The moniker will still say Palm Springs Cultural Center, but you’re going to swear you’ve just walked into a swanky lounge at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas from 50 years ago with the pianist tickling the ivory, a sultry vocal can be heard, and glasses clink in celebration.
On Oct. 15, dress the part and take yourself to Martinis and Moxie, a celebration of the life and music of desert resident Frank Sinatra. A jam-packed night starts with cocktails, Hors d’ouveres, gaming tables, n art exhibit by local artist Kasey Scott-Brown, and a neon light display and sale by Riofine Neon Signs of Cathedral City. The event then moves inside the movie theater where you can participate in a pre-screening Q&A with Nelda Linsk, who reminisces about Old Blue Eyes followed by a showing of From Here to Eternity, which won Sinatra an Oscar for best supporting actor.
Your hosts are Conrad Angel Corral, and Claudia Ried, who make up Palm Springs Point of View, a YouTube-based channel spotlighting the Coachella Valley’s entertainment and cultural scene. Alan Kraemer of Palm Springs Piano Bar provides one of the voices and music for the evening. He and Ried have been performing on Facebook Live since the pandemic shutdown in 2020.
However, it was Eric Smith, who oversees theatrical bookings and rentals at the cultural center, who came to them with the idea of bringing their fun and interactive online show to the venue.
“The cultural center brought in a new piano, and Eric is working on the lighting and setting. So we’re hoping it all gels together into an interesting and fun evening,” Corral says.
The Friday night soirée is the opener of three such planned events focusing on Sinatra. The second is slated for Nov. 15 and the third is Dec. 12 – Sinatra’s birthday when he would have turned 106. Special guests who knew Sinatra will also appear at each show and a live concert will be part of the birthday bash.
“One of the things that will be fun about these shows is the whole attitude — it’s a party,” Corral says. “We’re not sitting up on a stage singing Frank Sinatra songs. We’re in the atrium of the cultural center, the spiral staircase, and you can go upstairs and look at some art. People are going to be all around there.”