With apologies to musical icons Rodgers and Hammerstein (Carousel), “June is bustin’ out all over!” We expected that once the heat was on and the snowbirds cleared out, we could lazily settle in for “The Long, Hot Summer” (apologies on ditto-status to Bill Faulkner) with a tall drink crackling with shaved ice nestling in an ergonomically-correct chaise longue by the pool— or, better, close to the bar, stirring only to fire up the grill, fling a chicken (whatever) into the flames, and flip through the pages of a steamy read. Good luck with that, desert denizens, because starting here, starting now, the summer is filled with a marvelous mashup of a hot-rock tribute and Yankee-Doodle dandy band concerts. It’s rife with rare ballet performances, a magician, a blow-out of books, a hike for flora and fauna on the trail, fun fundraisers, yuk-a-minute comedy via “the great bard of Avon” (apologies to you-know-who), and the story of a Star, as in Movie Star, as in Bernie Schwartz (read on). And you thought you were going to get bored. Oh, ha, ha, ha.
Every Thursday, June 7 – July 4. Music to our ears and stars in our eyes! Palm Desert celebrates the return of free concerts to Civic Center Park in the Amphitheater with fab acoustics and a summer-style vibe. Concertgoers are encouraged to tote blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets filled with your favorite snacks and soft drinks. (Alcoholic beverages and smoking are no-no’s!) Every Thursday at 7:30 pm beginning June 7 the concert series will offer a variety of talented musical acts designed to get your toes-tapping, hands-clapping, voices-humming and bodies swaying and swinging. Here’s the line-up! June 7: Nitro Express Band Country Music. June 14: Southband Classic Rock. June 21: Vanity Fair Dance Music. July 4: Swing Cats Big Band Jazz and Patriotic Music. Location: Civic Center Park, San Pablo Ave. and Fred Waring Drive. For more information, call 760-346-0611, ext. 416.
Friday, June 8. Show at 8 pm. Dog n Butterfly: The Ultimate Heart Tribute is a production you don’t want to miss at Spotlight 29 Casino Showroom. The fab 70s female rock music artists named Heart took the stage by storm and left a legacy of great music led by the take-no-prisoners vocals of Ann Wilson, her guitar-wielding sister Nancy Wilson and rousing back-up players. Portrayed with the same skilled musicianship of the originals, this energy-driven band leaves audiences reeling and ravenous for more. In fact, the Wilson sisters call their performance, “Amazing. We are truly honored, humbled and proud!!!” The group includes Lizann Warner as Ann, Courtney Chambers as Nancy, Sean Michael Clegg as Roger Fisher, Scott Snyder as Steve Fossen and David Pimentel as Michael Derosier. Free performance for guests 21 and older. For tickets, go to, or call Star Tickets 800-585-3737. For more information, call 760-775-5566. On the day of the performance go to Spotlight Showroom Box Office 1:30pm-9:30pm. Spotlight 29, 46-200 Harrison Place, Coachella.
Saturday, June 9, 4pm. Summer time and we’re all goosepimply for the rousing musical pulse of a marching band that only the composers entitled to be called the “March Kings” can produce to perfection. We’re in luck! The “Desert Winds Freedom Band” is coming to the Rancho Mirage Library for its fifth annual concert where the percussion beats, the reeds tweet and the brass blows up a storm with the traditional music of the John Philip Souza, Karl King, Henry Philmore, and more great American march standards and themes from TV shows and the movies. The band, founded by Gary Moline in 2001, “is a diverse, inclusive group of music-loving people” who may be professionals that fill in or participate in gigs for pay, or simply rootin,’ tootin’ and tweetin’ instrumentalists who haven’t played since high school but love to let their hair down and raise the rooftops. Applause is the only fee! RMPL, 71-100 HWY 111, Rancho Mirage. Call 760-341-7323.
Free Second Sundays Every Month! 11am – 5pm, The Palm Springs Art Museum invites the community to come to the museum where a whole building of delights await! On June 10, Family Activity in Zone 101 (Main Level), between 11am and 3pm, features Animal Mania where artists use animals to represent different aspects of themselves that asks the observer “what animal will you choose to represent you?” The noble horse? The slithering snake? The protective working dog? Or the fluffy Fifi? Artists in Action in the Houston Atrium (Main Level), 1pm, is a unique demonstration by the Artist Council members, each portraying the same animal in different media from Pastel and painting to block prints, clay sculpture and others. Family Friendly Films, Annenberg Theater (Lower Level), 2pm, unspools a hilarious Golden Globe-winning documentary exploring the wildlife of the Namib Desert titled Animals Are Beautiful People created by Jamie Uys (The Gods Must Be Crazy) and released in 1975. And Spotlight Talk, Orientation Center (Main Level), 11am and 3 pm, is an invitation to take an intriguing look at the depiction of animals throughout the museum and explore the artists’ choices of representation for meaning. The Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Dr., Palm Springs. For more information call Robert Brasier at 760-322-4879.
Sunday, June 10, 5 pm – 6 pm. Our ballet slippers may have slipped its ribbons ages ago, but we still jump for joy in our hearts at the ballet, and every other form of dancing. The Desert Dance Company will present Don Quixote, adapted from the Miguel de Cervantes novel, and one of the few ballets to survive the Imperial Russian ballet repertory. All the original Spanish passion, humor and magic is captured as first staged by the Ballet of the Imperial Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow in 1869 with choreography by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus. Staged for today, the ballet is directed by ex-prima ballerina Catherine Demonchaux, and Actor’s Studio actress/instructor/director Wendy Girard. Featuring amateur and professional local talents, the group will also present other dance rhythms after the featured ballet, including jazz, hip hop, musical theater and contemporary dance that the whole family will leap in a communal jeté to applaud! At the Annenberg Theater, Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Dr., Palm Springs. Tickets from $19 to $23. For more information, call PSAM at 760-322-4800.
Sunday, June 10, 1pm – 5pm. Helping People Hear Again (HPHA) is the beneficiary of Sizzling Summer Fiesta, an afternoon of delicious Mexican food, entertainment, prizes and chef demonstrations at the Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill, 350 S. Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. A free raffle ticket is given with each donation of a hearing aid in any condition—and there’s no limit! Donate six hearing aid batteries for a raffle ticket, again no limit. This non-profit group fits financially-challenged Coachella Valley residents at no cost, along with hearing tests, ear molds, fittings and free hearing aids through local hearing aid business partners. For applications to qualify, call 760-776-1738, or go to To attend the fiesta, make your paid reservations by calling 760-776-1738. PayPal users, visit the web site. Mail check or money order: HPHA, 40101 Monterey Ave., STE B-1, PMB 327, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270.
Monday – Friday, June 11-15. A heat-busting, energy-conducting ENTERTAINERAMA is taking center stage at the McCallum Theatre for an entire week when the McCallum Theatre Institute’s Summer Session Festival 2012 presents three (3!) exciting performances that educate and entertain audiences of all ages. Beginning on Monday at 1:30 pm, the festival presents Nearly Lear performed by Susanna Hamnett, who plays the part of King Lear’s devoted fool in a story both tragic and tickle-pink funny with Susanna, as “Noreen” is disguised as “Norris” in the Shakespeare gender-bending tradition. On Wednesday at 1:30 pm, get ready for award-winning master storyteller David Gonzalez, accompanied by Daniel Kelly, and the story of Sleeping Beauty. The classic once-upon-a-time romance gets a new spin with the addition of rhymed verse, music-meister Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” and images that project a groovy multimedia world. Twisted? A bit, but in a good way. One critic was struck by its “brilliant comic spark.” The Festival concludes on Friday, 1:30 pm, with The Space Between Molecules performed by Milwaukee Ballet and choreographed by Petr Zahradnicek, a native of the Czech Republic who joined the dance company in 2003, was a two-time finalist in McCallum’s Choreography Festival, and is known for combining the precision of classical dance with the freedom of modern dance. Each performance ticket, $15; Festival pass, $35; children, 12 and under, $7. Box office, call 760-340-ARTS, or online at
Wednesdays, June 12 – June 27. Dream Big READ! The Palm Desert Library in its temporary location at the Westfield Palm Desert shopping mall due to remodeling of its permanent location, is still offering the best of the reading, watching and listening pleasures for the summer—books, cds and DVDs—for checkout and returns of Riverside County Library materials. And for beginning, as well as entrenched (adults) bibliophiles, do they have the programs! On Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30am, Preschool Story Time with books, songs, games and simple crafts for ages 2-7. June 12, Bilingual Story Time with Senorita Mary Carmen; June 14 with Miss Alice. Wednesdays, 10:30am, June 13, features Magician Joel Ward, June 20, with Polynesian Paradise Dancers, and June27, with the Scott Land Marionettes. The Summer Reading Program (SRP) with special events and contests with prizes are open to children pre-school to grade 5 and are free of charge! Just sign the kids up at the Westfield mall’s lower level temporary location. For more information, call Robin Stewart, Special Events, 760-346-6552, email, or go to
Saturday, June 16. 9:30am. The pretty boy from the Bronx makes it Big-Time! Desert Film Society presents the award-winning documentary and international festival favorite film Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom at the Camelot Theatres in a one-time premiere showing in the Coachella Valley. Over six decades in 130 films, the teen idol proved he was more than a pretty face in such critically raved-about movies as Sweet Smell of Success, The Boston Strangler, Some Like it Hot and The Defiant Ones which earned him an Oscar nomination. A rebel with a cause, he influenced the careers of James Dean and Elvis Presley, yet had commitment problems with wives Janet Leigh and Christine Kaufman. Featuring Debbie Reynolds, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Jamie Lee Curtis, and others. Ticket is free for DFS members; $15 at the door. For more information, call 760-770-0507, or go to Camelot Theatres, 2300 E. Baristo Rd., Palm Springs.
Saturday, June 16, 8 am. Get out of that lounger and take a hike! Coachella Valley Hiking Club’s experienced Hike Leader Paulette will be your guide on a moderate 5 mile walk with a 700-ft. elevation gain in the spring-fresh, lush green mountainous area called the “Round Valley Loop: San Jacinto Wilderness Tram Area.” If this hike doesn’t swing your compass, choose from a wide range of guided hikes for all abilities from “easy interpretive rambles” to “fast-paced, strenuous workouts.” (And we quote.) However, this is not boot camp! Leaders are friendly, knowledgeable and experienced. Members include several hundred hikers who are year-around residents, as well as seasonal snowbirds. Instructions: To register, for meeting place and further instructions, call between 8am, and 8pm, 760-771-1256. Wear proper gear including a hat, hiking boots and sunscreen, bring at least 2 qts. of liquid—and always tell someone where you are going. (Make them jealous!) National Forest Adventure Pass required $5 per car, or $35 per year. Tram fee applies. For more info, go to

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