They try: the David Murray Quartet featuring Macy Gray, above, performs 7:30 p.m. June 18, Musikfest Cafe, ArtsQuest Center, Steel Stacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. Few musicians in jazz history have proven more vigorously productive and resourceful than David Murray. From the moment he first visited New York as a 20-year-old student in 1975, Murray has careened forward in a cool, collected, rocket-fueled streak. Over the past 35 years, he released more than 150 albums under his own name.
Actors in Action Festival: "The Atheist," "Sensitivity Training," "The Un-Named Body Project," June 13 - 30, Allentown Public Theatre, Antonio Salemme Foundation gallery, 542 W. Hamilton St., Suite 203, Allentown. 610-433-4150
"Beauty and the Beast," through Aug. 9, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Arts, DeSales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley. 610-282-WILL
There's not a lot of magic in "Now You See Me," even though the film's milieu is prestidigitation.
There are digital special effects aplenty the kind of cinematic magic we expect in sci-fi, fantasy and action films.
The special effects cannot distract from a weak screenplay with half-baked plot and lack of character development.
"Now You See Me" inadvertently proves a motto said in the film by one of the magicians: "The closer you look, the less you see."
The Community Music School holds its Annual Gala Recital, 1 p.m. June 9, Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth Street, Allentown.
The recital is free and open to the public. A reception follows the recital.
Student year-end performances include, by school district or area:
Allentown School District: Peter Loikits, voice; Ashley Chila, piano; Parkland: Valmiki and Prathysha Kothare, both piano; Steven Wroge, violin; Kelly McMahan, violin; Joseph Hall, trumpet; Julia Young, piano; Kristie Budihardjo, violin;
The Jane Stieg Collection for The Baum School Fashion Academy was donated by Robert Stieg. The man's first name was incorrect in a B1 Focus article in the May 29 and 30 Lehigh Valley Press.
This year's Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) is not unlike a "who's who" and "greatest hits," with several popular actors and directors returning for a 22nd season that includes a huge musical, comedies and rarely-staged works of The Bard at DeSales University, Center Valley.
Jim Helsinger, Orlando Shakespeare Festival artistic director who has delighted PSF audiences, is back to direct and appear as Lady Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Earnest," July 10 - Aug. 4, Main Stage.
"Altogether ooky": The 2013-2014 National Tour of the musical, "The Addams Family," above, based on the bizarre and beloved family of characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams, comes to the State Theatre for the Arts, 453 Northampton St., Easton, for two shows, 7 p.m. June 10 and 11. "The Addams Family" began performances in March 2010 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and ran through December 2011. The show has a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. The production is directed by Jerry Zaks with choreography by Sergio Trujillo.
Hollywood needs you.
And it's now recruiting, at a college near you.
From July 12 through Aug. 10, Cedar Crest College, Allentown, is offering an opportunity for 50 students to learn how to take a TV, film, or stage production from conception to completion.
Civic Theatre of Allentown presenst its 3rd annual Tonys & Tapas Benefit, 4 - 6:30 p.m. June 9, Nineteenth Street Theatre, 527 N. 19th St., Allentown.
There will be vocal performances from recent Civic productions, appetizer samplings from Lehigh Valley restaurants and caterers providing small bites (tapas), a silent auction, open wine bar, and cocktails.
You wouldn't expect a Grammy award-winning artist to invite requests from the audience during his concerts, but singer-songwriter Marc Cohn says he thrives on that kind exchange of energy.
Which means the Musikfest Café in Bethlehem should be ideal for his concert there, 8 p.m. June 7, since few sit more than about 60 feet from the stage.
"I usually prefer small theaters, or any place where the audience is partly visible and right up close," says Cohn. "It makes for a much more personal, intimate show. I like knowing who's out there."