Let us be your Gay Desert Guide to the weekend!
March 22–24, 2019
This weekend in #ILoveGayPalmSprings – The Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival caters to foodies and wine lovers, Fashion Week wraps up on El Paseo, Matthew Morrison comes to the McCallum, a special screening of Coming Out: A 50-Year History, ONE-PS Picnic and Community Expo, and another weekend of excellent theatre choices, including your last chances to see Hairspray and Proof! We also look ahead on the calendar to a number of notable upcoming events, including Cathedral City LGBT Days, the NCLR Garden Party, and more. All this plus HOT DEALS and Happy Hours!
Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival
Enjoy eclectic tastings, libations, hands-on demonstrations, and more at the ninth annual Palm Desert Food and Wine Festival, taking place Friday, March 22–Sunday, March 24. This three-day premier event showcases some of the nation’s most prominent epicurean influencers — chefs, vintners, and brewmasters — and welcomes all foodies and wine lovers to the breathtaking tree-lined El Paseo shopping district. Meet Scott Conant and Fabio Vivani at the Celebrity Chef Reception on Friday, March 22. Enjoy a James Beard Gourmet Four-Course Luncheon prepared by top culinary talents, followed by two days of grand experiences, where you can indulge in savory eats from local and regional restaurants and experience more than 60 premium wines. Beer lovers will relish unique craft brews, IPAs, and draught ciders. There is truly something for everyone! Get Tickets
Fashion Week Wraps Up
The West Coast’s largest consumer fashion show, Fashion Week El Paseo, continues through Saturday, March 23, at The Gardens on El Paseo in Palm Desert. Showcasing the talents of renowned and emerging designers, this premier fashion event presents their newest collections in a state-of-the-art experience with its cocktail receptions, trunk shows, celebrity meet-and-greets, and much more. Whether you’re a seasoned stylemaker or a fledgling fashionista, you’re sure to feel inspired and transformed by the events at Fashion Week as audiences from all walks of life enjoy the sophistication and luxury of the desert. More info
The Best of Saks Fifth Avenue
Experience a showcase of high-end men’s and women’s fashions from the very best of Saks Fifth Avenue’s collection of designers including Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, The Row, and many more on Friday, March 22 at 8:00 p.m. Cocktail reception starts at 6:30, with afterparty for ticket holders from 9:00–10:30 p.m. on the lawn in front of Saks, featuring live music, food and drinks. Get Tickets
Late week events for Fashion Week El Paseo also include the Finale Night featuring New York designer Lela Rose on Saturday, March 23 starting at 6:30 p.m. There are also late-week trunk shows for both Saks Fifth Avenue and Lela Rose; these events are free and open to the public. The Best of Saks Fifth Avenue Trunk Show runs Saturday, March 23 from 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 24 from 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. The Trunk Show Featuring Lela Rose also takes place at Saks, on Sunday, March 24 from 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and Monday, March 25 from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Members of the Lela Rose team will be available to assist you with a personal consultation of the Lela Rose collection. More info
An Evening with Matthew Morrison
Remember the cute show choir teacher from Glee? The Desert Symphony presents An Evening with Matthew Morrison on Thursday, March 21 at 8:00 p.m. at the McCallum Theatre. Star of stage and screen, Morrison has been nominated for Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe awards. He was nominated for a Tony for “The Light in the Piazza,” and received a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for “10 Million Miles.” His performance in “Hairspray” on Broadway and the Tony-winning revival of “South Pacific” both met with critical acclaim. Morrison will perform LIVE with The Desert Symphony in an evening of sophisticated enjoyment. Get Tickets
Screening Friday – Coming Out: A 50 Year History
On Friday, March 22 from 5:30–9:00 p.m., The City of Palm Springs Human Rights Commission, in partnership with the LGBT Center of the Desert, invites the entire community to a special screening of the documentary film Coming Out: A 50 Year History at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. A VIP reception is slated for 5:30 p.m. with special guests, NBC Palm Springs personalities Bryan Gallo and Manny de la Rosa. The film, narrated by transgender teen Jazz Jennings, includes young people interviewing a host of LGBTQ elders who came out in different historical eras from the 1950s to today. The young interviewers get an opportunity to compare and contrast their “coming out” experience with people who came out during McCarthy, Civil Rights, post-Stonewall, and the AIDS era. Get Tickets
ONE-PS Picnic & Community Expo
Over 1000 residents are expected to enjoy the BBQ lunch, DJ entertainment and more than 50 non-profit and for-profit booths at this year’s ONE-PS Picnic and Community Expo on Saturday, March 23 from 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.. The City of Palm Springs always has a great showing of the Palm Springs Police Department, Fire Department, Search and Rescue teams as well as the CERT Program. Participants range from the Desert Water Agency to the Palm Springs Art Museum. The Palm Springs neighborhoods get involved with booths and prizes to raffle off, too! More info
This weekend is your last chance to see both Hairspray and Proof, while Chess and The View UpStairs continue their popular runs. Bonus: In celebration of their new playhouse, CVRep is offering free valet parking and a post-show champagne and dessert reception at all performances of Chess!
CVRep presents CHESS as the very first production in their newly-renovated home in Cathedral City (learn more), running through Sunday March 31. This complex rock opera uses chess as a metaphor for romantic rivalries, competitive gamesmanship, super-power politics, and international intrigues. The pawns in this drama form a love triangle: the loutish American chess star, the earnest Russian champion, and a Hungarian American female assistant who arrives at the international chess match in Bangkok with the American, but falls for the Russian. Featuring a monumental rock score that includes “One Night in Bangkok” and “Heaven Help My Heart.” Get Tickets
Desert Ensemble Theatre Company’s Eighth Season continues with Proof by David Auburn, running through Sunday, March 24. Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play, Proof explores the unknowability of love as much as it does the mysteries of mathematics. The play concerns Catherine, the daughter of a recently deceased mathematical genius, and her struggle with her own intellectual potential and possible mental illness. Get Tickets
The Desert Rose Playhouse presents The View UpStairs by Max Vernon through Sunday March 31. This poignant new musical pulls you inside the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant ’70s gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans. This forgotten community comes to life in all its gritty, glam rock glory when a young fashion designer from 2017 buys the abandoned space, setting off an exhilarating journey of seduction and self-exploration that spans two generations of queer history. Get Tickets
Our theatre reviewer Stephen Radosh gives us his view on The View UpStairs >>>Read it Here
Desert Theatreworks presents Hairspray the Big Fat Broadway Musical, through Sunday March 24 at the Indio Performing Arts Center. Set in 1960s Baltimore, this Broadway smash musical tells the story of lovable plus-sized teen Tracy Turnblad, a misfit who becomes a local celebrity by dancing on TV’s Corny Collins Show, and whose passion for justice transforms her into an unlikely heroine, triumphing over both snotty teen queens and racial segregation. Get tickets
Cathedral City LGBT Days March 29–30
The first Pride celebration of the season is almost here! The Cathedral City LGBT Days features an Opening Night Block Party on Friday, March 29 from 6:00 p.m. to midnight, featuring DJs and live entertainment presented by The Roost Lounge and AMP Sports Lounge. Suggested donation to benefit Qchella Media and KGAY 106.5! On Saturday, March 30 it’s the LGBT Days Festival from 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. with live musical performances, outdoor dancing, food, beverages, and community booths at city hall, and of course the festival’s signature event: the 5th Annual LGBT Days Bed Race at 11:00 a.m. The entertainment includes Emily Perry, Ada Vox, Jessica Sutta, The Gand Band, AZRA, Modern Men’s Chorus, FLAVA and the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. Throughout the weekend you’ll find pool parties, beer busts and dancing at Cathedral City establishments: CCBC Resort, The Barracks Bar, Trunks, as well as Roost and AMP. More info
Desert Winds Freedom Band: When We Rise
Join the Desert Winds Freedom Band on Saturday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m. for their exciting Spring 2019 Concert: “When We Rise,” celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The evening’s special Guest of Honor is Cleve Jones, one of the famed leaders of the LGBT civil rights movement and author of the book “When We Rise” on which the 2017 ABC mini-series of the same name was based. DWFB will also be performing a commissioned piece of music at the concert. Get Tickets
César Chávez Breakfast Celebration
The City of Palm Springs presents a celebration to commemorate and celebrate the life and work of labor and civil rights leader César E. Chávez on Monday, April 1 from 9:30–11:00 a.m. at the Palm Springs Leisure Center Pavilion. The purpose of the program is to educate the community and raise awareness about the life and legacy of a leader who rose up to became a symbol of hope. A story of a true American hero. A story of the voice for the voiceless. It is also an affirmation of the commitment in the City of Palm Springs to fight for justice, fair wages, better working conditions, dignity and respect for all. Get Tickets
NCLR Palm Springs Garden Party
On Saturday, April 6, the National Council for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) presents their 2019 Palm Springs Garden Party from 4:00–6:00 p.m.. This year’s party will be one of the most coveted tickets in town – it’s being held at the fabled William Holden Estate, a must-see gem of mid-century architecture once owned by the legendary Hollywood heartthrob. The event is a fundraiser for the important work that NCLR is currently doing to protect LGBTQ+ rights. Tickets are on sale now, you don’t want to miss this one. This year’s event chairs are Christy Holstege and Carl Baker. Get Tickets
Faux Fur Ball V: Island Tails
The Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter present the 5th Annual Faux Fur Ball: Island Tails on Saturday, April 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Palm Springs Air Museum. This signature fundraising event brings community and animal-lovers together for a festive evening of celebration for pet stewardship and humane treatment of animals. Island Tails provides critical funds to the shelter’s life-giving mission as the only public shelter in Coachella Valley operating under the no-kill philosophy and providing compassionate care to animals. Pack your bags and have your passport ready to be transported to a tropical affaire! Get Tickets
John Tesh Concert to Benefit Qchella Media
Grooves at the Westin presents John Tesh in concert on Wednesday, April 10 at 7:00 p.m. With six music Emmys, two Grammy nominations, three gold records, seven Public Television specials and 8 million records sold, John Tesh’s recording and live concert career continues to thrive today. After more than three decades as an international entertainer, see him live at The Westin Mission Hills. This concert benefits The American Heart Association and Qchella Media of KGAY 106.5. Get Tickets
OUTstanding Voices Nominations
OUTstanding Voices from Palm Springs is a platform to preserve and celebrate our history, with a celebration this year on June 5, honoring 81 LGBTQ leaders (81 to mark the city¹s 81st Birthday). Honorees are visibly out or vocal allies that influence, impact and advance LGBTQ equality in Palm Springs. Brad Fuhr of Gay Desert Guide was among the 80 inaugural year nominees last year. Nominate your Palm Springs community member to be celebrated this year! Submit your nominee today
Wang’s in the Desert offers exotic selections from an extensive menu of Pan Asian culinary influences including: Sichuan, Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai, and Korean, and on the drinks side, they offer a Daily Happy Hour 3:00–6:00 p.m. and Thirsty Thursdays featuring Buy One Get One Free! And of course they have the largest Happy Hour patio in Palm Springs for Boys’ Night Out Fridays, with Happy Hour 3:00–8:00 p.m. and DJ Galaxy spinning from 5:00–8:00 p.m. Get Happy at Wang’s
At Runway Restaurant and Bar at CCBC, Happy Hour is Every Day from 2:00–7:00 p.m., featuring $3.50 well drinks, draft beers, and house wines. They’ve recently debuted T-Dance Sundays from 2:00–8:00 p.m. with DJ, drink specials,and special guests! Plan to visit Runway and CCBC during Cathedral City LGBT Days, March 29–31, for hot pool parties and a Rocco Steele meet and greet. Get Happy at Runway
At Il Giardino Italian Restaurant, Chef Teresa specializes in homemade Italian/Sicilian foods according to traditional recipes of her birth family and uses her experience acquired over the years to personally prepare the dishes on the menu. Try Homemade Gnocchi, Ravioli, Noodles, Sauces, Gravy, Fresh Vegetable Soups, and Desserts that are cooked throughout the day. Enjoy a delicious authentic Italian meal with this BOGO HOT DEAL: Buy one $25.00 gift certificate to Il Giardino and get one FREE!
Get Your Deal
On the Mark Fine Provisions and Foods is a one-of-kind gourmet food market and deli, where you can find all sorts of artisan craft goods and high-quality specialty foods that you can’t find at your local grocery store, such as: craft beer and wine, artisan crafted cheese, nitrate-free meats, pâtés, small batch oils and vinegars, and more. With this HOT DEAL, enjoy gourmet shopping at 1/3 Off! Get your $15 gift certificate for only $10 now!
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- Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival
Fri, Mar 22–Sun, Mar 24 on El Paseo in Palm Desert
- Purple Reign at The Show
Sat, Mar 23 at 8:00 p.m. at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa
- Fashion Week El Paseo 2019
Sat, Mar 16–Sat, Mar 23 on El Paseo in Palm Desert
- Chess, presented by CVRep
Wed, Mar 13–Sun, Mar 31
- Proof, presented by Desert Ensemble Theatre Company
Fri, Mar 15–Sun, Mar 24
- Hairspray: The Musical, presented by Desert TheatreWorks
Mar 8–24 at the Indio Performing Arts Center
- The View UpStairs, presented by The Desert Rose Playhouse
- Cathedral City LGBT Days
Fri, Mar 29–Sun, Mar 31 at Cathedral City Civic Center Plaza
- When We Rise, presented by the Desert Winds Freedom Band
Sat, Mar 30 at 7:00 p.m. at the Temple Isaiah Palm Springs
- Club Skirts’ The Dinah 2019
Wed, Apr 3–Sun, Apr 7 at The Hilton Palm Springs
- NCLR Palm Springs Garden Party
Sat, Apr 6 from 4:00–6:00 p.m.
- Desert X – 2019 Art Exhibition
Feb 9–Apr 21
- White Party – 30th Anniversary
Fri, Apr 26–Mon, Apr 29, 2019
Welcome New Partners!
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Coachella Valley Music Workshop is here to provide you with any and every need pertaining to music. Whether it’s a song you wish to record or an instrument you’d like to learn how to play, Coachella Valley Music Workshop has got you covered for that and much more, from sound/lighting installation, video production, and live streaming to surveillance and home theaters. Learn more
- Tales of the City Gets a Modern Twist in Netflix’s New Revival
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- BWW Review: THE VIEW UPSTAIRS at Desert Rose is a Must See.
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