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Jim's Celeb Friends
Thursday
Oct302014

"Pippin" is Flawless

Diane Paulus’ inventive restaging of the 1972 musical PIPPIN, now at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood through Nov. 9, 2014, is constantly entertaining and always fun to watch.  Reset in a circus environment, the show tells the highly fictitious story of Pippin, son of Charlemagne and heir to the throne, as he searches for the meaning of his life.  The theme of the show is very much rooted in the 70’s and the script still frays a bit around the edges.  But the razzle-dazzle of the production does a pretty good job of masking the flaws of the script at least until the very ending of the musical.  Joining Paulus in the staging is Gypsy Snider, the co-founder of  the Montreal-based company Les 7 Doigts de la Main, who created the amazing array of circus stunts. These are seamlessly integrated with the show’s choreography, credited to Chet Walker, “in the style of Bob Fosse.”

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Sunday
Oct262014

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Sunday
Oct262014

Monday Shout Outs

Hello, Everyone, and Happy Monday from Jim Fordyce and Coachella Valley Fun!

Bruce Vilanch with Radio Host Jim Fordyce. Listen up as they talk about Dine & Dish II What a weekend. I went to four shows and loved them all. We are going to start with Saturday night and work our way back as the stand-out of my weekend was "Rocky Horror," which is now being performed by the College of the Desert Theatre Department. It was one of two shows we saw Saturday; it is a unique take on this cult classic, and I loved it.

Director Tres Dean guided the talented ensemble cast to a creepy castle full of fun. Special shout outs to Adam Genesta as Dr. Frank'N"Furter and Johnny Bolth as the Narrator.

Prior to that show on Saturday, we were around the corner for a matinee of "Noises Off," which is currently being presented by Desert Theatre Works at The Newman Theatre. This quirky "play within a play" lets us see the show being rehearsed, and then we watch it again from back stage. It is a very clever show and another superior effort from the DTW gang. This is worth seeing for the second act alone!

Kevin and I were joined by our theatre and movie maven Steve Radosh and his friend. We are usually off at separate shows, so it was  real treat to see him.

I promised a shout out for "The Fix" on El Paseo. We scooted in there for a delicious bite to eat between shows Saturday, and we even had enough time to pop in to see my cohost for "Eat Drink and Talk About It," Mary Cardas, at the Savory Spice Shop. We had to. After all, it was an emergency; we were out of granulated garlic and tomato powder.

Friday night was opening night for "Young Frankenstein" at The Palm Canyon Theatre. The Mel Brooks classic horror spoof is very funny and this production was a delight. We were there with Charlene Faris. She was in charge for reviewing this one, so you can read her review and see some photos from opening night right now. I will say I love seeing Bobbie Eakes all "frumped up" to be a stand-out as "Frau Blucher" (insert horse whinny here) and I really loved J. Stegar Thompson as "The Monster."

The good news is all of these shows run again next weekend. Pick one, two, or all three and enjoy your Halloween.

One show that was for one weekend only was "Into the Woods," presented by the students of Musical Theatre University. This program features local high schoolers, who arewith the help of teachers who are, for the most part, Broadway professionalsput on stage for a Broadway-quality show. We never review plays by high school students who there to learn and have fun, but I will say that Thursday night was flawless, so BRAVO. 

Coming up this week: 

It is Halloween and that means Zombies in Palm Springs. If you listen to my statewide radio show "Cruising California: The Golden State Travel Show" at CruisingCA.com, you will hear my interview with the organizer. Listen to the whole show for many Halloween events around the state.

Coming Saturday night is a special fund raiser for the Aids Assistance Program. Dine and Dish II will allow you to eat and gossip with the stars. I was able to round up Michael Childers, Ted Casablanca, Bruce Vilanch, and love goddess Judy Tenuta for a Coachella Valley Funcast that is now available for you to listen to at CoachellaValleyFun.com and CoachellaValleyTalkRadio.com

Sunday
Oct262014

Dine & Dish II is Saturday November 1

This story contains a CVFunCast.
Host Jim Fordyce talks with Bruce Vilanch, Judy Tenuta, Ted Casablanca and Micheal Childers about this exciting event!

Ruta LeeGet ready for "Dine and Dish II" an evening of food, fun and celebrity gossip all to benefit Aids Assistance Program. Award-winning photographer of the stars Michael Childers invites you to join him and the fabulous Ruta Lee, “Love Goddess” Judy Tenuta, funnyman  Bruce Vilanch and gossip guru Ted Cassablanca as they tell stories of Tinseltown you’ve never heard!

Hors d’oeuvres, premium cocktails, and an exquisite dinner will be served. 100% of

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Sunday
Oct262014

"Young Frankenstein" Pleases Audience at Palm Canyon Theatre

Charlene Faris (l) & Bobbie EakesDirected by Steve Fisher (with music direction by Don Kelley and choreography by Heidi Hapner, "Young Frankenstein" hit the Palm Canyon Theatre on Friday night with fantastic audience acceptance, lots of applause, and laughter. It runs through November 2nd.
Since this is the 40th anniversary year for this  1974 American comic film, the musical is being celebrated across the country in various venues. Music and lyrics were written by actor Mel Brooks. The Palm Canyon Theatre must be high on your list of shows NOT to miss this year ANYWHERE. 
PCT's production is a stark contrast (color wise) to the original film that Mel Brooks shot in black and white, and which in 1974, was rare for movies.  This writer happens to be quite the fan of costumes at this theatre and awaits the "surprise"

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Sunday
Oct262014

"Young Frankenstein" Now at Palm Canyon Theatre

What Jim Said:

  I loved seeing Bobbie Eakes  all "frumped up" to be a stand out as "Frau Blucher" (insert horse' neigh here) and I really loved J. Stegar Thompson as "The Monster."

                                         -Jim Fordyce - Coachella Valley News

The musical version of Mel Brooks's film of the same name "Young Frankenstein" is coming to the Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs October 24 to November 2.

It is the story of Frederick Frankenstein (that's "Fronkensteen") When he inherits a castle in Transylvania containing Igor, Inga and Frau Blucher.(insert horse's neigh here)  he  discovers the secret entrance to his grandfather's laboratory and create a monster of his own.

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Sunday
Oct262014

COD Presents Rocky Horror Halloween Weekend

What Jim Said:

"Rocky Horror" now being performed by the College of the Desert Theatre Department. It was one of two shows we saw Saturday and it is a unique take on this cult classic and I loved it. Director Tres Dean guided the talented ensemble cast to a creepy castle full of fun. Special shout outs to Adam Genesta as Dr. Frank'N"Furter and Johnny Bolth as the Narrator.  
  
Jim Fordyce - Coachella Valley News

The students of the College of the Desert Theatre Arts department are shivering with ANTICI…(wait for it)…PATION as they bring to life one of pop culture’s greatest creations.The season begins with

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Sunday
Oct262014

"Noises Off" Results in Loud Laughter from DTW

What Jim Said: 

This quirky "play within a play" lets us see the play being rehearsed and watch it again from back stage. It is a very clever show and another superior effort from the DTW gang. This is worth seeing for the second act alone! 

Jim Fordyce - Coachella Valley News

Come enjoy a good hearty laugh with the funniest farce ever written. Noises Off is a roller coaster, side-splitting look at theatre - inside and out - as a hapless troupe of actors

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Sunday
Oct262014

"Scrooge in Rouge" at Desert Rose

The Desert Rose Playhouse, the Valley’s live stage company serving the LGBT community, will present the Music Hall Holiday Entertainment "Scrooge in Rouge" as its holiday show. It begins Friday, November 14, 2014 for a six-week run.  Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 2 PM. 

The plot gets going when we learn all but three actors out of a cast of twenty are stricken with food poisoning, the remaining trio decides

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Sunday
Oct262014

Coachella Valley Symphony Announces 2014-15 Season Series

 The Coachella Valley Symphony announces its 2014-15 Concert Series with all four concert performances at the symphony’s new home, the Helene Galen Performing Arts Center in the Rancho Mirage High School, 31001 Rattler Road.

This year’s theme, Music by Request, reflects the repertoire suggestions made by CVSymphony audiences as well as concert selections suggested and played by the symphony musicians.

Holiday Magic on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, 7 p.m., a heartwarming holiday concert features the vocal talents of Patricia Welch performing seasonal favorites: Silent Night, Winter Wonderland, Joy to the

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Sunday
Oct262014

P Town Sensation Coming to PS for Pride

In her first ever Palm Springs performance, nationally renowned P-town sensation Miss Richfield 1981 brings her new show “Play With My Poodle! to Purple Room Restaurant and Stage for two special Palm Springs Pride Weekend shows on Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8.  

A beauty pageant titleholder must be single. But that was back in 1981 and Miss Richfield's clock is ticking.  So she's on the prowl to find Mr. Right…now!  In her all new show Play With My Poodle!, Miss R joyously looks for a suitable mate and leaves audiences in hysterics with colorful videos, twisted sing-alongs and a healthy heap of audience interaction.  

Dinner begins at 5:30pm and the show starts at 7:00pm.  Tickets for the show are $25 and are available at www.purpleroompalmsprings.com or by calling 760.322.4422.

Sunday
Oct262014

When Will It Happen? Guess the Tram Snow Day

It is time for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway’s Snow Guessing Contest. This annual event begins October 1 and will continue until the first measurable inch of snow falls at the Tram’s Mountain Station, elevation 8,516.

The first ten entries received with the correct date of snowfall will win four Tram admissions plus a special Tram picture frame. In the event there are more than ten correct entries, the earliest postmarks will prevail.

To submit an entry, simply write down your best-guess date on a postcard

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Sunday
Oct262014

Brian Stokes Mitchell Show will return to Support COD

Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell will return to the McCallum stage for an enchanting evening of music to benefit College of the Desert (COD). “Stepping Out For College of the Desert with Brian Stokes Mitchell” will be held on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 8 pm at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert. 
 
Proceeds from the concert will benefit COD programs in the arts, which foster creative problem solving, flexible thinking, and risk-taking – skills needed not only by artists but also by students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). By providing COD students with access to superior faculty, facilities, and a strong foundation in critical and creative thinking, they will be well positioned to continue their education or to enter the workforce immediately.
 
Sponsorship opportunities, including a pre-event reception/dinner and an on-stage post-performance

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Sunday
Oct262014

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Sunday
Oct262014

"My Old Lady" Has Love and Lack of It

Rating: 3 out of 4   

Making his directorial debut at age 75, playwright Israel Horowitz has adapted his stage play into a warm and intimate portrait showing the effects of love and the lack thereof on the lives of its characters.  Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline) is an unsuccessful writer from New York who inherits an apartment in Paris from his long estranged father. He arrives in France intending to sell the large flat but discovers that that may not be so easy to do.  His apartment is a viager – a French system whereby the

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