Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Curtain Rises:

Friday, May 3, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Civic’s ‘Fun Home’ puts the fun in dysfunction

The tagline for the musical, “Fun Home,” could be: “Putting the fun in dysfunction.”

Civic Theatre of Allentown presents the Lehigh Valley premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Fun Home,” May 3-19.

The original Broadway production, opening in 2015 and closing in 2016, was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, receiving five Tonys, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score.

Review: ‘Breakthrough’

Friday, May 3, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

One wouldn’t necessarily expect a “More cowbell” joke in a Christian-themed movie.

That’s just one of the surprises in “Breakthrough,” based on the true story of a teen whose life floated in the balance after he fell through wintry ice in a pond in St. Charles, Mo. (St. Louis is the closest big city.)

“Breakthrough” portrays a realistic family, not a sanitized family. The family bickers. The son is surly to his mother. The boy is disrespectful of authority at the Christian middle school he attends and on the school basketball team on which he’s a standout player.

Curtain Rises:

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Civic’s ‘Fun Home’ puts the fun in dysfunction

The tagline for the musical, “Fun Home,” could be: “Putting the fun in dysfunction.”

Civic Theatre of Allentown presents the Lehigh Valley premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Fun Home,” May 3-19.

The original Broadway production, opening in 2015 and closing in 2016, was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, receiving five Tonys, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score.

Allentown Symphony lands ‘Moon’ concert at State Theatre

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s not the distance from the Earth to the Moon (on average, 238,855 miles), but the distance from Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, to the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton (approximately 16.5 miles via American Parkway and U.S. Route 22 East) requires a fair amount of logistics for the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, 7 p.m. May 4 “To The Moon And Back!” concert.

The concert asks the cosmic question: Where were you on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took mankind’s first steps on the lunar surface?

Students go ‘Side by Side’ in Allentown Band concert

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

When the phrase “Side by Side” is mentioned, one first might think of “Side by Side by Sondheim,” the 1977 Broadway revue of songs by Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. The title references the song, “Side by Side by Side,” from the Sondheim musical, “Company.”

The Lehigh Valley has its own “Side by Side” Allentown Band concert, 7:30 p.m. May 5, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

Allentown Band sound rings out in Carnegie Hall concert

Friday, April 26, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

NEW YORK -- “And to think these two schools from Puerto Rico were devastated and they got to Carnegie Hall,” said Deb Heiney, business manager, Allentown Band, after the band’s stellar performance on the Ronald O. Perelman Stage, Isaac Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, New York City, for the concluding night of the 2019 New York International Music Festival.

The festival, presented by World Projects Corp., brought six high school music groups and two college ensembles, which were adjudicated to qualify for participation, to the five-day festival, April 13-17, in New York.

‘Soft start to spring season’: LV house sales down again

Friday, April 26, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

House sales declined for the third straight month, putting sales in negative territory for the first quarter of 2019 compared to house sales for the same three months one year ago.

Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) officials report that March data “showed a soft start to the spring selling season.”

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley decreased 7.2 percent in in March, with 589 houses sold, down from 635 houses sold in March 2018, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) monthly report released April 15.

Movie Review: ‘Pet Sematary’

Friday, April 26, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Novelist Stephen King is a master of invoking the superstition metaphor of whistling past the cemetery, whereby when one is afraid, one tries to calm one’s fears by whistling.

It seldom helps.

It also won’t help with “Pet Sematary,” the remake of the 1989 film (a sequel, Pet Sematary Two” was released in 1992) based on King’s 1983 horror novel of the same title.

Review: ‘Shazam!’

Friday, April 19, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Those of us of a certain age may recall “Shazam!” as a catchphrase of Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors) on the hit TV shows, “The Andy Griffth Show” (1960-1968) and “Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.” (1964-1969).

Comic-book collectors and fans will know that “Shazam!” as a word that, when exclaimed by Billy Batson (Asher Angel in the movie), transforms him into an adult superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi in the movie).

The Press 14th annual Student Poetry Project

Friday, April 19, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

To commemorate “National Poetry Month” in April, the Lehigh Valley Press presents the 14th annual Student Poetry Project.

Please see Page B1 and B3 and the Focus pages on the Press websites for poems selected in the Elementary School, Middle School and High School categories.

Students whose poems are published on Page B1 read their poems and were interviewed on the April 15 broadcast of “Lehigh Valley Arts Salon” on WDIY, 88.1, wdiy.org, Lehigh Valley Public Radio and NPR affiliate.