Parkland Press

Monday, October 23, 2017

Review: PSF ‘Evita’ remarkable

Saturday, June 24, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

To begin with, to paraphrase Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Eva Peron was dead. And yet, not unlike the Ghost of Jacob Marley, the spirit of Eva Peron is still with us.

The musical, “Evita,” begins with the funeral of Eva Peron, and then rewinds magnificently, fascinatingly and somewhat shockingly through the twists and turns of her youth, cabaret success, and movie actress fame to that of First Lady of Argentina at age 27.

Legacy of the Lenape: Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum tries to set the record straight

Saturday, June 24, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

A new exhibit, “Native Americans: A Diverse & Evolving History,” opened recently at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, Allentown.

“The history of American Indians is shrouded in folklore and stereotypes from Western movies,” says Joseph Garrera, Executive Director of the Museum. “Much of their history has been written by the cultures that conquered them and took their lands.”

Theater Review: ‘Hair’ is the love at MSMT

Monday, June 19, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s the 50th anniversary of “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.”

“Hair” was post-hairspray. Young women let Aqua Net on the shelf, ironed their hair, or went Afro. Young men let Brylcreem on the shelf and skipped the barber.

“Hair” was pre-”Hairspray.” It set the stage for other non-book Broadway musicals (“Company,” “Godspell,” “Pippin”).

“Hair” is of a time, a time that now seems long ago, naive and quaint. It not only seems long ago. It was long ago: a half-century long ago.

Theater Review: Roscioli remarkable in PSF ‘Evita’

Monday, June 19, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

To begin with, to paraphrase Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Eva Peron was dead. And yet, not unlike the Ghost of Jacob Marley, the spirit of Eva Peron is still with us.

The musical, “Evita,” begins with the funeral of Eva Peron, and then rewinds magnificently, fascinatingly and somewhat shockingly through the twists and turns of her youth, cabaret success, and movie actress fame to that of First Lady of Argentina at age 27.

‘Wonder Woman’

Saturday, June 17, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Wonder Woman” has typically-overblown Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) fights, explosions and over-the-top special effects (too much “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” flying “Wonder Woman” for me), which bloat the film to a butt-numbing approximate 2-1/2 hours. The plot sticks to the DC Comics storyline whereby a World War I (originally, the setting was World War II) airplane pilot crash-lands on a Greek island of Amazons, among them, Diana, aka Wonder Woman.

Theater Review: ‘12ness’ a fascinating, compelling world premiere

Friday, June 16, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“12ness” tells the story of the apparently little-known and unlikely friendship between American songwriter George Gershwin and avant-garde composer Arnold Schoenberg.

The Crowded Kitchen Players production of the comedy-drama, written by Charlie Barnett and directed by George B. Miller, with assistant director Kate Scuffle, continues in its world premiere through June 18 as part of the “IceHouse Tonight Series” at the Charles A. Brown IceHouse, Bethlehem.

Review: ‘Pirates’

Friday, June 9, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadmen Tell No Tales” could more aptly be subtitled “Lousy Screenplays Tell No Tales.” Therein lies the problem with the fifth sequel in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series that stars Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, who doesn’t so much swashbuckle as sashay, speaks with an at times difficult to understand drunken lisp, and rolls his eyes at every ironic aside in the grand manner of a silent movie star.

SouthSide Film Festival brings international fare to Bethlehem

Friday, June 9, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Area festivals, events and venues may come and go, but the SouthSide Film Festival (SSFF), now in its 14th year, has become a Lehigh Valley institution.

“The community’s been great,” says Glenn Koehler, SSFF director. “We get a lot of support.”

Jeff Vaclavik, board of directors president of the Southside Film Institute, which runs the SSFF, is already thinking about next year’s 15th annual event.

“It’s one of those anniversary years,” Vaclavik says, regarding SSFF programming. “We’ll come up with something.”