WATCH: Good People / May 1–19
See Pulitzer-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s compelling story about a struggling single mother and her unsympathetic old flame at Coachella Valley Repertory in Cathedral City. Read our review of this highly recommended play.
WATCH: Real Women Have Curves / May 10–19
This 1990 play, based on author Josefina López’s own experiences working at a Los Angeles garment factory, focuses on gender politics and immigrant experiences — and still feels incredibly timely today. See it at the Indio Performing Arts Center.
WATCH: Big River / May 10–19
Palm Springs’ Palm Canyon Theatre puts on this bluesy musical adaptation of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which a plucky young boy escaping abuse pairs up with a runaway slave for a ride down the Mississippi River in search of freedom.
GO: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway / May 1 through Aug. 31
Begun May 1, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway’s Summer Pass makes “escaping the heat” easy—and affordable—for everyone. Summer Pass includes unlimited Tram admissions for the pass-holder, a 10 percent discount on additional Tram admissions (up to four in party), a 10 percent discount at Peaks Restaurant or Pines Café, and unlimited free parking.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PALM SPRINGS AERIAL TRAMWAY
WATCH: Run for the Wall Starts at Spotlight 29 / May 15
Spotlight 29 Casino will host approximately 500 motorcycle riders from the 31st annual Run For The Wall, which recognizes the sacrifices and contributions made by all veterans who have served the country. The casino is the first stop on the route, which concludes on May 26 at the nation’s capital. Riders will gather at 9:30 a.m. for a special kick-off ceremony with prayers and speeches at Spotlight 29 Casino before embarking on their 2,600-mile ride across the country.
GO: Saving Private Ryan Screening / May 16
The Rancho Mirage Writers Festival Film Club features movies that have been selected to complement and explore the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. Movies begin at 3 p.m. at the Rancho Mirage Public Library.
GO: Joshua Tree Music Festival / May 16–19
“It’s like a big family,” High Desert musician Bryanna Evaro says of the biannual Joshua Tree Music Festival. “It’s really loving and nurturing and feels like a safe space for everyone involved.”
Evaro and her bandmate, Mikey Reyes, of Desert Rhythm Project, have appeared on the lineup four consecutive years. Prior to 2015, they performed as the festival’s unofficial Thursday openers and Sunday night closers.
“It is still very much a grassroots festival,” Reyes explains. Though small, the family-friendly fest is mighty — attendees travel in from all over the world to discover up-and-coming acts. Past lineups act as a word search for now-famous names like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Elle King, and Chicano Batman.
PHOTOGRAPH BY BILL GREEN @MTLB / COURTESY JOSHUA TREE MUSIC FESTIVAL
Artists (including headliners Dynohunter, Vintage Trouble, and Oliver Koletzki) perform on two stages. Food vendors focus on organic, sustainable eats, and a global market sells artisan wares. Plus, the festival features large-scale art installations and offers a robust schedule of yoga sessions, healing workshops, and fun activities designed for kids. Most attendees camp on-site, where hot showers are available.
Evaro and Reyes encourage first-timers to arrive with an open mind. “It gives you an opportunity to fall into your own skin and let loose,” Evaro says.
WATCH: Falling / May 17–26
Encore Theatre District presents the story of a young, severely autistic man and his family as they deal with the question, “How can you love someone who is hard to love?” Catch the production at Palm Springs High School’s intimate Black Box Theatre. A portion of the ticket proceeds benefits the Coachella Valley Autism Society.
GROOVE: Willie Nelson / May 18
Long before his nine Grammy Award wins, Willie Nelson worked as a bible salesman. The singer-songwriter showcases his unique brand of outlaw country — popularized by albums like Shotgun Willie, Red-Headed Stranger, and Stardust — at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY AGUA CALIENTE CASINOS