East Penn Press

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Civic to ‘Rock’ the ‘80s at Crest

Friday, February 9, 2018 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

In the case of many musicals, the songs performed are the true focus, even above the narrative and main characters, and “Rock of Ages” is no exception.

“Rock of Ages” is being presented Feb. 9-25 by Civic Theatre of Allentown, in Alumnae Hall, Cedar Crest College, Allentown.

“The characters have been fashioned to accommodate the music,” says Civic Theatre Associate Artistic Director-Production Manager Will Morris, who’s directing the musical.

Touchstone ‘Punch’-raiser returns

Friday, February 9, 2018 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

A little more than two years ago, Jakopa’s Punch formed to perform at a Lehigh Valley cancer benefit and play three songs in honor of David Bowie, who died Jan. 16, 2016.

Since then, the band has become something of a staple of Touchstone Theatre, appearing on multiple occasions at theater venues and events.

After the success of Touchstone’s “Jakopa’s Punch Processional” last summer, “Jakopa’s Punch Bowl,” a Mardi Gras-themed musical revel of a fundraiser, returns at 7 p.m. Feb. 9, Charles A. Brown Ice House, Sand Island, 56 River St., Bethlehem.

There’s a ‘BrouHaHa’ at Touchstone Theatre

Thursday, February 1, 2018 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

There’s a “BrouHaHa” at Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem.

“BrouHaHa” will be performed 8 p.m. Feb. 1, 2 and 3, and 2 p.m. Feb. 4 by Happenstance Theater at Touchstone Theatre.

The Happenstance Theater has always wanted to perform a play featuring clowns. “BrouHaHa” is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

“As a company, we wanted to make a clown show. We have theatrical clowns in a lot of works, but we hadn’t explored the show that emphasized the clown aspect,” Happenstance Theater co-artistic director and performer Sabrina Mandell says in a phone interview.

‘Art of Circus’ spans hundreds of years

Friday, January 26, 2018 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

At his core, lead producer and creator Tad Empage has a deep passion and appreciation for the arts.

“I’ve always been interested in the arts,” Empage explains in a phone interview. “I was a painter when I first arrived in New York City, started getting involved in theater. Art has always been with me, even before performing arts became my career. I wanted to honor the visual arts in which we find in life.”

Empage conceptualized “Art of Circus,” which will be presented at 8 p.m. 26, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton.

Theater Review: Laughter center stage in Civic’s ‘SantaLand’

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

Featuring a single actor on a small black-box stage, “The SantaLand Diaries” boasts a level of intimacy that rivals the casual conversation you might have with people at home.

It often feels like the audience is chatting with the main character, David, as he rants and raves about his difficult and often hilarious work as Crumpet the Elf in Macy’s Santaland in New York City in “The SantaLand Diaries,” through Dec. 17, Theatre514, Civic Theatre of Allentown.

Return to ‘SantaLand’ at Civic

Thursday, December 7, 2017 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

During the season when “A Christmas Carol” dominates the stage and “It’s a Wonderful Life” dominates the silver screen, Civic Theatre of Allentown Associate Artistic Director-Production Manager Will Morris is excited to bring a different flavor of Christmas to the Civic stage.

Morris again directs Jarrod Yuskauskas in the one-man show, “The SantaLand Diaries,” Dec. 8 - 17, Theatre514, Allentown. The show, with Yushauskas playing a not so happy elf, had its Lehigh Valley debut during the 2016 holiday season at Civic to sold-out shows.

Well, hello, ‘Follies,’ it’s the 18th year at Touchstone

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

For many in the Lehigh Valley, attending Touchstone Theatre’s “Christmas City Follies” is a holiday season tradition, and this is no different for the show’s director Jp Jordan.

“This is my 13th. This is my 11th as director. For the first three, I was involved with, I was the musical director,” says Jordan, Touchstone Theatre artistic director.

“Christmas City Follies XVIII” opens Nov. 30 and continues through Dec. 22 at Touchstone Theatre, 321 E. Fourh St., Bethlehem.

Pa. Playhouse taps inner ‘Elf’

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

While many theaters this time of year celebrate the holidays with more well-known or traditional plays, the Pennsylvania Playhouse, 390 Illick’s Mill Road, Bethlehem, stands out from the crowd with “The Happy Elf,” Dec. 1 - 17.

“[The Playhouse] wanted to stay away from ‘A Christmas Carol,’ ‘A Christmas Story’ and ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ because other theaters were presenting them,” explains director Bill Mutimer. “This was a good fit for the Holiday Season.”

“The Happy Elf” works to touch on the holiday season and spirit for all individuals.

King Crimson courts continuity at Miller Symphony Hall

Friday, November 10, 2017 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

Jakko Jakszyk found himself enamored with music at a young age, an understandable fascination considering the explosion of talent that radiated out of Great Britain in the 1960s.

“When I was very young, and obviously had an innate interest in music, barriers were being broken down, particularly in England,” Jakszyk says in a phone interview.

The Wood Brothers ramble to Sherman Theater

Saturday, November 4, 2017 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

As the name suggests, The Wood Brothers is as much family-oriented as it is a musically-talented band.

“[Chris Wood, bassist, and I] are good at balancing passion with compromise. Ninety-eight percent of the time, it’s awesome working with my sibling,” says guitarist Oliver Wood.

The Wood Brothers perform in concert, 7 p.m. Nov. 5, Sherman Theater Stroudsburg.