Sep 24, 200708:50 AMThe Life
Backstage at "Lalapoolooza"
Sep 24, 2007 - 08:50 AM"Lalapoolooza" is the new charity event on the scene this year and I was backstage to watch the excitement come together. The event was held on Sept. 22nd at Hotel Zoso and in an unusual twist, it raised funds for four different charities: the "Desert Pride Community Center," "Desert Women for Equality," "Aids Assistance Program," and the "Desert Aids Project." Billed as the "anti black tie event" it was an all night affair, which started with a buffet dinner at the hotel restaurant and then the audience was treated to a cabaret like atmosphere around the pool with performances, jokes, and dancing. I was backstage as a performer with the "Desert Winds Freedom Band" and I got to see just a bit of what it takes to put on an event of this magnitude. Dancers were running around changing into their next outfit between numbers, flag twirlers were practicing their routine, drag queens were freshening their make up, the fire twirler (yes, there was a fire twirler!) was preparing her equipment and there was even a horse who rambled back and forth before his entrance. It's not easy to have continuous action on the stage as well as in the pool, and the back stage crew was busy, yet calm as they called out for performers and made sure that no one tripped on the many cables on the ground. The seats were sold-out, so standing room only was added in the back. There were also "sky boxes," hotel rooms overlooking the pool that were filled with supporters cheering and smiling. Local celebrity Kaye Ballard caused a bit of a stir-with all of that commotion going on behind the scenes, she sat there graciously as people came up just to say hello. Her small scene with Palm Springs Mayor Ron Oden brought a great reaction from the crowd, proving how loved and admired she is here. Dana Adkins, another local talent, gave a spot-on comic performance as Cher, and Tommie Rose entertained the crowd as Mae West. As I was walking around after the show was over, there was already talk about "Lala 2" and people were asking show organizer Wesley Eure if they could perform next year. It was a great show and I think the Coachella Valley just got a new annual event to add to the social calender!