Desert entertainers, fans set their sights on a star for ‘social ambassador’ Bella da Ball

Bella da Ball. Photo by Wade Byars

Twenty entertainers will perform today (7 p.m. April 10) at Azul in tribute to one of Palm Springs’ leading drag personalities and its unofficial community hostess Bella da Ball. Their goal is to raise $12,500, the funds needed to honor Ball with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.

For years, the statuesque diva with cotton candy-esque hair (aka Brian Wanzek) has provided her services and talents in organizing, promoting and hosting community events. Her list of causes and beneficiaries is as long as her legs. It includes the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Cinema Diverse, American Documentary Film Festival, Modernism Week, Desert AIDS Project, Well in the Desert, Shelter from the Storm, Jewish Family Service of the Desert, Palm Springs High School Arts Institute, Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, and many more.

Ball/Wanzek also will be honored May 11 with the Herb Lozenby Community Service Award during Evening Under the Stars, an annual event benefitting AIDS Assistance Program.

“She embodies the spirit of inclusion and belonging, and she has brought people from all walks of life together,” says Doug Graham, the entertainer leading the campaign. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Bella da Ball to have a star on Palm Springs’ Walk of Stars.”

Graham will perform at the April 10 fundraising show, which will be emceed by Michael Holmes as Judy Garland. Other performers are Carol Kamenis, Laurie Deane, Jeff Stewart, Cat Lyn Day as Marilyn Monroe, Pinkie Meringue Shimmer, Alan Jon, Melissa Stratman, Eve Holmes, Jerome Elliott, Keisha D’, Dolores Ofria, Charles Herrera, Paul MacKey, Allison Annalora, Sylvia and Julius, Miss Victoria, Jeremy Johnson and Jersey Shore.

Admission: $15 campaign donation. Go to for more information. Azul is at 369 N. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.

Palm Springs movie: Sean Patrick Flanery continues filming ‘Hidden Away’

Filming outside Azul in downtown Palm Springs on Tuesday, Feb. 6. (Photo by Kate McGinty, The Desert Sun)

A Hollywood film crew continued its takeover of Palm Springs — and social media — on Wednesday.

The crew planned to shoot at the popular restaurant Azul from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

The film plan includes transforming the outside patio into a coffee shop, as well as scenes shot inside. It shot at the Palm Springs Art Museum on Monday.

Actor Sean Patrick Flanery tweeted this photo at the Forever Marilyn statue in Palm Springs. (Photo from @seanflanery via

The movie stars Sean Patrick Flanery — a lead actor in the 1999 action flick “The Boondock Saints,” also known for his roles in “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles,” “Dexter” and “The Young and the Restless” — who tweeted a photo of himself with the “Forever Marilyn” statue.

It also stars Emmanuelle Vaugier, who has had recurring roles on “CSI: NY” and “Two and a Half Men.”

She posted a photo to Facebook of herself Sunday in front of the The Saguaro in Palm Springs.

Actress Emmanuelle Vaugier outside the Saguara in Palm Springs. Photo from @evaugier, via Twitter.

She tweeted a second photo Tuesday at the Saguaro pool, with what looks like a film crew behind her.

The thriller, called “Hidden Away,” follows a woman who escapes an abusive husband and starts a new life in Palm Springs, but is found and terrorized by the husband years later.

Also in the cast:

  • Ivan Sergei: The Mentalist, Army Wives
  • Thomas Calabro: Glee, Melrose Place, Nip Tuck
  • Elisabeth Rohm: Law & Order, Angel, Lifetime’s The Client List