After two years of COVID-enforced creative scheduling, the award-winning Dezart Performs (www.dezartperforms.org) leaps back with its first four-play season since 2019 at the Pearl McManus Theater at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club. The 15th Anniversary Season opens with the 2019 Tony-nominated drama CHOIR BOY (October 28 – November 6), followed by the dark comedy A BRIGHT NEW BOISE (January 13 – 22, 2023), the 2011 Obie Award winner for playwriting. The season continues with the critically-acclaimed comedy with perhaps theatre’s longest title ever, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT THE MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY (March 3 – 12). The season closes out with the acclaimed new buddy comedy THE GARBOLOGISTS (April 14 – 23).
“We’ve got drama, comedy, sex, music, nudity, The Rapture and New York City trash truck workers,” laughs Dezart Performs founding artistic director Michael Shaw. “Our 15th and first truly post COVID season has a lot of variety and a lot of laughs and emotional stimulation.”
A drama with music, CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney (October 28 – November 6) is a moving story of sexuality, race, hope, gospel music, and a young gay man finding his voice. This coming-of-age story follows a group of young Black students at Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, a highly respected institution dedicated to helping its students grow into “strong, ethical Black men.” But what happens when young student Pharus does not fit the mold for a typical “Drew man.” Pharus is different from his peers, and his effeminate nature constantly sets him apart. Though he may be the leader and most talented member of Drew’s renowned gospel choir, he struggles to gain their acceptance and respect.Content Advisory: This play contains nudity.
In the dark comedy A BRIGHT NEW BOISE (January 13 – 22) by Samuel D. Hunter, we find ourselves in the bleak, corporate break room of a craft store in Idaho. Will, who has fled his rural hometown after a scandal at his Evangelical church, comes to the Hobby Lobby, not only for employment, but also to rekindle a relationship with Alex, his brooding teenage son, whom he gave up for adoption several years ago. Alex works there along with Leroy, his adopted brother and protector, and Anna, a hapless young woman who reads bland fiction but hopes for dramatic endings. As their manager, foul-mouthed Pauline, tries ceaselessly to find order (and profit) in the chaos of small business, these lost souls of the Hobby Lobby confront an unyielding world through the beige-tinted impossibility of modern faith.
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT THE MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY (March 3 – 12)— despite the title — is a comedy by Halley Feiffer. A foul-mouthed twenty-something comedian and a middle-aged man embroiled in a nasty divorce are brought together unexpectedly when their cancer-stricken mothers become roommates in the hospital. Together, this unlikely duo must negotiate some of life’s biggest challenges…while making some of the world’s most inappropriate jokes. Can these two very lost people learn to laugh through their pain and lean on each other, when all they really want to do is run away? Content Advisory: This production contains profanity, sexual language, and simulated sex.
THE GARBOLOGISTS (April 14 – 23), the new comedy-drama by Lindsay Joelle, chronicles a white conservative New York City sanitation worker and a Black Ivy-educated single mother, thrown together in the cab of a NYC garbage truck, working for the Dept. of Sanitation. They spend their shifts bickering, one-upping each other, and practicing the secret art of mongo: hunting for treasure in the trash. But as their lives become increasingly entwined, they discover some things are easier to toss than others. Honoring our essential workers, THE GARBOLOGISTS is a hopeful story about finding common ground in uncommon times.
Subscriptions will go on sale for existing season subscribers on July 26; new season subscriptions will be available starting August 16; single show tickets go on sale September 13.
All performances take place at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club) 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs. Ticket prices are $39 – $50. Beginning August 16, subscription sales will be available online at www.dezartperforms.org, or by calling (760) 322-0179. Showtimes are Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm.