Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Movie Review: One of a kindness

Wednesday, December 25, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” is an odd little film.

On the one hand, it’s been perceived as a biopic of Latrobe, Westmoreland County, native Fred Rogers (1928 - 2003), host of “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” (1968 - 2001), produced by WQED, Pittsburgh, and telecast on Public Broadcasting Television stations.

On the other hand, the film is not a Fred Rogers biopic.

Sales of houses in Lehigh Valley decline second month in row

Wednesday, December 25, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Sales of houses in the Lehigh Valley declined in November for a second straight month.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley declined 1.5 percent, by only 11 properties, in November, with 700 houses sold, compared to 711 houses sold in November 2018, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) monthly report released Dec. 12.

Curtain Rises: ‘She Loves Me’ has fine pedigree at Pa. Playhouse

Friday, December 20, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“She Loves Me,” the musical that closes the 2019 season at the Pennsylvania Playhouse, has a fascinating theater and movie pedigree.

The original production of the Broadway musical, with music by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (“Fiddler on the Roof”) and book by Joe Masteroff (“Cabaret”), was nominated for five Tony Awards in 1963. “She Loves Me” was revived on Broadway in 1993 and in 2016, receiving eight Tony nominations in the latter incarnation.

The stage musical goes back further than that.

Curtain Rises: ‘Christmas Carole 1944’ a fresh evergreen at Civic

Saturday, December 21, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

For its 30th anniversary production of “A Christmas Carol,” Civic Theatre of Allentown looked to several other anniversaries for a new twist on the stage version of the Charles Dickens’ novella.

“Christmas Carole 1944,” Dec. 6 -21, main stage of Nineteenth Street Theatre, Allentown, salutes several other anniversaries, including the 30th anniversary of “Christmas Carol” at Civic.

“We did it 20 years ago,” says “Christmas Carole 1944” Director-Choreographer William Sanders, Civic Theatre Artistic Director.

Curtain Rises: A look behind the ‘Follies’ curtain at Touchstone Theatre

Friday, December 20, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

After two decades of producing “Christmas City Follies,” there’s no folly, nor formula, for what has become a beloved holiday treat at Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem.

The big quilt curtain again opened for “Christmas City Follies XX,” beginning Dec. 5 and continuing through Dec. 22 at Touchstone.

Let’s pay attention to the Touchstone Ensemble behind the curtain.

“Since the first five ‘Follies,’ the last 15 have been in consecutive years. There were gaps in the first five years,” says “Follies” director Jp Jordan, Touchstone Artistic Director.

Movie Review: ‘Frozen II’ freezes over

Friday, December 20, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Frozen II” is an impressive animation feature film highlighted by inspiring artwork and excellent songs sequences.

“Frozen II” was seen in the 3D format for this movie review. “Frozen II” is worth paying the 3D premium ticket price to see the film. The animation glistens, glows and shimmers. That’s partly because of the film’s predominantly winter setting. The ice is the icing on the animation cake of “Frozen II.”

In the 3D format, snowflakes seem to float before your eyes. It’s almost as if you are inside a giant snow globe.

Movie Review: Grumpy old gangsters

Friday, December 13, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Apart from being an intriguing yarn about mobsters, labor unions and United States political conspiracy theories, “The Irishman” is a character study about some real characters, actual and fictional.

It’s also a cinematic reunion of some of the greatest actors of a generation in the past five decades.

“The Irishman” is a particularly Pennsylvania story.

October LV house sales decline

Friday, December 13, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Sales of houses in the Lehigh Valley declined in October.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley declined 5.5 percent in October, with 703 houses sold, compared to 744 houses sold in October 2018, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) monthly report released Nov. 13.

The decline followed an increase in closed sales for houses in September.

Closed sales for the 10 months of 2019 are up slightly, 0.7 percent, to 7,213, compared to 7,166 for the 10 months of 2018.

Movie Review: Grumpy old gangsters

Sunday, December 1, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Apart from being an intriguing yarn about mobsters, labor unions and United States political conspiracy theories, “The Irishman” is a character study about some real characters, actual and fictional.

It’s also a cinematic reunion of some of the greatest actors of a generation in the past five decades.

“The Irishman” is a particularly Pennsylvania story.

Lehigh Valley house sales rebound; up 1.3 percent in September

Friday, November 29, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Sales of houses in the Lehigh Valley rebounded in September.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley increased 1.3 percent in September, with 699 houses sold, compared to 690 houses sold in September 2018, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) monthly report released Oct. 14.

The upturn reversed a two-month decline in house sales in the Lehigh Valley.

Closed sales for the nine months of 2019 are up slightly, 0.9 percent, to 6,479, compared to 6,422 for the nine months of 2018.