Imagine I Love Lucy with Ricky and Fred sharing a bed and Lucy and Vivian as lesbian lovers with State Department credentials. In a nutshell, that’s the recipe for the improbable secret high-wire act brought to life in Topher Payne’s darkly comic Perfect Arrangement from the award winning Dezart Performs of Palm Springs. Set against the backdrop of the 1950s “Red Scare” and the burgeoning gay rights movement, the play runs January 11 – 20 at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club / 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs) and is directed by Dezart Performs founding artistic director Michael Shaw.

“In an age of unequally dispersed marriage equality, Perfect Arrangement is an object lesson about how far we’ve come, but still how far we have to go,” said Shaw. “Topher Payne’s richly witty and deeply nuanced script is at once laugh-out-loud hilarious, but yet movingly heartbreaking. It may look like a sitcom on the outside, but on the inside, it’s a poignant history lesson based in fact.”

The plot thickens quickly as two married – but secretly gay — U.S. State Department employees, Bob and Norma, are tasked with identifying “sexual deviants” within their ranks. The result: classic situational comedy of the “Golden Age of TV” style with razor sharp dialogue and societal exploration.

“Literally, the cast spends a lot of time jumping in and out of the closet,” says Shaw. “We laugh at their antics, but our hearts clutch at their moral choice every minute: life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness.”

The cast for Perfect Arrangement features Hanz Enyeart as Jim Baxter, Deborah Harmon as Kitty Sunderson, Phylicia Mason as Mille Martindale, Hal O’Connell as Theodore Sunderson, Olivia Saccomanno as Norma Baxter, Adam Jonas Segaller as Bob Martindale, and Yo Younger as Barbara Grant.

Dezart Performs, one of the Coachella Valley’s preeminent theatre companies, recognizes that the performing arts enrich the life and culture of a community, promote greater understanding and provoke insightful discussion. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theatre company, its mission is to provide an artistic home for bold and cutting–edge plays, creating an atmosphere of artistic growth for actors, writers, and directors who uniquely contribute to the diverse theatrical environment in the Coachella Valley.

Sponsors of Dezart Performs’ 2018/19 Season include The Riviera Palm Springs, Desert Care Network, Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge, Acqua at the River, TRIO Restaurant, Hotel Zoso and the Desert Sun.

Showtimes for Perfect Arrangement: Fridays and Saturdays @ 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays @ 2pm.  Ticket prices are $45 Opening Night with Post Show Reception; $35 Evening; $30 Matinee. Performances take place at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club) 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs. Season discounts available. Tickets may be purchased online