and controversial pop culture icons. The play, which draws its title from the West film quip “I made myself platinum, but I was born a dirty blonde,” tells the story of Jo, an office temp and aspiring actress, and Charlie, who works in the New York Public Library’s film archives. Both are lonely and obsessive West fans who met at her grave and form a unique relationship as they swap stories about the career highlights and eventual decline into parody of the woman they worship. The production features songs from the Mae West films “I’m No Angel” and “She Done Him Wrong,” and explores the phenomenon of the legendary Mae West, one of America’s most enduring and controversial pop culture icons.
Dirty Blonde was the winner of the 2000 Theatre World Award, and was nominated for Best Play in the 2000 Tony® Awards and for Outstanding New Play in the 2000 Drama Desk Awards. The New York Times described it as “Hands down the best new American play of the season…” and said it allowed “…Mae West to shock and delight once again.”
The play will star multiple Desert Star Award winners Steve Gunderson (SUDS), Bets Malone (SUDS, ANDREWS BROTHERS, and LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE) and Larry Raben (7 Desert Star Awards), and will be directed by James Gruessing (BOEING-BOEING).
The 2018 Coyote StageWorks season is generously sponsored by David Lee and Annette Bloch. Earlier this year, David Lee also issued a $30,000 challenge grant that doubled any donation the company received.
Voted “Best Live Theater” by the readers of Desert Magazine in 2013 and 2014, Coyote StageWorks has won 73 Desert Star Awards from the Desert Theatre League, a theater support group that promotes theater in the Coachella Valley and Morongo Basin. It recently won 8 awards for its performances of Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks.