GO: Palm Springs International Film Festival, Jan. 3–14
The closing film, Ladies in Black, will bring director Bruce Beresford, cowriter and producer Sue Milliken, producer Allanah Zitserman, and cast members Rachael Taylor, Alison McGirr and Celia Massingham to a post screening Q&A. The film screens at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 13. at Camelot Theatre. An after party will be held at the Hilton Palm Springs. Best of Fest films will screen Jan. 14.
GROOVE: Jackie Evancho, Jan. 11
By the time classical-crossover vocalist Jackie Evancho was legally allowed to get her driver’s license, she had already placed second on America’s Got Talent and become the youngest platinum-selling solo artist in U.S. history. The singing prodigy, now 18, will take the McCallum stage with songs from her latest album, Two Hearts.
WATCH: Brighton Beach Memoirs, Jan. 11–27
Jewish-American playwright Neil Simon penned this 1982 Broadway comedy by drawing from the events of his own life. The play will transport you from the Indio Performing Arts Center to the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn as teenage protagonist Eugene Morris Jerome comes of age during the Great Depression.
GROOVE: Sinatra, Forever! Jan. 12
Tribute artist Rick Michel pays homage to Palm Springs’ most beloved crooner. Hearing hits like “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Fly Me Over the Moon” sung outdoors on the amphitheater stage at Rancho Mirage Community Park will take you back to the time when the Rat Pack ran our city.
WATCH: Lily Tomlin, Jan. 12
It may be a one-woman show, but audience members will experience more than a dozen of Lily Tomlin’s classic characters from her 50-year TV career. See her at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, and consider making a stop in Palm Springs to see Tomlin’s spot on the Walk of Stars.
GO: Mojave Flea, Jan. 13
This collective of creators and merchants describes itself as a “nomadic market,” traveling throughout the Southwest to vend handmade, vintage, and artisan wares. Many of the makers are Coachella Valley and High Desert locals; don’t miss the chance to check out their offerings at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club.
GROOVE: The Capitol Steps, Jan. 13
Since its foundation in 1981 to perform at a Washington, D.C., Christmas party, this group of satirical songsters has recorded more than 35 albums riffing on recent political headlines. Hear their latest, Make America Grin Again, at the McCallum.
LISTEN: America’s Future in Space, Jan. 13
Mars might be closer than we think. The World Affairs Council of the Desert’s speaker series invites six-time NASA space shuttle crew surgeon and former chief of NASA’s medical operations branch Dr. Jonathan Clark to detail the U.S. space expansion efforts.
GO: Salton Sea Bird Festival, Jan. 13–14
More than 432 species of birds have been documented in the Salton Sea region. Explore and learn about this unusual habitat through a lineup of guided birding walks and expert-led panels delving into environmental issues, the wildlife, and the land.
WATCH: Jersey Boys, Jan. 15–20
This “jukebox musical,” which tells the story of 1960s rock and pop band The Four Seasons, nabbed a Tony Award for Best Musical in 2006. With 12 years on Broadway under their belts, the boys bring their goods to the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY MCCALLUM THEATRE
GO: Desert Classic, Jan. 16-20
Swinging with equal parts homage and innovation, the PGA Tour descends upon the historic La Quinta Country Club and PGA West with a new name and another exciting lineup of fan festivities. Formerly known as the CareerBuilder Challenge, the Desert Classic nods to the tournament’s roots with its updated moniker — a reference to the Palm Springs Desert Golf Classic, which debuted in 1960 and was won by Arnold Palmer.
“This is the 60th anniversary of the [inaugural] event, and it also marks the milestone of $60 million raised for charity,” says executive tournament director Jeff Sanders. As player announcements roll in, 2018 champion Jon Rahm is set to return to defend his title, as is tournament ambassador and two-time Desert Classic winner Phil Mickelson.
Management firm Lagardere Sports took the reins last year, bringing its experiential strategy of music and gourmet culinary offerings to the event, and organizers saw a fourfold improvement in attendance. This year’s performers include Bad Company and Sammy Hagar & The Circle. “Getting Sammy Hagar & The Circle and Bad Company with Paul Rodgers to play is a big deal,” Sanders enthuses. “They’re both super popular here in the valley and are a great fit for the desert’s demographic.”
For spectators, the closing holes of the Stadium Course will offer an enhanced viewing experience. Included with general admission is access to the Michelob Ultra Beers Fore Birdies tent on the 16th green and 17th tee, the Casamigos Tequila Club on the 17th green, and the Albertsons Vons Fan Pavilion on the 18th green. “All three venues have great food and drinks and provide the best seats in the house,” Sanders notes. “When you come out to this event as a $30 ticket-buyer, we consider you a major sponsor of this golf tournament; that’s how we want our fans to feel.” — Judd Spicer