Bethlehem Press

Sunday, June 25, 2017

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.

Review: ‘Loving’

Friday, December 16, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Loving” the film is about Loving the family. The title is ironic. The Lovings were arrested for getting married.

“Loving” is based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple arrested because their marriage was illegal in Virginia. Their fight for justice became a legal battle that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

The Lovings were vindicated. Richard and Mildred Loving were plaintiffs in the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case, Loving v. Virginia, that struck down state laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

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

Wednesday, December 14, 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: In ‘Follies’ we trust at Touchstone

Saturday, December 10, 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.