Seven Months in Palm Springs: All the Happenings in the Desert
There are plenty of great events coming up in Palm Springs in the next few months. Here are some of the best ones taking place in the desert oasis.
September 29: Disco Tea Dance With Thelma Houston
Don’t leave her this way — instead go dance to her tunes at this benefit for the AIDS Assistance Program, poolside at the Saguaro Hotel. When Houston’s not performing, popular San Francisco DJ Jerry Bonham will spin tunes. Find more information here.
October 25: Frida: The Musical
The great bisexual artist Frida Kahlo’s life story forms the basis for a musical. One night only at the McCallum Theatre; tickets here.
October 25-27: Palm Springs Fashion Weekend
New York, Paris, and Milan don’t have a corner on fashion. Palm Springs’s first Fashion Weekend will take place at the desert city’s brand-new Hard Rock Hotel and showcase the designs of L.A.’s Anthony Franco and other fashion mavens. There will also be poolside and indoor parties, and the Desert AIDS Project will receive a $2,500 donation from the event’s producers. Find out more here.
November 1-2: Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays
The set of plays written by such notables as Moises Kaufman, Wendy MacLeod, Jose Rivera, Paul Rudnick, and Doug Wright returns to the Annenberg Theatre at the Palm Springs Art Museum, with a cast of local celebs. Check PSMuseum.org for more info.
November 2-3: Greater Palm Springs Pride
Who says Pride has to be a summer activity only? It will still be a hot time as Palm Springs and environs celebrate LGBT with a block party, parade, and festival. Check out the activities at PSPride.org.
November 1-May 18: The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies
All good things must come to an end, and this will be the 23rd and final season of the Follies, a Palm Springs institution that has presented stars of stage and screen of today and yesterday in a rousing musical variety show. This will be a “greatest hits” season, and headliners include Follies favorites Susan Anton (November 1–December 31) and Maureen McGovern (January 7–March 8), plus, making her Follies debut, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love (March 11–May 18). The Follies’ venue, the Plaza Theatre in downtown Palm Springs, will later be retrofitted for continued use as a performance space. More info is at PSFollies.com.
November 15: Tommy Tune: Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales
The Tony-winning gay dancer-choreographer offers a rousing retrospective of his stellar career. Annenberg Theatre at the Palm Springs Art Museum; tickets and info here.
November 22: Dancing With the Desert Stars
This benefit for the Desert AIDS Project promises “a magical evening of music, dance, community, friendship, and fund-raising.” At the Renaissance Palm Springs; get more info at the Desert AIDS Project’s website, here.
December 7: Desert Winds Freedom Band: Holiday in Manhattan
This ensemble of gay and gay-friendly musicians presents tunes to make you feel like it’s Christmastime (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Solstice) in the city. Palm Springs High School Auditorium; more info here.
December 11: Sparkle: An All-Star Holiday Concert to Benefit Desert AIDS Project
The headliners for this fourth annual event have yet to be announced, but previous participants have included Carol Channing, Lorna Luft, Wilson Cruz, Max Von Essen, and Joanne Worley. TV personality Scott Nevins will host at the Annenberg Theatre at the Palm Springs Art Museum; order tickets here.
December 14-15: Someday at Christmas with Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack
A swingin’ holiday show at the McCallum Theatre. More info and tickets here.
January 3-14: Palm Springs International Film Festival
This annual event presents dozens of terrific films from around the world, including many premieres of both U.S. and foreign features and documentaries. Fifteen screens will be in operation day and night; the lineup has yet to be announced, but the 2013 fest offered 180 films from 68 countries. There will be a black-tie awards gala January 4 at the Palm Springs Convention Center; honorees are likewise TBA, but they’ll undoubtedly be big names, as the 2013 list included Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Mychael Danna, Sally Field, Richard Gere, Tom Hooper, Helen Hunt, Helen Mirren, Naomi Watts, and Robert Zemeckis. For more info: PSFilmFest.org.
January 17: Dance for Life Palm Springs
Renowned dance companies perform at the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg Theatre in this third annual benefit for the AIDS Assistance Program. Reserve a spot at PSMuseum.org.
January 19: Shirley MacLaine
The legendary star, author, and civil rights advocate comes to the McCallum Theatre to share stories of her career and many lives and show clips from her body of film work. Find tickets here.
January 31-February 1: Pink Martini With Singer Storm Large
The gay-led ensemble mixes retro jazz, the classics, and world music to always deliver a swinging good time. Leader Thomas Lauderdale says, “If the United Nations had a house band in 1962, Pink Martini would be that band.” At the McCallum Theatre; click here to order tickets.
February 8: Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards
This gala awards dinner, held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, raises funds for the Desert AIDS Project. Participants are to be announced, but previous honorees, presenters, and entertainers have included Carol Channing, Matt Bomer, Peter Gallagher, Ann-Margret, Tom Hanks, Betty Ford, Diahann Carroll, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Patti LaBelle, Betty White, Shirley MacLaine, Barry Manilow, Liza Minnelli, Debbie Reynolds, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. So expect a star-studded lineup in 2014! Info at DesertAIDSProject.org.
February 28-March 2: Hello, Dolly! Starring Sally Struthers
The former Gloria Bunker Stivic steps into the shoes of Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey, and Barbra Streisand as matchmaker Dolly Levi in a new production of Jerry Herman’s classic musical at the McCallum Theatre. Find performance times and order tickets here.
March 7-8: Michael Feinstein: The Gershwins and Me
The out interpreter of the Great American Songbook comes to the McCallum Theatre to pay tribute in story and song to George and Ira Gershwin, the latter of whom was Feinstein’s mentor. Tickets here.