BY DIANE MARLIN- DIRKX
I will not keep you in suspense. Today, March 20, is the first day of spring! Tra-la! “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party,’” said Robin Williams. Recently while I was out, a friend stopped by and left a clutch of about-to-bloom stemmed buds on my kitchen table that unfurled into bright sun-yellow daffodils while I was eating lunch. Pardon my bliss, but I grinned the grin of joy, unabashed. To calm down and go back to work, I had to remember author Margaret Atwood, who wrote, “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” I texted my friend, “I’m daffy over daffodils!” Tra-La! Forget about the fancy-schmancy definition in Latin that gives the Vernal Equinox as the beginning of the spring season, Spring is here with all the bells and whistles of increasing daylight, warming temps and happy new gardens of flourishing flora and Eden-worthy Fauna. Go out and play. Here, some spring suggestions! Tra-La!
Friday, March 21, 8pm. “An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin” stars a line-up of her most memorable cast of characters so get your giggles and guffaws warmed up for Ernestine, Sister Boogie Woman, Ms. Beasley, and that lovable ragamuffin smarty-pants, Edith Ann. Tomlin has built a career in all popular media from television, theater, film, animation, to video. She’s received six Emmys, 2 Tonys, a Grammy and many nominations, 2 Peabody awards and in 2003, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor presented at the Kennedy Center. At the McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Dr., Palm Desert, through the generosity of Harold Matzner. Tickets at $95. $85, $75 and $55 online at www.mccallumtheatre.com, or by calling the box office, 760-340-2787.
Saturday, March 22, 7:30pm. “RESURGENCE Arise Like The Phoenix,” a concert of music of renewal and perseverance performed by the Desert Winds Freedom Band. Founded in the fall of 2001 by musician Gary Moline, the band is currently directed by Dean McDowell and has grown to a large concert band, aided and abetted by a jazz band. Both bands are composed of dedicated musicians, both professionals and amateurs who played an instrument in high school or college. It’s a diverse group open to all gay and gay-friendly people. Prospective members are required to read music, have basic musicianship skills on a band instrument, attend rehearsals and perform in concerts. This event features guest vocalist Francesca Amari in a world premier work by local composer Michael Viens, with pianist Richard Bentley. At the Helene Galen Performing Arts Center, Rancho Mirage High School, 31001 Rattler Rd. Tickets per person, $25. For more info, go to www.desertwindsfb.org
Saturday, March 22, 10an-5pm. Writing Workshop! Award-winning TV producer/writer/author Fern Field Brooks will conduct a one-day workshop on “Memoir Writing and Self-Publishing” at Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus. She will be joined by guest panelists and authors Thom Racina and Phyllis Humphrey, Brooks has received multiple awards for producing, including an Emmy and 2 Peabody and humanitarian awards. Most recently, she has garnered much applause as co-executive producer of the TV hit “Monk.” Brooks, who has moved into the world of publishing with her company Books 2 Cherish, will discuss the pros and cons of traditional publishing versus self-publishing and what an author should do to ensure success. Pre-paid admission, $75, includes parking and lunch. Admission at door, $80. More info, email Books2Cherish@gmail.com or call 310-823-2460. Seating is limited. A 10% discount will be given to PSWIFT members, PS Writers Guild, Sun City Writers Circle, students with ID, previous participants.
Saturday, March 22, 5:30pm. Mizell Senior Center “rocks” with the show “Stars among Us 2014 – American Graffiti,” starring Sha Na Na and featuring TV’s “Laverne and Shirley” star Cindy Williams, who starred as Laurie in the 1973 iconic teen-film that celebrated a summer of “cruising-the-strip” before cruising off to college. The fundraising event benefits programs at the Mizell Senior Center. Ticket, #225. It will be held at the Palm Springs Air Museum, 745 Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs. For more info, call 760-323-5689, or go to www.Mizell.org
Sunday, March 23, 4:30pm. Park it! Head out with your posse, all ages, to the Festival of Opera & Art in the Palm Desert Civic Center Park. It’s a FREE family fun-o-rama with available food, beverages, entertainment and art to view! Just remember to tote sit-upon pillows, blankets, chairs, picnic hampers, and a sun umbrella for a day in the park on a grassy green carpet that may prompt a nap! At the Amphitheater, 73510 Fred Waring Dr., Palm Desert. For more info, call 760-323-8350, or go to www.OperaArtsPalmSprings.org.
Monday – Friday, March 24-28, Call YMCA for Schedule! Got Fun? Sign the Kids Up For Spring Programs. Art Camp! Dodgeball! Nerf Tag! All geared toward Boys and girls, ages 6 to 12 years old with energy to burn! Moms and Dads! This is your chance to make a break for it: A Spring Break! To register and for more info, call today: 760-341-9622. Family YMCA of the Desert, 43-930 San Pablo Ave., Palm Desert. Or go online to www.ymcaofthedesert.org
Thursday, March 27, 11am reception, 12pm Luncheon. Visionaries of Tools for Tomorrow presents the 8th Annual Awards luncheon honoring art collector and philanthropist Donna MacMillan. “As the recipient of last year’s Vision for the Future Award, I am so delighted that Donna MacMillan has accepted this year’s honor. She is an amazing advocate for the arts, for children, and for the importance of education in our culture,” says Janice Lyle, Director of Sunnylands Center & Gardens. Tools for Tomorrow, a local nonprofit provides an arts literacy enrichment program integrating music, drama, writing and art, free to “at risk” children in elementary schools from Palm Springs to Mecca. The children will perform and exhibit their creative writing and art work. Luncheon tickets are $125per person. Call Tools for Tomorrow office: 760-601-3954 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, March 28, Reception 5:30pm. The American Documentary Film Festival to host Film and live opera event at CSUSB Palm Desert Campus. A special Osher Lifelong Learning event will feature the opera extravaganza, “I Love to Sing,” the critically acclaimed South African documentary and performance film by Julie Cohen that focuses three of the first black opera students to attend a prestigious post-apartheid opera school for a year in the program. Critics called it “moving and inspiring.” The film serves as as a stirring backdrop for the live musical performance by its stars in the campus’s Indian Wells Theater to conclude the evening. For info, call 760-341-2883, ext.14428 or78121. For tickets, go to the film festival website, www.americandocumentaryfilmfestival.com, or call760-322-3689. The CSUSB Palm Desert campus is located at 37-500 Cook St., Palm Desert.
Sunday, March 30, 9am-4pm. Vroom! Vroom! Ready, set, go! It’s time for the thrilling Concourse Italiano, the world’s most extensive exhibit of exotic Italian cars, now being launched for the first time by its creators in our desert, designated by the city of Palm Desert as an official event during Monterey Auto Week, and held at the Shadow Mountain Resort in Palm Desert. Celebrating everything Italian including cuisine and music, as well as swoon-worthy dream cars, this year it will celebrate Maserati’s 100th anniversary, as well as benefiting the nonprofit Desert ARC. Another first: Italian artist Monica Lotti will show her dynamic works of art inspired by her love of automobiles, remembering the auto body shops from visits with her father in her hometown of Sassuolo, Emilia-Romagna. Disdaining brushes, Lotti applies acrylics using spatulas with quick gestures for energetic works that hang in fine museums and homes. General admission, $70, El Paseo Club tickets, including access to the exclusive Pavilion, $300. Retired military and Seniors with ID, $20 discount. Available at door. More info, go to www.desertconcorso.com
“Don’t Be Clueless” wants to remind you that press releases for inclusion should be in to the Coachella Valley Weekly at least two weeks ahead of the scheduled event! Thanks!