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Theater and Dance

01 Nov 2013
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Annenberg Theater Bobbie Eakes: Turn the Page, featuring the singer and Emmy-nominated soap-opera actress, takes place at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8. Tommy Tune: Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales, starring the legendary performer, takes place at 6 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16; $295 show and dinner; $95 show only. $35 to $55. At the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. 760-325-4490; www.psmuseum.org/annenberg-theater. Avenue Q—from the Palm Canyon Theatre The lovably crass puppet/human musical that brought the world the song “The Internet Is for Porn” takes over the Palm Canyon Theatre. 7 p.m., Thursday; 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m., Sunday, from Friday, Nov. 8, through Sunday, Nov. 17. $32. At 538 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-323-5123; www.palmcanyontheatre.org. Broadway in Drag The lovely and ubiquitous Bella da Ball hosts the third annual drag pageant in which female impersonators vie for the crown; it’s an official Palm…
04 Nov 2013
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P.S. Resorts, a coalition of Palm Springs hotels and tourism groups, recently paid almost $30,000 to a consulting firm in an effort to determine what new events would draw the most tourists to the town. Meanwhile, in Palm Desert, the folks at the McCallum Theatre think they may have already figured out what event could become the valley’s next big thing. Welcome to the first Palm Desert International Dance Festival. “If you love dance, where better to be than Palm Desert in November?” said Jeffrey Norman, the McCallum’s director of communications and public affairs. The brand-new festival kicks off with something that’s actually been around for years: the McCallum’s 16th Annual Choreography Competition, an event that brings in dance companies, both professional and pre-professional, for two days of performances, on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9 and 10. Then the McCallum will host three of the world’s more unique and renowned…
25 Oct 2013
The Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre, or CV Rep to you, has launched its 2013-2014 season with Terrence McNally’s Master Class. I was part of the very first audience of CV Rep’s new season. This little gem of a theater, located inside The Atrium in Rancho Mirage, tried out the idea of two “preview” shows before the grand opening. Not a bad idea. (The Independent would not normally review a preview performance, but we sent our November print edition to press before the grand opening. Therefore, the folks at CV Rep were kind enough to allow us to review the Wednesday-night preview.) CV Rep is also trying out a 7:30 curtain time, which, frankly, I love: 7 is too early, and 8 is so late, especially when you emerge from the theater in what feels like the middle of the night. The open stage set which greets us, designed by Jimmy…
20 Oct 2013
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A TV chef trying to pull off a successful stage show? Frankly, it sounds like a terrible idea. But then again, Alton Brown is not your average TV chef. The show for which he’s best known (outside of Iron Chef America, perhaps), Good Eats—which ran on the Food Network from 1999 to 2012—is unlike any other cooking show in that it combines science, potty humor, theatrics and silliness. “Theatrics,” of course, is the key word there: Alton Brown is as much of an entertainer as he is a chef, and that’s why his “Alton Brown Live” show—aka the Edible Inevitable Tour—ultimately works. (This show was produced by the some of the same folks who created the successful “Mythbusters: Behind the Myths” tour; “Alton Brown Live” surpasses “Behind the Myths,” because Brown is a natural entertainer, whereas Jamie Hyneman, while a lovable cranky genius, is not.) The show kicked off at…
08 Oct 2013
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were at the top of their game when they wrote The Sound of Music, and it remains as wonderful today as it was when it premiered in 1959. The true story—from the memoir written by Maria von Trapp—is the basis for the plot. Does anyone not know it? Regardless, this theatrical snapshot of idyllic Austrian life in the 1930s, impacted by the gathering storm clouds of Nazism, is inevitably affecting—and you will leave the theater humming, singing or at least thinking about the music. It’s like an earworm, in a good way. At the Palm Canyon Theatre’s production, the first hurdle to be cleared is The Kids. Baron von Trapp has seven children and a deceased wife (and not one person ever wonders why), so a girl from the nearby nunnery is hired to act as a nanny for them. Maria, whom we’ve already…
29 Sep 2013
The first thing you should know about The House of the Rising Son: It’s mostly set in New Orleans, so immediately, you know there’s a grand capacity for weird. The second thing you should know: The cast is all-male (well, there’s one female impersonator), and all play double roles in this strange play. The third thing: Most theatergoers will find their eyebrows raised by this show, possibly more than once. Now at the Desert Rose Playhouse, the desert’s only LGBT theater, the play runs through Oct. 27. The hard-working cast, under the firm directorial hand of Jim Strait, should be applauded, first of all, for learning the lines of this talky play—but, of course, they bring much more to the show. Courage, for example—and you’ll know what I mean when you hear the audience gasp. John Ferrare plays Trent, a parasitologist giving a lecture in Los Angeles. Jeff Rosenberg is…