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Star of Oscar-Winning 20 Feet From Stardom Closes Follies Run
Palm Springs, California (March 3, 2014) "Darlene Love stole the show at Sunday's Academy Awards," trumpets The Hollywood Reporter while The Los Angeles Times declares, "As usual, she brought down the house." Both statements refer to the standing ovation Love--who opens at the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies March 11--received after her musical acceptance speech when 20 Feet From Stardom was named Best Documentary during the 2014 Oscar telecast. An icon among background singers and a renowned solo artist, Love, 72, will appear through May 18 when the Follies closes its doors forever.
Born the daughter of a minister and raised in Hawthorne, California, Love began singing with her local church choir. While in high school, she joined a girl group called The Blossoms. In 1962, the group was approached by record producer Phil Spector and became part of his "Wall of Sound" hit factory.
Love and the Blossoms grew into A-list session and tour backup singers for such performers as Frank Sinatra, The Righteous Brothers, Dionne Warwick, The Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Tom Jones and Elvis Presley. They also released 20 singles of their own, including such Billboard hits as "He's A Rebel," "Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry," "Wait 'Til My Bobby Gets Home" and "He's Sure the Boy I Love." During this time Love emerged as a star in her own right.
Since the early '60s, she has appeared on numerous television programs, ranging from weekly appearances on Shindig! to a recent guest spot on the PBS special, Women Who Rock. For the past 28 years, she has performed her holiday classic, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", on The Late Show with David Letterman every Christmastime.
Taking a break during the '70s to raise her three boys, Love resumed her solo career in 1981, performing at venues like The Roxy in L.A. and The Bottom Line in New York. Broadway hits like Hairspray and Grease followed. Love even starred as herself in 1985's Tony Award-nominated Leader of the Pack.
While her songs have been featured for over 40 years in motion picture soundtracks, it was playing Danny Glover's wife, "Trish Murtaugh," in four Lethal Weapon films that earned Love her first credits as a screen actress.
In 2011, she received her industry's highest award when Bette Midler, a great fan of her work, made the presentation formally inducting Love into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "for her behind-the-scenes roles as popular music's greatest session vocalist and backup singer."
In 2013, she co-starred in the Academy Award-winning feature documentary, 20 Feet From Stardom, which examined the rich, yet often-unheralded world of music's best back-up singers.
Just this February, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) acquired the television rights to Love's memoir, "My Name Is Love: The Darlene Love Story," which will be adapted into a scripted television movie.
The New York Times has raved, "Darlene Love's thunderbolt voice is as embedded in the history of rock and roll as Eric Clapton's guitar or Bob Dylan's lyrics" and Rolling Stone Magazine has proclaimed her "one of the greatest singers of all time." Plaza Theatre audiences now get to hear for themselves this extraordinary talent during her special engagement . . . an appropriate closing to the Follies' historic 23-year run.
The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies 23rd and final edition is (aptly) titled "The Last Hurrah!" Since 1992, the Follies has been seen by nearly three four patrons, and celebrates the music and dance of Mid-Century America with a cast ranging in age from 55 to 84 years "young." The show features lavish, Broadway-caliber production numbers, and plays five days a week from November through late-May. In 1997, it was the subject of an Oscar-nominated short documentary entitled Still Kicking: The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies. The show is housed in downtown Palm Springs' historic Plaza Theatre, a charming, neon-encrusted old movie house, which is an attraction itself. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at (760) 327-0225 or online at www.psfollies.com.
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