Air hostess Pam Ann lands in Palm Desert


Caroline Reid as Pam Ann. Submitted photo

Sometimes as a journalist I get to interview people who make a lasting impression. I recently spoke with air hostess Pam Ann, the alter-ego of Australian comedian Caroline Reid, who’s appearing May 10 in “Cockpit!” at the McCallum in Palm Desert.

During our brief chat she was charming, funny, salty, smart, irreverent and, in her own words, “super geeky passionate.”

Here’s an excerpt:

How did the Pam Ann character come about?

PAM ANN: Through desperation of getting off the island of Australia. I had to come up with something to get off there and get to civilization. I wanted to do acting and I was really inspired by Sandra Bernhard. But I was awful at auditions and I could never get anything in the acting world. I thought the only way to get something was to do something myself.

I dressed up as this Pan American air hostess for a party. After a few drinks everyone kept saying “Pam Ann, Pam Ann, Pam Ann.”  I woke up and I thought … I’ve never really travelled either. I was always inspired by that era — like Palm Springs. To me, I love it because it has that ’60s chic-ness to it and the design. I just love that. Pam Ann is a throwback to the ’60s.

I was always told the show was style over substance. I thought it was a good thing. I was more excited about doing the posters and the outfits than the show.

What did you think when celebrities such as Cher, Elton John and Madonna made it known they were fans of yours?

It stopped though. I need a new one to add to the collection. Why didn’t Lady Gaga say something recently?

I’m from the suburbs of Australia. When I did the Cher tour — her manager is Australian — I rang my mom. She said, “Cher? What, the tribute act?” “No,” I said, “Cher Cher.”

All of it is always a shock to me. I still think about the Cher thing and think, Did that happen? I grew up with “The Sonny and Cher Show” in Australia.

Who makes you laugh harder than anyone?

You know what, my favorite comedian is Joan Rivers, of course. She’s continuously pushing the boundaries. I love her because she winds up those stupid *#@& who need it. Everyone is so offended today. Some people need to be shaken like a child. I like Joan Rivers.

I like Louis C.K. I think he’s great because he couldn’t give a #%*& and he says that to people. Justin Vivian Bond, I find ingeniously funny. I always have. He’s been a friend of mind for years. I find his whole reality amazing. He’s just one of the best storytellers and comics in the world today.

I went on a date yesterday with this guy and we had foie gras. He didn’t know what foie gras was. I said, “Foie gras is like the goose liver.” We’re walking toward the lake and there’s a goose. He pointed and said, “Look there’s an organ donor.” He wasn’t even trying to be funny. It was genius.

Is there anything more you want people to know about you?

Here’s a good quote: “I’d rather cry in a Rolls than be happy on a bike.” Patrizia Gucci said that in the back of a car on her way to prison after killing her husband.


What: Pam Ann in “Cockpit!”

When: 8 p.m. May 10

Where: McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert

Tickets: $45-$65

Info: (760) 340-2787,

Cyndi Lauper follows ‘Kinky Boots’ with Palm Springs performance

Cyndi Lauper. Submitted photo

Cyndi Lauper will do something May 11 that she’s never done before in her 30-year career. She will perform during the AIDS Assistance Program’s annual Evening Under the Stars in Palm Springs (see details below).

But that’s just one of her career-firsts this year. In early April, “Kinky Boots,” the only musical she’s written the music and lyrics for, opened on Broadway. Lauper adapted the show from screen to stage with theater veteran Harvey Fierstein. It received 13 Tony Award nominations on April 30.

Lauper — who won legions of fans with “Time After Time,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “True Colors” and an iPod full of other pop tunes — recently shared her opening night experience on Broadway with Desert Outlook.

“I was really nervous — knowing that the show was finally opened and all the reviewers were there too. We had the most amazing audiences in previews, so we felt the crowd would be with us, but knowing there was press in the house that night added to my anxiety. We have all been working on the musical for almost four years. So it was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.

“Everyone on and off stage that is part of Kinky Boots brought their A game to this project,” Lauper continues. “Everyone from the producers to the cast to the musicians. It was an amazing creative process to be part of. We are all a family now and when you come to the show, you feel that and (are) affected by it.

“It’s a great story about how acceptance for yourself and others can change the world. … Then, reviews (which I never read my own reviews, good or bad, as I find them distracting) for ‘Kinky Boots,’ which is so important to the health of a musical, were all really good. So I was overjoyed.”

Lauper reveals more about the show, her crazy-busy life, and what she thinks about the progress of gay rights in the new issue of Desert Outlook, out May 9.


Twentieth Evening Under the Stars benefitting AIDS Assistance Program. Honorees include Helene Galen, Jerry and Barbara Keller, and Brian Wanzek

When: 5:30 p.m. May 11

Where: O’Donnell Golf Club, 301 N. Belardo Road, Palm Springs

Tickets: $395 – $1,500

Info:, (760) 325-8481


Water park to be built in ‘Palm Springs Resort City’ in Malaysia

It’s interesting to drive around the desert and see developments named after famous places. In Rancho Mirage, if you travel west on Gerald Ford Drive past Versailles — not the renowned royal palace outside of Paris, but a gated community — you will soon pass the entrance to La Toscana, named after the picturesque region in Italy known to Americans as Tuscany.

Has Palm Springs inspired any developments around the world?


I came across this headline this morning: “RM600mil Splash Park to be built on seafront land within Palm Springs.” RM is an abbreviation for the Malaysian ringgit, the Asian country’s official currency. The water park will be constructed in “Palm Springs Resort City,” which is located more than one hour south of capital Kuala Lumpur in the beachfront resort city of Port Dickson. I bet this might be the first time “Palm Springs” and “seafront land” have appeared in same headline together.

There’s more than just a water park coming to “Palm Springs,” according to the article: “Apart from Splash Park, other exciting development components will include an international destination-based spa retreat village, international hotels and serviced residences, a wellness zone, a marina and duty-free shops.”

A marina in Palm Springs? That’s a first, I’m sure.

C-SPAN to film TV show in Palm Springs

Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs circa 1954.

Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs circa 1954. (Courtesy of Palm Springs Historical Society)

C-SPAN will spend a week filming in Palm Springs to record a TV special on the city, the public affairs network announced this week.

As part of a series that explores the literary life and history of selected cities, C-SPAN will drive specially made “local content vehicles” around Palm Springs.

They will also interview “local historians, authors and civic leaders.”

Mayor Pro Tem Chris Mills and Director of Tourism Mary Jo Ginther will be among those speaking when C-SPAN starts filming in Palm Springs on Monday.

The network will announce more details then about which stories and segments will be explored, according to a press release sent out.

The footage will be aired during a special Palm Springs weekend June 1 and June 2 on the non-fiction book channel BookTV (on C-PSAN2) and on American History TV (on C-SPAN3).

Other featured cities include Providence, R.I.;  Santa Fe, N.M., Mesa, Ariz. and nd Bakersfield, Calif. (See the full list and air dates here.)

RELATED: See our historical coverage of Palm Springs, which was published in honor of the city’s 75th anniversary this year.

Koffi opens Rancho Mirage location

Koffi Rancho Mirage

Koffi opened a Rancho Mirage location on Monday (courtesy photo).

Koffi opened a new location in Rancho Mirage on Monday — and it has the first coffee roasting facility of its kind in the Coachella Valley.

The coffee shop, which has in-café coffee roasting, is at at 71380 Highway 111, across from Desert European Motorcars.

It’s open from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

The new Koffi is the third of the popular, locally owned Coachella Valley chain that was founded in 2002.

The original location is at 515 N. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. It added a second location at 1700 S. Camino Real in 2008.

The chain employes 48 people.

Thermal breaks heat record, Palm Springs ties record — again

Thermal broke a heat record Monday, and Palm Springs tied the record for hottest-ever April 29.


The temperature peaked at 106 degrees in Thermal by about 2:30 p.m. That beats the previous heat record for the day, which was 105 degrees set in 1959.

It hit 106 degrees in Palm Springs — the second weather measuring station in the Coachella Valley — as well. That tied the day’s record of 106 degrees, also set in 1959.

The National Weather Service shows the temperature as dramatically warmer than the normals for the day — 88 in Palm Springs and 91 in Thermal.

It continues an unusually hot stretch of weather, which included records being broken on Sunday and the hottest-ever Stagecoach Festival.

The valley will see a slight cooling down starting Tuesday, with projected highs between 92 and 97 degrees.

‘Wings of Freedom’ Warbirds landing in Palm Springs today

"Witchcraft," a B-24J Liberator, is displayed by The Collings Foundation in Bremerton, Wash. June 19, 2012. Witchcraft, a P-51C, and B-17 will be in Palm Springs Monday, April 22 until Wednesday, April 24 offering walk-through tours and rides. (Photo/Crystal Chatham)

A trio of classic warbirds are headed to Palm Springs this afternoon as The Collings Foundation lands its national Wings of Freedom Tour.

The foundation is flying in a pair of World War II heavy bombers including a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed “Nine O Nine” and a Consolidated B-24J Liberator nicknamed “Witchcraft.” Also on the tour is a P-51C Mustang fighter with dual controls.

The B-24J and P-51C are the last remaining flyable aircraft of their type.

The warbirds are scheduled to land between 12:30 and 1p.m Monday and will be in town through midday Wednesday at Atlantic Aviation, 145 N Gene Autry Trail in Palm Springs.

Tours of the aircraft interiors and exteriors cost $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12.

Tours are free for WWII Veterans.

The foundation also offers flights aboard all three aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $425 per person while P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour.

The Collings Foundation is a non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing living history events that allows people to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation. The Nationwide Wings of Freedom Tour is in its 24th year and visits an average of 110 cities in over 35 states annually.

The Collings Foundation's B-24J Liberator is the last flyable aircraft of its make. After World War II, many of the heavy bombers were scrapped and few remain today. "Witchcraft" is seen here during a tour stop in Bremerton, Wash. last summer. (Photo/Crystal Chatham)

HBO releases trailer for Liberace flick filmed in Palm Springs

HBO has released its first trailer for “Behind the Candelabra” — the bio-pic about Liberace that was shot, in part, in Palm Springs last year.

“Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the movie is based on Thorson’s autobiography, Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace, which was published in 1988, a year after Liberace’s death,” according to Vanity Fair.

Nearly 900,000 people have watched the trailer in the last 72 hours.

The movie stars Michael Douglas as the flamboyant piano man and Matt Damon as his lover Scott Thorson.

Hundreds of Liberace fans and wannabe actors lined up at the Palm Springs Convention Center in July 2012 for a chance to be an extra in the flick.

It was slated to be shot in Palm Springs in late August 2012. Liberace had two homes in Palm Springs.

About 100 extras were needed to play fans, medical personnel and likely other parts, casting director Rich King told The Desert Sun at the time.

Douglas’ father, actor and author Kirk Douglas, had a home in Palm Springs for years and his brother Joel lives only a few blocks from Liberace’s home near Alejo Road.

Karmin brings the heat to The Dinah

Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan of Karmin. Submitted photo

Do you feel it: the buzz, the energy of women who are primed to party arriving in Palm Springs?

The Dinah, a celebrated annual lesbian party and music festival, is under way. Thousands of women have converged in the desert from across the U.S. and beyond for poolside fun and games, comedy and musical performances by Havana Brown, Diana King, Katy Tiz, Karmin and more.

The pop duo Karmin, whose single “Hello” is getting play on the radio and video shows, is slated to perform Saturday night at the Palm Springs Convention Center (details at Performers Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan recently chatted with Desert Outlook about  their LGBT fans, covering rap songs, and visiting Palm Springs. Here’s a sneak peek:

How did you choose the songs you covered?

Nick Noonan: We looked at the charts, what people were talking about, what was new, and if we could “Karminize” it.

Are you planning to do more covers?

Amy Heidemann: It’s been so focused on the new music. We’re sort of full speed ahead with the new album that’s coming out later in the year.

Tell us about the new album.

Noonan: There’s a lot more me on it, a lot of me singing, a lot of live instruments, a lot more organic indie-sounding songs.

What advice do you have for unknown artists who want to break into the music business through social media, as you did?

Heidemann: Whatever you do make sure it’s something that you’re super passionate about. You have to put in more work than you can possibly imagine. Make sure you have those really deep roots with your audience, keep putting stuff out on a consistent basis, and listen to your audience.

Did either of you ever audition for “American Idol” or any other music competition show?
Noonan: It’s actually really funny. The same week we uploaded the “Look At Me Now” cover we were planning to go that day to audition for “The X Factor. “ We didn’t make it; the video went viral.

Early on there was some confusion about your group name, with some fans thinking Karmin was Amy’s name. What were some of the other group names you considered?

Noonan: We considered a bunch, man, trying to find something that meant something. Carmen in Latin meant song. We added karma to it.

Read the full Karmin interview and features on the re-emergence of artist Alex Koleszar, the history of The Racquet Club, and Palm Springs’ “green gays” in the April issue of Desert Outlook.

Pick up your free copy at the following locations:


True Value/Ace Hardware, 1785 E. Palm Canyon Drive

Ace Hotel & Swim Club 701 East Palm Canyon Drive

Albertsons Sunrise & Vista Chino (Gay Section) 1751 N. Sunrise Way

All Worlds Resort 526 Warm Sands

Azul Tapas Lounge 369 N Palm Canyon Dr.

Brien O’Brien Hair Salon, 515 N. Palm Canyon Drive

Camelot Theatres 2300 E Barristo Rd.

Skylark Hotel, 1466 N. Palm Cyn.

Casitas Laquita (Women’s hotel) 450 East Palm Canyon Drive

Espress Cielo 245 S. Palm Canyon Drive

Desert Aids 1695 N. Sunrise

Desert Hand Car Wash, 645 S. Palm Canyon Drive

Desert Regional Medical Ctr 1150 N. Indian Canyon Drive

Desert Women for Equality 555 S. Sunrise Way, Suite 209

Estate Sales Company 4185 E. Palm Canyon

Gay Mart 305 Arenas

Gideon Fine Art Gallery, 2682 S. Cherokee Way

Golds Gym 4070 Airport Center Drive

Hacienda Resort 586 Warm Sands

Hilton Palm Springs 400 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way

Hotel Zoso 150 S. Indian Canyon Drive

Hunters,  302 Arenas Road

Inn Dulge Resort 601 Grenfall Rd.

Inn Exile Resort 545 Warm Sands

Just Fabulous, 515 N. Palm Canyon Drive

Koffi Café 515 N. Palm Cyn.

Koffi Café 1450 E. Palm Canyon

LGBT Community Ctr. Of the Desert 611 S Palm Canyon Dr., Ste. 201

LULUs 200 S. Palm Canyon Drive

Mail Boxes Ect. 611 S. Palm Cyn.

Palm Springs City Hall 3200 E Tahquitz Canyon Way

Palm Springs Coffee 123 N. Palm Canyon

Palm Springs International Airport

Palm Springs Visitor Center 2909 N. Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs Public Library 300 S. Sunrise Way

Palm Springs Fitness, 170 S. Sunrise Way

Pinocchio’s, 134 E. Tahquitz Canyon Drive

Q Trading 606 E. Sunny Dunes

Ralphs 425 Sunrise

Ralphs 1733 E. Palm Canyon

Read Brown Hair Salon

Renaissance Hotel 888 Tahquitz Canyon Way

Revivals 611 S. Palm Cyn.

Riviera Hotel 1600 N. Indian Canyon Drive

Saguaro 1800 E. Palm Canyon Drive

Santiago Resort 650 San Lorenzo

Shermans 401 Tahquitz

Spurline 200 Arenas

Street Bar 224 Arenas

Toucans Lounge 2100 N. Palm Cyn.

Triangle Inn Resort 555 San Lorenzo

UPS Store near Revivals, 611 S. Palm Canyon Drive

Wang’s in the Desert 424 S Indian Canyon Dr.

World Gym 1751 N. Sunrise #F1


College of the Desert 43500 Monterey Avenue

Jensens Palm Desert 73601 Highway 111

McCallum Theatre 73000 Fred Waring Drive

Palm d’or Theater 72-840 Monterey

Plummers, 72-767 Dinah Shore

Sun City Palm Desert 38180 Del Webb Blvd.

Trader Joe’s 44250 Town Center Way

UC Riverside 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive


Rancho Mirage Public Library 71100 Highway 111

Shame on the Moon restaurant in RM 69950 Frank Sinatra Drive

The River @ Starbuck’s Coffee 71-800 Highway 111



Auto Dealerships in CC? (Subaru) Perez Road and Highway 111

Studio 111 67555 E. Palm Canyon Drive

Cathedral City Boys Club 68-369 Sunair

Cathedral City Hall 68-700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero

Cathedral City Public Library 33520 Date Palm Drive

Cello’s Restaurant 35943 Date Palm Drive

DiGS 36-737 Cathedral Canyon

Don & Sweet Sue’s 68955 Ramon Road

Palm Springs Lanes 68-051 Ramon Road

Revivals 68-401 E Highway 111

Sunshine Cafe, 36815 Cathedral Canyon Drive

Trader Joe’s Cathedral City 67720 East Palm Canyon Drive

UPS Store In Target Area


Old Town Coffee Company 78-100 Main Street, Suite 102

Trader Joe’s La Quinta 46400 Washington Street



Carly Rae Jepsen stands up, performs for LGBT fans


Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen is well on her way to earning an LGBT merit badge.

A week after the singer announced she will not perform at the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree, it was announced today that she will perform as the headliner at the White Party T-dance in Palm Springs. Jepsen cancelled her Boy Scouts appearance because of the organization’s anti-gay stance.

The Canadian singer gained many LGBT fans with her big hit last year, “Call Me Maybe,” which had a surprising gay twist in its video. Her other songs include “Good Time,” a duet with Owl City, and the single out now, “Tonight I’m Getting Over  You.”

The T-dance will take place at 3 p.m. March 31 at “White Party Park” in Palm Springs. For admission price and information on other White Party events, go to