Bethlehem Press

Thursday, December 12, 2019

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.

Allentown Symphony ‘Inside the Score’ unveils world premiere

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

If you’ve ever wanted to know how a classical piece of music is created, developed and brought to the concert stage, you won’t want to miss “Inside the Score: A New Cello Concerto” by Matthew Quayle, with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra featuring cello soloist Jameson Platte, 7:30 p.m. May 23, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

“Matt Quayle, the composer, is good friends with Jameson Platte, our principal cellist,” says Diane Wittry, Allentown Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor.

Night on the Town: Steve Brosky working on his Tavern Tan at Godfrey’s

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Steve Brosky has been working on his tan, as in Tavern Tan, for a double bill, “Tough Tales & Rock Solid Saloon Songs,” 8 p.m. May 23, Godfrey Daniels, Bethlehem.

“Godfrey’s is a staple here in the Lehigh Valley. It’s a real gem,” Brosky says.

Tavern Tan is Doug Ashby, guitar, vocals; Andrew Brubaker, guitar, vocals; Tom Aczel, harmonica, vocals; Bill Melcher, bass, and Dave Joachim, drums, vocals.

Movie Review: ‘Red’ all over

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Red Joan” is an odd little film worth seeing for several fine performances and a retelling of an apparently little-known World War II and Cold War era spy case.

The film has the potential of a Hitchcockian thriller, not unlike director Alfred Hitchcock’s spy thriller, “Saboteur” (1942).

Though it doesn’t square the circle in fulfilling the dramtic arc of the classic Hitchcock film, “Red Joan” is of interest to fans of spy thrillers, World War II history buffs and those who follow the performances of Dame Judith Olivia Dench. otherwise know as Judi Dench.