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Music and More

Brian Stokes Mitchell in Stepping Out

Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell returns to the McCallum stage for Stepping Out for College of the Desert, an enchanting evening of music in support of the College of the Desert Foundation. 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 18. $65 to $125. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert. 760-773-2561;

Cabaret 88: Billy Stritch

The award-winning composer, arranger, vocalist and jazz pianist breathes new life into the Great American Songbook, while bringing an easy sense of humor and showmanship to his performances. 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 17. $88. Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. 760-325-4490;

An Evening With Christine Ebersole

Christine Ebersole has captivated audiences throughout her performing career, from the Broadway stage to TV series and films. 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21. $60 to $75. Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. 760-325-4490;

Gardens on El Paseo Concert Series

Sip some wine, sway to the music and drink in the scenery. A reception begins at 5:15 p.m. followed by a live musical performance from 6 to 7 p.m. on Saturday. Each week features a different artist and benefits a charity. Feb. 7: Heatwave, benefiting the Eisenhower Medical Center. Feb. 14: Terry Wollman, benefiting VNA. Feb. 21: Zen Robbi, benefiting the Palm Desert High School Foundation. Feb. 28: John Stanley King Band, benefiting the YMCA of the Desert. $12; includes two glasses of wine and refreshments. The Gardens on El Paseo, 73545 El Paseo, Palm Desert. 760-862-1990;

The Heart of a Gypsy Troubadour

This intimate and personal look inside a life well lived is written and performed by Richard Byford. 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 3. $15. Tolerance Education Center, 35147 Landy Lane, Rancho Mirage. 760-328-8252;

Jazzoo Concert Series: Jazzy Romance for Your Valentine

Join friends and members of The Living Desert community. Featuring vocalist Carol Bach-Y-Rita, this promises to be a great afternoon of jazz for lovers and friends. 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 8. $45; Living Desert members $35. The Living Desert, 47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert. 760-346-5694, ext. 2166;

Shows at the Indian Wells Theater

Enjoy the songs of Elvis, Frank and Neil Diamond in American Trilogy, at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6; and 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 8. Bethany Owen performs her one-woman show at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 14. A tribute to the Beach Boys takes place at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 27. A tribute to The Beatles occurs at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28. $40; Feb. 8 matinee $30. Indian Wells Theater, 37500 Cook St., Palm Desert. 760-341-6909;

The USO Variety Show

The USO has been entertaining troops worldwide in times of peace and war for more 70 years. Now, the Bob Hope USO needs you to laugh, enjoy and have some fun remembering the good ol’ times. Join us for a live nostalgic tribute to Bob Hope and his band of Hollywood celebs; enjoy free tours of the museum pre- or post-show time. 2 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 19. $55 to $75. Palm Springs Air Museum, 745 N. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs. 760-778-6262;

Special Events

Canada/Snowbird Fest 2015: Party On

Party On with Dennis Lambert, an award-winning singer/songwriter/producer. Other guest stars include Red Robinson, famous Canadian disc jockey and voiceover artist; Bethany Owen, celebrity impressionist; and Peter Beckett of Player. The festival and resource fair takes place 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, March 1; $8. The entertainers perform at Party On from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28; $45 to $55. University of California at Riverside—Palm Desert, 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert. 760-202-4007;

Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational

Come to “Frank’s Little Party in the Desert!” Two fabulous days of golf and three nights of parties join auctions and world-class entertainment. Various times Thursday, Feb. 19, through Saturday, Feb. 21. Prices vary. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino’s Eagle Falls Golf Course, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio. 760-674-8447;

Gourmet Food Truck Event

Try food trucks for lunch featuring burgers, barbecue, tacos, California cuisine, sushi and dessert. Outdoor seating is available, or bring a blanket. Dabble in the local farmers’ market; listen to music provided by The Coachella Valley Art Scene; enjoy a beer garden with some of the best craft beers from La Quinta Brewing Company and Coachella Valley Brewing Company. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the first Sunday of the month. Free. Cathedral City Civic Center Plaza, 68700 Avenue Lalo Guerrero, Cathedral City.

International Bear Convergence 2015

The four-day event for bears and their admirers includes themed pool parties at the Renaissance Hotel, as well as parties at bars and clubs, excursions and other events. Various times Thursday, Feb. 12, through Sunday, Feb. 15. Prices vary; walk-in registration $175. Renaissance Palm Springs, 888 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs. 760-537-0891;

New Balance Palm Springs Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay and 5k

This Southern California favorite features courses through some of the most famous neighborhoods in Palm Springs. Everyone is allowed to finish, and there is no cut-off time. 7 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 8. Registration prices vary. Ruth Hardy Park, 700 Tamarisk Lane, Palm Springs.

Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival

The county fair includes a nightly musical pageant, entertainment, monster truck and BMX shows, camel and ostrich races, date and produce displays, arts and crafts, carnival rides and great fair food. Concerts included with fair admission. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, Feb. 13, through Sunday, Feb. 22; carnival open until midnight on weekends. Prices vary. Riverside County Fairgrounds, 82503 Highway 111, Indio. 800-811-FAIR;

Tour De Palm Springs Bike Event

The event is designed to raise money for local nonprofit organizations. Palm Springs’ famous weather, gorgeous scenery and thousands of bike-riders make the Tour de Palm Springs a fundraising event like no other. 6:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 14. Registration prices vary. Starts in downtown Palm Springs on North Palm Canyon Drive. 760-674-4700;

Visual Arts

Art Under the Umbrellas

The event presents a diverse collection of 80 talented artists exhibiting their original creations along Old Town La Quinta’s picturesque Main Street. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 7 and 14. Free. Old Town La Quinta, Main Street, La Quinta. 760-564-1244;

Desert Art Festival

This event features numerous artists presenting their original work in all mediums of two- and three-dimensional fine art, including paintings in acrylic, oils and watercolors, photography, etchings, sculpture in clay, glass, metal, stone and wood. Each artist will be present to meet with the public and discuss their work. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday through Sunday, Feb. 13-15. Free. Frances Stevens Park, 538 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 818-813-4478;

Paint Nite: Fall Bloom

In about two hours, while you’re sipping on a cocktail, artists will guide you so that you come up with your own unique masterpiece at the end of the night. Everything you will need is provided: canvas, paints, brushes and even a smock. 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 2, $45. Pizzeria Villagio Italian Kitchen, 37029 Cook St., Palm Desert. 760-567-4761;

Submit your free arts listings at The listings presented above were all posted on the ArtsOasis calendar, and formatted/edited by Coachella Valley Independent staff. The Independent recommends calling to confirm all events information presented here.

Published in Local Fun

"Give it another chance, Lance!" Sheryl said. "The Tour de Palm Springs is coming up. You can be a star again!"

Though they were no longer romantically linked, Sheryl Crow was Lance Armstrong's biggest fan. "I'm out of shape," Lance explained. "I've been lying on the couch looking at my jerseys on the wall."

"You need to stop moping around all day," Sheryl told him.

"I'm not moping! I'm doping!" Lance insisted. "As soon as I'm done, I'm going to the bicycle shop to check out the new models."

About an hour later, Lance entered the shop and looked around. "May I help you?" the manager said.

"I need a bike with strong spokes," Lance told him.

"You'll have to speak to our spokes person," the manager explained. "Let me get him for you."

A moment later, the manager returned with a soft-spoken man. "I can have your bicycle delivered next week," the man told Lance. "But I can't speak for the spokes. There's been a spike in spoke sales at our Spokane plant. There isn't a speck left."

"Never mind," the cyclist said. "I'll find my own bike." Lance spotted one he liked and bought it on the spot.

He rode it back as fast as he could to show Sheryl. "How do you like my new bike?" he asked.

"It would help if you took the training wheels off," she told him.

Lance got a screwdriver and removed the training wheels. Then he honked the horn on the handlebars. "I'm ready for Palm Springs!" he exclaimed.

"Have a nice ride," Sheryl said as she handed Lance his helmet.

The cyclist was ready for his big comeback. After he arrived in the desert, he located his hotel, the Renaissance Esmeralda.

A man happened to be walking out of the resort just as Lance rode into the driveway. The cyclist recognized the man from TV.

"Aren't you Dr. Sanjay Gupta?” Lance asked.

"That's right," Sanjay replied. "I'm here for the Desert Town Hall lectures. I'm giving a speech on the dangers of doping. Aren't you that Armstrong guy?"

Lance tried to think of something to say. "I'm Louis Armstrong," he told Sanjay as he started singing “Hello Dolly.”

"You don't look like Louis Armstrong," the doctor said. "You must be that other Armstrong."

"You're right," Lance said. "I'm Neil Armstrong. That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

"Wait a minute," Sanjay said. "You're Lance Armstrong, the cyclist! You need to come to my lecture. I can help you."

"I don't have time," Lance explained. "The Tour de Palm Springs is about to begin. I have to get to the starting line."

Sanjay gave Lance a Slinky from his pocket. "Whenever you feel the urge to take steroids, just stretch this Slinky instead," the doctor told him. "It works every time."

Lance was grateful. He took his new Slinky and happily made his way to Palm Springs, where the race was just getting under way.

"On your mark, get set, go!" the announcer yelled. Lance sped off with the other cyclists and soon found himself in the lead.

However, the faster Lance went, the more he found he was missing his steroids. He reached into his pocket to get his Slinky, but it had fallen out!

The cyclist immediately pulled over and got off his bike. "Help! I lost my Slinky!" he screamed to the crowd.

One of the spectators spoke up. "I saw what happened," he told Lance. "You lost your Slinky when you rode your bike under the giant Marilyn Monroe statue. It bounced up and got stuck under her dress."

Lance took out his cell phone and called Dr. Sanjay Gupta. "My Slinky is stuck inside Marilyn Monroe!" he exclaimed. "I need you to perform emergency surgery!"

"I'll be right over," Sanjay said. A few minutes later, the doctor arrived, with a CNN crew who covered the event as “breaking news.” The entire nation was on the edge of their seats awaiting the outcome.

Sanjay climbed up on Lance's shoulders so he could reach up into the tall statue. The first thing he noticed was a man's leg sticking out.

The doctor pulled on the man’s leg until he fell to the ground. It was Bill Clinton! "What in the world were you doing in there?" Sanjay asked.

Bill had a big smile on his face. "I was just havin' a look around," he said with a smile.

"Let me borrow your cigar," Sanjay said. "I think I can pry Lance's Slinky out."

Sanjay carefully inserted the cigar and suddenly, the Slinky popped out. Lance caught it and stretched it as far as he could.

"There's still time to finish the race!" he said as he got back on his bike.

Lance had so much energy that he couldn't stop. The cyclist raced down the street, knocking over other riders in his path. Unfortunately, he became so erratic that he collided with an air conditioning van just as he reached the finish line.

When the driver got out of the van to assess the damage, Lance immediately knew who he was.

"Aren't you the guy who created the Tour de Palm Springs?" Lance asked.

"Yes, sir, it's Esser," Tim replied. "I know who you are, too. You're Lance Armstrong!"

"I don't allow my riders to use steroids," Tim told Lance. "I'm going to have to detain you in my van."

Lance tried to explain. "I didn't use steroids! I just stretched my Slinky!"

Just then, Sheryl arrived with a group of cyclists. "Our group is called the Free Lance Riders," she explained. "We demand his release."

A reporter approached the group to get an interview. "Excuse me," he said. "I'm a freelance writer. I'd like to ask the Free Lance Riders a few questions."

Tim finally had enough. "Peddle your pedals somewhere else," he told Lance. "You're free to go."

The cyclist was thrilled and decided to announce his plans for the future. "I'm starting my own event," he said. "It's called the Tour de Lance."

Sheryl had plans of her own. "All I wanna do is have some fun until the sun comes up over Palm Canyon Drive," she said.

"That's a good lyric for a song," Lance pointed out.

Published in Humor