The word “amazing,” meaning something that causes great surprise or wonder, is one of those terms that has become trendy, and greatly overused. Far too many things today are called “amazing,” but in the case of the Pennsylvania Miss Amazing pageant, held recently at Easton HS, the use of the adjective is entirely appropriate. The pageant is truly amazing because it provides opportunities for girls and women with disabilities to build their self-confidence and self-esteem in a supportive environment, while redefining in positive ways what it means to be beautiful.
Q. My nine-year-old daughter often tells me that she is being picked on by other children. I made a point to observe her from a distance in social situations, and I see something different. She seems to be very sensitive, and she reacts strongly. For example, someone told her that her sneakers were “funny,” and she started to cry.
Panelist Pam Wallace pointed out that some children are more sensitive than others, and are going to react differently.
Q. My 10-year-old daughter came down for breakfast this morning, scared and not wanting to go to school. She had heard about the Parkland, Fla., school shootings, and is afraid that could happen at her school. I was able to calm her down and get her off to school this time, but what do I tell her that will reassure her that she is safe?
The first discussion centered around the parent’s question about reassuring her child.
Take a long drive around Lehigh and nearby Berks counties, and you’re sure to spot at least one brightly painted disk on the side of a barn. Known more correctly as barn stars, today they are commonly called hex signs. These colorful disks are a very visible and important reflection of the state’s distinctive Pennsylvania Dutch culture, but with the loss of farms and increases in housing and commercial development, they are at risk of becoming an endangered “species.”
It seems to Lehigh Valley author Shirley Binkley that everything she thinks about or experiences turns into a poem.
Actually, more than 300 and counting.
At 82, Binkley has published her first book of poems, “One Size Fits All: Poetry for Every Mood,” a compilation of 198 poems written during the past two decades.
How it all got started is a story in itself.
“My writing began on a dare,” Binkley recalls.
Q. I am concerned about my three-year-old’s development. Our pediatrician tells us that he is normal, but we are not so sure. Compared to other children, he seems like he is behind. Our son is physically-coordinated, but his speech is very hard to understand. He understands us and can follow directions. He doesn’t focus for very long like his older brother did at his age, and he is extremely active. Should we be concerned?
Q. My son graduated from high school this past spring and is not working nor attending college. He says that nothing interests him. My husband and I have explained to him that he needs to figure out what he wants to do to support himself, but he just says he doesn’t like anything. In the meantime, he sleeps late, plays video games and hangs out with friends at night. We can’t support him forever. What do you suggest we do?
Q. My husband and I argue a lot. Although he has never hit me or been physically abusive in any way, he puts me down in front of the children, and screams at the top of his lungs when he gets upset. I don’t feel this is good for our children, ages six and 11, but I also think it would be even harder on them if my husband and I split up. I feel that I ought to put up with it for the sake of the children. What does the panel think?
Farce is a type of theater stage comedy designed to entertain through the use of exaggeration, improbable situations and physical shenanigans. In farce, actors may disguise themselves in ridiculous costumes, hide in obvious places or try to hide other people or things. The absurdity of their attempts is what makes us laugh. We, the audience, are in on the deception, and we know something the characters on stage don’t seem to know.
Pennsylvania Playhouse’s latest production, “No Sex Please, We’re British,” through Feb. 25, is classic farce.
“Rock Of Ages,” Civic Theatre of Allentown’s latest offering, which continues through Feb. 25, is a musical in search of a plot.
Opening on Broadway in 2009, and garnering five Tony nominations, “Rock Of Ages” was written to showcase some of the classic rock music of the 1980s, especially songs from the famous glam pop-metal bands. It’s known as a “jukebox musical” because the script is written around the music.