East Penn Press

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Funny ladies: That ‘Fabulous’ comedy series returns to Miller Symphony Hall

Friday, February 2, 2018 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Stand-up comedy is often a man’s world.

Although female comedians have had greater representation on stages during this latest comedy boom, males still comprise most successful working stand-ups.

The “Ladies of Laughter: Funny and Fabulous” aims to prove the naysayers wrong. The second installment of the series tour pays a visit to Miller Symphony Hall’s Rodale Community Room, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2, in Allentown.

Bobby Collins: bi-partisan laughs return to Easton’s State Theatre

Thursday, January 11, 2018 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Bobby Collins may be one of America’s favorite comedians. He’s performed his stand-up before the Clintons at the White House for Chelsea Clinton’s birthday in 1999 and appeared in front of guests at President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Winter White House, Palm Beach, Fla., in early 2017.

He’s played rooms in the deepest of red states as well as liberal enclaves in blue states and has proven that well-crafted observational humor results in bi-partisan laughs.

The mighty Quinn brings latest show to Bethlehem

Thursday, January 4, 2018 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Colin Quinn is a quintessential New York comedian.

But he’s become much more than that.

Quinn’s latest one-man show, “One in Every Crowd,” 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6, Musikfest Cafe, SteelStacks, Bethlehem, is part of the cerebral comic’s first full-scale stand-up tour in more than years. Previously, Quinn’s shows had a central theme.

King of social-media comics brings it to the State

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

During winter, usually before a predicted snowfall, comedian Vic DiBitetto receives renewed attention. Although not a household name, DiBitetto has attained a cult following and an enviable road calendar that is booked through 2019.

The 56-year-old comic has managed to stay relevant in large part because of savvy use of social media. If you aren’t familiar with his stand-up, you may have seen him in the feature film, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” or perhaps you know him as the “bread and milk guy” from the viral video DiBitetto posted in 2013 on YouTube.

Jim Norton faithful to the funny

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Jim Norton is your funny best friend. He’s that pal cracking wise on the playground, in the high school locker-room, or over morning coffee in the break room at work.

Jim Norton is an everyman of comedy, relatable, a middle-aged yet youthful personification of the archetypical American male.

As he approaches 50, he’s keen on settling down and his circumstances and outlook have changed since his Netflix special, “Mouthful of Shame,” aired in March.

For Colin Mochrie, audience part of the act at State Theatre

Thursday, November 16, 2017 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Much like the cliff swallows returning to Capistrano, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood’s annual improvisational comedy roadshow migrates to the Lehigh Valley and the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, for the “Scared Scriptless” tour, 8 p.m. Nov. 18.

Year after year, flocks of comedy fans journey to the State Theatre to enjoy an evening of laughs and interactive performance as only the two beloved “Whose Line is it Anyway” veterans can deliver.

Late-night comics make it at State

Friday, October 20, 2017 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

A comic is said to be on the path of “making it” in showbiz once they have booked a spot on a late-night TV talk show.

During the heyday of the “Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” an appearance there could launch a comedian’s career, especially if the legendary talk show host asked the comic to “take the couch” after their set.

At minimum being able to add “As seen on the [such and such TV show]” after one’s name can increase a comedian’s bookings at rooms and provide club owners with a valuable tag on the marquee to fill seats.

Putting the funny back in Miller Symphony Hall, ‘Ladies of Laughter’ series revives vaudeville heritage

Friday, October 6, 2017 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Sounds of raucous laughter regularly echoed throughout the former Lyric Theatre in Allentown. The Lyric, now known as Miller Symphony Hall, was a popular venue for burlesque shows, theatrical productions, silent films, vaudeville acts and even prizefights during the early part of the 20th century.

Because of its proximity to larger cities such as New York and Philadelphia, the Lyric was often a “try-out” stage for well-known performers and playwrights seeking to hone their work prior to opening on Broadway and other big-city stages.