Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

‘Topsy Turvy’ returns Players to comedy roots

Friday, June 14, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s a change of pace for Crowded Kitchen Players (CKP) and a return to the Lehigh Valley troupe’s comedy roots.

“I knew I wanted to do a comedy because we did a show about rape, PTSD and child sexual abuse,” says Ara Barlieb, CKP cofounder and writer of “Topsy Turvy,” in its world premiere, continuing at 8 p.m. June 14, 15 and 2 p.m. June 16, Charles A. Brown IceHouse, 56 River St., Bethlehem.

CKP’s most recent plays were “A Softening of Her Eyes,” which dealt with the topics of rape and PTSD, and “Unspeakable,” which dealt with child sexual abuse.

Curtain Rises: Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre ‘Brings It On’ for 39th annual season

Friday, June 7, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The 2019 season is the 39th step for Charles Richter on his way to the 40th anniversay of Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre (MSMT), which he cofounded.

“They’re already planning the 40th celebration,” says Richter, Professor of Theatre Arts, Muhlenberg College, where he has been teaching for 41 years, with 25 years as chair of the college’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

When asked about retirement, Richter, who will be 68 on June 16, quips, “I’m not thinking that far ahead.”

What Richter is thinking about is the 2019 season:

Movie Review: ‘Ay, there’s the rub’

Friday, June 7, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Disney’s live-action remake of its animation feature film, “Aladdin,” is good, but not as great as the original. How could it be? As legendary animator Chuck Jones said of the raison d’être for animation: “You couldn’t put Charlie Chaplin in a milk bottle.” When it comes to the Genie in the lamp, to quote Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” “Ay, there’s the rub.”

Curtain Rises: Northampton Community College Summer Theatre doubles audience

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The third time’s the charm for Northampton Community College Summer Theatre.

Attendance more than doubled from the first season to the second season and is poised to increase for the summer 2019 season.

“I think we’re moving forward. We grow each year, which is great. The quality of work is really strong. We’re putting out a solid product that I’m really proud of,” says Northampton Community College Summer Theatre Producing Artistic Director Bill Mutimer, now in his fifth year as Chair of the NCC department of theater, succeeding Norm Roberts, who retired.

Curtain Rises: ‘Topsy Turvy’ returns Crowded Kitchen Players to comedy roots

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s a change of pace for Crowded Kitchen Players (CKP) and a return to the Lehigh Valley troupe’s comedy roots.

“I knew I wanted to do a comedy because we did a show about rape, PTSD and child sexual abuse,” says Ara Barlieb, CKP cofounder and writer of “Topsy Turvy,” in its world premiere, 8 p.m. June 7, 8, 14, 15 and 2 p.m. June 9, 16, Charles A. Brown IceHouse, 56 River St., Bethlehem.

CKP’s most recent plays were “A Softening of Her Eyes,” which dealt with the topics of rape and PTSD, and “Unspeakable,” which dealt with child sexual abuse.

LV house sales rebound; April increase 3.8 percent

Friday, May 31, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Lehigh Valley house sales rebounded in April, reversing a three-month decline for the first quarter of 2019.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley increased 3.8 percent in April, with 651 houses sold, up from 627 houses sold in April 2018, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) monthly report released May 14.

Closed sales for the first four months of 2019 are down slightly, 0.7 percent, to 2,174, down from 2,190 for the first four months of 2018.

Curtain Rises: Great actors, great plays for 28th season of Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Friday, May 31, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

When curating the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) season, Patrick Mulcahy looks for themes, resonances and connections between the plays by William Shakespeare and classic works of theater and the Broadway stage.

For PSF’s 28th annual season, Mulcahy’s 16th season as PSF Producing Artistic Director, beginning in 2003, he says, “The season is stacked to be a blast, just a lot of fun. There’s also this thread of rebellion throughout the season.”

The PSF 2019 season at Labuda Center for the Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley, is:

Night on the Town: Dave Goddess back on ‘West Side’ at The Shanty

Friday, May 24, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Dave Goddess is still rocking and recording.

The Dave Goddess Group performs 9 p.m.-midnight May 25, The Shanty on 19th, 613 N. 19th St., Allentown.

Goddess will preview songs from an upcoming CD, plus songs from Daddy Licks, the popular rock band he founded with his brother Kevin Goddess.

Joining Dave Goddess, guitar, lead vocals, are Mark Buschi, bass, vocals; Tom Brobst, sax, flute, keyboards; Gary Gipson, guitar, vocals, and Chris Cummings, drums.

“I have a really great band now. I really feel privileged they want to play my songs,” says Goddess.

Movie Review: Rudolf Nureyev, defection and all

Friday, May 24, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The White Crow” takes its title from a Russian term for someone who is “unusual, extraordinary, an outsider” to tell the story of the defection in 1961 of Soviet Union ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

The film is directed at a studious and measured pace by Ralph Fiennes, who appears as Alexander Pushkin, ballet teacher to Nureyev at Leningrad Choreographic School (now Vaganova Ballet Academy).

Curtain Rises: Bethlehem ‘Suffragette City’ for ‘19: The Musical’

Thursday, May 23, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Bethlehem becomes “Suffragette City” May 25.

Crowded Kitchen Players presents the Lehigh Valley debut of a concert version of “19: The Musical,” a work in progress with performances planned in 2020 for the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote in the United States.

Performances of the 75-minute (with no intermission) “muscal overview of the play” are 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 25, Charles A. Brown IceHouse, 56 River St., Sand Island, Bethlehem. The performances are part of the “IceHouse Tonight” series.