Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Family Project: Discussion of appropriate gifts urged

Wednesday, December 25, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. My daughter has children from a previous marriage. She has recently remarried. Her in-laws are buying expensive and not necessarily age-appropriate gifts for the grandchildren on birthdays and holidays. I don’t want to get into a spending war with them, but ’m not sure how to handle this. I don’t want to become the cheap grandparent.

The first question asked by the panel was: “What does the daughter feel about this situation?” It may not bother her and-or she may not be aware that...

Theater Review: Cheryl Moritz rules in ‘Who’s Holiday’ at Civic

Monday, December 23, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Civic Theatre of Allentown is presenting a winning double-header of parodies for the 2019 holiday season, with “A Christmas Carole 1944” on the main stage, based on Charles Dickens’ sublime classic “A Christmas Carol” and, just across 19th Street, the adult comedy “Who’s Holiday!,” with the main character borrowed from Dr. Seuss’ delightful story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

Remember Cindy Lou Who, the very cute youngster who discovered the Grinch stealing her Christmas tree...

Curtain Rises: ‘Christmas Carole 1944’ a fresh evergreen at Civic

Saturday, December 21, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

For its 30th anniversary production of “A Christmas Carol,” Civic Theatre of Allentown looked to several other anniversaries for a new twist on the stage version of the Charles Dickens’ novella.

“Christmas Carole 1944,” Dec. 6 -21, main stage of Nineteenth Street Theatre, Allentown, salutes several other anniversaries, including the 30th anniversary of “Christmas Carol” at Civic.

“We did it 20 years ago,” says “Christmas Carole 1944” Director-Choreographer William Sanders,...

Fun career: What started as lark is now sound of success for Straight No Chaser

Friday, December 20, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

For more than a decade, Straight No Chaser has taken what started out as a collegiate hobby and turned it into a career that has taken them around the world.

The male acapella sensation bring its “The Open Bar Tour,” to State Theatre Center for the Arts in Easton for two shows, 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 22. The tour is in support of the group’s seventh album, the retrospective “One Shot.”

Allentown native Jerome Collins says the concept album takes listeners through the story of...

Curtain Rises: ‘She Loves Me’ has fine pedigree at Pa. Playhouse

Monday, December 23, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“She Loves Me,” the musical that closes the 2019 season at the Pennsylvania Playhouse, has a fascinating theater and movie pedigree.

The original production of the Broadway musical, with music by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (“Fiddler on the Roof”) and book by Joe Masteroff (“Cabaret”), was nominated for five Tony Awards in 1963. “She Loves Me” was revived on Broadway in 1993 and in 2016, receiving eight Tony nominations in the latter incarnation.

The stage musical goes back...

‘Swinging the Holidays’: Linda Purl teams with Rob Stoneback for big band concert of season cheer

Friday, December 20, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

An actress and singer known for her roles on iconic television series “Happy Days” and “The Office” joins the Lehigh Valley’s own Rob Stoneback Big Band for “Swinging the Holidays with Linda Purl and the Rob Stoneback Big Band,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown.

Linda Purl joins Rob Stoneback and his band for a mix of Christmas music, American standards and swinging jazz in their first collaboration.

Purl, who is best known as Fonzie’s fiancée on “Happy...

Curtain Rises: A look behind the ‘Follies’ curtain at Touchstone Theatre

Friday, December 20, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

After two decades of producing “Christmas City Follies,” there’s no folly, nor formula, for what has become a beloved holiday treat at Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem.

The big quilt curtain again opened for “Christmas City Follies XX,” beginning Dec. 5 and continuing through Dec. 22 at Touchstone.

Let’s pay attention to the Touchstone Ensemble behind the curtain.

“Since the first five ‘Follies,’ the last 15 have been in consecutive years. There were gaps in the first five...

Movie Review: ‘Frozen II’ freezes over

Friday, December 20, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Frozen II” is an impressive animation feature film highlighted by inspiring artwork and excellent songs sequences.

“Frozen II” was seen in the 3D format for this movie review. “Frozen II” is worth paying the 3D premium ticket price to see the film. The animation glistens, glows and shimmers. That’s partly because of the film’s predominantly winter setting. The ice is the icing on the animation cake of “Frozen II.”

In the 3D format, snowflakes seem to float before your eyes. It...

A ‘Charlie Brown’ jazz concert

Friday, December 20, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN in Focus

The Eric Mintel Quartet returns for a sold-out performance in the “Jazz Upstairs” series, 7:30 p.m. Dec.20, Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

The quartet presents “Charlie Brown Holiday Jazz.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. for a free buffet, included with the ticket price admission. A cash bar is available.

Mintel is famously a fan of Dave Brubeck.

“I first heard Brubeck when I was 14-years-old: ‘Take 5’ and ‘Blue Rondo a la Turk.’ That’s when the...