Parkland Press

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Movie Review: 'Alexander' is great

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

One mark of an entertaining movie is what scenes, lines of dialogue or laughs, tears and thoughts stay with you after you depart the theater.

After I saw "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," I was still chuckling to myself.

"Alexander," based on the children's book by Judith Viorst, is in the genre of family dilemma comedies. This is somewhat of a lost art in contemporary Hollywood studio film-making since many comedies are animation features or teen and college-age R-rated raunch.

Classical Views: Da, da, da, dah! Beethoven's 5th

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by DIANE WITTRY in Focus

Allentown Symphony concert includes Sierra debut, guest soloist Matt Haimovitz on Elgar Cello Concerto

The first four notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony are perhaps the most well-known in the world. We hear them and we immediately know the piece. In reality, it is only two notes, because the first note is repeated three times: da, da, da, dah! This piece crosses cultural boundaries and has been adapted into all different types of orchestration, including versions that incorporate rock 'n' roll and disco beats.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by CONTRIBUTED PHOTO in Focus

Your look ahead at Valley Arts

Grand illusion: David Caserta has performed around the country for the last 20 years presenting his unique style of grand illusion. Back by popular demand, his "Haunted Illusions" returns to the State Theatre Center for the Arts, 7 p.m. Oct. 25, and is sure to be fun for the entire family. Featured in this year's performance are several illusions that Caserta spent up to six years developing. You'll be stunned and amazed as master illusionist Caserta has people levitating, disappearing and reappearing right before your eyes.

Theater Review: Crowded Kitchen Players' 'Tortellini' to go

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Crowded Kitchen Players are back in town, specifically, Allentown.

Players co-founders and producers Ara Barlieb and Pamela Wallace went way back for their latest show.

"The Brothers Tortellini: A Toga Comedy" continues weekends through Oct. 26, Zion's Reformed UCC, 620 W. Hamilton St., Allentown.

Playwright Barlieb adapted "The Brothers Tortellini" from "The Brothers Menaechmus," or "The Two Menaechmuses," by Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus (254 - 184 BC), known as Plautus.

Theater Review: Civic's 'Young Frankenstein' is electrifying

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Civic Theatre of Allentown's production of "Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein: The Musical" is terrific.

From set design to lighting to costumes to orchestra to casting to acting to directing, the Lehigh Valley debut of "Young Frankenstein," weekends through Oct. 26, Civic Theatre, is one of the most fully-realized regional theater productions ever. It's a must-see, especially for the Halloween season.

Spotlight On: Kathleen Madigan finds everyday humor

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by DAWN NIXON in Focus

Comic Kathleen Madigan brings her very own Irish-Catholic take on life today, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17, to the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton.

Madigan didn't grow up with dreams of being one of the most popular comics in the United States. A self-described "quiet kid," she didn't become interested in comedy until she was in her 20s. While working at a bar, her friends encouraged her to try stand-up on a comedy night. The experience was a lot of fun for Madigan and she was hooked.

Movie Review: The thrill is not 'Gone' with 'Gone Girl'

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Gone Girl" is one of the best suspense thrillers in decades. It has thrills, chills, plot twists and turns. At times, it's terrifying.

It's a real nail-biter (Believe me, I know. I did.).

There are several reasons why you should see "Gone Girl."

First, of all, it's very entertaining. Second, the actors are excellent. Third, the direction is superb.

Finally, because there should be several Oscar nominations, "Gone Girl" should be on your must-see list.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by The Press in Focus

Concert opens 2014-'15 season

"Emerging Genius" is the theme for the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra 2014 - '15 season opening concert, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18, Christ Lutheran Church,1245 W. Hamilton St., Allentown.

Featured soloist is Deborah Davis, Sinfonia principal cellist, who, under the direction of conductor Allan Birney, will perform Haydn's Concerto No. 2 in D for cello and orchestra. High school senior and composer Rory Lipkis of Bethlehem has written cadenzas for the Haydn concerto for Davis.

Civic announces 'Carol' auditions

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by The Press in Focus

Auditions for Civic Theatre of Allentown's 25th anniversary production of "A Christmas Carol" will be held Oct. 18, 20 and 21 at Civic's 19th Street Theatre, 527 N. 19th St., Allentown.

"A Christmas Carol" will be presented Dec. 5 - 20, with student matinees Dec. 9, 10, 16 at Civic's Nineteenth Street Theatre

"A Christmas Carol," based on the novella by Charles Dickens, will be directed by Civic Artistic Director William Sanders, who adapted the script with Sharon Lee Glassman.

Auditions are:

A life of art

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN Focus Editor in Focus

Baum School of Art Gala to honor Dr. Rudy Ackerman for work with school, Moravian College art department

Dr. Rudy S. Ackerman's career as an arts educator and artist has touched the lives of countless art students, artists, art educators and arts aficionados across the Lehigh Valley.

He has been a Pied Piper, a Johnny Appleseed, a cheerleader on the Valley arts scene for half a century.

Ackerman's career extends from teaching art to elementary school students, to establishing an art department at Moravian College, to building a new Baum School of Art, to having his own art studio in Florence, Italy, to hanging out with Harry Bertoia, one of his influences.