Bethlehem Press

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Movie Review: ‘Jackie’

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

That a United States president’s administration should be remembered in light of a hit Broadway musical either says a lot about the sway of Broadway musicals over the American public, or the power of American politics myth-making.

While it’s uncertain if “Hamilton,” which had its “tryout” way out of town (as in the White House Rose Garden), will attach itself to a particular administration, “Camelot” attached itself to the President John F. Kennedy administration.

Or rather, Jackie Kennedy, as then grieving First Lady, attached the Kennedy administration to “Camelot.”

Salisbury Township--Realistic fake guns a challenge for police in traffic stops

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Salisbury Township Chief of Police Allen W. Stiles stepped to the table and opened a green satchel, put two semi-automatic handguns on the table and held the third pistol aloft.

The eyes of the Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners widened and some officials shifted uncomfortably in their chairs.

Not to worry. As real as the guns appeared to be, they were fake.

Yet for Salisbury and other police officers, it is a worry.

And that was Chief Stiles’ point during his report to commissioners at the Jan. 12 township meeting.

11th annual ABEs salute Lehigh Valley Stage Records set, anniversaries observed, quality astounds

Saturday, January 21, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

To power-phrase, it was the best of times and it was the best of times in Lehigh Valley regional theater in 2016.

There didn’t seem to be a down side to the up side of theater in the Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton area, which continued with a robust mix of the innovative and familiar in-locally-produced shows, plus national touring productions that stopped in the Valley.

It seems that Valley residents who are theater-goers and those who travel to the Valley to see theater couldn’t get enough.

Review: ‘La La Land’

Friday, January 13, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“La La Land” is one of the most exhilarating experiences you’re likely to have at the movies.

The screenplay and directing by Damien Chazelle (director, “Whiplash,” 2014), the naive yet wonderful singing and dancing by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling; choreography by Mandy Moore; amazing cinematography by Linus Sandgren (“Joy,” 2015; “American Hustle,” 2013), superb editing by Tom Cross (“Joy”; Oscar, editing, “Whiplash”) and memorable original songs by Justin Hurwitz make the film more than a paean to the Golden Age of Hollywood movie musicals.

Review: ‘Rogue One’

Friday, December 30, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It is, after all, named “Star Wars.”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” if not all “Wars,” has enough martial-arts, battles and aerial dogfights to please the ardent “Mortal Kombat” or “Call of Duty” gamer.

“Rogue One,” billed as the first stand-alone in the “Star Wars Anthology,” won’t disappoint “Star Wars” aficionados, should entertain the casual “Star Wars” fan and impress movie-goers.

Theater Review: A behind-the-scenes visit to ‘SantaLand’ at Civic514

Friday, December 16, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be one of Santa’s elves at Christmastime, “The SantaLand Diaries” gives you the inside scoop, a scoop of coal, that is, right in your Christmas stocking that will crack you up with laughter.

Jarrod Yuskauskas, in the role of David in the one-man show, does the heavy lifting. The result is heavy laughter.

Theater Review: ‘Follies’ we trust at Touchstone

Friday, December 16, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s a tradition that’s akin to the Christmastime hanging of the greens.

Call it the hanging of the quilt.

You know it’s “Follies” time when the big quilt patchwork curtain hangs over the stage of Touchstone Theatre on Bethlehem’s south side.

The show’s different each year. The curtain’s the same.

For the 2016 holiday season, “Christmas City Follies XVII” is a sanctuary city.