The Purple Room is ready to again rock ’n’ roll … or, in this case, jazz ’n’ swing.

The classic Palm Springs venue recently announced the first half of its 2022-2023 season, starting on Tuesday, Aug. 30, when the Purple Room will reopen following its normal two-month break. The season is filled with established stars and performers whose careers are on the rise.

The venue features free shows by established local performers on Tuesdays (Rose Mallett), Wednesdays (Charles Herrera and Darci Daniels) and Thursdays (Mallett), before turning to ticketed dinner shows on the weekends, starting with Broadway and TV veteran Marilu Henner on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2 and 3.

“Pretty much every weekend can be considered a highlight, depending on your own personal taste,” said Michael Holmes, owner of the club. “One of my goals with the Purple Room is to showcase outstanding talent. While we have some amazing established entertainers like Marilyn Maye, Sam Harris, Amanda McBroom and Christine Andreas, one of my goals is to sprinkle in some up-and-coming, outstanding talent that isn’t yet as well known.”

To that end, Holmes has booked Alisan Porter, the winner of season 10 of The Voice in 2016, for a show on Saturday, Oct. 1. The Voice was not Porter’s first TV talent show: She started her career as a 5-year-old Star Search winner. She went on to star as the title character in John Hughes’ Curly Sue. For her debut at the Purple Room, Porter will sing some well-known tunes from her time on The Voice, as well as pieces from her albums I Come in Pieces and Pink Cloud.

Another emerging star making her Purple Room debut is TikTok and Instagram sensation Broadway Barbara. On Friday, Sept. 30, the fictional Barbara Dixon (Leah Sprecher) will regale the audience with ribald tales from her whirlwind life and career. She “satirizes the autobiographical cabaret shows of song-and-dance broads like Elaine Stritch, Liza Minnelli and Barbara Cook,” according to the press release.

“I think these people are super-talented and just need more exposure. They will do very well here,” Holmes said.

Others performers on the schedule include Brenna Whitaker, Lillias White, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Clint Holmes, Chadwick Johnson, Lady Bunny, Niki Haris, Black Market Trust, Diane Schuur, Branden and James, Jonathan Karrant, Scot Bruce (as Elvis) and The Skivvies.

“One of my goals with the Purple Room is to showcase outstanding talent. While we have some amazing established entertainers … one of my goals is to sprinkle in some up-and-coming, outstanding talent that isn’t yet as well known.” michael holmes

After being closed for the entire 2020-2021 season, the Purple Room’s 2021-2022 comeback season was a success, albeit a challenging one. The venue had to deal with everything from patrons who became violent over vaccine mandates to an illness that made Holmes take time off from performing.

It’s worth noting that Holmes’ wildly popular The Judy Show was not on the initial schedule. However, Holmes said Judy Garland and her guests (including Tallulah Bankhead, Bette Davis, Carol Channing, Katharine Hepburn and others—all played by Holmes) will return at some point in October.

While the Purple Room—and Palm Springs as a whole—may skew toward a slightly older demographic, Holmes hopes the caliber of talent will appeal to all.

”I might have a ridiculous view of talent, but I feel that talent of all ages is open to audiences of all ages,” he said. “I would love to have younger people come and be exposed to the top-notch performers the Purple Room is known for.”

The Purple Room is located at 1900 E Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. For tickets or more information, call 760-322-4422, or visit www.purpleroompalmsprings.com.

Kevin Mann is the Independent’s editorial intern; his internship is funded by the Coachella Valley Journalism Foundation. Kevin can be reached at kmann@cvindependent.com.

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Kevin Mann

Kevin Mann is a former bankruptcy paralegal who's made a U-turn into filmmaking and journalism. He has also written for the College of the Desert’s Chaparral and The Desert Sun. His screenplay, Appetite,...

3 replies on “Back in the Swing of Things: The Purple Room’s New Season Features Old Favorites and As-Yet Unheralded Talent”

  1. Welcome Kevin. Good article on one of our favorite venues in town, The Purple Room. The food is as good as the entertainment. And it is such a small room, there are no bad seats.

    Thanks,

    Bill Knopf

  2. Kevin, great article. Pls keep us up-to-date on goings-on. Love the Purple Room. Excited to know of the all the new, exciting performers. Thank you dear Michael for taking such good care of the fabulous Purple Room.

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