Parkland Press

Monday, October 23, 2017

Shakespeare for everyone: Broadway in Center Valley returns to DeSales campus for Pa. Shakespeare Festival

Friday, June 2, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF), with its Main Stage Theatre production of “Evita” opening June 14, bodes to be bigger and better than ever for its 26th season.

Already, the 2017 season has set a record.

PSF set a new one-day sales record Feb. 15, opening day of single-ticket sales for the summer 2017 season. In one day, 938 tickets were sold for a more than $43,000 total. That’s a 64 percent increase, compared to the first day of single ticket sales in 2016, the Festival’s record-breaking 25th anniversary season.

‘Alien’ review

Friday, June 2, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Be prepared to be scared.

“Alien: Covenant” is the latest in the “Alien” science fiction motion-picture franchise. Although released in spring, “Alien: Covenant” is really a summer season horror film, bringing back one of the scariest, most disgusting-looking and vicious monsters ever created for the cinema.

“Alien: Covenant” is a sequel to “Prometheus” (2012), the second “Alien” prequel, and the sixth installment in the “Alien” franchise.

Movie Review: ‘Guardians Vol. 2’

Friday, May 26, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” brings the usual crew of galactic misfits back for an entertaining mix of 1970s-era mix-tape music, galactic shenanigans and a summer movie season of bountiful quips.

The best part, though, is that writer-director James Gunn was to the movie superhero spoof genre born (writer-director, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” 2014; “Super,” 2010; “Slither,” 2006; writer, “Dawn of the Dead,” 2004; “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed,” 2004; “Scooby-Doo,” 2002; “The Specials,” 2000; “Tromeo & Juliet,” 1996).

LV house market: Air goes out of March sales winds; April sales dampen 4.3 percent

Friday, May 26, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Sales of houses in the greater Lehigh Valley again declined in April after rebounding in March.

Closed sales decreased by 4.3 percent in April to 626 houses sold, compared to 654 in April 2016, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR).

For the year-to-date, closed sales inched up 1 percent to 2,133 from 2,111 in 2016

Pending sales were up slightly, 5.4 percent in April to 924, compared to 877 in April 2016.

For the year-to-date, pending sales are up 8.9 percent to 2,922 from 2,682 in 2016.

Both sides now: Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Hair’ contrast two eras of the Broadway stage

Friday, May 26, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s the Yin and Yang of Lehigh Valley summer theater.

It’s polar opposites on the Broadway musical spectrum.

It’s Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre (MSMT).

This year, MSMT again is staging the radical and new, and the tried and true, in the American musical theater canon.

For its 37th season, MSMT presents the revolutionary rock musical “Hair,” June 14 - July 2, and the classic musical, “My Fair Lady,” July 12 - 30. The family children’s show is a really big show, “Wild,” a circus performance, June 28 - July 29.

Concerts Review: Bethlehem Bach Festival gives ‘To God Alone The Honor’

Thursday, May 18, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

What’s best about the Bach Festival of Bethlehem is its surety of purpose, its certainty of artistry, its expectation and fulfillment of inspiration.

The 110th Bethlehem Bach Festival, continuing May 19 and 20 with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Festival Orchestra and world-renowned soloists, is billed as a celebration of the human voice.

Movie Review: ‘Guardians’ turns up the ‘Volume 2’

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” brings the usual crew of galactic misfits back for an entertaining mix of 1970s-era mix-tape music, galactic shenanigans and a summer movie season of bountiful quips.

The best part, though, is that writer-director James Gunn was to the movie superhero spoof genre born (writer-director, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” 2014; “Super,” 2010; “Slither,” 2006; writer, “Dawn of the Dead,” 2004; “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed,” 2004; “Scooby-Doo,” 2002; “The Specials,” 2000; “Tromeo & Juliet,” 1996).

Crowded Kitchen Players’ ‘Smile’ commemorates World War I Centenary

Friday, May 12, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It was the “War to End All Wars.”

It was “The Great War.”

It was “World War I.”

World War 1 was waged from July 28, 1914, until Nov. 11, 1918.

The First World War Centenary is observed in 2017 in the United States, which on April 6, 1917, joined Britain, France and Russia to fight Germany.

ASO to play that funky music and hits of the 1970s and ‘80s

Thursday, May 11, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The “ASO Pops Series” is popping.

The latest iteration is the Allentown Symphony Pops’ “Rock On! Classic Rock & Pop from the 1970’s and 1980’s,” 7:30 p.m. May 13.

ASO Associate Conductor Ronald Demkee conducts the concert, featuring vocalists Lakisha Jones, Rob Evan and Morgan James, accompanied by backup vocalists and a rock backup band.

The “ASO Pops Series” has expanded in recent years from one to two to three concerts and, for the 2017-18 season, four concerts.

Bach reimagined: Renowned Bethlehem Choir marries tradition, innovation for 110th edition of Festival

Thursday, May 11, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

In the 34 years that Greg Funfgeld has been artistic director and conductor of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, he’s found new ways to showcase the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, the Leipzig cantor whose music, you might say, “baroque” through to lay the foundation for classical music.

“We’re always thinking about how we want to present Bach’s music and how to engage and how to intrigue the listener,” Funfgeld says.