Bethlehem Press

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Theater Review

Friday, July 29, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Shakespeare untamed a ‘Shrew’ thing

“The Taming of the Shrew” is often billed as the ultimate “battle of the sexes.”

The battle is not always a contact sport, and in Director Matt Pfeiffer’s production, through Aug. 7 at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, it’s more of a rapturous dance.

And, while “The Taming of the Shrew” is often also billed as one of the first rom-coms, as in a romantic-comedy movie, or one of the first sit-coms, as in a TV situation comedy, it is not often considered a musical.

90 years and counting State Theatre’s Shelley Brown: To 2016-’17 season and beyond

Friday, July 29, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Shelley Brown, State Theatre Center for the Arts President and CEO is not only looking forward to the star-studded 90th anniversary season, she’s ensuring the downtown Easton entertainment mecca will be there for another 90 years.

Noting that bookings for the theater are planned one year to one year and one-half in advance, Brown has booked several headliners, Patti Lupone, Brian Wilson, Rosanne Cash, Johnny Mathis, and Penn & Teller, to name a few, commensurate with what’s billed as “The 90th Season of Wow!”

Movie review: ‘Ghostbusters’

Friday, July 29, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Who you gonna call” for summer popcorn movie fun?

“Ghostbusters.”

The femme reboot is fun, frivolous and somewhat freaky, especially in the 3D format in which the movie was seen for this review. You will feel as if you were slimed with that green juice or hit with those rays from the proton containment laser that seem to shoot straight from the screen at you in the theater seat.

Theater Review: ‘Blithe Spirit’ sails on gales of laughter at Pa. Shakespeare Fest

Friday, July 29, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The title says it all:

“Blithe Spirit.”

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival production of the Noël Coward classic of couples behaving comedically, through Aug. 7, has the proper balance between the “blithe” (look it up: ”showing a casual and cheerful indifference considered to be callous or improper”) and the “spirit” (a double-entendre here; again, you could look it up: “the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; the soul” and “those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person”).

Theater Review: Shakespeare untamed a ‘Shrew’ thing at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Friday, July 22, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The Taming of the Shrew” is often billed as the ultimate “battle of the sexes.”

The battle is not always a contact sport, and in Director Matt Pfeiffer’s production, through Aug. 7 at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, it’s more of a rapturous dance.

And, while “The Taming of the Shrew” is often also billed as one of the first rom-coms, as in a romantic-comedy movie, or one of the first sit-coms, as in a TV situation comedy, it is not often considered a musical.

Movie Review: ‘The Secret Life of Pets’

Friday, July 22, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

You’ve heard the phrase, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.”

The animated feature film, “The Secret Life of Pets,” takes that axiom to its extreme ... extreme fun, that is, in what is one of the 2016 summer movie season’s most entertaining animation feature films.

The premise is that dogs and cats and other pet critters do what they want when their owners are away, especially when the adults work at busy jobs in Manhattan, where “The Secret Life of Pets” takes place.

Northeastern Lutheran Synod backs fossil fuel divestment

Friday, July 22, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Divestment of fossil-fuel investments by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was approved at the 29th Annual Synod Assembly of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod.

By a narrow margin, delegates approved divestment by a vote of 181 “Yes” and 142 “No” during the two-day convocation at PPL Center, Allentown.

The vote on the morning of June 18 was too close to call, so The Rev. Dr. Samuel R. Zeiser, Northeastern Synod Bishop, who presided at the assembly, asked for a specific count.