Bethlehem Press

Monday, December 11, 2017

Theater Review: ‘Church Basement Ladies’ serves up hilarity

Friday, April 21, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

“Church Basement Ladies,” the latest offering through May 14 in The Pines Dinner Theatre’s eighth season, is a musical-comedy gem, filled with hand-clapping songs, witty lyrics and crazy antics.

The musical, written by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlk, was inspired by the best-selling book “Growing Up Lutheran,” a humorous remembrance by Janet Letnes and Suzann Nelson of being Lutheran in the Midwest during the 1950s.

The conversation that matters Writer Ellen Goodman to deliver seventh St. Luke’s Littner lecture

Friday, April 14, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist and founder-director of The Conversation Project, will speak on “The Most Important Conversation America Isn’t Having” at the seventh annual Dr. and Mrs. Max Littner Memorial Lecture Series for Bereavement, 7:30 p.m. April 19, Central Moravian Church, Main and Church streets, Bethlehem. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The lecture is also sponsored by St. Luke’s University Health Network.

Theater Review:‘Take It’

Friday, April 7, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

The third time is supposed to be the “charm,” but possibly not where theatrical productions are concerned.

Despite a Pulitzer Prize-winning script by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman that gained the reputation as one of the most popular and successful plays of modern times, Pennsylvania Playhouse’s third staging of “You Can’t Take It With You,” continuing through April 9, got off to a slow start and never quite hit the mark.

Miss Amazing-Pageant redefines beauty

Monday, February 27, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Local News

There are many different kinds of beauty pageants, but only one very special Pennsylvania Miss Amazing contest, where this year 20 girls and women with disabilities vied for recognition and prizes in the second annual event at the Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts in South Bethlehem.

The contestants, ranging in age from 6 to 37 years old, came from throughout the state.

Theater Review:

Friday, February 17, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

‘9 to 5: The Musical’ surprises at Civic

Civic Theatre of Allentown’s production of “9 to 5: The Musical,” continuing through Feb. 26, is full of surprises. When you least expect it, a minor character belts out a rousing song, or someone from the ensemble does a “George Spelvin” walk-on that’s good for a laugh while distracting the audience’s attention from the scene changes.

The CHEMO Bag Bringing comfort to cancer patients

Monday, February 6, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Local News

It has been said that the first day a patient goes for chemotherapy is the scariest day of her life. As a way to make the experience less scary, and to bring some comfort to those undergoing the treatment for the first time, a group of volunteers in the Lehigh Valley distribute hundreds of comfort bags each year at local chemo infusion centers.

The group, known as The CHEMO Bag, was started in 2013 by Leah Walia, a nurse who herself had gone through chemotherapy. Her daughter Michelle, now 11, came up with the acronym: Caring Helping Encouraging Motivating Others.

Theater Review: Laughter explored at Pa. Playhouse

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

“The Explorers Club” uses humor and exaggeration to satirize the smugness of 19th Century male-dominated British society.

There’s a lot to poke fun at: chauvinism, imperialism and racism, to name only a few, in 1879 London, the setting for the comedy.

The club is modeled after those all-male bastions, such as the Royal Society, which did not admit female fellows until 1945, and the French Academy of Sciences, which managed to keep out Marie Curie and other women until 1979.