Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Jumping for joy: Lehigh Valley premiere of Elton John musical, ‘Billy Elliot,’ reopens restored 19th St. Theatre

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

When William Sanders looked around to select the play for the reopening of Civic Theatre of Allentown’s $5.5-million renovation and restoration of its historic Nineteenth Street Theatre, he needed to look no further than his favorite musical.

“Billy Elliot.”

“Billy Elliot” premiered in London’s West End in 2005 and was nominated for nine Laurence Olivier Awards, receiving four, including best new musical.

Movie Review: ‘Smallfoot’ small

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Smallfoot” is “Frozen” without the ice-skating.

And also without Olaf.

“Smallfoot” has gorgeous animation of snow-laden landscapes of mountains and trees. The detail of artistry is impressive. For example, the hair on Migo, a Yeti (voiced by Channing Tatum) is incredible, as is the animation of the face, eyes, mouth and physical movements of the character.

Movie Review: Running out the ‘Clock’

Friday, October 5, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

You’ve heard the term “clock-watcher.” It’s when an employee has his or her eye on the clock on the wall at work and his or her mind on the door. He or she is deemed a “clock-watcher.”

The clock on the wall is “in” the wall in “The House With A Clock In Its Wall” and the eyes of Uncle Jonathan (Jack Black); his nephew, Lewis (Owen Vaccaro), and the uncle’s platonic friend, Florence (Cate Blanchett), are trying to watch the clock, if they could only find it. This is not from lack of trying. At one point, Lewis is punching a mantle clock, but not “the” clock.

LV house sales rebound, up 4.7 percent in August

Friday, September 28, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Closed sales rebounded at the conclusion of the house sales summer season, increasing 4.7 percent in August, the first increase in closed sales in 2018 since January.

Houses were only on the market, on average, for one month in August.

According to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) latest report, released Sept. 14, the percentage of closed sales increased in August, reversing a sixth-straight-month decline, up 4.7 percent to 907, compared to 866 closed sales in August 2017.

Movie Review: Oscar nomination will be Close

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The Wife” is a disturbing drama with an Oscar nominee-worthy performance by Glenn Close as the long-suffering, supportive and loyal wife of a successful novelist about to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

When they receive the early-morning phone call the couple, Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) and Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce), jump for joy on their bed as they did many years before when they were just starting out, he as a college professor, and she, as one of his graduate students.

Theater Review: ‘Harry Potter’ spoof at Peddler’s Village dinner theater

Friday, September 21, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Thrills and chills and funnybone pokes are the order of fare for “The Goblet Of Poison” at the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, Peddler’s Pub, Cock ‘N Bull in Peddler’s Village, Lahaska, Bucks County.

The show, presented by Without A Cue Productions, is a spoof of the “Harry Potter” movies and books. Performances continue through Nov. 10. The show, written by Lesley Zaya and Justin Calazzo, is directed by Traci Connaughton. The Sept. 15 performance was seen for this review.

Movie Review: ‘Meg’ low mania

Monday, September 17, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The Meg” is a by-the-screenplay-book thriller about a prehistoric shark run amok.

Think: “Jaws” (1975) meets “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972) meets “The Abyss” (1989).

The movie’s title, “The Meg,” refers to a 75-foot-long megalodon shark, a prehistoric creature thought to be extinct. The creature resurfaces from the deep to wreak havoc on a nuclear submarine, a research vessel, and a beach resort. The movie is based on a 1997 book, “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror,” by Steve Alten.

Movie Review: ‘Searching’ for a movie

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Technological devices have often been plot devices in movies.

Film-makers Auguste and Louis Lumière scared the heck out of audiences in 1896 with their 50-second-long silent film, “L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat” (“Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat’).

Director William A. Wellman’s 1927 feature film about World War I fighter planes, “Wings,” received the first best-picture Oscar.

“The Story of Alexander Graham Bell,” released in 1939 and starring Don Ameche as the inventor of the telephone, entered the lexicon when “Ameche” became slang for telephone.

Concert Review: Elton John ‘Yellow Brick Road’ farewell all you could imagine and more at PPL Center, Allentown

Monday, September 10, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

For Elton John, “Farewell Yellow Brick Road - The Final Tour” began Sept. 8, 2018, in Allentown, no less, at the PPL Center, where the superstar and his band, staff and crew holed up for nearly a week to assemble, rehearse and present what is a spectacular retrospective of the iconic pop-rock singer-performer-composer’s 50-year career.

Elton John ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ starting here in Allentown at PPL Center

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Yellow Brick Road begins in Allentown right at the PPL Center at Seventh and Hamilton.

That’s where Sir Elton John kicks off his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road - The Final Tour.”

The buzz is already on the street.

Apparently, they’re building the Yellow Brock Road tour brick by brick, or at least semi tractor-trailer by semi tractor-trailer, some 20 of them, which pulled into center city Allentown Sept. 2 with the precious cargo.

“EJ’s stage is a monster” described one unnamed eyewitness.

The set is reported to have cost $15 million.