In the foreground, we’re making our way through another hot Summer in the Coachella Valley. (sounds a little cooler than “in the desert”, but that’s where we live!) In the background, plans are in full swing for the “season”.
I’m spending lots of time scheming fun stuff for our Arenas Road stage at Palm Springs Pride, making plans for The Dinah, Modernism Week and the myriad events that brings millions to our destination.
Yesterday, I saw a recap of the past year and a look at things to come from the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism. The numbers were very good as we emerged from one phase of COVID. Rob Hampton, Kimber Foster and the team do an amazing job of promoting our destination to the world! “A rising tide lifts all boats!”
Brad Fuhr, your Gay Desert Guide & KGAY 106.5 Palm Springs
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The Essence of Whitney
The Show at the Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage presents Gennine Francis in The Essence of Whitney on Friday, July 22 at 8 pm. Gennine Francis has been singing at venues in Palm Springs since 2002 and she quickly became known as the singer who looks and sounds like Whitney Houston. Shortly after Whitney’s passing, it became evident that she should consider doing a Whitney Houston Tribute. By this time, Gennine had built quite a following. Fast forward to today and she now has one of the best Whitney tributes in the country. Get tickets
It’s the culmination of a month-long Christmas in July celebration at The Roost Lounge, on Sunday, July 24. First there’s a Drag Brunch Fundraiser from 11 am–2 pm, featuring Delta Work, Ethylina Canne, & Morgan McMichaels. The Holiday Dinner is at 6 pm, with performers David Hirsch, Abigail Carter, Bill Lohnes, and Keisha D, plus raffles and the popular Holiday Wreath Auction. Proceeds benefit Tools for Tomorrow and the children of Rio Vista Elementary School. More info
The Summer Sing-a-Long series is back at the Palm Springs Cultural Center with returning favorites and new classics. On Saturday, July 23 the series continues with Annie, the musical about a fiery young orphan girl who must live in a miserable orphanage run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett!). Annie’s situation changes when she is selected to spend a short time at the residence of the wealthy Oliver Warbucks, whose offer to help Annie find her long-lost parents inadvertently puts Annie in great danger. Come early for the Schmigadoon happy hour at 5 pm upstairs in the VIP Lounge. Head into the theater for the sing-a-long at 7 pm, with songleaders from the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus leading the out-loud voices! The series continues for two more Saturdays: July 30 with Little Shop of Horrors, and August 6 with Mamma Mia 2! Get tickets
Desert Theatreworks is presenting a “summer full of fun” with shows on Sundays. The July production is The Carol Burnett Show Live on Stage on July 24, & 31, with performances at 2 pm. “The Carol Burnett Show” ran for 11 years and is known as one of the most brilliant television shows of all time. You’ll love this opportunity to see some of the best classic comedy sketches from the program re-created for the stage performed by some of DTW’s favorite performers. Get tickets
Speaking of dining out, there are many joys of dining out in the desert during the summer: specials like the Taste of Summer (above), dining outdoors under water spray misters, and oftentimes reservations are less necessary when things are less busy in the off-season. However, make sure you check ahead on social media or their website to make sure the restaurant you’re planning to visit has not taken a summer hiatus!
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the 2022 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival kicked off Thursday, July 14 and will continue through Sunday, July 24. The world’s leading LGBTQ+ festival returns with outdoor events, indoor screenings for vaccinated attendees, and also available via streaming for those who wish to experience the festival from their own home. The festival provides both the community and creators opportunities to participate in various events, workshops, masterclasses, and panels, both to provide networking opportunities and filmmaker development. Get tickets
WindWalkers Medicine Wheel presents an original play by Howard Shangraw, Tonight in Spoon River, opening Friday, July 22 and running for nine performances through Sunday, August 7. Based on Spoon River Anthology written by Edgar Lee Masters, the play takes place on a hillside cemetery where we meet the ghosts of the small fictional town Spoon River. Masters wrote the epitaphs of the dearly departed as a remembrance of the “fair, tender-hearted souls” he recalled from his home town of Lewiston, Ohio, where he lived as a young boy (and, ironically where his book was banned!). Get tickets
The Brothers of the Desert Book Club (BODBC) is offering members and allies an opportunity to meet bi-monthly to discuss their community’s literary history, meeting on Zoom twice a month: the second and fourth Saturday afternoons, this weekend on Saturday, July 23 at 3 pm. The selection for July and August is All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson. This series of personal essays by Johnson, a prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist, explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. The BODBC is more than a book club, it’s a social and networking event as well as an opportunity to become better individuals and be the change you want to see in the world. More info
RuPaul Recap: All Stars Season 7, Episode 10
Our Gay Desert Guide Drag Correspondent, Dante Noto, has published his latest glowing recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 (See all of his RuPaul Recaps here). This week the queens are challenged to roast each other in the “Kennedy Davenport Center Honors Hall of Shade,” and on the runway, the category is “All Glowed Up.” Find out which two queens came out on top this week as we fast approach the finale, just two episodes away! Read the full recap of Episode 10: The Kennedy Davenport Center Honors Hall of Shade [here].