September 14–16, 2018
Let us be your Gay Desert Guide to the weekend! As we are halfway through September in the desert, the theatre season is starting. First we have Desert TheatreWorks presenting a Southern Fried Funeral, while Coyote StageWorks announces their lineup of shows for 2018-19. Birds are in season as Sunnylands re-opens for the season, and it's theme-park season with Out on the Mountain and Gay Days Anaheim. Pride is coming to Big Bear, as well as San Gabriel Valley Pride, Pride by the Beach, and Desert Hot Springs Pride, not to mention our very own Palm Springs Pride with an OUT PSP Kickoff Party and our own Dip Into Pride Pool Party to get on your calendars! We also have Classical Palm Springs coming up, along with Cinema Diverse and Modernism Preview Week. Read on for more details plus our top five Bookmarks of the week, HOT DEALS, and Happy Hours!
Theatre Season Returns
Desert Theatreworks presents Southern Fried Funeral, a big-hearted comedy about family, Southern-style, opening Friday September 14 and running through Sunday, September 23. Dewey Frye is dead, and the rest of his family is left to pick up the pieces -- that is if they don't kill each other first. Not only does matriarch Dorothy have to contend with sudden widowhood, but she's also faced with church-committee harpy Ozella Meeks sticking her nose in the family business, Dewey's snake-in-the-grass brother making a grab for her house, and two grown daughters reliving their childhood rivalry. Funerals bring out the worst, the best, and the funniest in people, and the Fryes are no exception. Get tickets
Coyote StageWorks has announced a lineup of three humorous and moving productions for their 10th anniversary season, as well as increased frequency of their popular "Play Dates" series of staged readings. Productions include:
- “The Understudy” by Theresa Rebeck, November 2–11, 2018
- “Honky Tonk Laundry” by Roger Bean, February 1–10, 2019
- “Greater Tuna” by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard, March 22–31, 2019
While you're planning your theatre-going calendar, always be sure to visit our Performing Arts listings on Gay Desert Guide!
Sunnylands Brings Back Films on the Great Lawn
Sunnylands has re-opened for the season and is celebrating the opening of its newest exhibition, Flight Plan: The Birds of Sunnylands, with a Films on the Great Lawn series in September that showcases three bird-themed movies, starting with The Eagle Huntress this Friday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. and continuing with The Birds on September 21 and A Birder's Guide to Everything on September 28. More info
Out on the (Magic) Mountain
Out on the Mountain, the gay night at Six Flags Magic Mountain, is this Friday, September 14, 2018 from 6:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m. Enjoy thrill rides galore and live performances including RuPaul's Drag Race superstar Aja and Billboard-featured artist Jaki Nelson. DJ Ray Rhodes, who brings magic to Wonderland, will be spinning, along with DJ SRO. Get tickets
And now just three weeks away: Gay Days Anaheim is taking place October 5–7, 2018 at the Disneyland Resort. This year’s 20th annual event will feature two dance parties, a pool party, a scavenger hunt, and special events for ladies, bears, families, and youth. Get tickets
20 Years After Matthew Shepard
As we mentioned last week, Dennis and Judy Shepard were in Palm Springs recently to sign copies of "The Meaning of Matthew," about the life of their son, Matthew Shepard, which ended far too soon as the victim of a horrific hate crime. Gay Desert Guide's Brad Fuhr sat down with the Shepards to discuss the upcoming 20th anniversary of Matthew's death, as well as the death of local Palm Springs activist George Zander in 2015. A podcast of this interview will be released toward the end of September as we approach National Coming Out Day (October 11), and a candlelight vigil to honor both Zander and Shepard will take place in November (details to be announced).
Make Your Pride Plans
On Friday, September 21 at Bear Valley Farms, the first annual Big Bear Pride Monster Mash will start at 7:00 p.m. and feature a Haunted Gay Ride, Slaughterhouse, Queen Scream Contest, Hay Romp, Street Taco and Beverage Bar, live entertainment by DJ OBSCR and more. Followed by the second night of options from Oktoberfest, Concert at The Cave, Glow Golf, or a ride on the pirate ship! More info
The 17th annual San Gabriel Valley Pride Festival is returning to Pasadena's Central Park on Saturday, October 13 from 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. and will feature live entertainment, author's forum, a health fair, community art project, classic car show, pet area and adoption, and children's area. More info
Also on Saturday, October 13: Oceanside's Pride By the Beach, presented by the North County LGBTQ Resource Center, to be held at Oceanside Civic Center from 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. The festival will have entertainment on two stages, midway games, a youth zone, and food. More info
The 2nd annual Desert Hot Springs Pride is on Sunday, October 21 from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at Cabot's Pueblo Museum. Entertainment includes headliner Keisha D with Modern Men, College of the Desert Ballet Folklorico Dance Troupe, Kevin Miller, Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus, Larry Bennett, and more. More info
OUTPSP: A Kickoff to Pride Weekend
OUT PSP: A Kickoff to Pride will take place Thursday, October 11 from 5:30–8:00 p.m., at El Mirador Plaza, brought to you by Greater Palm Springs Pride and Gay Desert Guide. Gather your friends and start Pride early with tastings from Coachella Valley Restaurants & Beverage Purveyors. Drop in and sip on a signature cocktail at the open bar while you watch the sun set behind the San Jacinto Mountains and listen to music by DJ Baz. The gathering is our opportunity to celebrate National Coming Out Day and meet the Grand Marshals of the Pride Parade. All proceeds from OUT PSP support the Pride organization’s efforts to foster Pride in and respect for the region’s LGBT communities and keep the Palm Springs Pride Festival free for all to attend. Get tickets
Dip Into Pride Tickets on Sale
VIP Daybeds and Cabanas still available! Get tickets
Cinema Diverse Tickets on Sale Now
Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival returns for its eleventh season, September 20–23 in the Historic Camelot Theatres at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Opening night features the film The Long Road to Freedom: The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years. The Palm Springs Cultural Center is hosting a contest to discover which community member has the oldest physical copy of the Advocate. That person will win an All Access Pass to Cinema Diverse. The contest runs from September 1 - September 16 (details @CinemaDiverseFilmFestival). This year the festival also returns a week later to the Mary Pickford Theatre in Cathedral City on September 28 & 29 for a Bonus Weekend of screenings. More info
Don't miss Ricky Reidling's gay romantic comedy T.V. pilot Some Kind of Wonderful, set and filmed right here in Palm Springs, screening on Friday, September 21 as part of the "In the Middle" collection of mid-length films. Here's a synopsis: When best friends Sam, Steve and Tony moved away from Los Angeles to the Desert, they thought Palm Springs was going to be a quiet sleepy town where one eventually retires. Little did they know that Palm Springs is a happening booming city with more adventures and chaos than they could imagine. When Sam's younger brother Eddie comes to live with him it puts another whole twist to this gay romantic comedy. View the teaser
Classical Palm Springs presents Fei-Fei & Nicholas Kontaxis
Classical Palm Springs presents Fei-Fei Dong in concert along with an art exhibition by Rancho Mirage’s very own Nicholas Kontaxis on Saturday, September 22 at 8:00 p.m. at Temple Isaiah in Palm Springs! Fei-Fei is the winner of the Concert Artist Guild Competition in New York and Finalist at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Nicholas Kontaxis, an artist endowed with talent, energy and a passionate love of bold colors & shapes, paints acrylics that have astounded art aficionados from De RE Gallery in Los Angeles, CA to the Gilman Contemporary in Sun Valley, ID. More info
Modernism Week Fall Preview 2018
Modernism Week’s 2018 Fall Preview will take place October 18–21 at various locations in the Coachella Valley. The weekend’s events provide attendees with a sampling of the events and activities that will be offered during the annual 11-day festival, taking place February 14–24, 2019. Highlights of the October Fall Preview include a wide range of events in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Indian Wells including walking tours, Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus tours and Charles Phoenix-led bus tours, a tour showcasing homes across a range of neighborhoods, and a new mix of home tours, educational events, and evening cocktail parties. More info
Mary Pickford Theater D'Place Entertainment is not only a great place to see first-run movies in a luxury theatre with reclining seats with a cinema cafe, it's also the host this year to the Cinema Diverse Bonus Weekend! With this HOT DEAL, you spend just $10 to get $15 good toward refreshments during the festival, or toward admission for any regularly scheduled films. That's a 33% discount! Get Your Deal
On the Mark is a one-of-a-kind gourmet food market and deli where you can find artisan craft goods and high quality specialty foods you won't find at your regular grocery store. With this HOT DEAL, you get a $15 gift certificate for just $10, which means you get 1/3 off! Get Your Deal
Join Wang's in the Desert for their Happy Hour Daily from 3:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Whether it's International Taco & Tequila Tuesdays (3 for $10!) or Wangs Wings Wednesday (12 for $22!), or the largest Happy Hour Patio in Palm Springs for Friday Boy's Night Out, there's always something fun to do, or eat, or drink at Wang's! You can get tickets now for Wok n Rok, a variety show benefit for the LGBT Center of the Desert starring The Flusters on Saturday, September 29! Get Happy at Wang's
The Tool Shed features Happy Hour Daily as well, from 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. with all well drinks only $3.75! On Thursdays you can enjoy 1/2 price drinks well after happy hour simply by wearing your underwear. On Sundays, wear your jockstrap, and on Wednesdays, bare your chest for Happy Hour prices all day! Looking ahead, mark your calendars for their Desert Romp VII Block Party from Sept 21–24! Get Happy at Tool Shed
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Top Five Bookmarks of the Week on GayDesertGuide.LGBT
- Tony And Grammy Award-Winner John Lloyd Young Comes To The Purple Room
- Group Baths At Burning Man: Dirty Burners Line Up At Dr. Bronner’s Soap-funded Camp
- Meteorologist Addresses LGBTQ Audience As ‘Things And Its’ At Journalism Conference
- September Stargazing Parties at the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory
- San Simeonita Palm Springs is a Midcentury Masterpiece