Catasauqua Press

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The passion of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

You don't need to travel to Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany, to experience a passion play. There's one right here in the Lehigh Valley.

The Muhlenberg College Music Theatre (MSMT) "Jesus Christ Superstar," through July 28, Empie Theater, Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown, is a thoughtful, often startling, entertaining passion play.

The first hit musical by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Tim Rice, which debuted in 1971, is a revisionist retelling of the Bible's New Testament accounts of Jesus.

'Monsters U' gets incomplete

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The best things about "Monsters University" occur before and after the animated feature film.

"The Blue Umbrella," a film short preceding "MU," is many of the things that "MU" is not. "Blue Umbrella" is imaginatively to the point, original and thoroughly entertaining.

After the credits conclude for "MU," there is a scene about a snail character, introduced early in the film as he makes his way slowly to class. The outcome of his progress is in the post-credits scene, which is also many of the things that "MU" is not. The scene is very funny, clever and efficient.

THEATER REVIEWS Take 'The 39 Steps' to comedy at Pa. Shakespeare Fest

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) production of "The 39 Steps" yields nonstop laughter in a slapstick sendup of the classic Alfred Hitchcock film.

Hilarity ensues from the moment that four actors in multiple roles so many I lost count step on stage in the farce adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel of John Buchan and the 1935 Hitchcock film.

'Man of Steel' super-sized

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Man of Steel" is the latest makeover in the 75-year history of the ever-evolving Superman.

"Man of Steel," seen in the 3D Imax format for this review, is super in every way imaginable: super computer-generated special effects, super action, super chest-pounding loud and super long.

Yes, "Man of Steel" is super-sized.

Getting format choices out of the way first and it's a certainly a choice, as you can see "Man of Steel" in 2D, 3D, Imax and 3D Imax I think it's unnecessary to see the movie in 3D Imax, but Michael "Movie Maven" Gontkosky begs to differ.

Munopco debuts 'Shout!'

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Victoria Lang, a co-creator of "Shout! The Mod Musical," which makes its Lehigh Valley debut in the MunOpCo Music Theatre production, 8 p.m. June 28, 29 and 2 p.m. June 30, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 1533 Hamilton St., Allentown, is pleased to see the show being done in "her own backyard."

"I had a phone call from Victoria Lang," says Larry A. Williams, MunOpCo artistic director who is directing "Shout!" "She lives in Brigantine, N.J. She said the show is touring all over the world and it's nice to see that someone in her own backyard is doing it."

THEATER REVIEW Couldn't ask for anything more with 'Crazy for You'

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Muhlenberg College Music Theatre (MSMT) 33rd-season opening production of "Crazy for You" is crazy fun and crazy good. It's as if an MGM musical has come to life in west Allentown in Technicolor.

The all-dancing, all-singing musical with many of George and Ira Gershwin's most popular songs (12 in Act One and eight in Act Two), continues through June 30, Dorothy H. Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.

THEATER REVIEW 'Oklahoma!' more than OK; it's fantastic at PSF

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival opens its 22nd season with an exuberant, stupendous and memorable production of the landmark Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "Oklahoma!"

PSF Associate Artistic Director Dennis Razze pulls out all the stops in his thoughtful yet zealous direction of the huge cast of 25, a dynamic 14-piece orchestra conducted by music director Nathan Diehl and rambunctious boot-scootin' boogie choreography by Stephen Casey.

Article By: PAUL WILLISTEIN pwillistein@tnonline.com

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

X marks the spot

The Southside Film Festival (SSFF) is underway.

You may have seen those posters with the big red "X" on them.

The X isn't for the MPAA ratings of the films being shown at the SSFF.

Rather, X is the roman numeral 10, as in the SSFF 10th anniversary.

The X also marks the spot, or screening locations, for more than 57 films, through June 15, Broughal Middle School auditorium, Victory Fire House, Lehigh University Sinclair Lab Auditorium and Godfrey Daniels, all south side Bethlehem.