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8 DAYS A WEEK

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 by CONTRIBUTED PHOTO in Focus

Your look ahead at Valley Arts

Drive to "Avenue Q:" "Avenue Q," which opened the 35th season of Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, continues through June 28, Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theater and Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown. The storyline, which sends up "Sesame Street," follows a group of 20-somethings, people and monsters alike, including George Primavera, above left, with Princeton, and Kate McMorran, above right, with Kate Monster, as they struggle to find their purpose in big-city life and the world at large. The Broadway production received Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book (the "Tony Award triple crown") and ran for 2,534 performances from 2003 to 2009. The show features music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, based on their original concept, with a book by Jeff Whitty. Lopez collaborated with "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker to write and compose "The Book of Mormon," and he collaborated with his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, to compose the songs for the Disney blockbuster animated film "Frozen." Bill Mutimer directs MSMT's "Avenue Q." Ed Bara is music director. Tickets: Muhlenberg College box office, Trexler Pavilion for Theater and Dance, 2400 Chew St., Allentown; muhlen-berg.edu/main/academics/theatre-dance/smt; 484-664-3333.

See REVIEW: Page B7

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Reading "Renewable": Author Eileen Flanagan, above, reads from and signs copies of her book, "Renewable: One Woman's Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope," 2 p.m. June 20, Barnes & Noble, Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley, 2845 Center Valley Parkway, Center Valley." "Renewal" is called "A wise and delightful tale, reminding us not only of the need for simplicity, but of the need to follow our heart's calling" by Bronnie Ware, author of "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying." Flanagan, a granddaughter of Irish immigrants, was raised in a working-class family outside Philadelphia. Through the Girl Scouts and her high school Outing Club, she fell in love with camping and the outdoors. For more than 22 years, she has found spiritual community among Quakers. Her concern for social justice and sustainability was sparked by two and a half years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana. Then came marriage, children and a few years of caring for elderly relatives while writing and teaching. At age 49, she looked around her three-story house filled with electronics and wondered how her life had moved so far away from the simplicity and civic engagement of her youth.

See INTERVIEW: Page B3

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