Anyone who knows the desert knows that we have a killer theatre community here. For almost 30 years, the non-profit known as the Desert Theatre League has celebrated the best of the best with its annual Desert Star Awards. With the ceremony set to be held on Sunday, October 9 at Sun City in Palm Desert, the nominations for the 2016 Desert Stars were announced on August 1. No surprise that both of Rancho Mirage’s theatre companies—Coachella Valley Repertory and The Desert Rose Playhouse—scored big.

CV Rep, which is based at The Atrium on Highway 111, walked away with a whopping 29 nominations in 19 categories, including Outstanding Professional Comedy/Drama Production, Lead Drama in a Actor (in both the professional and non-pro race), Choreography, Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy, and Set, Costume, Lighting, Sound, and Props/Special Effect design. Founding Artistic Director Ron Celona was nominated three times—twice for Director of a Drama (I Am My Own Wife and Happy Hour), and once for Director of a Musical (A Class Act).

Over at The Desert Rose—the only company in the Palm Springs Valley to focus solely on LGBT-themed work—the troupe located at The Commissary on Highway 111 landed 10 nominations in as many categories. Among them were nods for Lead Actor in a Drama, Lead Actress in a Drama, Supporting Actor in a Drama, Lead Actor in a Comedy, Lead Actress in a Comedy, and Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Artistic Director Jim Strait was nominated as Outstanding Director for a Comedy. Rose productions that drew praise included Tony Kushner’s Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches and Loot.

Inveterate theatre lovers and goers, Diana and I are cheering on all DTL Desert Stars Awards nominees, but especially those home-grown in Rancho Mirage. Because, you know, as the great William Shakespeare once wrote, “The play’s the thing!”

Photo Credit: CV Repertory

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