Happening in Phoenix
Trending around OUTvoices
By Megan Wadding, April 2020 Issue.
The largest lesbian
event in the world is once again about to take over Palm Springs, filling the
desert with over 20,000 women ready to have fun in the sun.
Club Skirts presents The Dinah, the annual
music festival and pool party weekend. Follow thedinah.com for event dates.
five-day-long event is held annually and includes various performances by
nationally-renowned recording artists, shows by iconic comedians, wild pool
parties with world-famous DJs and go-go dancers, red carpet events with
celebrity guests and musicians, and meet-and-greets with lesbian celebrities.
The parties and shows will be held at
various locations throughout Palm Springs. The weekend’s pool parties will take
place at the Hilton Hotel & Spa’s main pool during the day, the concerts
and night events will be at the Palm Springs Convention Center and the opening
and closing parties will both be held at AsiaSF — Palm Springs most fabulous
new supper club — to both kickstart and close the weekend.
The Dinah weekend has become a rite of passage within the lesbian
community since it was first held back in 1991 in the Palm Springs Modern Art
Museum. It has grown and evolved into what has become an oasis in the desert
for women from around the world.
The biggest events of the weekend include a
Dinah Comedy Night , a Black and White Ball, The L Word Pool Party, and
the Dinah Comedy Show.
The line-up for the weekend is full of
talented, diverse women ready to have attendees partying into the night.
Over the past three decades, as well as being known as an enormous party
for lesbians, the Dinah has also grown into a globally-recognized music
festival. Event founder Mariah Hanson is famous for picking the next big thing
in music. Year after year Hanson has tapped the most promising up-and-coming
talent that have gone on to become world-renowned performers and recording
While in its earlier years, the Dinah
events centered more on its pool parties, the Dinah of the past decade has
focused more on not only making the pool parties and comedy shows even more
amazing and extravagant, but also on by drawing in huge superstar artists such
as Lizzo, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Chaka Khan, Meghan Trainor, Iggy Azalea, and
Salt ‘N Pepa, most of them while they were just on the cusp of hitting it big.
Hanson has done it again with the musical
performances this year, which all promise to be amazing. Headlining the Friday
night Black and White Ball is rapper Saweetie who has been exploding onto the
scene with her recent singles “ICY GIRL” and “My Type.”
Ally Brooke, breakout star of the
multi-platinum group Fifth Harmony, will headline the Saturday night Hollywood
Party. Brooke is preparing to release her debut solo album this year.
Throughout the festival, attendees can also
expect performances from Layton Greene, Lion Babe, Madison Paige, Umi, Yung
Baby Tate, and several world-renowned DJs, taking various stages, some
As always, Hanson picks incredible line-ups
for the weekend, including a knack for finding the next hot performer to hit
“The line-up this year as about as exciting
as it gets,” said Hanson. “The representation is diverse, empowering, exciting
and ever so talented. I would not miss one performance this year.”
For the first time
in 30 years, The Dinah is officially collaborating with the Ladies Professional
Golf Association, which is holding the ANA Inspiration tournament the same
The Dinah Shore Weekend began as a
gathering of women who trekked to Palm Springs for the annual women’s golf
tournament and has grown into the largest gathering of queer women in the
“[The cocktail reception will feature]
three players currently playing in the tournament which is really exciting,”
said Hanson. “What a way to showcase women in sports, women in excellence and
women as role models.
The three players, including Mel Reid,
Cheyenne Knight and Alena Sharp, will be making a special appearance, meeting
with Dinah attendees and hosting the cocktail party in collaboration with
Reduced prices will also be offered to
Dinah customers who also want to attend the golf tournament.
Lots of laughs
The Dinah Comedy
Night will be held on Thursday night and will feature the hilarious and
brilliant Dinah veteran comediennes, Gina Yashere, Dana Goldberg, and Dinah
On Saturday night, for the first time ever,
the Dinah is holding An Intimate Evening with the Legendary John Waters, the
iconic filmmaker, photographer and comedian. The special performance will
include a Dinah-specific show, and a 20 minute Q&A afterwards. A
meet-and-greet and an autograph-signing event are included with the Dinah VIP
“I’m happy to be the comic relief in a sea
of partying, ‘all-girl’ music festival fans. Thanks to The Dinah, I will
finally be a true outsider!” said Waters, who proudly calls himself a “lezbro.”
Hanson said she had caught wind that Waters
dedicated about ten minutes to The Dinah in his one-man show in 2017 in Palm
Springs, and immediately though how great it would be to have him perform at
“I loved the idea of showcasing a man at
The Dinah, especially one who has done so much for our community to further
equality and to normalize those of us who in the past may have felt on the
fringe. So I contacted him, and he loved the idea. I’m excited to include him
in our 30thanniversary programming,” said Hanson. “So many women bring male
friends and while we retain about 98% female attendance, if someone who has
transitioned or is a male ally wants to attend, we welcome them. As such, it’s
also a message of tolerance and acceptance.”
Attendance — and Arizona girls
Thousands of women
from all over the globe flock to the desert for The Dinah each April, and many
make the short road trips from surrounding states, easily making it the largest
lesbian event in the world. Arizona women always make a big showing each year,
happily making the drive or short flight to join the festivities.
“We have so many women who attend from Arizona as it’s so easy to get
here,” said Hanson. “Our Arizonians know how to “bring it.”
This year, Hanson said the attendance is
about 10% bigger than last year.
“So many women want to celebrate our
milestone year and are proud to have been a part of creating one of the
longest-standing musical festivals in the nation,” said Hanson.
Many fortunate attendees have so much fun during the weekend that they
come back for more. And the even more fortunate and faithful attendees attend
multiple years in a row.
Hanson attributes it to the friendships and
connections made during the weekend.
“I find our customers experience profound
connection during the weekend — to other women, to higher ideals of community,
to each other — and this becomes life-changing as if you can do it here, at The
Dinah, why can’t you do this everywhere?” said Hanson. “The event serves as a
reminder that what we bring to every situation is also what we receive.”
Thirty years of Dinah
What started off as
a weekend for women back in the 90’s has become a globally-recognized event,
that has evolved and grown and morphed into the iconic weekend it is today.
Palm Springs was specifically chosen by
Hanson back in the early 1990s as the perfect city to host The Dinah. The city,
which is known for its beautiful, warm weather, gorgeous mountains, palm-lined
streets, and welcoming attitude, makes for an ideal place to hold the event,
which is full of sun-bathing, dancing, floating in the pool and more.
Hanson calls the “welcoming vibe” of the
city the “perfect backdrop” for the Dinah.
Looking back over the past three decades,
Hanson admitted that she would not change a thing.
“I love how the event has morphed into such
a powerful statement of empowerment for women. I never imagined it would be
quite this spectacular, but I am so pleased with what it has become, what it
stands for and what it will continue to evolve into,” she said.
Producing the Dinah year after year and
turning it into a famous lesbian rite of passage has been a beautiful journey
for Hanson and she fully grasps what it means to the attendees.
“It’s been a personal journey of
transformation for me,” she said. “I take responsibility for this event and
what it means to the community personally and am dedicated to being the best
steward I can be. That means always changing and evolving to present the best,
most empowering event for women possible, which means I have to be the best,
most empowering producer possible.
Along with the Dinah continuing be an
iconic and fun annual party for women, as well as music lesbian festival — that
is always brilliantly and strategically ahead of the curve in terms of talent-booking
— Hanson said she also wants it to be an
event that continues to unite women.
“I want it to be a place where we can share
our stories and experience the beautiful bond of strength when we share our
humanity with others through our storytelling. Who are you? Where are you from?
Why are you here? Those three questions asked all weekend long will create a
profound catalyst for personal change if we really listen to the answers,” said
No special event marking the anniversary
will be held during the weekend, because Hanson believes that the event is the
special event in and of itself.
“The event is a celebration; the 30th is
just a number,” she said. “What we do every year in our coming together is a
celebration of the best within us and of us, as we show year after year that
the most diverse people can come together and create a community that shares a
strong bond of womanhood, of higher ideas, of the importance of being heard.”
Looking toward the future and into the next
decade of Dinah, Hanson predicts that the event will continue to become an
“incredibly powerful catalyst for female empowerment and celebration”.
According to Hanson, she believes that core
of The Dinah will always remain true to itself and continue to grow and evolve
with the years.
“The core of The Dinah shall always remain the same: a dedication through musical performances and a gathering of like-minded women to celebrate our lives, empowering, supporting, connecting, in a joyous celebration of our lives for a powerful five days,” Hanson added. “We are excited to have everyone with us to celebrate out 30th and plan a five-day extravaganza that will outdo any Dinah produced before. I am one blessed woman being able to produce this event.”
Michael Feinstein has become an iconic singer of the modern era. He has entertained audiences and world leaders alike with his jazz standards. Recently he began working with Liza Minnelli to produce a unique stage show that celebrates her mother, Judy Garland's, 100th birthday.
Mr. Feinstein took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions and give us some insight into his creative process, the future of jazz, and the production of this one-of-a-kind show.
Why do you feel the classics still resonate today?
One of the things I love about the music that I primarily sing is that the songs transcend the time in which they were created. They truly are timeless in the sense that they still have incredible power and energy in what they convey to audiences. I always compare them to the timelessness of William Shakespeare or Beethoven or Michelangelo in that people don't experience any of those things and say they're old.
They still resonate with the heart and they have a contemporary sensibility because certain fundamental emotions are forever. The songs that I sing are so amazingly crafted that they're malleable and they can be performed and sung and may any different ways. And that's one of the reasons they survive because they're just adaptable.
And that's one of the fun things about it. Every time I sing one of these songs, it feels fresh to me. And I also know that there are maybe people in the audience who've never heard these songs before. So I'm mindful of trying to present them in their best suit. If you will.
Did Judy Garland influence you more when you were a kid or as an adult?
Judy Garland, what an amazing person; incredible performer. As a child, like most of my generation, anyway, I first became aware of Judy Garland in connection with the 'Wizard of Oz.' That movie was shown every year as an annual event on television. And we would always go to my aunt and uncle's house and watch it there because they had a color television. But the true art of Judy Garland was introduced to me later in my life, when I became aware of her many recordings and other films that she made at MGM, and she had two distinct careers. One was the 28 feature films she made at MGM from 1937 until she was unceremoniously fired by them in 1950.
Then there was her adult concert career from 1951 to 1969. In that period, she performed over 1100 concerts and made classic record albums. And that's such a rich period of American culture and also music. And so the show that I'm doing is a true celebration of the extraordinary joy she brought to her and the pathos and the sadness that's conveyed through the way she sang ballots. It's a multimedia celebration with home movies supplied by the family, a rare recording of hers singing acapella. And I accompany her on the piano that I actually discovered of a song no one had ever heard her sing before. So it's a, a rich program."
In your opinion, has jazz fallen by the wayside in contemporary music, or is it just reserved for a more distinguished crowd?
I think jazz falls into the same category as American popular song, the classic American popular song in that it will always survive, it will always have an audience and perhaps it's more specialized today, but it's the kind of music that people discover when they're a little bit older and then it becomes a permanent part of what they listen to.
Are there any modern songwriters who you feel could be as prolific as Mr. Gershwin?
Well, uh, I believe that Bob Dylan is incredibly prolific. There are many other songwriters who have a work ethic that produces a lot of material. Diane Warren, I'm told, writes every single day, The songwriter Michel Legrand composed, well over 200 film scores as he composed every day. So there are probably songwriters who wrote more than Gerwin, but will their songs be heard in a hundred years as widely as George Gershwins? That I don't know the answer to.
Do you think the best songs are written when the world is in turmoil or when it's more at peace?
Music always reflects the time in which it is created. Uh, if you look at the songs of world war II, the were lots of songs of patriotism that were very, um, what's the word --- jingoistic. Things like, 'Johnny get your gun, get your gun, get your gun.' All these songs about fighting for what's right. And those songs have not lived as long as the love songs that were written in that time.
For example, 'White Christmas' was written at a time when the world was just entering the second world war and that song has lived, and the patriotic songs, uh, have not worn well, even though the sentiment is there. They were very much of their time. I think that there is a certain kind of inspiration that comes out of turmoil. A lot of songs written during the American depression have become lasting standards.
Things like "As Time Goes By.' That was later featured in the movie 'Casablanca' and that sort of thing. So I think that good songs can be written in any time, but perhaps there's more, uh, passion conveyed when there are problems in the world,
Does music constantly play in my subconscious?
Absolutely. Yes. Music is always playing in my brain and that doesn't bother me because sometimes it's music. I know, and sometimes it's new music. That's how I, I come up with the idea for a tune. My friend, George Firth, who died a number of years ago was a brilliant librettist. He wrote the book for the Sondheim shows 'Merrily, We Roll Along,' and company. And he once said that anything that you're whistling or humming in your brain is a subconscious window to what one is really thinking about or what they're really feeling.
So if he ever heard anybody humming or whistling, he would say, what are you singing? What are you humming? He wanted to know the title of the song, because that was his armchair psychoanalysis of what that person was, was going through.
What will the audiences be treated to at the Scottsdale show?
Well, it's a centennial tribute to Judy Garland. And as I mentioned previously, it's multimedia with photographs that have never been seen before, this incredible home recording of Judy Garland, which I found in a house that she once lived in behind a fake wall.
It's just a weird story. Uh, so I'll be accompanying her in this song. So it's a world premiere of Judy Garland singing something that nobody's ever heard before. And I also sing a couple of things that were written for her that never saw the light of day.
And then a lot of familiar things. It's a celebration of the best of her MGM years, and then the concert years, the iconic Carnegie Hall show, and it's a very immersive experience, both, visually and emotionally. The audience reaction has been, spectacular, and I'm very grateful. The enormity of trying to pay tribute to someone with a career, as large as Judy Garland's certainly was not easy, but I feel like we've nailed it.
I had a team of people who helped to put it together, notably, Judy Garland's daughter, Liza Minnelli, who executive produced the show and was very much influential in helping to shape what it's about. It celebrates the incredible art that she gave all of us. It doesn't delve into the tragedy because that's the tabloid stuff. But the reason people remember her at all is because of the talent. And so that's what I celebrate.
Show & Venue details:
Valley audience members can join Feinstein for this celebration of Judy Garland at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale, Arizona. There will be two concerts at 3 pm and 7 pm on Sunday, March 20, 2022. Tickets start at $79. For information click here or visit or call 480-499-TKTS (8587).
All guests age 12 and older must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test, taken within 72 hours of the performance date, along with photo ID, to attend performances. As an alternative, guests may provide proof of full vaccination. Masks are highly encouraged to protect artists, staff and patrons. For full health and safety protocols click here.
- Michael Feinstein to Share Gershwins' Legacy in Song - OutVoices ›
- Michael Feinstein to celebrate Judy Garland at Scottsdale Arts ... ›
Musical icon Michael Feinstein is coming to Scottsdale, Arizona on Sunday, March 20, 2022. His smooth voice and playlist of American standards will soothe audiences of all ages in this special live performance. Feinstein is known for having worked with George and Ira Gershwin, two of the most prolific songwriters in history.
His appearance in Scottsdale will pay tribute to another of entertainment's most iconic voices: Judy Garland. The actress and singer would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year. Her music still lives on in the hearts of millions.
Concert is Executive Produced by Liza Minnelli
Audiences are invited to join a nostalgic and spectacular musical exploration of Garland’s illustrious career. Executive produced by Liza Minnelli, this performance will be packed with special surprise moments as Feinstein honors Garland’s unparalleled talent and charisma.
This brand-new multimedia show features big screen film clips, never-before-seen photos, rare audio recordings, great music and good humor. Feinstein will lead you on a historical journey through Garland’s amazing life, telling stories he learned from Minnelli — Garland’s daughter — and from the legend’s close friends.
Audiences will be treated to recently discovered and previously unheard musical arrangements while gaining rare insight into the enduring Garland mystique.
“We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate the iconic Judy Garland on her 100th birthday, especially knowing the authenticity and love that went into this project with her daughter Liza Minnelli as the executive producer,” said Abbey Messmer, programming director at the center. “With the Ambassador of the American Songbook leading this journey, it’s certain that we’ll feel Judy’s spirit when we hear songs like ‘Get Happy’ and ‘Come Rain or Come Shine.’”
Photo courtesy of Michael Feinstein.
The Great American Songbook
Feinstein has built a dazzling career over the last three decades, bringing the music of the Great American Songbook to the world. From his multi-platinum-selling recordings that have earned him five Grammy nominations to his Emmy-nominated PBS television specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe.
Feinstein's New Album to Feature Music Icons
His live performances, film and television appearances, and 35 albums — including the upcoming release of “Gershwin Country,” featuring duets with country superstars like Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss and more — have made Feinstein an all-star force in American music.
I think it’s fair to say we all want that #fitlife, especially with Spring around the corner — as well as Gaypril on the way. Whether it’s pool season yet or not, everyone would choose to look fit over not looking fit, if they could have it with a snap of their fingers. OK, the vast majority of us would.
If you’ve met me, or have been reading my articles, you know that I live, sleep, eat and breathe fitness; it’s my heart and soul. That being said, I’m here to tell you that the concept of “fitness” is oftentimes tragically misunderstood.
Before you get too aggressive with your goal for pool season, let’s dive a bit deeper into what fitness means on the inside versus what it looks like on the outside, and common misconceptions around this concept.
1. Beware of the cultural pitfalls and misleading information around fitness.
Most of the bodies you see in the media are probably not real, they just look very convincing. As a trainer who also moonlights as a photographer and Photoshop wizard, I’m telling you that it is incredibly easy to alter pictures in materially misleading ways. Once you know the tricks of the trade, the imposters are easily spotted. But that’s not what this is about.
The point is: to the untrained eye, it can be devastatingly defeating to see such impossible standards. It seems as though the cultural pressure to look a certain way, to look perfect, has spread all the way from runway models to fitness novices with the help of smartphone apps.
The truth is that we fitness models look that cut, and that lean for only a couple days at a time. That’s it! In many cases, months or even close to a year of training, dieting and programming all go into looking like that for ONE day. Let that sink in for a second. Day to day, I am less cut, less tan and much flatter muscularly than what you see in some of my pictures. That’s just the nature of the beast. So, when you have a bad day on the scale, in the mirror or in any other scenario, remember that we’re all human and that the most legitimate photos you’re comparing yourself against were from someone’s very best day. That should help to keep things in perspective.
2. Most people want the results, without actually doing the work.
Fitness is not six pack abs, it’s not superficial, it is not temporary and it’s not an isolated phase in your life. Further, fitness is not something you do for someone else, do to spite someone else or even to impress someone else.
Fitness is confidence, toughness, dedication, coordination, power, balance, speed, strength (both literally and figuratively) and persistence in the face of all obstacles. This includes control over your attitude, your mood, your sleep, your schedule, your diet and other aspects of your life. This means getting that workout in when you least feel like it.
It’s not easy, and it’s definitely a grind that has good and bad days. You must show up and keep working on the days you’re tired, stressed, rushed, defeated, doubtful, afraid and so on. The days you actually have to overcome something instead of just checking your workout off your to-do list are the days you have the greatest opportunity to really make progress, push your body and see the most improvement.
3. Fitness is really an internal mindset. The external physique is the fringe benefit.
I’ve said this time and time again, and it might sound strange coming from such an aesthetic-focused trainer, but you are not your body. Your body is a tool, it’s a means to an end, to express your internal mindset, belief system, discipline and dedication to your workout program. Your physique will come and go. Your strength will come and go. Your abilities will wax and wane depending on what you’re training for at the time.
The outside will, and should, be always changing, but the inside is what we’re really after here. Good trainers want to train you to believe in yourself when sh*t gets hard. We want to train you to be resilient in the face of injury, obstacles and other setbacks. We want you to set ambitious goals and shoot for the moon because you can get there with smart programming and relentless will (do yourself a favor and ditch the crash diets and the photo editing software).
So, as you make your spring preparations for swimsuit season, try focusing on developing a sterling, unshakeable internal character and the muscles will come along the way, this I promise you.