Catasauqua Press

Monday, November 20, 2017

'Rush': Fastest thing on reels

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The envelope, please.

That's the plot device on which, ahem, rides "Premium Rush," one of late summer's most adrenaline-charged movies.

The title refers to the speed, priority or experience of a New York City bicycle-courier delivering a high-priority message.

Never mind the definition. This film is the fastest thing on reels. You'll grip the arm of your movie theater seat, the person next to you (best to know him or her first) or your reporter's notebook (as was my case).

Nothing normal about 'ParaNorman'

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The cleverly-titled "ParaNorman," the new animated feature film, takes a page from the screenplay of "The Sixth Sense" (1991) where a young boy sees ghosts.

You no doubt remember the line: "I see dead people"?

In "ParaNorman," there's doubt among family, middle school classmates and New England towns people about just what Norman sees. Most think he simply has a vivid imagination.

Norman persists, however, and soon, he's scared up seven accusers from the grave who had sent a young girl they believed to be a witch to her doom 300 years ago in 1712.

Civic's 'Body' has lots of heart

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Why We Have A Body" is one of the most remarkable, disarming and memorable stage productions this summer in the Lehigh Valley region.

The drama-comedy, in its Lehigh Valley debut, continues for only three more performances, Aug, 24 - 26, in the annual SummerStage series in Civic Theatre of Allentown's Theatre 514.

The subject material, which lobby signs warn is for mature audiences only, will not be to everyone's taste.

Reaching out to 'The Intouchables'

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The film, "The Intouchables," is bracing, uplifting and a triumph of the human spirit.

Plus, it's darn funny.

Philippe (François Cluzet) is a very wealthy Paris widower who is a tetraplegic following an accident. Philippe hires Driss (Omar Sy), a very poor, street-smart Senegales to be his live-in primary care-giver.

Driss has a strong personality and commands respect.

Philippe likes that. He doesn't want pity.

Bucks revisits Simon's 'Park'

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

You don't have to go barefoot in the Delaware River, or one of the many nearby parks along River Road on the way to New Hope.

You can go "Barefoot in the Park" at Bucks County Playhouse, which reopened this summer after going dark for nearly two years.

The Neil Simon comedy, which debuted in 1963 on the BCP stage before its original Broadway run, continues through Sept. 2.

Songwriter Jessica Smucker in Musikfest Lyrikplatz debut

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Lancaster County singer-songwriter Jessica Smucker has been to Allentown plenty of times, but not to perform concerts.

She almost made it to Bethlehem.

More than one year ago, she was to play at a south side Bethlehem coffeehouse, but the place closed.

Smucker makes her Musikfest debut at 6 p.m. Aug. 8, Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz, being presented in the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas, ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks, Bethlehem.

The Aug. 8 lineup includes: Kenny Ferrier, 5 p.m.; Sarah Ayers, 7 p.m.; Carlos Barata, 8 p.m.; and Katie Kelly, 9 p.m.