Catasauqua Press

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The mission expands Miller Symphony Hall looks to increased competition beyond Allentown renaissance

Friday, September 16, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Second of Two Parts

Editor’s Note: In the Sept. 7 Focus, Allentown Symphony Orchestra Artistic Director and Conductor Diane Wittry previewed the 2016-17 symphony season. This week, Allentown Symphony Association Executive Director Sheila K. Evans discusses other concerts and events for the season at Miller Symphony Hall, as well as the hall itself.

Miller Symphony Hall has been around a long time, long enough to go back to a time when it was probably the only game in town, and not only in Allentown, but the Lehigh Valley.

Movie Review: ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’

Friday, September 2, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The film, “Florence Foster Jenkins,” hits a lot of sour notes.

That’s to be expected.

Florence Foster Jenkins (1868 - 1944), a Wilkes-Barre native, inherited her parents’ fortune and became a New York City arts philanthropist. Though an accomplished pianist, her vaulting ambition to be an opera singer was matched only by a colossal inability to hit the right notes.

Theater Review

Friday, September 2, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

‘Cake Off’ grist for the mill at Bucks Playhouse

Bucks County Playhouse gets back to its roots with the musical, “Cake Off,” through Sept. 10 in New Hope.

The Playhouse dates to July 1, 1939, when “Springtime for Henry,” starring Edward Everett Horton opened after the building was saved from demolition when purchased by artists, including playwright Moss Hart (“You Can’t Take It with You,” 1936; “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” 1939, and “George Washington Slept Here,” 1940, all co-written with George S. Kaufman).

Theater Review: ‘Cake Off’ grist for the mill at Bucks

Saturday, August 27, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Bucks County Playhouse gets back to its roots with the musical, “Cake Off,” through Sept. 10 in New Hope.

The Playhouse dates to July 1, 1939, when “Springtime for Henry,” starring Edward Everett Horton opened after the building was saved from demolition when purchased by a group of artists including playwright Moss Hart (“You Can’t Take It with You,” 1936; “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” 1939, and “George Washington Slept Here,” 1940, all co-written with George S. Kaufman).

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.