Parkland Press

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Emmaus, Parkland, LV Charter Arts join Bel Canto, Bach Choir in ‘Choirs Festival’

Friday, February 22, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

More than 200 young voices join the renowned singers of Bach Choir of Bethlehem in a concert geared for families, 3 p.m. Feb. 24, Baker Hall, Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, Bethlehem.

The “Family Concert: Youth Choirs Festival” features the Bach Choir’s Bel Canto Youth Chorus with the Bach Choir and members of The Bach Festival Orchestra, as well as members of three high school choruses, all under the direction of Bach Choir Artistic Director and Conductor Greg Funfgeld, in a program that includes works from Bach and contemporary composers.

Rick Levy memoir charts his career in rock ‘n’ roll

Friday, February 8, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Like many teens in the 1960s, when Richard “Rick” Levy first saw the Beatles, he was inspired to start his own band.

But unlike most youths, Levy went on to not only play guitar in various rock ‘n’ roll bands, but also to manage some of the era’s biggest pop-rock artists, including Herman’s Hermits, Tommy Roe, Freddy Cannon, Jay & the Techniques, The Tokens and Bo Diddley. He is now the manager and a guitarist for Memphis legends The Box Tops.

‘Buyer & Cellar’ dream role for Allen Township native

Saturday, February 2, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

When Doug Atkins first read the play “Buyer & Cellar,” there was no doubt in his mind he would one day star in the show.

The absurdist one-man play is about an out-of-work actor who takes a job curating the Malibu basement of superstar Barbra Streisand.

“I didn’t know how or when, but I knew I was going to do it,” the Allen Township native says.

Atkins, who now lives in Houston, Tex., plays the role for the third time and for the first time in his native state, in “Buyer & Cellar,” Jan. 31 - Feb. 24, Montgomery Theater, Souderton, Montgomery County.

Wyatt video premiering at Roxy

Saturday, January 26, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

When Gloria Domina heard that Wyatt Newhard had died Nov. 3, 2018, she says she sat on her couch and cried.

She says she “couldn’t stop crying” for the 14-year-old New Tripoli boy who fought cancer for 11 years.

But then, she says, she decided to “take that energy and do something positive with it.”

Domina, owner of Thirteen Butterflies Productions and director and producer of the Lehigh Valley Music Awards (LVMA), started writing a song envisioning a “We Are The World”-type video to honor Wyatt’s memory and raise funds for his family.

Stefano Greco reimagines the classics

Friday, January 25, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

When Stefano Greco describes a classical musical passage he plans to play, it is like he’s describing a movie.

“I can see the images that inspired the composers,” says the renowned Italian concert pianist. “I want to be able to tell a story. I don’t want to just play notes.”

Greco brings his visual and visceral style to Miller Symphony Hall for the next performance in the intimate “Chamber On Stage” series, 3 p.m. Jan. 27.

‘Ella’ takes the stage: Allentown Symphony Pops, vocalists, pay tribute to icon

Friday, January 18, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

When Aisha De Haas was growing up in Chicago, the jazz sounds of Ella Fitzgerald were part of her aural landscape.

Her father was a jazz bassist, her mother a vocalist, and the family had moved to the Windy City to play jazz.

“She sang and he played,” De Haas says. “I was introduced to this music in the womb.”

De Haas is one of three singers paying tribute to the Queen of Jazz in “A Tribute to Ella,” 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

To the Shanty and back: Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay stirs it up at Allentown bistro for hit Fox reality-TV show

Thursday, January 10, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

To say Joe Tatasciore was nervous is an understatement.

At 8 p.m. Jan. 9, his restaurant, Shanty on 19th, was featured on the Fox-TV reality show “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back.”

The Allentown bistro was given a makeover by the celebrity chef for for his television show, which began its second season Jan. 2. The Shanty is featured on the second episode of the 2019 season.

“I’m definitely nervous to see how they portray us,” Tatasciore says. “Let’s just say it’s made for television.”

The right place: Community Music School plays new tune at Allentown’s former Lehigh Valley Club

Friday, January 4, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

It’s the perfect location.

Raub Middle School and Allen High School are within walking distance. Nearby is Allentown Public Library and the city’s West Park. It’s right across the street from the Scottish Rite Cathedral. And it’s hard to beat two acres of free parking.

The new home of Community Music School of the Lehigh Valley (CMS) in a renovated historic mansion at 1544 Hamilton St. is everything CMS officials could have dreamed of.

Civic Theatre has holiday spirit for Christmas season: Glassman back in ‘Carol’; new lead elf in ‘SantaLand’

Friday, December 14, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

There is plenty of holiday spirit to go around this season at Civic Theatre of Allentown.

The traditional “A Christmas Carol” based on Charles Dickens’ novel continues through Dec. 15 in Civic’s 19th Street Theatre and the modern more mature David Sedaris play “The SantaLand Diaries” continues through Dec. 16 in Civic’s Theatre 514.

And to top it off, there was an engagement on stage opening weekend of “A Christmas Carol.”

Broadway veteran launches children’s chorus for holiday concert

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

She’s performed on the Broadway stage, in New York City cabarets and appeared on television and in films.

But at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Broadway veteran Lynnie Godfrey performs in downtown Allentown with some of her most beloved co-stars, the 15 members of Allentown Children’s Chorus.

Godfrey and the young singers, who are first- through sixth-grade students, will perform for “Come Spend the Holidays with Lynnie Godfrey and the ACC” at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 37 S. Fifth St., Allentown.

The concert came about out of “an interesting situation,” Godfrey says.