BWW Preview: CHRISTMAS WITH THE CRAWFORDS Returns to the Desert Rose Playhouse
Desert Rose Playhouse is in the midst of its second annual engagement of the hilarious CHRISTMAS WITH THE CRAWFORDS, a juke box drag musical comedy by Mark Sargeant.
The story, such as it is, involves Hollywood star Joan Crawford, looking to jump start her flagging career by granting a radio interview to gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, to take place Christmas Eve in Ms. Crawford's home, featuring her and her two oldest children, Christina and Christopher. The problem is that "Mommie Dearest," as she insists the kids call her, is not exactly the world's best mother, and the family keeps giving that secret away as the broadcast progresses. Meanwhile, Gary Cooper is hosting a Christmas bash next door, and an array of female Hollywood stars, all played by male performers, drop in accidentally while looking for the party. Of course, they insist on performing when they realize they've walked in on Hedda Hopper's program.
Broadway World favorably reviewed the show last year. /palm-springs/article/BWW-Review-Desert-Roses-CHRISTMAS-WITH-THE-CRAWFORDS-is-a-Hilarious-Musical-Confection-with-a-Terrific-Cast-20181203. This year's cast, which largely repeats last year's, consists of Kam Sisco as Joan Crawford; Larry Martin as Christina; Christine Tringali-Nunez as Christopher; Timothy McIntosh as Gloria Swanson/Andrews Sister; Timm McBride as Baby Jane Hudson/Hedda Hopper; Anthony Nannini as Judy Garland/Andrews Sister; Stan Jenson as Mae West/Ethel Merman/Andrews Sister; and Ed Lefkowitz as Katherine Hepburn/Carmen Miranda.
CHRISTMAS WITH THE CRAWFORDS will play two more weekends, through December 22nd. The show is sold out except for two performances added for the evenings of Thursday, December 12thand December 19th. The company is also considering adding other performances. Tickets cost between $34 and $37, and are available on the Web site, www.DesertRosePlayhouse.org, or by calling 760-202-3000.
The Desert Rose Playhouse is located just north of Frank Sinatra Boulevard, near the Emperor Buffet, at 69-620 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. The box office opens at 4 p.m. before evening performances and at noon on Sundays. A bar in the lobby sells libations before the show and during intermission for the Friday and Saturday performances.
The rest of the season's offerings include:
- The world premiere of the musical, THOSE MUSCLE BOUND COWBOYS FROM SNAKE PIT GULCH, by Andy Halliday and Frank Schiro (January 17-February 9, 2020). It took twelve pitchers of martinis for fading Broadway star Delmont St. Regis to write his dream musical, set in lawless Snake Pit Gulch, a gold rush town where the "men are men and the mail order brides ain't coming." Claim jumping, crooked card games, a jail break and sweet romance are all part of the mix in this show-within-a-show.
- BEAUTIFUL THING, by Jonathan Harvey (March 6-March 29, 2020). Shy Jamie and athletic Ste are teen boys who live in the London projects and think they could be gay; and
- NOOSE WOMEN, conceived by Lewis Lauder and adapted for the American stage by Judith Chapman (April 17-May 10, 2020). This play, which won Desert Rose's contest to discover new playwrights who author material that would appeal to LGBTQIA audiences, explores what people will do to get their fifteen minutes of fame.
PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Thomas