Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Movie Review: Grumpy old 'Grandpa'

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

How funny is "Bad Grandpa'?

Take it from the ticket-seller at the multiplex: "The girl at the concession counter had to use her inhaler three times."

Don't take it from me.

Then again, two movie-goers walked out during the first 30 minutes at a recent matinee of "Bad Grandpa" at that same multiplex.

Don't take it from me.

"Next time, let's go to lunch and forget it when there's a bad movie," said an elderly woman to her two elderly female friends sitting in the row in front of me at the matinee.

Theater Review: No 'Mystery' at 'Berg; 'Drood' is simply great

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Muhlenberg College Department of Theater & Dance's "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," through Nov. 3, Empie Theatre, Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, is one of the best musical productions to ever hit the Lehigh Valley stage.

And it is a huge hit. From the opening immersive experience of the show's actors mingling with the audience as theater-goers take their seats and settle in, to the rousing finale, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" is a must-see for musical-theater fans.

Movie Review: James Gandolfini: 'Enough Said'

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

When is speaking your mind saying too much? When is biting your tongue saying too little?

Truth in conversation, feelings and action is at the heart of "Enough Said," an entertaining and thoughtful romantic comedy memorable for its nuanced performances, especially that of James Gandolfini in what is his second-to-last big-screen role.

Look for an Oscar actor nomination for Gandolfini and a possible Oscar for the highly-regarded and beloved actor best-known as Tony Soprano on HBO's "The Sopranos."

Movie Review: James Gandolfini: 'Enough Said'

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

When is speaking your mind saying too much? When is biting your tongue saying too little?

Truth in conversation, feelings and action is at the heart of "Enough Said," an entertaining and thoughtful romantic comedy memorable for its nuanced performances, especially that of James Gandolfini in what is his second-to-last big-screen role.

Look for an Oscar actor nomination for Gandolfini and a possible Oscar for the highly-regarded and beloved actor best-known as Tony Soprano on HBO's "The Sopranos."

Movie Review: 'Captain Phillips' commanding

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Captain Phillips" is a harrowing movie bristling with tension. It is superb film-making and has incredible performances.

The movie, directed by Paul Greengrass, is based on the true story of the 2009 hijacking of a United Stated-flagged container cargo freighter with 25 crew members and the hostage-taking of the ship's captain, Richard Phillips.

The screenplay by Billy Ray ("The Hunger Games," 2012; "Fllghtplan," 2009) is based on Phillips' book, written with Stephan Talty, "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea."

For Gia Mora, 'Einstein' is about the science of love

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

You've heard of "Bill Nye, The Science Guy" and his educational television show.

Gia Mora is "The Science Gal," but not of television fame (not yet, that is), but of the stage, and more in the entertainment realm than education, although there is that.

Mora's "Einstein's Girl," 7 p.m. Oct. 18, State Theatre Cabaret in the Acopian Ballroom, 7 p.m. Oct. 18, State Theatre for the Arts, 453 Northampton St., Easton, brings the, ahem, elements of entertainment and education together -- in a supercollider of comedy.

Theater Review: 'Spring Awakening' no child's play at Civic

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Youthful exuberance lights up the stage in the Civic Theatre of Allentown production of "Spring Awakening," continuing through Oct. 27.

Civic Artistic Director William Sanders directs a cast of college and high school all-stars in what is a rock opera of tragic proportions and emotional triumph.

The on-stage, seven-piece orchestra, conducted by Music Director Justin Brehm, doesn't overpower excellent solo vocals and choral work.

Movie Review: Lost in space: the 'Gravity' of it all

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Gravity" is a masterful achievement in cinema. It will be regarded as a classic and a landmark film.

Look for Oscar nominations in the double digits, including actress: Sandra Bullock; supporting actor: George Clooney; director: Afonso Cuaron; original screenplay: Cuaron and his son, Jonas; cinematography, and numerous technical categories.

Theater Review: Crowded Kitchen Players' whirlwind of mirth

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Crowded Kitchen Players (CKP) perform a neat trick in its production of "A Flea in Her Ear," through Oct, 12, McCoole's Arts & Events Place, Quakertown.

CKP co-founder and "Flea" director Ara Barlieb turns inside out the stereotypes exploited by the French farce written by George Feydeau in the version by David Ives by casting against stereotype.

The results are a whirlwind of mirth.