And All That Pizzazz



There’s a great reason to follow me to Palm Springs this weekend. (I don’t mean that literally, of course, because I don’t need the added pressure of leading a caravan when I have to concentrate on my own driving.) I’m aware that most San Diegans find the desert too hot this time of year, but anyone who has ever dreamed of being a showgirl or who needs a gross of Swarovski rhinestones should take note: The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies that just ended its 23-season run is holding a “blowout sale” on June 13 and 14 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

My dear friend Greg Purdy served as the media relations manager for the Follies, so I have a particular interest in and connection to the extravaganza that attracted worldwide attention. Since the show’s closing, Greg has taken on the post of communications manager for another major desert attraction: the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Nevertheless, he’ll be helping with the blowout sale on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, I’ve checked out the extensive menu of items offered for sale. 

I’d go for the colorful showgirl backpack headdress and skirt shown above — a real bargain at $1,500 — if I just had an invitation for an appropriate event that didn’t require walking through a doorway and I had a room-sized closet. I might buy six pairs of white leather knee-high spats with marabou trim for $10, but it seems a little like overkill; surely four pairs would last my lifetime. 

Gentlemen who want to playact as a former Palm Springs mayor, senator and ex-spouse of Cher might be interested in a 1960s Sonny-style outfit (yellow fur vest; yellow, orange and red striped bell bottoms; and blousy, cheetah-print shirt — $65 for all three). 

Just watching people sort through the collection of attire could be more entertainment than I could handle in one day, so I might be tempted by some other merchandise. I’d love to have a Silent Storm confetti blower, but $2,000 is a lot to pay for something I could only foresee myself using at a Chargers tailgate party. Much more useful would be scissor lifts, priced at $4,500 and $5,500.

A plethora of audiovisual equipment is up for grabs (and cash), the pièce de résistance being a video wall for $95,000 (though I feel compelled to point out that one could spend a lot less on Fandango to see images rendered larger than life). 

There are two vehicles being sold: a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 truck ($3,839) and a 2003 Chevrolet cargo van ($4,133). I don’t know if either features the Follies vehicle wrap. As I once wrote in an article for Specialty Fabrics Review magazine, “A connoisseur of Armani and custom shirts, Greg Purdy may seem like a fish out of water driving a pinkish-purple Scion with bright yellow letters on the front fender exclaiming ‘Wow!'” 

Even if you don’t need or want a showgirl headdress, a confetti blower, scrollers, dimmers, splitters or Austrian voile drapery (though local theater groups may be interested), you can’t go wrong spending $5 just to see the display. After all, your $5 admission goes directly to the Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. 

For time and location details, visit


Janice Kleinschmidt


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