Catasauqua Press

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The right place: Community Music School plays new tune at Allentown’s former Lehigh Valley Club

Friday, January 4, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

It’s the perfect location.

Raub Middle School and Allen High School are within walking distance. Nearby is Allentown Public Library and the city’s West Park. It’s right across the street from the Scottish Rite Cathedral. And it’s hard to beat two acres of free parking.

The new home of Community Music School of the Lehigh Valley (CMS) in a renovated historic mansion at 1544 Hamilton St. is everything CMS officials could have dreamed of.

Civic Theatre has holiday spirit for Christmas season: Glassman back in ‘Carol’; new lead elf in ‘SantaLand’

Friday, December 14, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

There is plenty of holiday spirit to go around this season at Civic Theatre of Allentown.

The traditional “A Christmas Carol” based on Charles Dickens’ novel continues through Dec. 15 in Civic’s 19th Street Theatre and the modern more mature David Sedaris play “The SantaLand Diaries” continues through Dec. 16 in Civic’s Theatre 514.

And to top it off, there was an engagement on stage opening weekend of “A Christmas Carol.”

Broadway veteran launches children’s chorus for holiday concert

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

She’s performed on the Broadway stage, in New York City cabarets and appeared on television and in films.

But at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Broadway veteran Lynnie Godfrey performs in downtown Allentown with some of her most beloved co-stars, the 15 members of Allentown Children’s Chorus.

Godfrey and the young singers, who are first- through sixth-grade students, will perform for “Come Spend the Holidays with Lynnie Godfrey and the ACC” at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 37 S. Fifth St., Allentown.

The concert came about out of “an interesting situation,” Godfrey says.

Touchstone ‘Follies’ back for 19th year, and counting

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Dancing hippos in pink tutus, a shopping cart ballet and singing Christmas trees are just a few of the unexpected delights in Touchstone Theatre’s “Christmas City Follies XIX,” a one-of-a-kind send-up of the Christmas season in the Christmas City, Dec. 6-23.

“We’ve been shaking it up bit this year,” says Emma Ackerman, Touchstone ensemble member and general manager. “And I think it’s fresher than ever.”

Bach Choir brings Christmas concerts to two cities

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Two cantatas that Johann Sebastian Bach wrote specifically for the holidays in the 18th century highlight the Bach Choir of Bethlehem Christmas concerts, 8 p,m. Dec. 8, First Presbyterian Church, 3231 Tilghman St., Allentown, and 4 p.m. Dec. 9, First Presbyterian Church, 2344 Center St., Bethlehem.

The Choir, conducted by Bach Choir Artistic Director Greg Funfgeld, will be joined by the Bach Festival Orchestra and five soloists on three joyful pieces to usher in the season.

Allentown’s Jerome Collins returns with Straight No Chaser

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

A decade after the release of Straight No Chaser’s hit debut album, “Holiday Spirits,” Allentown native Jerome Collins says he still has to pinch himself sometimes.

“We are just all American boys still doing what we did in college,” he says. “We never thought something we started for fun would be our livelihood.”

The male acapella group sensations bring “An Evening with Straight No Chaser” to the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, for two shows, 4 and 8 p.m. Dec 8. The tour is in support of the group’s sixth album, the retrospective “One Shot.”

Kenny G brings Christmas tunes and more for State Theatre debut

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Kenny G has played Tokyo, Singapore and Spain.

He’s performed in London’s Royal Albert Hall and New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

And at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, he’s at the State Theatre Center for the Arts for his first-ever Easton concert.

And Kenny G wouldn’t have his life any other way.

“I’m proud of being one of the guys who has been a road musican for the last 30 years,” he says.

‘26 Pebbles’: Parkland High School student play about Sandy Hook in state contest

Friday, November 30, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

A Parkland High School production of “26 Pebbles,” a play about a very difficult topic, the 2012 shooting of 20 students and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., will get a statewide audience Dec. 1.

Mark A Stutz, Director of Visual and Performing Arts, Parkland School District, is hoping the student production could even reach a national audience.

“We felt it was a message that needed to be brought to as many people as we could,” Stutz says of the Parkland production, which he directed.

‘Singing Policeman’ back with Allentown Band

Friday, November 30, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

“The Singing Policeman” returns Dec. 2 to Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, to sing with the Allentown Band for the fourth year and he couldn’t be more excited.

Daniel Rodriguez, also known as “America’s Tenor,” joins the Allentown Band, El Sistema Lehigh Valley Children’s Chorus and the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts Touring Choir for the annual “Americans We Tribute to Veterans-Holiday Concert.”

“I travel all around the world, but Allentown is a place I keep coming back to,” says Rodriguez.

On ‘Broadway,’ a ‘Carol’ sendup at Pa. Playhouse

Friday, November 30, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Rody Gilkeson admits there’s quite a bit of his father in “A Broadway Christmas Carol,” the holiday show opening Nov. 30 at The Pennsylvania Playhouse, Bethlehem.

Gilkeson is directing the zany musical comedy described as “Scrooge meets ‘Forbidden Broadway,’ the latter a popular Off-Broadway revue that pokes fun at musical theater.

However, Gilkeson says “A Broadway Christmas Carol” is first and foremost the story of Scrooge’s redemption.

“This is a kind of an insane show,” he says. “But it has the same feel-good ending.”