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Theater and Dance

30 Mar 2014
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Annenberg Theater Events James Barbour, who has starred on Broadway in shows including Assassins and Beauty and the Beast, performs at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 9. $88. Broadway Tenors features Steve Bogardus, John Cudia and David Burnham singing beloved Broadway hits, including songs from Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 12. $60 to $75. At the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. 760-325-4490;www.psmuseum.org/annenberg-theater. A Chorus Line—From Desert Cities Music Theatre The Musical Theatre University’s Desert Cities Music Theatre presents A Chorus Line, starring Broadway great Eric Kunze and a bunch of talented young actors, at 8 p.m., Friday, April 4; 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday, April 5; and 2 p.m., Sunday, April 6. $15 to $35. At the Helene Galen Theatre at Rancho Mirage High School, 31001 Rattler Road, Rancho Mirage. 760-202-6482; www.hgpac.org. Coyote StageWorks at the Annenberg Theater Nora Ephron’s…
24 Mar 2014
Scott McPherson’s Marvin’s Room, now being produced at the Indio Performing Arts Center, has some big credentials: It premiered in Chicago in 1990, before heading to runs both off-Broadway and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 1992, it won both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Best Play, and was adapted into a film in 1996, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton. At the center of the play are two sisters: Bessie, a woman who is taking care of her ill father and aunt; and Lee, a wise-cracking, somewhat slutty woman who has not helped out Bessie and the rest of her family much at all. When Bessie is diagnosed with leukemia, she is faced with her own looming mortality. Mortality is a topic that playwright McPherson knew all too well: He cared for his partner who died of AIDS, and later succumbed…
23 Mar 2014
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The words “world premiere,” when attached to the production of a play, present something of a conundrum. On one hand, world premieres are exciting: Audiences get to see a brand-new work of art come alive before their very eyes. World premieres are also important: All new plays have to start off somewhere, and the companies brave enough to put them on deserve every theater-lover’s support. On the other hand … world premieres tend to be unpolished at best, and complete messes at worst. After all, even the best plays are tweaked, reworked and rewritten many times before they become truly great. Well, Poster Boys, enjoying its world premiere thanks to the LGBT-themed Desert Rose Playhouse, is far from a complete mess. The play by Dan Clancy has a great deal of potential, and Desert Rose’s production—aside from a few minor flubs—is done well. Poster Boys tells the story of Ned…
22 Mar 2014
The first thing you need to know about Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune at Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre is that there’s nudity—quite a bit of full frontal nudity, right at the top of the first act. The second thing you need to know is that the production is fabulous. Founder and artistic director Ron Celona has hit another one out of the park. The two-character play by Terrence McNally was first performed off-Broadway in 1987. It tells the story of two lonely people, both in their 40s, whose first date ends with a mutually satisfying roll in the hay. While Johnny is convinced he will ride off into the sunset with Frankie, she has some serious doubts: She is far more cautious, and prefers to take things slowly. As the night progresses, they slowly bare their souls to each other … which may or may not lead…
18 Mar 2014
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For Edward Tournier, the late-March stop at the McCallum Theatre for the traveling Peter and the Starcatcher production will be a Southern California homecoming, of sorts: The actor, who now calls New York City home, spent seven years in the Los Angeles theater scene. Tournier, who plays always-hungry orphan Ted in the humorous Peter Pan prequel, is one of L.A. theater’s biggest defenders. “It gets a bad rap around the country, because people claim the actors there only want to be in film and TV,” says Tournier, 30. “But it’s a community where there are God knows how many actors, and it’s the most vibrant breeding ground for new plays that I’ve ever come across. That’s why I stayed there for so long. People there are passionate about theater.” Shortly after moving to New York City about a year ago, Tournier earned his first touring role in Peter and the…
15 Mar 2014
The Great American Trailer Park Musical debuted at the New York Theater Festival in 2004 and opened off-Broadway in September 2005. Today, the two-act musical, written by David Nehls and Betsy Kelso—which examines the relationships between the tenants at the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park in Starke, Fla.—has made its way to the desert, thanks to the efforts of Desert Theatreworks. There’s not much of a plot; some of the characters need more fleshing out; and many of the songs are weak, but the show has enjoyed moderate success over the past 10 years. If you’re a Jeff Foxworthy fan and like your humor on the crass side, this show is right up your alley. If the only criterion for reviewing a show was the earnest effort of the cast, Desert Theatreworks’ production would get five stars. Director Lance Phillips-Martinez has assembled a group of energetic actors with great comic timing…