The free pleasures of Sunnylands Center

By: Jorie Parr
Posted on: February 10, 2015

It’s an untapped source of fun and culture in a sublime desert setting. And for most events, there’s no admission charge.Sunnylands Center and Gardens, 37-977 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, offers a plethora of feeless programs. It’s open to the public Thursdays through Sundays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.There are nature walks, art exhibits and plein air painting, family day... READ MORE

A witty Uncle Vanya for the 21st century

By: Michael Toscano
Posted on: February 03, 2015

Playwright/director Aaron Posner is having his way with Chekhov again, and what a treat it is for us. If you thought he’d wrung all he could out of the Russian scribe’s wintry angst with the hit Stupid F-ing Bird that sold out two separate runs at Woolly Mammoth Theatre last year, you will find yourself happily wrong.Life Sucks [Or the Present Ridiculous], now bursting off the... READ MORE

Orchestra premieres silent movie score

By: Kate Petersen
Posted on: January 27, 2015

When the Columbia Orchestra set out to commission an orchestra piece for the first time, it had no idea it would turn into a multimedia experience.“I was thinking he would write a standard concert work,” said Music Director Jason Love of composer Andrew Earle Simpson.But Simpson decided to take this opportunity to do something a little less orthodox and compose a score for the... READ MORE

Photographer William Dey’s tasty eye candy

By: Jorie Parr
Posted on: January 20, 2015

Frango mints from Marshall Field, sweet and salty caramel/cheese Garrett popcorn, Mrs. Prindable’s candy apples. Fanny May chocolates, too.Chicago boyhood treats inspire photographer William Dey’s contribution to the group exhibition, “A Feast for the Eyes,” curated by Karen and Tony Barone. The reception at UCR Palm Desert Center, 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, is Jan.... READ MORE

Play digs deep into human psychology

By: By Dan Collins
Posted on: January 20, 2015

Chances are, if you’re a fan of stage and screen, you’re acquainted with Ira Levin’s work. Levin, who died of a heart attack in 2007, penned Deathtrap, the longest running comedy thriller on Broadway, and cult-classic novels-turned-films, The Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s Baby.Chances are, however, that you have not heard of his foray into the dark corners of human ... READ MORE

World premiere looks at Lincoln’s widow

By: Michael Toscano
Posted on: January 13, 2015

Washington loves a good mystery — something with hidden intrigues and with rich human drama and danger — especially in the ultimate high-stakes setting of the White House.There’s one real-life Washington mystery that has been shrouded for 150 years, not in secrecy but indifference, perhaps. What happened to Mary Todd Lincoln in the 40 days after her husband, President... READ MORE