‘When Gary Met Harry’ cabaret concert in Palm Desert

One of my favorite composers gets the local cabaret treatment Sunday afternoon, September 20, when Gary Lynn Ford presents “When Gary Met Harry” at Palm Desert’s Joslyn Center as part of Les Michaels’ Sundays in Summer Cabaret Series.

Los Angeles-based Ford and pianist Joel Baker will perform such Warren hits as “Lullaby of Broadway,” “You’ll Never Know,” “The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe,” “42nd St.,” “I Only Have Eyes for You,” “”Serenade in Blue,” “At Last,” “You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me,” “Jeepers Creepers” and many more.

Producer Michaels says of the program, “Gary is a natural performer with whom you will immediately connect, whether it’s a jazzy showstopper or a romantic ballad, and Gary seems to transport his audience to another place and time.

“Fans of pianist Joel Baker know that standards like Warren’s are his forte, so he and Gary will be a perfect match.”

Curtain Time: “When Gary Met Harry,” starring Gary Lynn Ford, with pianist Joel Baker, 2 p.m. Sunday, September 20, Arthur Newman Theater, Joslyn Center, 73-750 Catalina Way, Palm Desert. Tickets: $11 cash at the door, (760) 325-2731 or www.lesmichaels.com/joslyn.  

 Joe Orton’s “Loot”

The Desert Rose Playhouse presents Joe Orton’s “Loot,” opening Friday, September 25 for a five-week run.

Orton was Britain’s “Bad Boy” of theatre and “Loot” is an excellent example of his biting and brilliant satire on polite society, authority and religious morality.

Desert Rose Executive Director Paul Taylor says, “Lovers Hal and Dennis rob a bank and stash the cash in the home of McLeavy (Hal’s dad), who is reeling from the recent death of his wife and is preparing to bury her. Faye, Mrs. McLeavy’s murderous nurse, has designs on McLeavy and his money. A zany police inspector arrives on the scene and hilarity ensues.”

The cast includes veteran actors Garnett Smith, Wendy Cohen, Jason Hull, Tim McGivney, Tom Warrick and newcomer Allen Jensen. Artistic Director Jim Strait directs.

Curtain Time: Joe Orton’s “Loot,” 8 p.m. Friday - Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday, September 25 - October 25, Desert Rose Playhouse, 69620 Hwy 111, Rancho Mirage. Tickets: $33 Friday - Saturday, $30 Sunday, (760) 202-3000 or www.desertroseplayhouse.org.

“A Handful…”

Guest artist Yve Evans leads a quality cast from PAPA (Pass Area Performing Artists) in a regional return of the popular “A Handful of Nickels and Dimes” the weekend of September 25-27 in the PAPA Theater in Banning.

Evans, named Monterey Jazz Festival’s Entertainer of the Year, says the production follows the traditional vaudeville shows, containing a variety of skits, music and magic.

Evans portrays blues great Bessie Smith and sheds light on the major contributions of the African-American vaudeville circuits.

Also in the award-winning cast are Justin Blake as Will Rogers, Jeanette Knight and Michael Seneca as George & Gracie, with Dean Apple providing comedy antics and a re-enactment of a Houdini stunt. Cat Lyn Day (literally) rounds out the ensemble as Marilyn Monroe in “Norma Jean.”

Curtain Time: “A Handful of Nickels and Dimes,” 7 p.m. Friday, September 25; 3 p.m. Saturday - Sunday, September 26-27, PAPA Theater, Cultural Alliance headquarters of the historic Banning Woman’s Club, 175 W. Hays St., Banning. Tickets: $15, (951) 769-0383 or with PayPal at www.passareaperformingartists.com.

CVRep Outreach

Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre in Rancho Mirage has announced its 2015-2016 Season Youth Outreach Production, “The Secret Life of Girls,” written by Linda Daugherty, running for two weeks, September 22 - October 2, for Coachella Valley children.

Artistic Director Ron Celona says there will be two public performances on Sat., Sept. 26 at 2 and 7 p.m. All children under 17 will be admitted to the public performances for free. Adult tickets are $10.

The play is directed by Nicole Dominguez and features seven young actors from several local high schools and College of the Desert. At the end of each performance, there will be a Q&A.

For tickets and more information: (760) 296-2966 or www.cvrep.org.

 “A Whiteman Sampler”

Classically trained singer Pat Whiteman will bring her new show, “A Whiteman Sampler,” to Palm Desert’s Joslyn Center, Sunday afternoon, September 27.

The LA-based singer and pianist John Boswell will feature songs that have become associated with Whiteman from her numerous performances over the years, including powerhouse belt numbers, moving ballads and quirky character pieces.

Known for her rich and expressive voice, charming stage presence and effortless delivery, Whiteman is a sought-after vocal coach and guest vocalist.

The show is directed by Manhattan cabaret star and Broadway veteran Jason Graae, and Musical Director Boswell has played locally at the Annenberg and McCallum theaters.

Curtain Time: “A Whiteman Sampler,” starring Pat Whiteman, with pianist John Boswell, 2 p.m. Sunday, September 27, Arthur Newman Theater, Joslyn Center, 73-750 Catalina Way, Palm Desert. Tickets: 11 cash at the door, (760) 325-2731 or www.lesmichaels.com/joslyn.