CVIndependent

Tue07232019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Theater and Dance

02 Mar 2014
by  - 
The late Gene Kelly is best known for his stunning work as an actor and dancer in classic films including An American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain. However, most people don’t know that his career behind the camera was equally impressive: He also directed Singin’ in the Rain, as well as the film version of Hello, Dolly! some 17 years later. It’s this other, largely unknown side of Kelly that his widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, is most excited about sharing with the world in her show Gene Kelly: The Legacy, which will come to the McCallum Theatre on Wednesday, March 5. “I created (the show) for what would have been his 100th birthday in 2012,” Patricia says. “He was so specific about how he wished to be remembered. He wanted to be known for his work behind the camera.” Despite the large theater setting, Patricia Ward Kelly says…
01 Mar 2014
A cast of dozens! And only four people onstage. Pardon? The ever-faithful fans of Coyote Stageworks and the Annenberg Theater were rained-on, wind-blown, warmly bundled and umbrella-toting on the opening night of The 39 Steps. Though I never actually took an oath with the Independent along the lines of “neither wind nor sleet nor rain shall keep me from my appointed critique,” the harrowing drive (The traffic! Is our valley turning into Temecula?) to the theater was bountifully rewarded by this terrific new show: The 39 Steps is a must-see, regardless of wet weather or any other excuse. It’s an homage to Hitchcock, a murder-mystery that paradoxically rocks you with laughter and acting brilliance. Set in 1935 in England and Scotland, The 39 Steps echoes the growing pre-war paranoia of those times. Though we too often take for granted the special effects of a show, in this production, they are…
28 Feb 2014
by  - 
Becoming Ava—from Desert Ensemble Theatre This original tribute to the comedies of the 1940s and 1950s was penned by local Tony Padilla. 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28 and March 1; 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, March 1 and 2. $22; $18 students, seniors and military. At the Palm Springs Womans Club, 314 S. Cahuilla Road, Palm Springs. 760-565-2476; www.detctheatre.org. Buried Child—from College of the Desert Performing Arts Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about the “disintegration of the American Dream” takes place at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 2 p.m., Sunday, from Friday, March 14, through Sunday, March 23. $15 general; $13 students. At the College of the Desert’s Pollock Theatre, 43500 Monterey Ave., Palm Desert. 760-773-2565; www.codperformingarts.com. Burying Aunt Beulah—from Script2Stage2Screen Joni Hilton’s quirky play about mother-daughter relationships takes place at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, March 7 and 8. $10. At the Unitarian Universalist Church of…
02 Feb 2014
Many of us recall reading Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Yearling, back in grade school. Her book Cross Creek, and its resulting lawsuit, are less familiar. Written in 1942, Cross Creek chronicles the fishermen and other backwoods folks living near Rawlings’ home in Alachua County, Fla. Most of the 121 characters in the book were apparently fine with Rawlings’ descriptions of them, but one—Zelma Cason—took definite offense and decided to sue. The trial, which was the first of its kind in Florida, is the basis for Dezart Performs’ latest production, Invasion of Privacy. In Cross Creek, Zelma is not pleased about being described as “an ageless spinster resembling an angry and efficient canary.” (I wouldn’t be pleased, either.) Rawlings goes on to say about Cason: “I cannot decide whether she should have been a man or a mother. She combines the more violent characteristics of both and those…
27 Jan 2014
The famine is at an end: Our Coachella Valley may have been starved for melodrama, but relief has arrived at the Joslyn Center’s Arthur Newman Theatre, in Palm Desert. Blazing Guns at Roaring Gulch … or the Perfumed Badge is the first “mellerdrammer” presented here in the valley (that we can recall, at least), and if audience response is any gauge of its success, we need MORE! Desert Theatreworks, led by executive director Ron Phillips-Martinez, is offering this play by Shubert Fendrich through Sunday, Feb. 2, and it is an experience not to be missed. More than any other theatrical form, the melodrama requires an audience—and not just warm bodies sitting there. Oh no! Here, you must boo and hiss the nasty villain, cheer the brave hero, and go awwww for the sweet little heroine. Some venues (but not this one, darn it) let you pelt the cast with popcorn…
26 Jan 2014
Les Miserables is now the world’s longest-running musical, having been seen by an estimated 65 million people in 42 countries. Given the show’s many years of stage success and the recent hit movie, audiences have high expectations when they go to see Les Miserables—and on many levels, the Palm Canyon Theatre’s current production succeeds. However, the show is far from seamless. By now, almost everyone knows the basic plot. Based on Victor Hugo’s novel set among the poor in 19th-century France, it chronicles the determination of Inspector Javert to capture escaped convict Jean Valjean, who was jailed for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving family. Released after 20 years of hard labor, Valjean stops by a bishop’s house. Though treated with kindness, Valjean steals silverware and flees. When he’s apprehended and brought back to answer for his crime, the bishop says the silverware was a gift.…