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Award Winning Palm Springs Theatre Opens with First-Ever Musical for the Company: GIRLFRIEND

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Single Tickets Now On Sale for Dezart Performs

14th Season for Award Winning Palm Springs Theatre Opens with First-Ever Musical for the Company: GIRLFRIEND October 27 – 30 outside at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater.

20 September 2021 – Palm Springs, CA:  It may be “back to school” month for students, but for those who love live performance, it’s “back to theatre” time, including a full four-play season from the award-winning Dezart Performs of Palm Springs ( Following a record-breaking subscription campaign, the acclaimed Coachella Valley ensemble is now selling single tickets to its 14th Season. First out of the gate is the critically-acclaimed Todd Almond / Matthew Sweet musical GIRLFRIEND (October 27 – 30) taking place outside at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater that includes a deliciously catered dinner by Lulu Catering & Events.  This offering for four or six guests per table is comprised of 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.

“To call the last 18 months a roller coaster is an insult to roller coasters,” laughs Michael Shaw, Dezart Performs founding artistic. “But, we’re now in rehearsals for our first show, and getting things in place for what will certainly be an exciting, and emotional, return to the stage for all concerned.”

Following GIRLFRIEND, the company returns to its traditional home at thePearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club / 314 S Cahuilla 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’sdramatic 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 (April 1 – 10) by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe and directed by Deborah Harmon. EVERY BRILLIANT THING was originally the final production of the 2020 Season, delayed by COVID. Individual tickets are now on sale for shows. Season packages for Dezart Performs’ Pearl McManus Theater productions are also on sale online at or by calling (760) 322-0179 as are special dinner-and-show packages for GIRLFRIEND.

“For the health, safety and well-being of our patrons, staff and artists, Dezart Performs’ COVID-19 policy requires guests to be fully vaccinated,” reminds 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 before attending any scheduled performance date. 

Following its final live, with-audience performance, SWEAT, on March 8, 2020, Dezart Performs engaged its audience with a series of live online events during  COVID:  Creating for the Stage: Discussions with the People that Make Shows Happen (November 11 – December 2, 2020) and the interactive online sensation Mental Amusements (January 13 – 31, 2021) with 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) nonprofit theatre 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 an ear 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 be happy. 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 on her 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