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Desert Ensemble Theatre Company to Present ESPERANZA

Following the great success of its October season opener, Broadway D-Lights, Desert Ensemble Theatre Company continues its fourth season on Saturday, January 24 with a one night-only concert reading of a major new musical: Esperanza-the Musical of Hope. The 7:00 p.m. performance will take place at the Pearl McManus Theater (Palm Springs Woman's Club) at 314 S. Cahuilla Road. Tickets are $22 ($18 for seniors, students and military) and can be reserved by calling 760-565-2476 or by purchasing in advance at

With book and lyrics by Ken Luber and music by Saverio Rapezzi, Esperanza is set in a rundown sports bar about to be foreclosed at midnight. Three fallen star athletes find themselves waiting for a phone call that will change their lives. As they wait, each faces his/her own follies and mistakes and from the seeds of hope there arises a remarkable love story. The concert features some of the Desert's finest musical theater performers-Theresa Jewett, Keisha D, Charles Herrera, Philip Moore, Raul Valenzuela and Alan Berry. Patrick Karst is music director.

DETC Artistic Director Tony Padilla states: "One of DETC's commitments is to premiere new works, dramatic or musical. We hope this musical acquires investors to propel it to bigger stages and broader audiences. It deserves success and its message of hope needs to be heard."

Playwright and librettist Ken Luber adds: "To quote from the show 'Everything's coming together just as we planned.' I couldn't have asked for more support than the DETC and its wonderful performers have given this musical."

Ken Luber is a graduate fellow from the American Film Institute and has written and directed for television, film and theater. His feature film Howzer was shown at the U.S. Film Festival and at the New American Director Series at New York's Whitney Museum. Italian film composer Saverio Rapezzi has been writing and orchestrating music for film and TV since 1999. He has worked with renowned film composers Ennio Morricone, Luis Bacalov, and Robert Drasnin.

Desert Ensemble Theatre Company, established in 2011, engages audiences and creates theater that speaks to relevant issues in our lives and community. The company's season continues with the world premiere of two one-act plays, Family Meeting and The Comeback, by Tony Padilla (March 13-15 & 20-22) and the Palm Springs premiere of Fred Barton's cabaret cult classic Miss Gulch Returns!, starring Jerome Elliott as the feisty Kansas spinster from The Wizard of Oz (April 17-19 & 24-26).

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