BYLINE: DIANE MARLIN-DIRKX
We’re already deep into the season of fundraising luncheons that send the bathroom scale into overdrive, the glamour glut of benefit galas with its best-dressed group hugs, the happy meets-and-greets at openings and anniversaries of new ventures, musical performances and theatrical shows, the heart-felt welcomes to returning snowbirds winging in, and the presentation of awards to those who voluntarily give of themselves to do good works—and so much more rattling our caged sloth of the past summer. Now, the desert’s party-line is a-buzz because it’s our main business hereabouts. Calendars operate like Etch A Sketch—with the shakes. As a result of all the to-ing and fro-ing, there is enough convivial clamor and air kisses to toss the prettily-named influenza bug-a-boos to all on our flight path wherever we roam in the Coachella Valley. (Get your flu shot.) Here are events you’ll want to ink in on your calendar, tablet, mobile, or, okay, Etch A Sketch. Read on.
Thursday, November 1 – January 1, 2013. Books are more than ink on paper; they’re a child’s invitation to the future. To wit with writ wares: Booksellers Barnes & Noble invite you to give the gift of reading to children in need through their country-wide Annual Holiday Book Drive. Here’s an opportunity to donate B&N specially selected, age-appropriate children’s books to two local non-profit organizations—this year, SafeHouse of the Desert who support teens in crisis, and Coachella Valley BookPALS, sponsored by PSWIFT (Palm Springs Women in Film and Television). “Coachella Valley BookPALS volunteers read aloud once a week to students from kindergarten to 5th grade. As a result of the community’s generosity, we are able to distribute donated books to nearly 2,000 students in 10 schools from one end of the Coachella Valley to the other,” says Tere Romero Britton, BookPALS coordinator. Palm Desert Barnes & Noble, 72-840 HWY 111, Suite 425 in the Westfield Shopping Mall. More info, call 760-779-0637, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, November 1 through 30. We thank the marines for their service, and now for their children, the Assistance League of Palm Springs Desert Area is launching a Holiday Toy Drive at the 29 Palms Marine Corps base. New, unwrapped toys for infants to 17-year-olds will be collected at the Assistance League Treasure Chest, 68-355 Ramon Rd. in Cathedral City, 760-321-1990 until November 30. Or you may drop your toys off at Paula Vaughan at Salon Internationale, 73-290 El Paseo, Suite 2, Palm Desert, 760-776-1120. The Assistance League is a national organization, founded in the 1890s, that now has 26,000 member volunteers in 120 chapters in the country. Each chapter focuses on the needs of its own community with fundraising in the local area. More information, visit www.assistanceleague.org, or contact Jane McDonough at 760-771-5771.
Thursday, November 1, 7pm. Talk about a hard act to follow! John Adams said he would have been content with his “farm, family and goose quill,” but concerned with the building of our new nation, he toted his quill into the Oval Office as the second American president after the acknowledged “father of this nation” George Washington. Spend the evening with actor George Baker as he gives a timely, sharp and witty portrayal of the impetuous, sometimes petulant, American patriot John Adams, who died on July 4, 1826, along with his frenemy Thomas Jefferson, on the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence which they helped write. The fundraiser event is being presented by the Rancho Mirage Public Library Foundation. Tickets, $50. All 760-341-7323, x605, or go to www.ranchomiragelibrary.org. RMPL: 71–100 Hwy. 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270.
Friday, November 2, 10am to 9:15pm. “Ol’ Blue Eyes” Frank Sinatra called Tony Bennett “the best singer in the business.” A high note of praise. The guy at 85 is still convincing his fans that “The Best Is Yet to Come” and sung with his usual easy-going style, we believe him. “It’s a great song, and I never tire of hearing it,” says Bennett, who has recorded four versions of that upbeat-on-steroids winner. Check out the new documentary, The Zen of Bennett, an Abramorama release in association with Benedetto Films, in its nation-wide release at select theaters—here exclusively at Palme d’Or in Palm Desert. Called “a “seductive and soulful view” into the mind of singer Tony Bennett, as well as an intimate portrait of the “artist’s creative process,” the film captures his life—so far–as he looks back over his 60 year career in a first person narrative that reveals his “philosophies of life, lessons learned.” Yet Bennett looks ahead with unfettered joy while expressing his passion for art and music. Cinema Palme d’Or, 72840 HWY 111, Palm Desert. For more info, call 760-779-0430, or go to www.zenofbennett.com
Sunday, November 11, 11am. Veteran’s Day! The General George S. Patton Memorial Museum at Chiriaco Summit, presents its 24th annual Veterans Day Celebration with an air salute fly-over by World War II aircraft operated by Warbirds West, a collectors’ fav-rave car show, special interest booths and exhibits, a sinus-clearing chili cook-off, an exhibit of military vehicles (I don’t know whether they’ll let you look under the hood), and a salute to singer Al Jolson—the first to entertain US troops in WWII and Korea—with a special performance of his music. Patton, nicknamed “Bandito,” Georgie,” “Old Blood and Guts,” “The Old Man,” among other colorful monikers, died in 1945, but Michael Keane, author of the new biography Blood, Guts and Prayer will be an honored guest. Chiriaco Summit is 30 miles east of the Coachella Valley, off I 10 at exit 173. More info, call the Museum 760-227-3483.
Saturday, November 10, 7pm and Sunday, November 11, 4pm. Dancing as fast as they can, the McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival celebrates 15 years in a weekend of innovative choreography from across the nation featuring professional dance companies on Saturday, and continuing on Sunday with pre-professional companies. Founded by artistic director Shea New in 1998, the Festival has been incorporated and produced by The McCallum Theatre Institute since 2002. The Festival features a choreographer competition in two divisions, educational workshops and residencies and honors those who have made outstanding contributions to dance through a lifetime Achievement Award. Finalists were selected from 109 country-wide submissions to perform before an audience and judges to win over $26,000 in cash awards and a paid engagement. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Los Angeles Ballet Artistic Directors Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen. Saturday performance tickets, $15 to $30. Sunday performance tickets, $10 to $25. Box office, 760-340-2787. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Dr., Palm Desert. Or visit www.mccallumtheatre.org
Saturday, November 10, 11am – 2pm. Here’s a day the rug-rats in your family will love—the ones who push a vacuum cleaner, too! The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert’s 25th Birthday Celebration Family Fundraiser has bragging rights to this posting! “If anyone knows how to throw a party, we do!” they crow delightfully high-decibel—and that’s only the press release. Dressed as a carnival theme bash, the event is complete with petting zoo, Ferris wheel, bounce house, swing ride, entertainment and games galore! Food will be available, and “Sunny,” the CDMOD mascot will lead the “Happy Birthday” sing-a-long while passing around birthday cake to all comers big and small. The mission of the non-profit institution is to give kids in six and a half acres to stimulate a kid’s intellectual curiosity and self-expression through play. New statistics show the Museum will serve almost 100,000 per year in our valley that has more than 50,000 school children. Wristband tickets are $15 per celebrant. Stop by our Museum Gift Store to pre-buy your child’s day of super fun and splendiferous activities. Location: 71-701 Gerald Ford Dr., Rancho Mirage. More info, call 760-321-1602.
Saturday, November 10, 6-9pm. Last chance to buy tickets for Meet the New Museum, where the theme-scream is “fame lasts more than 15 minutes!” Of course, it’s a salute to the 60s! “If it feels good, do it!” was the slogan. Get ready to remember a love-in by lava lite, shaking your love-beads and booty to the Watusi. At the dawning of the age of Aquarius, get with it by channeling your inner Twiggy or Andy Warhol in costume for an evening at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert where the party-hearty will gather in The Galen and The Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden to music by DJ Alf Alpha, supreme nibbles and noshes from Spencer’s, complimentary open bar and valet parking. Thanks to the Art Angels—Helene Galen, Donna MacMillan, Harold Matzner, Faye Sarkowsky—and their 100% underwriting, every dollar raised goes to the museum. Members, $40 single/$80 couple. Nonmembers, $50 single/$85 couple (includes a one-year museum membership.) Tickets available online: www.psmuseum.org/meet-the-museum.
“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!