Two for the Show

Palm Canyon Theatre stages ‘Avenue Q’ and ‘Other Desert Cities’

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Top-notch comedy and drama come to Palm Canyon Theatre this month with performances of two critically acclaimed productions: Avenue Q (Nov. 8-17) and Other Desert Cities (Nov. 22-24).

Taking cues from Sesame Street characters, Avenue Q casts puppets alongside human actors in a coming-of-age story that tackles issues such as racism, Internet porn, and homosexuality.

The laugh-out-loud musical follows the story of Princeton, a recent college graduate who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q, where he meets Kate Monster (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie Monster (the Internet “sexpert”), Lucy the Slut, and other characters who help Princeton discover his purpose in life.

Avenue Q, the second production in this season’s Broadway Series at the theater, is most memorable for its catchy songs: “What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?,” “It Sucks to Be Me,” “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist,” “Schadenfreude,” and “The Money Song.”

Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, part of the theater’s Classic Series, comes in perfect time for the holidays. Named for the freeway sign on eastbound Interstate 10, the show is a family reunion from hell.

The plot finds Polly and Lyman Wyeth (Republicans) meeting their daughter, Brooke, and Polly’s salty liberal (and alcoholic) sister, Silda Grauman, in Palm Springs for Christmas in 2004. Brooke tears open a suppressed family wound, announcing that she’s writing a memoir about the suicide of her political revolutionary brother, Trip, decades earlier.

The play was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Other highlights this season at Palm Canyon Theatre include Shrek (Dec. 6-22), Jesus Christ Superstar (April 4-20), and Equus (May 16-18).

Palm Canyon Theatre, 538 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 760-323-5123; www.palmcanyontheatre.org

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