Catasauqua Press

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Review: ‘Captain Fantastic’

Friday, August 26, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Captain Fantastic” is an inexplicably-titled film that doesn’t have to do with a captain of any sort nor anything particularly fantastic.

If the film was inspired by “O Captain! My Captain!,” Walt Whitman’s poem about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, it’s not apparent.

Nor is it evident that the film was inspired by the 1975 Elton John album, “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy,” and the title song’s semi-gibberish lyrics by Bernie Taupin.

The Hooters Rob Hyman reflects on Philadelphia rock band with Lehigh Valley roots

Friday, August 19, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Rob Hyman doesn’t remember exactly when The Hooters last performed in the Lehigh Valley, but he remembers the Lehigh Valley.

“We played some clubs in Allentown. There was a place called Nikko’s [along South Eighth Street]. That was one of our early hangouts. We picked up some loyal fans.

“We started up in Levittown and Allentown and then we moved into Philly and we brought some of those fans with us,” Hyman says, pausing and then joking, “They know who they are.”

Oakes Fegley comes back a star for Civic ‘Pete’s Dragon’ premiere

Friday, August 19, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

You’ve heard the term, “Hollywood on this ... Hollywood on that ... ,” as in “Hollywood on the Hudson” (a book about the history of film-making in New York City and New Jersey), “Hollywood on the Potomac” (a web site; also, a book about the Hollywood-Washington, D.C., connection), “Hollywood on the Bayou (a web site about film-making in Louisiana) and “Hollywood on The Tiber” (a New York Times article about Rome’s Cinecittà film studio).

Movie Review: ‘Pete’s Dragon’

Friday, August 19, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Pete’s Dragon” is enchanting, thrilling and funny. You you may even shed a few tears.

Anchoring the film as Pete is Oakes Fegley, the young Lehigh Valley actor who started out on the Civic Theatre of Allentown stage as Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

Writer-director David Lowery opens “Pete’s Dragon” with a back story about an orphan boy living in the Pacific Northwest Woods for six years, and Elliot the Dragon, who has taken Pete under its wings.

Movie Review: ‘Cafe Society’

Friday, August 12, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

In the olden days of cinema, say, about 20 years ago, a new Woody Allen film would appear with the falling leaves each September. With the younger set back in school, the Oscar contender season gets underway soon after Labor Day.

Nowadays, a Woody Allen film can pop up at anytime. Writer-Director Allen’s latest, “Cafe Society,” is released at the height of the summer movie season, perhaps as counter-programming to the multiplex blockbusters.

Ally Borgstrom rises to the roles in three Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival productions

Saturday, August 6, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

If you thought you were seeing double or even triple when you attended three different plays at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, not to worry.

You were seeing Ally Borgstrom in three different roles at PSF: Pearl, the title character in “The Little Mermaid,” through Aug. 6, Schubert Theatre, and Bianca, the younger sister in “The Taming of the Shrew.” and Edith the maid in “Blithe Spirit,” with the two latter plays in repertory through Aug. 7, Main Stage, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center.

Theater Review

Friday, August 5, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Laughter propels ‘Blithe Spirit’

The title says it all:

“Blithe Spirit.”

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival production of the Noël Coward classic of couples behaving comedically, through Aug. 7, has the proper balance between the “blithe” (look it up: ”showing a casual and cheerful indifference considered to be callous or improper”) and the “spirit” (a double-entendre here; again, you could look it up: “the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; the soul” and “those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person”).

Theater Review Comedy gained in ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ at Pa. Shakespeare Festival

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

There’s a new playwright in town.

Monty Shakespeare.

The actors have taken over the stage at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) for a zany production of William Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” through Aug. 7, Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley.

The actors inject Monty Python absurdities into the romantic comedy, with crazy costumes, silly walks and tomfoolery. PSF’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” is comedy found.