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Local Fun

22 Mar 2013
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It all began at an Ace Hotel job fair in 2009. “Our vice president saw Linda in line, with this fabulous glittery dress and a pair of her signature glasses,” recalled Jason Dibler, the hotel’s general manager. “He said, ‘I don’t know what she does, but we need her.’” That’s how Linda Gerard started her rapid ascent toward becoming something of a Palm Springs icon. Sadly, the hostess of the Ace’s wildly popular Sissy Bingo Monday nights is currently in the battle of her life: Several weeks ago, Gerard was diagnosed with lung cancer. Now, her friends and fans are joining forces to put on a fundraiser at the Ace next Monday evening, March 25. That Ace’s vice president’s instincts have paid off: It turns out that woman in line is one hell of a performer. She was Barbra Streisand’s understudy when Funny Girl was on Broadway. She became a…
12 Mar 2013
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In the 1970s, Madame was all the rage. The sassy ol’ broad—accompanied by her puppeteer, Wayland Flowers—was a regular on Solid Gold. (Yes, that Solid Gold; she often chatted with the guest performers.) She was also a regular on Hollywood Squares, even taking over center square from time to time after Paul Lynde left. She was on Laugh-In. She even had her own show, Madame’s Place, in 1982-1983 She was a star. A big star. When Wayland Flowers died of AIDS-related cancer in 1988, the puppet diva, of course, went into retirement. She had a brief comeback tour several years ago, and is today on the arm of a new puppeteer, comedy/commercials/TV veteran Gary Holland. In other words, Madame is out to become a big star yet again. Her biggest comeback gig so far: She’ll be doing “White Carpet commentary” during the White Party’s main event, on Saturday, March 30,…
12 Mar 2013
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This Friday at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino, swing will be the thing. “Swing” is the name the ABC Recovery Center’s Annual Firestone Award Gala, starring the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, and honoring John Schwarzlose, the CEO of the Betty Ford Center. Kate Burke, of the ABC Recovery Center, said the event is part-fundraiser, part-celebration, and part-awareness-raiser—and the fact that this is the center’s 50th anniversary makes the event even more significant. “We want to say, ‘Look, over 50 years, we’ve become a trusted member of the recovery community,” she said. … “This work is blood, sweat and tears. There plenty of tragedies in our line of work. People don’t work here for the money; they work in recovery because there’s hope, and lives can be saved.” The Firestone Award—named after Ambassador Leonard K. Firestone, a co-founder of the Betty Ford Center, and a major contributor to the expansion of…
28 Feb 2013
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This Saturday, several hundred folks will descend upon the Sand Acre Estate, and they’ll all have one thing in common: They’ll all be wearing red dresses. Yep. All of them. Tickets to the second-annual party, which benefits the LGBT Community Center of the Desert, are $85, or $75 for center members. It takes place from 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, March 2, at the Sand Acre Estate, 953 N. Avenida Palmas, in Palm Springs. For tickets or more information, call 416-7790, or visit thecenterps.org. The Independent recently spoke with Shann Carr, the center’s volunteer coordinator (full disclosure: Shann is a friend), and learned five things worth knowing about the Red Dress Party. 1. OK, about the dresses: This event is not about drag queens; it’s for everybody. In the past, Carr says, some folks have expressed reservations about attending, because getting all gussied up in dresses is not something they…

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