Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Coronavirus closings go viral in the Valley: concert, theater, arts venues close doors; State Theatre postpones shows in April

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Sometimes, the show must not go on.

And indications are the shows may not go on anytime soon.

That’s case with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has gone viral ‘round the world and, of course, in the Lehigh Valley region, where arts, entertainment and cultural venues have shuttered temporarily, and performances and events have been canceled or postponed.

Coronavirus closings: Muhlenberg cancels summer theater season

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Coronoavirus-caused cancellations of arts and entertainment events in the Lehigh Valley, which began ominously on Friday the 13th in March when the Lehigh Valley premiere of “Silence! The Musical” went silent after being postponed at Civic Theatre of Allentown, continues into April and beyond, with concerts at the State Theatre Center for the Arts, theater productions at DeSales University, and the entire 40th season of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre 2020 season canceled.

Coronavirus closings viral in Lehigh Valley: Update on Wind Creek, A&E venues, shows

Sunday, March 15, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Sometimes, the show must not go on.

That’s that case with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has gone viral ‘round the world, including in the Lehigh Valley where arts, entertainment and cultural venues have shuttered temporarily, and canceled or postponed performances and events.

Movie Review: ‘The Call of the Wild’ CGI

Friday, March 13, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The Call of the Wild” has been lambasted for its Computer Generated Imagery creation of the lead character, Buck, a 140-pound St. Bernard–Scotch Collie mix.

The wags’ snarky sendups went something like this: Harrison Ford acts opposite a CGI dog. Well, yes, and it’s remarkable.

“The Call of the Wild” provides a rollicking good yarn based on the Jack London novel set in 1897 during the Klondike Gold Rush in the Canadian Yukon, Canada. Sled dogs were nearly as good as gold. Buck is stolen from a California farm, abused and crated off north to become the leader of the pack.

Movie Review: ‘Sonic’ very animated

Monday, March 9, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Sonic the Hedgehog” has the elements of an entertaining animation feature film: cute lead character, good guy who befriends him, and evil genius who they oppose.

The movie, and especially its title character, Sonic, as in supersonic, moves so fast that the plot goes by in a blur.

That’s OK. There’s not much of a plot to see.

Fortunately, Sonic, the title character; the good guy, and the evil genius are entertaining enough.

Review: The mystery that is Edith Piaf at Touchstone Theatre

Friday, March 6, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Legends are made, not born.

What becomes a legend most is the air of mystery in the person’s life and profession.

The X factor is especially key to the legendary chanteuses of the recording, radio, movie and television golden era in the 20th century, among them Marlene Dietrich, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland and Edith Piaf.

The entrance of Edith Piaf (Nathalie Mentha) on the stage is shrouded in fog, symbolizing the air of mystery that surrounds Piaf’s birth, life and career.

LV Auto Show Gala benefits Good Shepherd Pediatrics

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

An Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport AWD, Porsche 911 convertible, Mercedes Benz S 560, Jaguar F-Type, Cadillac Red Horizon Sport XT6 and Maserati Gran Turismo were among the 10 shiny luxury brands lined up inside Stabler Arena, Lehigh University, Bethlehem.

The real star of the 2020 Lehigh Valley Auto Show press conference was Emily Pineda, 5, in her Trexo Plus.

Pineda, a daughter of Robert and Jennifer Pineda of Blue Bell, Montgomery County, demonstrated the Trexo Plus, assisted by Kandis Jones, Supervisor of Outpatient Pediatrics at Good Shepherd Pediatrics.

Theater Review: A ‘Tartuffe’ for the ages at DeSales’ Act 1

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Theater department student performers are not unlike student athletes.

Student basketball and football teams coalesce in a given year and go on to divisional, regional, state and even national championships.

The analogy doesn’t end at records of points scored per season, career statistics or championship trophies.

While there are contests for student thespians and productions, student actors more often depend on audience applause, well-attended performances and the odd glowing theater review as benchmarks.

Do the Freddys: Get your tickets now to attend region’s high school musicals

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The road to the Freddys begins deep in winter when trees are bare and concludes in spring when flowers are in bloom.

The 2020 Freddy Awards program leads up to a three-hour ceremony, 7-10 p.m. May 21, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, that’s telecast live on WFMZ and streamed on

The adjudication of musicals presented at the 29 participating schools begins about three months earlier in late February.

Not only judges are on the road to the Freddys. Students and parents are, too.