East Penn Press

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Movie Review: ‘Meg’ low mania

Monday, September 17, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The Meg” is a by-the-screenplay-book thriller about a prehistoric shark run amok.

Think: “Jaws” (1975) meets “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972) meets “The Abyss” (1989).

The movie’s title, “The Meg,” refers to a 75-foot-long megalodon shark, a prehistoric creature thought to be extinct. The creature resurfaces from the deep to wreak havoc on a nuclear submarine, a research vessel, and a beach resort. The movie is based on a 1997 book, “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror,” by Steve Alten.

Movie Review: ‘Searching’ for a movie

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Technological devices have often been plot devices in movies.

Film-makers Auguste and Louis Lumière scared the heck out of audiences in 1896 with their 50-second-long silent film, “L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat” (“Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat’).

Director William A. Wellman’s 1927 feature film about World War I fighter planes, “Wings,” received the first best-picture Oscar.

“The Story of Alexander Graham Bell,” released in 1939 and starring Don Ameche as the inventor of the telephone, entered the lexicon when “Ameche” became slang for telephone.

Concert Review: Elton John ‘Yellow Brick Road’ farewell all you could imagine and more at PPL Center, Allentown

Monday, September 10, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

For Elton John, “Farewell Yellow Brick Road - The Final Tour” began Sept. 8, 2018, in Allentown, no less, at the PPL Center, where the superstar and his band, staff and crew holed up for nearly a week to assemble, rehearse and present what is a spectacular retrospective of the iconic pop-rock singer-performer-composer’s 50-year career.

Elton John ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ starting here in Allentown at PPL Center

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Yellow Brick Road begins in Allentown right at the PPL Center at Seventh and Hamilton.

That’s where Sir Elton John kicks off his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road - The Final Tour.”

The buzz is already on the street.

Apparently, they’re building the Yellow Brock Road tour brick by brick, or at least semi tractor-trailer by semi tractor-trailer, some 20 of them, which pulled into center city Allentown Sept. 2 with the precious cargo.

“EJ’s stage is a monster” described one unnamed eyewitness.

The set is reported to have cost $15 million.

Theater Review

Friday, August 31, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

A solid-gold hit at Bucks County Playhouse

Displayed on the back wall inside Bucks County Playhouse are posters and photos of productions and stars who appeared there over the years, including Grace Kelly, who made her acting debut at Bucks Playhouse in 1949 in playwright and uncle George Kelly’s “The Torchbearers,” and Robert Redford, in the 1963 world premiere at Bucks Playhouse of Neil Simon’s “Barefoot In The Park,” then called “Nobody Loves Me,” the first play ever directed by Mike Nichols.

And there’s “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” starring Billie Burke, produced in 1956 at Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope.

Movie Review: ‘Finale’

Friday, August 31, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Operation Finale” is an important film that should be seen as much for its history-based story as for its presentation of that story.

The title refers to the “capture and extraction” of Adolf Eichmann, said to “the architect” of “The Final Solution,” in which 10 million, including 6 million Jews, were killed in The Holocaust, promulgated by the Nazi regime in Germany.

Pittsburgh Symphony official appointed Allentown Symphony executive director

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Board of Directors of the Allentown Symphony Association has announced the hiring of Alfred O. Jacobsen as its new Executive Director.

A reception for Jacobsen will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sept, 22, Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, prior to the opening 2018-19 season concert at 7:30 p.m. of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.

Bakithi Kumalo brings ‘Graceland’ to Bethlehem

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Bakithi Kumalo is bringing “Graceland” back home with The All-Star “Graceland” Tribute Band,” 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1, Levitt Pavilion, SteelStacks, Bethlehem. The concert is free and open to the public.

Home is Bethlehem now for Kumalo, legendary Johannesburg, South Africa, bass player on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album (1986) and in his subsequent concerts, including “Homeward Bound: The Farewell Tour.”

Kumalo originated the memorable bass line of “You Can Call Me Al” on Simon’s now classic world music album, “Graceland.”

LV house sales in decline for sixth month in a row

Friday, August 24, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

The topsy-turvy Lehigh Valley house sales market continued in July with closed sales and new listings down by double digits and median sales price and average sales price up by double digits. A key factor is the decline in inventory by more than one-third of houses for sale.

And the “B-Word” is being mentioned, as in real estate bubble when the bubble of increasing house prices could burst as it did a decade ago in the Great Recession of 2007-2008, which was attributed in large part to the nationwide collapse of the residential real estate market.

Movie Review: Truth is ‘Strangers’ than fiction

Friday, August 24, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Three Identical Strangers” is a fascinating documentary film that raises more questions than it provides answers.

David Kellman, Eddy Galland, and Bobby Shafran are identical triplets adopted soon after their birth by three separate families.

Through a serendipitous occurrence, two of the triplets meet. Then, all three triplets meet.

The documentary follows the triplets, their families and friends from gleeful reunion of the boys at age 19, to tabloid headline and TV talk show fame, to tragedy after the apparent suicide of Eddy Galland in 1995.