Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Vespers celebrate that wondrous night

Thursday, January 2, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Leave it to the Moravians to stop traffic for a church service in downtown Bethlehem.

The occasion was the "Moravian College Christmas Vespers" at Central Moravian Church.

Those standing in sub-freezing temperatures on the steep, cold steps outside the doors of the historic church (built 1803-06) craned their heads to see which impatient driver was blowing a horn in the Main and Church streets gridlock.

"Nothing says Christmas like a honking car horn," cracked one online onlooker. The blaring horn almost drowned out the trombone choir playing from the church belfry.

'Anchorman' continues laughs

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Recently, you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing Will Ferrell portraying Ron Burgundy.

In car commercials, promotional segments and actual broadcast news shows, there was Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy, never breaking character.

In "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," Will Ferrell continues the ruse as Ron Burgundy.

Ferrell, co-writing the screenplay with his producing-writing partner, Adam McKay, who is back to direct "Anchorman 2," misses no opportunity to show how dim-witted, self-absorbed, politically-incorrect and oblivious to it all is Ron Burgundy.

Movie Review: Coming home to 'Nebraska'

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Apparently, not a lot happens in Montana and Nebraska.

Not much happens in "Nebraska" the film, either.

And yet, indelible images remain fixed in your mind's eye after seeing this modest film from director Andrew Payne ("Descendents," 2011; "Sideways," 2004).

Scenes depict the stark Nebraska landscape as Woody (Bruce Dern) and his son, David (Will Forte) drive from Billings, Mont., to Lincoln, Neb., to "claim" a $1 million-prize in a Publishers' Clearing House type magazine subscription promotion.

Theater Review: Touchstone 'Follies' makes season merry

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Visitors to the Christmas City, as well as theater-goers from the Lehigh Valley and beyond, should include Touchstone Theatre's "Christmas City Follies IV" on their itinerary. The show, continuing through Dec. 22, is bright and will make your season merry.

When the big quilted curtain goes up on the stage of the south side Bethlehem theater, audiences are in for an evening of sketch comedy better than, for example, much of this season's "Saturday Night Live" in originality, writing and acting.

Theater Review: 'Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge' verdict: funny

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The rule of law prevails in "The Trail Of Ebenezer Scrooge," through Dec. 15, Main Stage, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley.

DeSales' Act 1 Performing Arts mounts an impressive, satisfying and entertaining production of the clever play by Mark Brown ("Around the World in 80 Days").The show was reviewed opening night, Dec. 4.

Theater Review: CKP has a Dickens of a time with 'Carol'

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

About the only thing traditional about the Crowded Kitchen Players' (CKP) "A Christmas Carol," was the snow falling during the matinee, Dec. 8, outside McCoole's Arts and Events Place, Quakertown, where the show continues through Dec. 22.

The "Bah, Humbugs!" are intact, but there's little that's hum-drum about CKP's "Carol."

This is, after all, the CKP's version of "A Christmas Carol": quips, chains and pratfalls all.

Theater Review: Travel to 'Maine' at Penna. Playhouse

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

If you're looking for a holiday season stage show alternative, travel to "Almost, Maine," at Pennsylvania Playhouse, Bethlehem, through Dec. 21.

Clair M. Freeman, Pennsylvania Playhouse production chair, has gotten outstanding performances from the six-person ensemble in the two-hour, two-act drama-comedy written by John Cariani.

The play, which premiered in 2004 at Portland Stage Company, Portland, Me., opened for a one-month run in 2006 off-Broadway in New York City.

Movie Review: 'Philomena' tells her story

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Many of the best non-documentary feature films of 2013 have been based on true stories.

These include "Dallas Buyers Club," "12 Years A Slave," "Captain Phillips," "The Butler" and "42."

"Philomena" is another of the year's best films where the adage applies: "Truth is stranger than fiction."

The film should bring an Oscar actress nomination for Dame Judy Dench in the title role.

Movie Review: McConaughey Oscar-worthy

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Dallas Buyers Club" provides an alternative view of the Texas metropolis.

While the film's title might sound like the name of a club those on Bravo's "Real Housewives of Dallas" (set for a 2014 telecast start) might belong to, or a QVC telemarketing spinoff, "Dallas Buyers Club" is about a company organized to provide what was purported to be H.I.V.-positive antidotes soon after the virus was identified.