Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINThe Lyric Room at Miller Symphony Hall fronting Sixth Street, Allentown, in photo taken at Nov. 19, 2018, dedication of room. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINThe Lyric Room at Miller Symphony Hall fronting Sixth Street, Allentown, in photo taken at Nov. 19, 2018, dedication of room.

‘Laughs at The Lyric’ series to debut in Allentown’s Miller Symphony Hall

Saturday, August 31, 2019 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Focus

The Allentown Symphony Association and ArtsQuest have announced a partnership to present a new comedy series, “Laughs at The Lyric,” in The Lyric Room, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

The series debuts at 8 p.m. Sept. 25 with a comedy show headlined by Roya Hamadani, Tyler Rothrock and Darryl Charles.

The series continues at 8 p.m. Oct. 23 and Nov. 20, with headliners to be announced.

“The Lyric Room at Miller Symphony Hall has been such a great addition to downtown Allentown,” said Allentown Symphony Association Executive Director Al Jacobsen in a press release.

“We appreciate all those that provided support to build it and now look to uphold their legacy by adding this exciting new program,” Jacobsen said.

“I want to thank ArtsQuest for their enthusiasm in partnering with us so that we can bring ‘Laughs at The Lyric’ to the community. It speaks to the vibrant quality of life here in the Lehigh Valley,” said Jacobsen.

“We are excited to be working with Allentown Symphony Association to bring standup comedy back to downtown Allentown, where I started my comedy producing career over 10 years ago,” said ArtsQuest Programming Director Ryan Hill.

“Since we opened SteelStacks in Bethlehem, ArtsQuest has presented more than 750 comedians, with many of them from our region,” Hill said.

“This partnership is an excellent opportunity to expand comedy’s reach in the Valley. The Lyric Room is also an intimate setting for comedy and an ideal place to see a show.”

Roya Hamadani has performed at SteelStacks, Musikfest, Philly Punchline and venues around Pennsylvania. She co-hosts the bimonthly open mic, “Stout Laughs,” in Bethlehem and performs at the Scranton “Fringefest” in October.

Tyler Rothrock is a Nazareth-born stand-up comic and writer who has performed across the United States, including opening for Michael Che, Dave Attell and Roy Wood Jr. He recorded his first album, “Tyler of Nazareth,” at ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks.

Darryl Charles is a standup and improv comedian based in Philadelphia. He’s been seen on The Travel Channel’s “Mysteries At The Museum” and the Comedy Central web series, “Delco Proper.” He has opened for Adam Ferrara, Greg Fitzsimmons, Dave Attell, Patrice O’Neal and Dick Gregory. He’s been a member of ComedySportz Philadelphia since 2011. Charles is also in The Layoff Kids, which has been on “Funny or Die.”

“Laughs at The Lyric” is expected to contain adult language and-or situations. Seating will be assigned by staff upon arrival by patrons. Those between ages of 13 and 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. No child 12 or under will be admitted.

The Lyric Room, which opened in November 2018, is a venue for “Third Thursday” performances, pre-concert and intermission receptions for donors during Allentown Symphony Orchestra concerts, and is available to rent for events.

The Lyric Room was created from two storefront spaces, which were added in the 1940s. The named is an homage to The Lyric Theatre, original name of Miller Symphony Hall, after the building was converted from a farmer’s market to a theater in the late 1890s. The original Lyric name was chosen in a contest with a $5 gold piece as the prize for the chosen name.

Donald and Sam Miller, then owners of The Morning Call newspaper, spearheaded a plan in 1959 for the Allentown Symphony Association to purchase the building for the orchestra.

In recognition of the Miller family, the Allentown Symphony Association board in 2012 changed the name to Miller Symphony Hall.

The Allentown Symphony Association is a nonprofit that owns and operates Miller Symphony Hall, the Allentown Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and El Sistema Lehigh Valley (ESLV).

The ASO performs more than 20 classical, pops, educational and family concerts annually. The ASO, led by Music Director and Conductor Diane Wittry, received the American Prize for “orchestral excellence” in 2014 and 2017. ESLV is an education and social initiative providing opportunities for personal development to children through the study of music.

ArtsQuest is a Bethlehem-based nonprofit dedicated to presenting music, arts, festivals, cultural experiences, and educational and outreach programs that aid in economic development, urban revitalization and community enrichment.

Through festivals such as its flagship event, Musikfest; Banana Factory Arts Center, ArtsQuest Center and SteelStacks arts and cultural campus, ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.8 million annually.

ArtsQuest’s programs and events, approximately 40 percent of which are free to attend, have an economic impact of more than $135 million annually in the region.

Tickets for “Laughs at The Lyric”: Miller Symphony Hall box office, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown; millersymphonyhall.org; 610-432-6715