Parkland Press

Monday, July 13, 2020

Poet of the punchline

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Steven Wright explains why he's so funny - seriously

The first thing you may wonder about Steven Wright is whether he sounds the same offstage as he does onstage.

Wright, the poet laureate of standup, is noted for his minimalist approach. He's a comedian of few words, with a spare, almost stark pace. His methodical delivery is full of word-play and vocabulary twists and turns. Wright exemplifies cerebral comedy at its finest.

In a phone interview prior to his 8 p.m. Sept. 20 appearance at Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Wright sounds exactly like he does onstage.

Was summer movie season a bust for blockbusters?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Even though the last day of summer is Sept. 22, the domestic summer movie box office season officially ended Labor Day Weekend.

August, a month when movies not expected to perform well are often released, was particularly robust at the box office, led by "Guardians of The Galaxy," which duked it out with "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."

August 2014 had a box office tally of about $1 billion. That's 10 percent above August 2013.

8 DAYS A WEEK

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by PHOTO BY PIER ANDREA MOROLLI - SKCS SPORT IMAGES in Focus

Your look ahead at Valley Arts

Are you ready for some classical? The Allentown Symphony Orchestra begins its classical season a month early this year. Pianist Garrick Ohlsson, above, is guest soloist, 8 p.m. Sept. 13; 3 p.m. Sept. 14, Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown. Ohlsson and the ASO perform Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini," based on the melody from Paganini's 24th Violin Caprice. The concert opens with the "Overture to the Opera Prince Igor" by Borodin and includes the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5. Tickets: allentownsymphony.org; 610-432-6715

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Spotlight On: Nellie McKay one of the COTA cats at The Gap

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Acclaimed singer-songwriter and Poconos resident Nellie McKay has appeared on Broadway, performed on the "Late Show With David Letterman" and tours coast to coast.

Now, she'll be one of the COTA cats.

McKay performs a rare solo concert in the region, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 7, at the 37th annual Celebration Of The Arts (COTA), Delaware Water Gap.

Spotlight On: Nellie McKay one of the COTA cats at The Gap

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Acclaimed singer-songwriter and Poconos resident Nellie McKay has appeared on Broadway, performed on the "Late Show With David Letterman" and tours coast to coast.

Now, she'll be one of the COTA cats.

McKay performs a rare solo concert in the region, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 7, at the 37th annual Celebration Of The Arts (COTA), Delaware Water Gap.

Theater Review: 'Ain't Misbehavin'' gets Bucks joint jumpin'

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Ain't Misbehavin'" is another blockbuster show at Bucks County Playhouse, solidly putting the venue not only back on the regional theater map but giving credence to the sense that this is "Broadway on the Delaware."

"Ain't Misbehavin'" follows "Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike," Christopher Durang's Tony Award-winning comedy in which the playwright appeared opposite Marilu Henner, confirming the New Hope theater's legendary status (as if there was any doubt) as it celebrates its 75th anniversary season.

8 DAYS A WEEK

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by CONTRIBUTED PHOTO in Focus

Your look ahead at Valley Arts

Zoellner season opener: Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts Center, 420 E. Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Grammy Award-winning band Gipsy Kings as its 2014 - '15 season opener, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 7. France's most successful musical group released its ninth studio album, "Savor Flamenco" (2013), which received a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album. The group's roster consists of two bands of brothers: the Reyes (Nicolas, Canut, Paul, Patchai, and Andre) and the Baliardos (Tonino, Paco, and Diego).

Movie Review: 'Boyhood' will grow on you

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Boyhood" is really annoying.

The characters played by Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane are annoying.

The plotline and scenes in the film by writer-director Richard Linklater are annoying.

And yet, or because, "Boyhood" is about as annoying as real life, the film is a must-see.

That's because, in comparison, you may conclude your life is less annoying than that depicted in "Boyhood."

"Boyhood" is this summer's feel-good movie in reverse.

Touchstone, Allentown Public Theatre launching Valley Actor's Lab this fall

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by The Press in Focus

Touchstone Theatre founder Bill George and Allentown Public Theatre artistic director Joshua Neth are co-teaching a year-long program of actor training starting this fall.

Valley Actor's Lab (VAL) seeks to provide excellent and systematic training to seriously-inclined actors in the Lehigh Valley.

George and Neth describe themselves as "two theater artists who hold their love of actors and the work of the actor above all earthly things."

Classical Views: The season starts early

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by DIANE WITTRY Special to The Press in Focus

World-renowned Garrick Ohlsson, piano soloist for Allentown Symphony Orchestra opening concert

Symphony Opening Night.

It is always something to look forward to.

The summer is over. Vacations are a fading memory. Across the country, school has started. Things at work begin to get busy again. And all of us, hopefully rested from weekends at the shore or in the mountains, are ready to start a new season.