Catasauqua Press

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Crowded Kitchen Players’ ‘Smile’ commemorates World War I Centenary

Friday, May 12, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It was the “War to End All Wars.”

It was “The Great War.”

It was “World War I.”

World War 1 was waged from July 28, 1914, until Nov. 11, 1918.

The First World War Centenary is observed in 2017 in the United States, which on April 6, 1917, joined Britain, France and Russia to fight Germany.

ASO to play that funky music and hits of the 1970s and ‘80s

Thursday, May 11, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The “ASO Pops Series” is popping.

The latest iteration is the Allentown Symphony Pops’ “Rock On! Classic Rock & Pop from the 1970’s and 1980’s,” 7:30 p.m. May 13.

ASO Associate Conductor Ronald Demkee conducts the concert, featuring vocalists Lakisha Jones, Rob Evan and Morgan James, accompanied by backup vocalists and a rock backup band.

The “ASO Pops Series” has expanded in recent years from one to two to three concerts and, for the 2017-18 season, four concerts.

Bach reimagined: Renowned Bethlehem Choir marries tradition, innovation for 110th edition of Festival

Thursday, May 11, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

In the 34 years that Greg Funfgeld has been artistic director and conductor of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, he’s found new ways to showcase the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, the Leipzig cantor whose music, you might say, “baroque” through to lay the foundation for classical music.

“We’re always thinking about how we want to present Bach’s music and how to engage and how to intrigue the listener,” Funfgeld says.

Review: ‘The Circle’

Thursday, May 11, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Will “The Circle” be unbroken?

Based on the ambiguous conclusion of the movie, “The Circle” is broken.

The up-to-the-minute examination of the cyberworld we live in stars Emma Watson. Shedding her Hermione Granger robes of the “Harry Potter” movies, Watson plays Mae, a smart twentysomething who becomes a valued employee of The Circle. It’s a Google-Facebook-Twitter Silicon Valley, Calif., social media company that seeks to make the world a better place through “transparency.”

Movie review: ‘Born in China’

Thursday, May 4, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

For fans of Disneynature films, documentaries and the great outdoors, “Born in China” is a must-see.

This and other Disneynature films hark back to Disney’s “True-Life Adventures” series (1948 - 1960) and Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” TV show (hosted by Marlin Perkins,1963 to 1985, and now a web series) and are a nostalgia nature trip for Baby Boomers and parents and are a fine introduction to the splendors, realities and mysteries of nature for children and grandchildren.

Better ‘Angels’: Civic presents 20th anniversary production of landmark Tony, Pulitzer Prize-winning play

Thursday, May 4, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

William Sanders saw the writing on the wall.

Or, more accurately, he saw the poster on the wall.

“I was trying to think of a play for the end of season. Somebody else was doing one play. And we couldn’t get the rights to another.

“And I was sitting in my office. And I looked at the poster of ‘Angels in America.’ And I realized it would be the 20th anniversary of Civic’s production. And I thought, ‘Why don’t we do that?’”

Theater Review: ‘Young Frankenstein’ is alive at DeSales

Saturday, April 29, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Fans of Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder and especially their cinematic collaboration, the story and screenplay for the movie, “Young Frankenstein,” which Brooks directed, will especially enjoy the DeSales University Theatre Department Act 1 production of the stage musical adaptation, which continues through May 7, Main Stage, Labuda Center for The Performing Arts, Center Valley.

Review: ‘FFgr8’

Friday, April 28, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

A movie sequel often doesn’t improve on the original movie.

After eight installments, “The Fate of the Furious” improves on nearly all of the previous seven “Fast and Furious” movies.

Call it “FFgr8.”

The first “The Fast and the Furious,” released in 2001, unleashed Universal Studios’ biggest franchise. Already, “Fast and Furious” nine and 10 are in preproduction.

The eighth installment brings back the crew of tart-tongued misfits and malcontents with hearts of bold, and gold.

March LV house sales rebound 13.7 percent

Friday, April 28, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Sales of houses in the greater Lehigh Valley rebounded in March to put first-quarter 2017 house sales in positive territory.

Closed sales increased by double digits, up 13.7 percent in March to 616 houses sold, compared to 542 in March 2016, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR).

For the first quarter of 2017, closed sales have increased 1.8 percent year to date, to 1,483 in 2017 from 1,457 in 2016.

Pending house sales in the Lehigh Valley were again up by double digits in March.