Q. My eldest son barely graduated from high school and will be released from juvenile detention. I am a single mother, and his brothers will be entering their freshman and sophomore high school years. Since graduating, my son has done nothing to find a job, and he shows no signs of wanting to move out. How can I help my younger sons stay on track despite their older brother’s influence?
The Pines Dinner Theatre is serving up rousing country rock music in its production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” a toe-tapping, hand-clapping musical that got its start by chance, and wound up receiving a Best Musical Tony nomination. The story of that journey is hard to separate from the musical itself.
Q. My husband and I are struggling financially. He lost his job, and my hours were cut because of downsizing at the plant. I have little patience with my children. I am yelling at them a lot. My six-year-old has been going to the school nurse with stomach aches and headaches, and I often have to pick him up at school. Then I miss even more work. What can I do?
It wasn’t a long story. It covered a period of only a little more than 18 months, but it made up for its brevity with a blaze of musical genius that lives on 60 years later as a major influence on rock ‘n’ roll.
It is, of course, the Buddy Holly story retold on stage as “Buddy,” an exuberant musical through July 14, Northampton Community College Summer Theater.
Q. I have been hearing so much lately about the effects of “trauma” on children. How do I know if my children have ever faced it? Does trauma include only major things like abuse, or are there smaller incidents that can have the same effect?
The panel began by noting that the word “trauma” is used a lot in broad terms and not always accurately.
“The word is being used so much in the common language today that its meaning and importance is getting watered down,” panelist Michael Ramsey said.
Q. My 17-year-old wants to find a job for the summer. I think he should do something more constructive, like volunteering, which would look good on a college application. What do you think?
Panelist Chad Stefanyak began the discussion by saying, “I’m applauding the youngster’s wanting to go to work, so I’m wondering why the parent seems to see work as a negative in comparison with volunteering.”
Northampton Community College Summer Theater’s production of “Falsettos” provides an opportunity to explore what was in its time breakthrough-theater in style and subject.
The musical, through June 30, Norman Roberts Lab Theatre, Kopecek Hall, NCC Green Pond Campus, is a two-act compilation of three one-act off-Broadway musicals: “Trousers,” 1979; “March of the Falsettos,” 1982, and “Falsettoland,” 1985. The musical was seen June 20 for this review.
Q. Summer begins June 21. I am wondering what to do with my children, ages 8-15, to keep them active, safe and moving forward educationally. I don’t have money to send them to camp and I don’t want them spending their time in front of the computer or TV or on their phones. Any suggestions?
The panel had lots of suggestions. It would have been helpful to know how many children are being discussed and what their genders are.
“Interests will vary depending on how old each of the children is, and whether they are male or female,” said panelist Pam Wallace.
Q. My daughter has been accepted at a college, and I am happy for her, but I am not sure she is ready or mature enough to go. I’m also considering the loans that she is going to have to incur to attend. What if she doesn’t do well, or drops out? Is college for everyone?
“I’m not sure parents ever feel their child is mature enough to leave home,” panelist Chad Stefanyak said.
Northampton Community College Summer Theatre has opened its third annual season with the spirited musical “In the Heights,” set in a Dominican-American neighborhood in New York City’s Washington Heights.
The musical received four Tony Awards, including best musical and best score. The show’s music and lyrics are by Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of “Hamilton.”
“In the Heights” continues through June 16 in Lipkin Theatre, Kopecek Hall, NCC main campus, Bethlehem Township.