When Frank Ferrante performs "An Evening with Groucho," 8 p.m. May 18, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, the ghost of Groucho may be with him.
First, a personal aside. My father, Paul, once told me that when he was an usher at Miller Symphony Hall (then The Lyric), the Four Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo and, Zeppo) performed their musical-comedy, "The Cocoanuts," there before it was a Broadway hit (1925 - '26) and film (1929). Allentown was a "try-out town," where Broadway-bound shows or stage acts were tested for audience reaction.
How about stepping into my shoes for a moment?
I am a 43-year-old dancer back en pointe (the shoes with the hard box at the tip), performing excerpts of the ballet, "La Bayadere," in a small studio performance for family and friends at 7 p.m. May 20 in the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley downtown Bethlehem studios, with one chance to get it right.
During rehearsal recently, I was breathless and gasping for air as Carolyn Sarik, the adult ballet teacher, reminds me, "Stamina is the first thing to go."
Good Food. Fun Company. Exquisite Art.
These three phrases describe the Annual Art Auction at The Baum School of Art, Fifth and Linden streets, Allentown.
If you have never attended, you will want to attend the 28th annual auction May 18 at The Baum School of Art, which always proves to be a fun and exciting evening.
The good food is provided by Catering by Karen Hunter.
The fun company is the group of art collectors, art enthusiasts and friends who gather from near and far to attend the event.
Instead of teaching to the test, the Young Playwrights' Festival reaches for the stage.
The creative process, the writing and the plays' staging are key to its success, says Mary Wright, Touchstone Theatre Ensemble Associate and Young Playwrights Lab Coordinator:
"With schools' budgets getting cut further and further, anytime the arts can get reintroduced to the schools is a big deal."
Everyone saw it on the program: "Allentown."
And when the time arrived to perform the song which landed Billy Joel on the Top 20 charts and in hot water with Allentown officials, piano man Joe Boucher couldn't have put it better.
"I grew up in a factory town. And when I heard this song, it spoke to me," Boucher said in introducing the song from Billy Joel's 1982 "Nylon Curtain" album that reached No. 17 and charted for six weeks in Billboard.
"The song has had a major place in my heart and it's so great to be here and see that Allentown's thriving," Boucher said.
You know what they say after winning a competition: "I'm going to Disney World."
Well, after successfully completing a Kickstarter campaign, Lehigh Valley native James Paul is going to Prague.
It was the start of a great weekend for Paul, a Saucon Valley High School graduate, Class of 2009, and a son of Lynne and Chad Paul. On May 12, he received a BS in Business Administration and Media Arts from American University.
Summer weather will soon arrive. You might remember an ad, that went something like this: "Just when you think it's safe to go outdoors and enjoy the summer. ... "
This statement is similar to the advertisement for the movie "Jaws."
We do not have to worry about sharks in this area, but many people worry about poison ivy, ticks and biting insects as the air temperatures become warmer.
"8th Annual Young Playwrights' Festival and Gala" 7 p.m. May 18, Touchstone Theatre, 321 E. Fourth St., Bethlehem. touchstone.org, 484-767-2456
"Beauty and the Beast" May 31 - Aug. 9. Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley. pashakespeare.org, 610-282-WILL
"The Clean House," 8 p.m. May 8, 14, 15, 21, 21; 6 p.m. May 16, 23. Pennsylvania Playhouse, Illicks Mill Road, Bethlehem. paplayhouse.org, 610-865-6665
"Oblivion" is a stunning sci-fi thriller that transports you to another world: Earth in the not two-distant future.
The year is 2077, intones Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) in the prologue. An alien invasion has made the planet uninhabitable, he tells us. Surviving humans have fled to Triton, a moon of Saturn.
Harper is a kind of space-age mechanic. Only, instead of repairing cars, he repairs drones, which have been developed into all-purpose super-fast, super-lethal security forces. The drones are like a three-dimensional Pac-Man and they destroy any targets in their path.
SteelStacks Art and Architecture Tours, presented by Historic Bethlehem Museum and Sites and ArtsQuest, are being given 11 a.m. Fridays - Sundays.
The tours start at the former 1863 Stock House, now a Visitor Center for the City of Bethlehem.
Included on the 75-minute tour, led by former Bethlehem Steel workers or guides who had family and friends who worked at "The Steel," are examples of significant buildings erected as far back as the 1860s.
The tour is an addition to another SteelStacks tour, "The Rise and Fall of Bethlehem Steel."