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14th Season for Award-Winning Dezart Performs Opens with “Girlfriend”

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14th Season for Award-Winning Dezart Performs Opens with “Girlfriend”

October 27 – 30 at Rancho Mirage Amphitheater

Tickets Now On Sale for First-Ever Musical for Company

Pearl McManus Season Tickets Also On Sale

18 August 2021 – Palm Springs, CA: Literally music to the ears of Coachella Valley theatre lovers, the award-winning Dezart Performs of Palm Springs ( opens its 14th Season withthe critically-acclaimed Todd Almond / Matthew Sweet musical GIRLFRIEND (October 27  30)taking place outside at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater.  

“We’re thrilled that Eddie Vona, star of last season’s HAND TO GOD, will be joined by Broadway actor,Patrick Ortiz, for our season opener, and post COVID reopening,” said Michael Shaw, Dezart Performs foundinartistic director noting that this is the first ever musical for the company. “This special ‘under-the-stars’ event at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheaterwill be a memorable, fun and emotional welcome back for all of us.”

The GIRLFRIEND Dinner & Show option includes a deliciously catered dinner by Acqua California Bistro for four or six guests per table with three-courses, a glass of wine, and an up-close experience of the smash-hit rock musical. Tax and gratuity are included: $115/person; Reserved table purchase required.Also offered are general admission tickets for the show only (dinner not included) at a special early access price of $45.

Following GIRLFRIEND, the company returns to its traditional home at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club / 314 SCahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs) with Katori Hall’s THE MOUNTAINTOP (January 14  23)a bold reimagining of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s final night. Next is Heidi Schreck’s dramatic exploration of compassion and forgiveness as seen through the eyes of a nun in a Bronx soup kitchen, GRAND CONCOURSE (March 4 – 13). Rounding out the calendar is the one-person comedy/drama EVERY BRILLIANT THING (Apri1  10) by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe and directed by Deborah HarmonEVERY BRILLIANT THING was originally the final production of the 2020 Season, delayed by COVID.

Season packages for Dezart Performs’ Pearl McManus Theater productions are on sale online at or by calling (760) 322-0179. Special pricing for these season packages range from $102 – $135. Individual tickets go on sale September 14 for THE MOUNTAINTOPGRAND CONCOURSE and EVERY BRILLIANT THING.

“For the health, safety and well-being of our patrons, staff and artists, Dezart Performs’ COVID-19 policy requires guests to be fully vaccinated,” says Shaw. “Upon arrival at all events, guests must present a photo ID along with proof that they meet the CDC definition of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, either in the form of a physical vaccination card or a photo of the card.”

Shaw and the company stress, that this policy is subject to changes at any time, in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines. Please check the Dezart Performs website for current policy guidelines beforeattending any scheduled performance date. 

Following its final live, with-audience performance, SWEATon March 8, 2020, Dezart Performs engaged its audience with a series of live online events during COVID:  Creating for the Stage: Discussions with thePeople that Make Shows Happen (November 11 December 2, 2020) and the interactive online sensation Mental Amusements ( January 13 – 31, 2021with award-winning Mentalist Vinny DePonto.

Dezart Performs, one of the Coachella Valley’s preeminent theatre companies, recognizes that the performing arts enrich the life and culture of a community, promote greater understanding and provoke insightful discussion. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofittheatre company, its mission is to provide an artistic home for bold and cutting–edge plays, creating an atmosphere of artistic growth for actors, writers, and directors who uniquely contribute to the diverse theatrical environment in the Coachella Valley.

14th Dezart Performs Complete Season Listing


October 27-30, 2021
Book by Todd Almond
Music by Matthew Sweet
Directed by Michael Shaw
Musical Direction by Joshua Carr
Choreography by Ray Limon
Musical Comedy
Rancho Mirage Amphitheater

Set in Nebraska in the ’90s, Will, a bit of a social outcast, and Mike, the popular football player, figure out that there is more to life than what high school has taught them. Days after graduation they explore their relationship and begin to ask themselves where their lives begin. 

The songwriter and book writer demonstrate both anear for the rousing energy of circa-1990 pop music, and a sensitivity about the manner in which a pair of young men might find their way to each other in an unwelcoming environment.” – The Washington Post 

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January 14-23, 2022
Written by Katori Hall
Directed by Michael Shaw
Pearl McManus Theater

2010 Winner, Olivier Award for Best Play

A re-imagined depiction of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night on earth set entirely in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel on the eve of his assassination in 1968. After delivering his famous “I’ve been to the mountaintop speech”, King goes to the Lorraine Motel to rest. His world is spun on his axis when he meets Camae, a young, feisty and foul-mouthed maid, who delivers his room service. 

“Funny and emotionally charged… a powerful, poetic take on [King’s] legacy.” -Philip Brandes, Los Angeles Times

“Intriguing, shocking, funny… a stunning evening.” – Dale Reynolds, EDGE Los Angeles

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March 4-13, 2022
Written by Heidi Schreck
Directed by Michael Shaw
Pearl McManus Theater

2015 Lucille Lortel Award Nominee

Having dedicated her life to religious service, Shelley runs a Bronx soup kitchen with unsentimental efficiency, but lately her heart’s not quite in it. Her brisk nature masks an unsettling fear that her efforts are meaningless. When Emma – an idealistic but confused college dropout – arrives to volunteer, her reckless mix of generosity and self-involvement pushes Shelley to the breaking point. 

“Insightful with a moving, even shocking epiphany.” – Huffington Post

“[Heidi Schreck] writes fluid, natural dialogue and creates detailed characters that offer generous opportunities for actors… the words have the ring of plain truth.” – The New York Times

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April 1-10, 2022

Written by Duncan Macmillan, with Jonny Donahoe
Directed by Deborah Harmon
Pearl McManus Theater

You’re six years old. Mom’s in the hospital. Dad says she’s “done something stupid.” She finds it hard to behappy. So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for. 1. Ice cream. 2. Kung Fu movies. 3. Burning things. 4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose. 5. Constructions cranes. 6. Me. You leave it onher pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling. Soon, the list will take on a life of its own. A play about depression and the lengths we will go for those we love.

“A heart-wrenching, hilarious play…One of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression—and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop!” —The Guardian