Theatre in the Coachella Valley is in full bloom this season! I’ve watched our theatre companies grow over the past decade – paralleling my time chronicling the goings-on for the LGBTQ+ communities we serve.
And what a great variety of entertainment to choose from: CV Rep just debuted a mesmerizing version of Cabaret, while Michael Shaw’s Dezart Performs gives us food for thought in What the Constitution Means To Me.
Audiences are also raving about AvenueQ and The Lifespan of a Fact. Del Shores came in to host a Q & A for his Sordid Lives and Desert Theatreworks is giving us some comic relief with Gilligan’s Island: The Musical.
We have so many talented actors who make our Valley their home, and LA provides access to many more thespians. If you haven’t indulged yourself in a good production lately – or ever – now is the time to do so. Many also are fundraising for scholarship programs and capital campaigns. Those are worthy of your support as well.
Dare I predict that it won’t be long before you’ll be seeing “Barbie – A One Woman Play” and “Oppenheimer: The Musical” on our local stages??? I hope not…
Brad Fuhr, your Gay Desert Guide on KGAY 106.5 Palm Springs
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Palm Springs Health Run & Wellness Festival
The Palm Springs Health Run & Wellness Festival is Saturday, January 27 from 8 am–1 pm at Ruth Hardy Park, featuring various activities promoting health and wellness. Fitness experts Scott Cole and Craig Ramsay will serve as masters of ceremony. Browse over 80 booths showcasing the latest in nutrition, exercise techniques, and more. Peter Daut, Julie Montante, and Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez will judge as Patrick Evans competes in a cooking competition against Chef Jon Merchain of Lay-Vince Restaurant. New this year is the addition of a half marathon, along with USA Track and Field certified 10K and 5K courses and a 1K fun run, attracting serious runners as well as those doing it just for fun and good health! More info
Southwest Arts Festival
The Southwest Arts Festival® returns to the beautiful Empire Polo Club in Indio this Thursday–Sunday, January 25–28, open daily from 10 am–5 pm. The acclaimed art festival features a variety of traditional, contemporary, and abstract fine works of art, jewelry and quality crafts. This year’s festival will feature live music, with pottery, glass and fine art painting scheduled to be on display. The festival’s reputation for first-class quality and professional integrity make it one of the country’s finest juried art festivals. Get tickets
Desert Open Studios
Desert Open Studios is celebrating its fourth year this Friday, Saturday & Sunday, January 26, 27 & 28, from 11am–4 pm each day. The tour is a unique way for the public to connect with more than 100 area artists with a free self-guided art tour across the Coachella Valley. Observe their processes, purchase artwork, and explore spaces usually not open to outsiders. The tour spans the Coachella Valley uniting the east and west art scenes. From Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City to Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, La Quinta and Indio, visitors will discover artists everywhere. More info
As part of Desert Open Studios, MAD.KAT Gallery will be holding a Meet The Artists Happy Hour on Saturday, January 27 from 3–5 pm with artists Kim A. Tolman, Bonnie Denver Ruttan, and Steve Ohlrich. In addition to these artists’ works, MAD.KAT is showing a guest gallery of seven international artists from Japan, Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Norway. Drop by for a chat! More info
Kee Gallery will present the mindbending creations of six extraordinary artists for Desert Open Studios: Kathleen Strukoff’s modern impressionism captures the vibrant Palm Springs lifestyle, while Ernesto Ramirez adds a new twist to Mexican surrealism. Erich Meager’s multi-layered, architectural pieces bring a unique perspective, and Sarah Soward’s fantastical wildlife paintings transport you to another realm. Immerse yourself in the mid-modern facades and architectural angles of Robert Webster’s work, and let Nita Harper guide you through landscapes that make you feel like you are there. More info
Paradise Road Show
The Paradise Road Show modern classic car and motorcycle event makes a stop in the desert for a hotelwide takeover on Friday & Saturday, January 26 & 27 at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club. This is the 8th annual edition of the classic car, hot rod & motorcycle show inspired by the pre-’76 classics, with live music, vendors, awards, pre-party, after-parties and even a pie eating contest. Put on your leathers and join a weekend not to be missed! More info
The Lifespan of a Fact
Desert Ensemble Theatre presents The Lifespan of a Fact by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell, opening on Friday, January 26 and running through February 4 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Jim is a fresh-out-of-Harvard fact checker for a prominent but sinking New York magazine. John is a talented writer with a transcendent essay about a suicide—that could save the magazine from collapse. When Jim is assigned to fact check D’Agata’s work, the two come head to head in a battle over facts versus truth. Get tickets
What the Constitution Means to Me
Dezart Performs presents the 2019 Pulitzer Prize Finalist & Tony nominated dramatic comedy, What the Constitution Means to Me, playing Friday–Sunday, January 26–28. Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Our theatre reviewer Stephen Radosh says lead actress Robyn Cohen “is gifted with a riveting stage presence and radiates a genuine warmth especially when breaking the 4th wall and talking directly to members of the audience. Always playful but never untrustworthy, the audience was, at all times, firmly in her thrall.” Read his full review and Get tickets
Del Shores’ Sordid Lives
Palm Canyon Theatre presents Del Shores’ Sordid Lives playing Friday through Sunday, January 26–28, with an extra matinee performance just added due to popular demand: Saturday, January 27 at 2 pm. When Peggy, a good Christian woman, hits her head on the sink and bleeds to death after tripping over her lover’s wooden legs in a motel room, three generations of a family gather in a small Texas town for her funeral. The sad, hilarious truth of their “sordid lives” erupts in this cult classic, a black comedy about white trash. Get tickets
Revolution Stage Company (RSC) presents Avenue Q, running through this Sunday, January 28. A smash hit on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in the West End, this Tony Award-winning adult musical comedy features the cheekiest puppets in town, skillfully brought to life by the Coachella Valley’s top musical theater performers. Take a delightful journey through the challenges of growing up, the pursuit of grand dreams, and the quest to discover life’s true purpose. Our theatre reviewer Stephen Radosh loved it and says “…if the idea of watching puppets have sex makes you giggle instead of making you gag or scream out TMI, then do yourself a favor and grab a ticket for a fun, belly-laugh filled evening in the theatre.” Read his full review and Get tickets
Gilligan’s Island – The Musical
Desert Theatreworks presents Gilligan’s Island – The Musical, playing through Sunday, January 28. America’s most iconic sitcom from the 1960s comes to the stage reincarnated as a fun family musical. Written by the original TV show’s creator, Sherwood Schwartz, all the show’s beloved characters seem to have leaped straight from the TV screen to the big stage, bringing their hilarious adventures along with them. The skipper and his hapless first mate, Gillian; millionaire Thurston Howell and his wife, Lovey; film starlet Ginger Grant; farm girl Mary Ann Summers; and the professor battle hurricanes, quicksand and even an alien with their usual fierce determination. Will they finally make it off the island? Get tickets
Mid-Century Moderns, the hit jukebox musical comedy, returns to Revolution Stage Company with new performances every Friday and Sunday at 7 pm for 12 consecutive weekends through Sunday, April 7, with extra performances on select Saturdays: February 17, February 24 and March 30. The pop hits of the 1960s come to life as a Wisconsin widow is transformed from frump to fabulous when she finds herself in an exciting new world in 1966 Palm Springs. Get tickets
CVRep presents Cabaret, based on a play by John Van Duten and stories by Christopher Isherwood, running Wednesdays–Sundays through February 10. In an immersive, one-of-a-kind production, you will step off the street and into a world you could only imagine. From the minute you enter the Playhouse you will be transported; to a wild nightlife; a dangerous time in an unstable country; and take a journey unlike any you’ve risked before. Be swept away in the 8-Tony Award winning musical by the legendary American songwriting team, Kander and Ebb. Our theatre reviewer Stephen Radosh says, “Having seen many different productions of CABARET, including the original, this is one of the strongest and most powerful I have seen and should not be missed.” Read his full review and Get tickets
Twelve O’Clock Tales with Ava Gardner
Revolution Stage Company presents Twelve O’Clock Tales with Ava Gardner by Alessandra Assaf and Michael Lorre, Saturdays and Sundays from Saturday, January 27 through Sunday, February 4. On the set of the blockbuster disaster film, Earthquake, Oscar-nominated screen siren Ava Gardner is focusing on her first big-budget starring role in over a decade. Tucked away in her dressing room bungalow, the “queen of the scandal sheets” does battle with her past. Get tickets
Solstice by Kitty Bunny Farms
A temporary painting installation, Solstice, created by artist Ashley Bray will be located at The Graffiti Yard off of S Belardo Rd and Museum Way in Palm Springs on Friday, January 26, starting at noon. The Graffiti Yard is a constantly changing graffiti park and this project consists of a mural depicting paw prints of kitties and bunnies on white walls, which represent snow throughout the concrete structure. The piece is an evolving work of art, as people will be able to come and paint over it, transforming the piece, representing the impact that humans have on nature in an effort to raise awareness about the human impact on the ecosystem. More info
Kevin Smith at The Show
The Show at Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage presents filmmaker Kevin Smith on Friday, January 26 at 8 pm. Smith is a director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and comic book writer who is best known for his low-budget comedy films featuring Jay and Silent Bob, set in the View Askewniverse. He has also ventured into horror and comedy horror genres, with a trilogy of films set in Canada. He has also directed other projects, such as Cop Out and Masters of the Universe: Revelation. Get tickets
Palm Springs Art Museum Art Party 2024
Palm Springs Art Museum presents their most significant fundraiser of the year, the Art Party 2024 gala, on Saturday, January 27, from 6–10 pm at the museum. This year’s gala is dedicated to celebrating the life and work of the renowned architect Albert Frey (1903-1998). The event coincides with a large-scale retrospective “Albert Frey: Inventive Modernist” curated and designed by Brad Dunning, presenting the most comprehensive exhibition of Frey’s architectural practice. Get tickets
The Gardens 26th Annual Concert Series
Agua Caliente Casinos present The Gardens 26th Annual Concert Series on Saturday, January 27 from 4:30–7:30 pm with a SOLD OUT tribute band concert by Eagles Ronstadt Experience, benefiting Shay’s Warriors–Life After Cancer. For 26 years, The Gardens on El Paseo has brought together the Coachella Valley community to support local non-profits, musicians, and organizations. Reserve your tickets now and wine down on the Center Lawn, Saturday evenings to support your community. See the future concert schedule on our event listing: Get tickets.