DAILY BRIEFING: December 3, 2021

Good morning. It’s Friday, December 3. Expect sunny skies today and a high near 84 degrees. First, some news you need to know …

‘The Sound of Music’ is next up for Palm Canyon Theatre, starting tonight

Palm Canyon Theatre is set to open its next performance this evening featuring some special cast members. All of the child actors appearing as Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music are graduates of the theater’s summer camp.

“We are so proud that all of the child actors cast as the Von Trapp children are “graduates” of the theatre’s Summer Camp, where they learn the skills of acting, singing and dancing,” said Se Layne, co-artistic director at the Palm Springs theater. “Each Summer for six weeks, this performing arts mentorship program includes about 80 children. Sixty of whom receive scholarships from the theatre to participate. Not only do they learn the craft of theatre, but as demonstrated with The Sound of Music, they are very often cast to perform in Palm Canyon Theatre’s season productions.”

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After opening tonight, the show will run Thursdays through Sundays until December 19, with the exception of this Saturday, when the Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade occurs Downtown. Showtimes are 7 PM on Thursdays, 8 PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 PM on Sundays.

The Sound of Music is the story of Maria, who accepts a position as governess 10 children (three of which do not appear in the musical.) At the same time, Maria is deciding whether she wants to become a nun. She falls in love with the children, and eventually their widowed father, Captain Von Trapp. The captain is ordered to accept a position in the German navy, but he opposes the Nazis and plans a way for he and his family to escape.

The show has become a beloved musical and a classic as it embraces the universal themes of family, love and a strong sense of community that will ultimately prevail over the most tremendous challenges in society. Music is by Richard Rodgers and lyrics are by Oscar Hammerstein. It is based on the memoirs of Maria Von Trapp and set in Austria in 1938.

The Sound of Music opened on Broadway in 1959, starring Mary Martin. It ran for 1,443 performances and won five Tony Awards including Best Musical. The film opened in 1965, starring Julie Andrews, and it won five Academy Awards including Best Picture. The signature anthem of this musical is “Climb Every Mountain.” It’s a call for Maria to not be afraid of what she dreams of having, and it’s a call for audiences to embrace every opportunity and challenge with love and not fear.

Palm Canyon Theatre’s production of The Sound of Music is directed and choreographed by Layne. Musical direction is by Scott T. Smith.  Maria is played by Alisha Bates, and Captain Von Trapp is played by Keith Alexander. The Von Trapp children are played by Grace Carey as Liesl, Reagan Kaminsky, Ryan Rodriguez, Alice Steepleton, Audrey Steepleton, and Dayanara Huerta.

More information: For tickets or other information, call the PCT Box Office at 760-323-5123 or order online at PalmCanyonTheatre.org. Tickets are $36 for adults, $32 for seniors, and $15.00 for students and children. The theater is located at 538 North Palm Canyon Drive.


Police are searching for this man, suspected of robbing the Citibank on East Palm Canyon Drive.

BANK ROBBED AGAIN: Authorities are looking for a man who robbed a bank in Palm Springs Thursday afternoon that was also robbed in October. The Palm Springs Police Department received a report of the robbery at 3:47 PM at a Citibank at 1675 East Palm Canyon Drive. According to Sgt. Mike Casavan, a male suspect fled the scene southbound from the bank prior to the arrival of authorities. He was described as Hispanic, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a black baseball hat, a gray long-sleeve shirt and blue jeans and a “gaiter-style” face covering. According to police, the suspect was armed with a handgun, which he displayed during the crime. No injuries were reported. The bank was previously robbed on October 29. A suspect in that robbery has not been found. Police are asking anyone who may have information or witnessed either incident to call the department’s dispatch center at 760-327-1441 or provide information to Crime Stoppers anonymously at 760-341-7867.

CITY WITHDRAWS SUSPENSION, FOR NOW:City attorneys on Thursday withdrew the suspension of a prominent Palm Springs business owner’s license to operate a retail marijuana store and nearby grow operation but are expected to deliver another letter prohibiting her from operating them, possibly as soon as next week. City Attorney Jeffrey Ballinger said a planned appeal of the original revocation order, sent to Joy Brown Meredith on October 13, will remain on the City Council agenda for December 9, but only because it was already publicly noticed. READ THE COMPLETE STORY HERE.

EMPLOYEE ASSAULTED OVER VACCINATION: The public is being asked to help identify a person who reportedly attacked an employee of a popular South Palm Springs dining and entertainment venue on the evening of November 30. According to a spokesperson, an employee at the iconic Purple Room Supper Club, located at 1900 East Palm Canyon Dr., was physically attacked and verbally abused by a patron who refused to show proof of vaccination. Proof of vaccination is a requirement for entry to all in-door dining establishments in the city. “After jumping the employee, the individual attempted to push his way into the club while delivering an anti-vax diatribe screaming, ‘I’m tired of you f**cking liberals. I’m going in the room,’” said David Perry in an email Thursday afternoon. READ THE COMPLETE STORY HERE.

POLICE BLOTTER: Curious about crime in Palm Springs? Each week we produce a list of some of the incidents police officers respond to in the city. This week’s Police Blotter, for the week ending November 28, is located here.  

DEADLINE EXTENDED: The deadline to submit nominations for the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission’s annual Community Service Awards has been extended to Monday, December 6. The annual celebration recognizes individuals and organizations for “Promoting Universal Human Rights Close to Home.” Nomination forms and the criteria are available online at this site.


MIZELL CENTER: The Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, offers beginning drawing, backgammon, chair yoga, and more, starting at 8 AM. A complete list of everything offered can be found online here.

CITY TREE LIGHTING: The community is invited to join Santa Claus and the Palm Springs City Council for the Official City of Palm Springs Holiday Tree Lighting at 5:15 PM at Frances Stevens Park, 500 North Palm Canyon Drive. This year’s community tree lighters are Festival of Lights Parade grand marshals Mariah Hanson and Linda Barrack. Prior to the lighting of the city’s 22-foot tall holiday tree, Main Street Palm Springs and Mayor Christy Holstege will host the annual Holiday Banner Student Awards beginning at 4 PM in the park. Free cookies, hot cocoa, and activities for children will be available until 6 PM.

USO GALA: The Bob Hope USO-Palm Springs, in partnership with The Management Trust, will present the 8th Annual Spirit of Hope Gala today from 5 PM until 9 PM at the Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage. The gala supports military service members and serves as a benefit for Palm Springs area programs and services. To purchase tickets to The Spirit of Hope Gala, visit this link.

ART CENTER EVENT: The Desert Art Center, located at 550 North Palm Canyon Drive in uptown Palm Springs, hosts “Deck the Walls,” a new Winter show in the main gallery, this evening. That event runs from 5 PM until 7 PM.


The Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade is one of the most popular holiday events in the entire Coachella Valley.

LIGHT PARADE: The 29th Annual Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade returns to Palm Canyon Drive at 5:45 PM on Saturday. The parade, which serves as the city’s signature holiday event, features twinkling floats, marching bands, Macy’s-style holiday balloons – and Santa Claus. This year’s Community Grand Marshals are Mariah Hanson, founder of Dinah Shore Weekend, and Linda Barrack, CEO of Martha’s Village and Kitchen. The parade will be broadcast live on NBC Palm Springs. Coverage begins at 6 PM

COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP: The next in a series of community clean-up events takes place Saturday starting at 8 AM. Anyone interested in helping pick up litter in the city is invited to gather at the Union Bank parking lot, 500 South Indian Canyon Dr. Supplies will be provided.

FARMERS’ MARKET: The Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market is held at 2300 E. Baristo Rd. (adjacent to The Camelot Theatres) from 8:30 AM until 1:30 PM. This weekend, the city’s Office of Sustainability will be at the market handing out free reusable produce and shopping bags. All Certified Farmers’ Markets offer a $15/$15 match to customers participating in CalFresh EBT and a $10/$10 match for WIC, SSDI, and federal unemployment. Find more details about all three Coachella Valley certified farmers’ markets here.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Well in the Desert distributes food every Saturday at 6 AM and 10 AM at 181 N. Indian Canyon Dr. For the early distribution, guests typically begin lining up at 5 AM and must show proof of residency (a rent receipt, utility bill, etc.). For both distributions, guests are asked to bring a box, bags or other containers to transport food items. More information is available by phoning the Well’s office at 760-656-8905. The Well also offers hot lunches Monday through Friday at 11 AM and 1 PM at various locations throughout the city.

FLEA MARKET: A flea market and food fest is held Saturdays at 675 Crossley Rd. from 8 AM until 2 PM. Information can be found here.

VINTAGE MARKET: The Palm Springs Vintage Market is held Sunday outside Palm Springs Cultural Center at The Camelot Theater, 2300 East Baristo Rd., from 8 AM until 2 PM. Admission is $5. The market is held the first Sunday of every month and features “the greatest collection of vintage furniture, clothing, décor and other collectibles in the Coachella Valley.” The market welcomes classic cars and vintage travel trailers, and parking is free. Well-behaved and trained dogs are allowed on a leash.

SUNSHINE SISTERS: The Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters begin making holiday gift deliveries to Shelter From the Storm on Sunday and continue doing so through Tuesday, December 7. You can sign up to be part of the group — formed to help women make new connections and friendships — on Meetup here.


DESERT JAM: The annual benefit for Palm Springs-based Well in the Desert — Desert Jam 2021: Jammin’ for the Well — is slated for Monday, December 6 at the Agua Caliente Resort Casino ballroom in Rancho Mirage at 6 PM. All proceeds benefit The Well’s work to feed and provide for those experiencing homelessness in our community. More information, including how to purchase tickets for the event, can be found here or by calling 760-285-7297.

COFFEE WITH SUPERINTENDENT: Palm Springs Unified School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mike Swize will launch a new series of informal chats with PSUSD families and community members next week. The first “Mornings with Mike” will be held on Tuesday, December 7 between 7:30 AM and 9 AM on the patio at Koffi at 650 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way. All are invited to stop by to meet Dr. Swize, ask a question, voice a concern, give feedback or just visit for a few minutes. Reservations are not required, and no purchase is necessary. For more information, call 760-883-2701, ext. 2

POLICE AND FIRE EVENT: The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce is taking reservations for its annual Police & Fire Appreciation Luncheon, held Tuesday, December 7, from 11:30 AM until 1 PM at the Palm Springs Convention Center. More information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities is available here.

WARWICK STAR: Singer Dionne Warwick will be honored with the 447th star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars next week. Warwick, 80, started her career in 1961 after being discovered by the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and went on to make records such as “Don’t Make Me Over,” “`Walk on By,” “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Message to Michael'” and many more. The 11 AM ceremony will be held on December 8 at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon and South Palm Canyon Drive in front of the Wellwood Memorial Library.

STRUT AWARDS VOTING: Voting has started for the STRUT Awards, slated to be handed out next month in Palm Springs. The STRUT Awards are a people’s choice voting event designed to honor members of the local LGBTQ+ industry. Nominations were accepted in more than two dozen categories, and now it’s time to vote. You can do that by going here. Winners will be announced and celebrated on December 12 during an event at Margaritaville Palm Springs beginning at 6 PM. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

MOBILE CHRISTMAS: Well in the Desert is again planning its annual Christmas event as a mobile event due to COVID-19 restrictions. The drive-up event will be held Saturday, December 18, from 11:30 AM until 3 PM at The United Methodist Church, 1555 East Alejo Rd. Volunteers will distribute a frozen turkey and pie, as well as gifts for children to open on Christmas Day, to any family in need. Donations can be dropped off at churches where The Well serves hot meals, between 11 AM and 1 PM: Mondays and Tuesdays: United Methodist, 1555 East Alejo Rd.; Wednesdays: Church of St. Paul’s, 125 West El Alameda; Thursdays: Our Lady of Solitude, 151 West Alejo Rd.; and Fridays: Our Lady of Guadalupe, 204 South Calle El Segundo.

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