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Local Fun

28 Apr 2015
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Bella da Ball is one of the valley’s most ubiquitous (in a good way) entertainers. The hostess with the mostess can be found every Monday hosting Trivia Night at the Amigo Room at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club. (Full disclosure: The Independent usually has a strong contingent present at the Ace Trivia Night.) Every Tuesday, Bella hosts a Cabaret Variety Revue at Georgie’s Alibi Azul Patio. And since January, Bella has hosting a brand-new show each week—Lipstick Thursdays, at the Copa. “It’s a high-energy, fun mix,” said Bella da Ball—whose alter ego is Brian Wanzek (or is it the other way around?)—about the 90-minute show. “It’s primarily drag, and there are vocalists who come in and do some numbers.” Bella said the performers primarily work the main floor, rather than the Copa’s long stage, so they can get up-close and personal with the audience. “It’s a fun, audience-participation type…
07 Apr 2015
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It’s been a fine year for the McCallum Theatre. “This is one of the best seasons we’ve had in terms of artists—and financially, as well,” said Mitch Gershenfeld, the president, CEO and longtime booker of the McCallum. “Ticket sales have been very, very strong this year, considerably stronger than last year.” The McCallum is winding down its wildly successful 2014-2015 season this month with just a handful shows, most notably the theater’s popular Open Call local talent competition (Thursday through Saturday, April 14-16). But all this leads to a question: How can Gershenfeld and the McCallum raise the bar next season? The answer came over the weekend, when the McCallum released the schedule for the 2015-2016 season. Tickets went on sale today, and to raise that figurative bar, Gershenfeld looked east—specifically, all the way to Broadway. The McCallum’s new season features eight Broadway and Broadway-style shows, with musical comedy classic…
02 Apr 2015
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Film Screening of ‘Tim’s Vermeer’ Tim Jenison, a Texas based inventor, attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all of art: How did 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer manage to paint so photo-realistically, 150 years before the invention of photography? The epic research project Jenison embarks on to test his theory is as extraordinary as what he discovers. This is a Penn and Teller Film, produced by Penn Jillette. Q&A to follow with Lisa Soccio, assistant professor/gallery director at College of the Desert. 6 p.m., Thursday, April 16. Free. University of California at Riverside—Palm Desert, 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert. 760-202-4007; palmdesert.ucr.edu/programs/ArtDoc13.html. Music and More Aiden James Don’t miss Aiden James performing his latest single, “Last Reminder,” from his album Trouble With This, which launched at No. 28 on the iTunes Top 100. Dinner at 5:30 p.m., with show at 7 p.m., Friday, April 10. $20…
06 Feb 2015
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On Friday, Feb. 13, the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs will host an event featuring fashion and music—with a local twist. The Seven|Six Trade Show is now in its fourth year; last year’s show was held at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs. The Seven|Six is the brainchild of Coachella Valley local Omar Czar. Full disclosure: I am involved with the Seven|Six Trade Show—and I can assure you that Czar is a “jack of all trades” when it comes to throwing these types of events. He handles everything from booking the musical acts, to bringing in vendors for the show. For the upcoming show, Omar is looking to bring in more than 50 fashion brands. The Seven|Six is open to any brand that has a seasonal line and a website. These loose rules make it easier for smaller and/or lesser-known brands to get their products exposed to…