East Penn Press

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Theater Review: Civic ‘Angels: Perestroika’ intense, provocative

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

“Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes” is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning epic play in two parts that explores homosexuality and the human side of the AIDS epidemic in the context of the social and political realities of the 1980s.

This month, Civic Theatre of Allentown is marking the 20th anniversary of its 1997 production of “Angels” with back-to-back performances of “Parts One and Two,” with both parts concluding May 20.

Theater Review:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Civic’s ‘Angels’ lands

Watching the opening night performance of “Angels in America: Part One: Millennium Approaches” at Civic Theatre of Allentown was a jarring reminder of just how tumultuous was the decade of the 1980s, and how little we have progressed nearly 40 years later.

Civic Theatre Artistic Director William Sanders directed the award-winning play in 1997, as well as this production 20 years later at Civic, which is highlighted by superb acting, brilliant staging and a masterful script.

Theater Review: ‘Church Basement Ladies’ serves up hilarity

Friday, April 21, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

“Church Basement Ladies,” the latest offering through May 14 in The Pines Dinner Theatre’s eighth season, is a musical-comedy gem, filled with hand-clapping songs, witty lyrics and crazy antics.

The musical, written by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlk, was inspired by the best-selling book “Growing Up Lutheran,” a humorous remembrance by Janet Letnes and Suzann Nelson of being Lutheran in the Midwest during the 1950s.

The conversation that matters Writer Ellen Goodman to deliver seventh St. Luke’s Littner lecture

Friday, April 14, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist and founder-director of The Conversation Project, will speak on “The Most Important Conversation America Isn’t Having” at the seventh annual Dr. and Mrs. Max Littner Memorial Lecture Series for Bereavement, 7:30 p.m. April 19, Central Moravian Church, Main and Church streets, Bethlehem. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The lecture is also sponsored by St. Luke’s University Health Network.

Theater Review:‘Take It’

Friday, April 7, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

The third time is supposed to be the “charm,” but possibly not where theatrical productions are concerned.

Despite a Pulitzer Prize-winning script by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman that gained the reputation as one of the most popular and successful plays of modern times, Pennsylvania Playhouse’s third staging of “You Can’t Take It With You,” continuing through April 9, got off to a slow start and never quite hit the mark.

Theater Review:

Friday, February 17, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

‘9 to 5: The Musical’ surprises at Civic

Civic Theatre of Allentown’s production of “9 to 5: The Musical,” continuing through Feb. 26, is full of surprises. When you least expect it, a minor character belts out a rousing song, or someone from the ensemble does a “George Spelvin” walk-on that’s good for a laugh while distracting the audience’s attention from the scene changes.

Theater Review: Pa. Playhouse ‘Radio Hour’ salutes the troops

Friday, December 16, 2016 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

If you are a fan of the Big Band Era, and the rousing music it produced, you are going to love Pennsylvania Playhouse’s Christmas production of “The 1940’s Radio Hour,” running through Dec. 18, 390 Illick’s Mill Rd., Bethlehem.

The show is set in a fictional New York radio station, WOV, as in “V for Victory,” on Dec. 21, 1942. The two-act play written by Walton Jones, originally presented at the Yale Repertory Theatre, made it to Broadway by way of Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.

Theater Review: Expect CKP’s ‘Down of a Thistle’ to entertain

Friday, December 16, 2016 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

It’s a cross between an Agatha Christie who-done-it, a Noel Coward comedy and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

It’s the Crowded Kitchen Players (CKP) unconventional holiday treat, “The Down of a Thistle,” through Dec. 18, Unicorn Theatre, 417 Front St., Catasauqua. The Dec. 10 performance was seen for this review.

Billed as a “jovial Christmas melodrama,” and staged as a radio show, the play features a nine-member cast playing 10 characters, half of whom manage to get killed off before the end, ala Christie’s “Ten Little Indians.”