By Dee Jae Cox
Light the lights! You got nothing to hit but the heights!
… Everything’s Coming up Roses! (Gypsy)
If you’ve ever seen the musical, or even the film, Gypsy, you know the passion behind Mama Rose’s song, when she tells Louise, the show must, and will, go on! That is the life blood of theatre, and nowhere is it more evident than in the Coachella Valley. Desert theatre is the embodiment of professional fortitude and bold talent and it couldn’t be more evident than when you take a look at what’s showing in the upcoming 2022/23 season.
Palm Canyon Theatre, (palmcanyontheatre.org) kicks off their season with the Neil Simon classic, Biloxi Blues. Opening Friday, September 2nd at 8:00pm. Biloxi Blues, is the second chapter in what is known as the “Eugene trilogy,” following Brighton Beach Memoirs and preceding Broadway Bound. Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical story is told through the eyes of 18-year-old Eugene Morris Jerome, who is drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. This show runs through September 11th.
Opening September 9th and running through the 25th is the Desert TheatreWorks, (dtworks.org) production of Southern Fried Nuptials, by J. Dietz Osborne and Nathan Eppler. Going to the chapel and they’re gonna get married. Or are they? It’s been a rough year for Attie VanLeer and Harline Frye. Their engagement has been on and off more times than a drunk frat boy on a mechanical bull.
DezArt Performs, (dezartperforms.org) starts out their season on a high note, with Tarell Alvin McCraney’s, Choir Boy, running October 28th through November 6th. A moving story of sexuality, race, hope, gospel music, and a young gay man finding his voice. This coming-of-age story follows a group of young Black students at Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, a highly respected institution dedicated to helping its students grow into “strong, ethical Black men.” But what happens when young student Pharus does not fit the mold for a typical “Drew man?”
Palm Canyon Theatre, (palmcanyontheatre.org) joins in the Pride Celebration on Friday November 4th with “Broadway in Drag.” a beautiful bevy of Drag contestants vie for the crown in this lavish production around the glitz and glamour of Broadway.
Coachella Valley Repertory, (cvrep.org) opens on Tuesday, November 8th, with a production of Stephen Karam’s Tony Award winning drama, “The Humans.” As things go bump in the night, the angst and anguish of the middle class are shoved into the light. Over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving, the characters navigate the delicate nuances of the quirky and hilarious, to the painful conflict of real family life. This show is running through Sunday November 20th.
Desert Ensemble Theatre (desertensembletheatre.org) brings humor to the stage with the World Premier of Jerome Elliot’s, Do Not Remove Label. It’s Hanukkah 1966, and 12-year-old Tommy and his newly widowed mother Tammy are making latkes, preparing to celebrate. A missing label on the sofa triggers an ill-timed visit from the FBI and Hanukkah is turned upside down. Opening December 4th and running through December 11th at the Palm Springs Cultural Center.
These are just a peak atThe 2022/23 Season promises to be filled with laughter and tears, comedy and drama. A little something for everyone. Visit the individual theatre websites for a complete listing of their upcoming season. Or take a look at the comprehensive PalmSpringsTheatre.com calendar (www.palmspringstheatre.com/show-calendar) for a complete, easy to read listings and dates of all of the shows scheduled for this coming year.
These opening shows are just a peak of the upcoming season’s incredible productions. Plan ahead, buy your tickets and get ready for an incredible year of live theatre!
Dee Jae Cox, is a playwright, director and producer.
Cofounder and Artistic Director of The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Project. www.losangeleswomenstheatreproject.org
And Co-Creator of the Palm Springs Theatre Go-To-Guide,