If you did not see me out and about this week there was a good reason: I slipped away for a quick visit to Yosemite. Yes, that's me in the picture near the tent I camped in. Those of you who know me well can stop laughing now. It was worth giving up a few creature comforts to see the place I have been trying to get to for years. I was not disappointed. I returned in time for round two of the Palm Springs Voice contest and we have some photos from Saturday night at The Purple Room.
While I was at Yosemite, Stephen Raosh was at the movie "Venus in Fur." Be sure to read his review and then go catch this film. He really liked it. And Charlene Faris was out at the galleries, where she found a unique line of products at one place.
Gavin MacCleod will be on stage with CVRep next weekend, and Village Fest is going strong all summer long. Also, "The Stops" is still in town, held over for one more weekend. They then they leave the Desert Rose Playhpuse to make room for the annual "Un-Gala." fundraiser.
When you take a stroll into the Uptown Design District on North Palm Canyon Drive here in Palm Springs, stop into Just Modern (at 901) to see a new line of planters by STEELlife
Featured in top magazines like Dwell, Better Homes and Gardens, People Magazine, and Sunset Magazine to name a few, the modernistic STEELlife planters are made in colors that pop: orange, turquoise, yellow, and others. This writer stopped into Just Modern for the Friday night launch and met Shannon Lester, co-owner of STEELlife (with her husband, Andrew). They are based in Bend, Oregon. Shannon's "Jack Little" planter was launched and celebrated on Friday evening because it was her 2011 visit to Modernism Week that inspired her to create this new line of products.
Several of Shannon's long time friends from Oregon were on hand to celebrate the Friday launch. Neither the rain nor the heat stopped a constant flow of guests.
Owner Chris Mobley was quite busy. He noted that his Just Modern shop has been here for two and one half years. The store is located directly across from Trina Turk on El Alame
It was a tanding-room-only crowd for the second round of The Palm Springs Voice Competition at Purple Room Saturday night (7 26 2014) The 11 remaining singers from round 1 were on stage as a panel of cleebrity judges narrowned the field to nine. Those 9 will advance to the Semi-final Round on Saturday, September 27.
With a grand prize of $1,000 and a spotlight show at Purple Room Restaurant and Stage in November on the line, the 11 brought “their best game” yet to the stage
Host Michael Holmes said, “Each of the singers really amazed the audience and the judges.” The judges really have a very difficult task. I am glad I am the emcee and not a judge."
Purple Room Restaurant co-owner Tony Marchese added, “Each of the contestants has incredible talent and we are thrilled to give these local singers this opportunity to share those talents. The shows are just terrific. The large crowds coming out to show their support is tremendous and says a lot about our community.”
Rating: 4 out of 4 (Perfect)
Roman Polanski's adaptation of David Ives' Tony-nominated Venus in Fur is a mesmerizing film. The play began Off-Broadway before moving to Broadway in 2011 where it won a Best Actress Tony for its leading lady Nina Ariadna.
As was the play, VENUS IN FUR is a two-character piece examining many aspects of the relationship between men and women, master and slave, director and actress, and seducer and victim.
Starring the entrancing Emmanuelle Seigner(who is also Polanski’s wife) and Ploanski look-alike Mathieu Amalric, the film weaves a web of mystery and intrigue as the lines between reality and fiction
This story contains a CVFunCast.
CVNews Radio Host Jim Fordyce sat with Ron Celona for a preview of the Summer Events at CVRep. While you have missed the first ones, there are several more coming your way
The Coachella Valley Repertory Theater will continue entertaining local desert audiences this summer with a staged reading of the original work “Happy Hour” by George Eastman. The reading will star Gavin MacLeod of The Love Boat, and Mary Tyler Mooreshow fame and the artistic director
Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Ron Celona, has announced the 2014-2015 Season lineup. The four plays to be produced in CVRep’s intimate 86-seat theater will make you laugh, cry, feel sentimental and proud, be inspired, awed or angry. Enjoy the richness of the American spirit through these thought provoking productions.
"One of the things I most love about America is learning about our varied cultures and its peoples' ancestry. This knowledge can help us to understand our differences and appreciate who we are. The four plays that CVRep will be presenting in its 2014-2015 SEASON “THE AMERICAN MELTING POT” will help
Dezart Performs’ has announced the plays it will perform in its 7th season.
The Palm Springs-based performing arts company’s artistic director, Michael Shaw tell Coachella Valley News that once again the copmany will be showcasing the work of established and emerging playwrights from across the country for Coachella Valley audiences.
Shaw says, "The new season, its seventh, is full of excitement and features four different offerings presented between November 2014 and April 2015."
It carries on the long-standing tradition of presenting a full production of the Audience Favorite from the previous season’s Play Reading Series. The overwhelming favorite was “Duck And Cover” by Michael Kimball, and the comedy will be the season’s second offering, with its West Coast Premiere on January 30, 2015 and a run that ends on February 8.
The desert Rose Playhouse, the Coachella Valley’s stage company serving LGBT and Gay-Friendly residents and visitors, has announced its 2014/15 Season of productions:
ANITA BRYANT DIED FOR YOUR SINS by Bryan Christopher Williams (September 26 – October 19, 2014)
“One of the funniest and most exquisitely written comedy-dramas to come along in a long, long while” – Stage Scene LA.
It’s 1977 and 15-year-old Horace Poore’s sexual awakening is hastened by images of Olympic
Saturday, August 16, 2014 is the day to dress up in your shorts and your flip-flops and come on down to the Desert Rose Playhouse for a really fun and casual evening.
The playhouse will have wine and fabulous food from Lulu/Acqua Pazza,and amazing desserts from iPastries, all that and a terrific show
All proceeds benefit The Desert Rose Playhouse, the valley's LGBT and gay -friendly stage company!
HELD OVER UNTIL AUGUST 3!
Rating: 4 out of Fordyce (Perfect)
On stage at Desert Rose Playhouse through July 19 is the laugh-a-minute show "The Stops." This new musical by Eric Lane Barnes is about three members of the North American Lady Organists Guild (NALOG), who spread their Gospel as “The Stops,” an Andrews Sisters-esque trio of different faiths united in their love of song.
“Ginny,” “Euglena,” and “Rose” perform a benefit concert for their mentor, Dale Meadows, a church music director and songwriter recently ousted from his tabernacle because he’s gay! The cast here makes this show. Our "ladies" include Terry Huber as “Rose,” the New York Jew who married a
If you hear anyone say that they are bored (I have no idea why?) here in Palm Springs during our "off season," remind them that every single Thursday night, they may stop downtown on Palm Canyon Drive at VillageFest, from the Hyatt Palm Springs down to Arenas Road. This very dog-friendly street fair is THE fun place to be on Thursday nights, from 7 to 10 pm through September. There is a lot of fun going on with arts, crafts, foods, farmers market, sampling (Bill's Pizza and See's Candies to name a couple), entertainment, and shopping 'til you drop!
The businesses stay open longer than usual on Thursday. I strolled down to the festival to take in the sights, sounds, and samplings this past week after enjoying a birthday party at Wang's in the Desert for friend Maureen Martin. When one lives
If you missed it in June, you have another chance. Splash House the Pool and Music Festival will return to the desert August 8-10.
If you aren't familiar, Splash House works under the assumption that Palm Springs wants to listen to Hot Music while it cools off. All you need to do that is a few poolside stages and some talented entertainers and DJs.
The star-studded lineup for the August event includes A-Trak, Jason Bentley, and Chromeo and live performances from Flume, Cut Copy, and Jagwar Ma.
There will again be three pool-side stages at three different valley locations, including The Saguaro.
To attend you must be 21 or older. Tickets start at $99. Some of the venues are offering special room and food packages. Tickets and information are at www.splashhouse.com.
As the choices for new movies to review was sadly thin this week, I decided to turn my thoughts to two high profile summer TV series; UNDER THE DOME and EXTANT.
UNDER THE DOME, now in its second season, began, as did the novel, with the tantalizing idea of a town suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible, impenetrable dome from an unknown origin. The people inside, like so many ants in an ant farm, try to maintain their lives and their civility even as disaster after disaster befalls them. As the highly successful novel proved, this is an interesting premise with plenty of mysteries to explore. But the TV show is quite different from the novel and uses the Dome and some of the characters as a starting point for a very different story. After a fairly exciting first season, the show has started to drift into several clichéd directions.
Rating: 4 out of 4 (Perfect)
It’s not easy for a movie franchise to maintain quality and momentum, just look at "Transformers." But "Dawn of the planet of the Apes" does just that.
Strongly directed by Matt Reeves in a stunning usage of 3D with an ambitious script by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, The film manages to tackle some heady topics while keeping the tension and energy at a high level.
A simian flu has reduced the human population to mere pockets of survivors. Over the years since the
Rating: 3 out of 4
I am a huge fan of the Broadway hilt "jersey Boys" so naturally I was a little concerned when it came to film, but I was not disappointed. I have met Frankie Vali and have scene the show twice and interviewed cast members for my radio show so I know how difficult this show is to perform when you have living legends to portray and i will say right here that John Lloyd Young ( you saw him as Frankie on the Tony Awards) nails it as Frankie Vali. But before we get ahead of ourselves, I have to fill you in, just in case yous guys ain't familiar wit 'da boys. Jersey Boys is the story of how the fabulous singing group "The Four Seasons" came to be. You learn how they came from some not so nice neighborhoods in New Jersey and formed one of the most enduring sounds ever heard in music. You learn that the unique vocal skills of Mr. Vali are a large part of the sound, but you also learn that he had a lot of help and met some good people along the way. Michael Lomeda portrays Nick Massi, who was sort of the odd man out in the group, while Vincent Piazza plays Tommy DeVito, the troublesome member of the group who almost brought it all down. There is a stellar performance by Erich Bergan as the talented songwriter and singer Bob Gaudio. Rounding out the cast is Mike Doyle is the flamboyant record producer Bob Crewe and Christopher
Rating: 4 out of 4 (Perfect)
This weekend, I had the good fortune to catch CHEF at the Mary Pickford Theatre. It is a charming and heartwarming comedy by writer and director Jon Favreau. Totally unlike his other recent films (IRON MAN, COWBOYS & ALIENS) there is not an explosion or super hero to be found.
What you will find is a funny and touching tale of chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) who, after a promising start as a high