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Local Fun

21 Aug 2019
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After five successful years, the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival took a hiatus in 2018. “We got off to a very good start and picked up a nice audience,” said Gail Christian, one of the producers. “Then after a couple of years, our audience wasn’t growing. “The problem is that jazz is really only 2 percent of the music audience—and then (we were slicing) that even smaller, into women’s jazz. We felt that we needed to put more in the mix to bring a larger audience in. As much as people liked our events, not everyone was a jazz fan.” Thus, Palm Springs Women’s Week was born. The inaugural week will take place Sunday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 6, at venues across the Coachella Valley. The week is being billed as “a celebration of lesbian culture and thought”—although all people, men included, are welcome—and includes art, parties, lectures, dance,…
11 Apr 2019
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If you’re a data geek like I am, you can have a lot of fun with Pollstar magazine’s annual list of the Top 200 theater venues in the world. For example: The Coachella Valley’s McCallum Theatre—considered a small- to medium-sized venue—in 2018 came in at No. 70 in the entire world, with well more than 100,000 tickets sold. No theater in Southern California sold more tickets than the McCallum did, even though the venue is only open for half the year. That’s right: The McCallum had more butts in its seats in 2018 than any theater in Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the country. Mitch Gershenfeld, the McCallum’s president, CEO and show-booker, said 2019 has been even stronger—and that he has high hopes for the 2019-2020 season. Tickets for all shows in the upcoming season go on sale online today (April 11) at 6 p.m., with box-office and phone…
29 Mar 2019
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The gay circuit party that helped revitalize Palm Springs is celebrating a milestone. The White Party will be marking its 30th anniversary this year when it returns to the Palm Springs Convention Center and—in a move away from its longtime host hotel, the Renaissance—arrives at the Palm Springs Hilton. The weekend of almost-nonstop parties kicks off at the Hilton pool at noon on Friday, April 26, and concludes the following Sunday night (actually, Monday morning) with the Papa Tribal party at the Convention Center. However, the weekend’s big event is the White Party itself, taking place at the Convention Center Saturday night. This year’s theme is “House of Gods”—and a featured performer will be Beth Sacks. If you like dance music, you’re familiar with Sacks’ songs—often with DJ Aron—such as her cover of “Voulez Vous” and their newest song, “Hey Hey Hey.” I recently had a chance to talk to…
21 Feb 2019
Michael Childers is truly a renaissance man; Merriam-Webster’s definition—“a person who has wide interests and is expert in several areas”—describes him perfectly. The Coachella Valley resident is an award-winning photographer, producer, writer and documentary filmmaker—and his talents are being showcased in several upcoming events. Childers was the photographer and production assistant on the movie Midnight Cowboy, the legendary 1969 film directed by his late partner, John Schlesinger. Childers and former Variety editor Peter Bart will be sharing memories and photos at a special 50th anniversary screening of the film on Saturday, March 2, at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. On Wednesday, April 24, Childers will bring his annual One Night Only Broadway extravaganza back to the McCallum Theatre. Childers has been very busy as of late; in fact, he just picked up the award for Best Short Documentary at the 2019 Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles for …

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