by Lola Rossi-Meza
As anticipated, the season finale of “Spirit of the King” featuring Performance Artist Steve Connolly, certainly captured the Spirit of Palm Springs with a packed house in the Cascade Lounge at the Spa Resort Casino last Saturday night. Attendees were taken back to the “1960 Glory Days” of Palm Springs, the playground of the stars.
This amazing showcase opened with vocalist Fleet Easton and his tribute to Bobby Darin. I have seen, read and heard about Easton over the years, however, this was the first time I caught a glimpse of his act. What an entertainer! He had the audience in the palm of his hand that night and gave his “all” as he prepared them for Steve Connolly to take the stage.
“Elvis” was in the building from the moment Connolly walked out and sang his first song. He sings like Elvis, he talks like Elvis, he looks like Elvis, he moves like Elvis and captured the undivided attention of everyone. If you have a moment, please go to the CV Weekly web-site and read my column from last week, “Spirit of the King is the Spirit of Palm Springs”, you will learn more about the show and this dynamic entertainer.
After watching a video that shows Connolly painting the portrait of Elvis he creates nightly, Marilyn Monroe impersonator Cat Lyn Day performed “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend” to the delight of the audience. Connolly joined her on stage and sang “Are You Lonesome Tonight”, a part of the show that makes people wonder, “What if…”
The show ended with “Suspicious Minds” followed by a standing ovation for Connolly, Day, Easton and the crew. Executive Producer Michael T. Murphy joined them on stage and announced the First Annual Red Scarves Awards given to honor special friends of the production. He began with the first award given to Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet. The other recipients included Michael Lord, Phyllis Silver, Janie Hughes, Vince Guccione, Rich Pacheco, Josh Chandler and me, Lola Rossi, I was very surprised, and very appreciative. Photographer Gregg Felsen captured the group perfectly.
The next announcement was made by Mayor Steve Pougnet, who presented Loving All Animals with the painting of Elvis created by Connolly that evening. They were one of the many charities participating in the fund-raising effort through ticket sales and will use the painting to raise more funds for their organization. I accepted the award on their behalf as the Entertainment Coordinator for their Super Pet Adoption Fair being held at the White Water Park in Rancho Mirage on Saturday, November 23, and Sunday, November 24, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. (760) 776-9397.
On Sunday, a Rock and Roll Party to celebrate a successful season, was graciously held at the beautiful home of sculptor Mario Pikus and his wife, Rebecca. In attendance were Don and Joanne Kaplan. They won the painting of Elvis during the live auction held after Loving All Animals brought a group of their supporters to see the show on Thursday, June 20. Michael Lord and Connolly presented them with the portrait at the party. Connolly also presented two special Red Scarves Awards to Easton and Day for their outstanding participation in “Spirit of the King”.
Pictured with Executive Producers Patricia Reider and Murphy is Judy Deertrack, board member of Well in the Desert, a guest at the party. Greg Peterson was the photographer that evening. To see video clips and photos visit SpiritOfTheKing.com or SpiritOfTheKingPalmSprings.com.