Previews: MR. PARKER at Dezart Performs

Performances Begin April 12th

By: Feb. 27, 2024
Previews: MR. PARKER at Dezart Performs
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In acclaimed playwright Michael McKeever’s MR. PARKER, an inter-generational relationship leads to a complex web of family soul searching. This “Gay to December” romance finds a widower trying to come to terms with the loss of his longtime spouse while balancing a new potential love interest against the disapproving glares of his overpowering sister-in-law. Randy Brenner, returning to direct MR. PARKER, was last season’s director  of Dezart Performs’ A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC UNIT… Rex Reed describes MR. PARKER  as “a very intelligent, absorbing look at contemporary relationships and the conflicts that keep us all from aging with joy and peace of mind. This play is a real discovery.”  MR PARKER runs April 12 – 21 at the Pearl McManus Theatre at the Palm Springs Women’s Club, closing out the company’s record-setting 16th season. Audience members will remember Parker’s DANIEL’S HUSBAND as a stand-out hit of the Dezart Performs’ 2020 Season.

“MR. PARKER is a mirror to the complexities and challenges of adapting to life’s unexpected turns,” says Dezart Performs’ founding artistic director Michael Shaw. “This is a story that resonates with anyone who has faced the need to reinvent themselves at a crossroads in life. It’s a journey of self-discovery and reflection on love, loss, and identity in contemporary America.”

At 54 years old, Terry Parker (David Pevsner) finds himself at a crossroads in his life. After the death of his partner of 30 years, he finds himself suddenly single and unable to adjust to a world that has moved on without him, attempting to “step gingerly out of grief’s stasis and into the unknown” (New York Times.) After a night of heavy drinking, he wakes up with a 28-year-old bartender-slash-Uber-driver, Justin (Nick Giedris). These two very different people begin a tentative relationship, looked at askance by Terry’s formidable former sister-in-law, Cassie (Marsha Mercant). What starts out as a one-night stand becomes a journey of self-discovery for a man trying to let go of the past and move forward, while dealing with the pressures of being middle-aged, gay and alone in the ever-changing landscape of today’s America. The result is “a stunning work by an accomplished playwright; an amusing, heartfelt and emotionally astute look at love, loss and the struggles of facing an uncertain future” (OnStage Blog).

All performances of MR. PARKER take place at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club) 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs. Ticket prices are $48 – $55 and may be purchased online at www.dezartperforms.org , or by calling (760) 322-0179. Showtimes are Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm and 7pm.

Alongside this season’s closing show, Dezart Performs continues its plans for a new permanent home in Cathedral City,  to be called the Dezart Playhouse. The campaign, driven by the generosity of the Palm Springs community and beyond, is making significant strides towards establishing a dedicated space for Dezart Performs. This new venue will not only enhance the theater-going experience but also allow for expanded educational and outreach programs.

“We are deeply grateful for the support our campaign has received thus far, and very encouraged by the response since we announced the campaign in December,” said Shaw. “A permanent home for Dezart Performs means we can continue to bring high-caliber productions like MR. PARKER to our audiences and further enrich the cultural tapestry of our community.”

The new Dezart Playhouse will have versatile, movable seating for up to 125, including the flexibility for proscenium, thrust, theatre in-the-round, or cabaret-style formats. A modern, warm and inviting lobby with a full bar and patio area will be available for use both during performances, and for other non-theatrical events. Full expanded dressings rooms, backstage areas and a designated box office are all part of the design. Besides use by Dezart Performs, the venue will also welcome other businesses and non-profit organizations in the community to make use of the space. Based on the current plan, the Dezart Playhouse will be ready for the 2025 / 2026 Season.

The campaign has been in the silent phase for over a year, with the goal to raise $ 2,200,000 to convert the former retail space into a state-of-the-art Equity Theater.  In addition, the campaign seeks another $200,000 per year over five years to help sustain program and operation costs.

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.

How To Get Tickets

MR. PARKER
A drama written by Michael McKeever
Directed by Randy Brenner
April 12 – 14; 19 — 21

At 54 years old, Terry Parker finds himself at a crossroads in his life. After the loss of his partner of 30 years, he finds himself suddenly single and unable to adjust to a world that has moved on without him. After a night of heavy drinking, he wakes up with a 28-year-old bartender-slash-Uber-driver. These two very different people begin a tentative relationship, and what starts out as a one-night stand becomes a journey of self-discovery for a man trying to let go of the past and move forward, while dealing with the pressures of being middle-aged, gay and alone in the ever-changing landscape of today’s America.




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