East Penn Press

Saturday, August 24, 2019

LV house sales rebound; April increase 3.8 percent

Friday, May 31, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Lehigh Valley house sales rebounded in April, reversing a three-month decline for the first quarter of 2019.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley increased 3.8 percent in April, with 651 houses sold, up from 627 houses sold in April 2018, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) monthly report released May 14.

Closed sales for the first four months of 2019 are down slightly, 0.7 percent, to 2,174, down from 2,190 for the first four months of 2018.

Night on the Town: Dave Goddess back on ‘West Side’ at The Shanty

Friday, May 24, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Dave Goddess is still rocking and recording.

The Dave Goddess Group performs 9 p.m.-midnight May 25, The Shanty on 19th, 613 N. 19th St., Allentown.

Goddess will preview songs from an upcoming CD, plus songs from Daddy Licks, the popular rock band he founded with his brother Kevin Goddess.

Joining Dave Goddess, guitar, lead vocals, are Mark Buschi, bass, vocals; Tom Brobst, sax, flute, keyboards; Gary Gipson, guitar, vocals, and Chris Cummings, drums.

“I have a really great band now. I really feel privileged they want to play my songs,” says Goddess.

Movie Review: Rudolf Nureyev, defection and all

Friday, May 24, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The White Crow” takes its title from a Russian term for someone who is “unusual, extraordinary, an outsider” to tell the story of the defection in 1961 of Soviet Union ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

The film is directed at a studious and measured pace by Ralph Fiennes, who appears as Alexander Pushkin, ballet teacher to Nureyev at Leningrad Choreographic School (now Vaganova Ballet Academy).

Curtain Rises: Bethlehem ‘Suffragette City’ for ‘19: The Musical’

Thursday, May 23, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Bethlehem becomes “Suffragette City” May 25.

Crowded Kitchen Players presents the Lehigh Valley debut of a concert version of “19: The Musical,” a work in progress with performances planned in 2020 for the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote in the United States.

Performances of the 75-minute (with no intermission) “muscal overview of the play” are 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 25, Charles A. Brown IceHouse, 56 River St., Sand Island, Bethlehem. The performances are part of the “IceHouse Tonight” series.

Allentown Symphony ‘Inside the Score’ unveils world premiere

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

If you’ve ever wanted to know how a classical piece of music is created, developed and brought to the concert stage, you won’t want to miss “Inside the Score: A New Cello Concerto” by Matthew Quayle, with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra featuring cello soloist Jameson Platte, 7:30 p.m. May 23, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

“Matt Quayle, the composer, is good friends with Jameson Platte, our principal cellist,” says Diane Wittry, Allentown Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor.

Night on the Town: Steve Brosky working on his Tavern Tan at Godfrey’s

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Steve Brosky has been working on his tan, as in Tavern Tan, for a double bill, “Tough Tales & Rock Solid Saloon Songs,” 8 p.m. May 23, Godfrey Daniels, Bethlehem.

“Godfrey’s is a staple here in the Lehigh Valley. It’s a real gem,” Brosky says.

Tavern Tan is Doug Ashby, guitar, vocals; Andrew Brubaker, guitar, vocals; Tom Aczel, harmonica, vocals; Bill Melcher, bass, and Dave Joachim, drums, vocals.

Movie Review: ‘Red’ all over

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Red Joan” is an odd little film worth seeing for several fine performances and a retelling of an apparently little-known World War II and Cold War era spy case.

The film has the potential of a Hitchcockian thriller, not unlike director Alfred Hitchcock’s spy thriller, “Saboteur” (1942).

Though it doesn’t square the circle in fulfilling the dramtic arc of the classic Hitchcock film, “Red Joan” is of interest to fans of spy thrillers, World War II history buffs and those who follow the performances of Dame Judith Olivia Dench. otherwise know as Judi Dench.

Concert Review: 112th Bach Festival of Bethlehem has many memorable moments

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

They come for the “Mass,” but they stay for the cantatas, world premieres, instrumental works and events.

The 112th Bach Festival of Bethlehem, which continues May 17 and 18, ran the gamut of emotions, from somber reflection, to fascinating scholarship, to wonderful new works, to exciting soloists and instrumentalists to, yes, the grandeur of J.S. Bach’s “Mass in B Minor.”

There’s so much to take in at the Bach Festival, that a review cannot truly do it justice. Even so, there are moments to remember from the May 10 and 11 performances and events.

Movie Review: ‘Endgame,’ or is it?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It is called “Avengers: Endgame.”

To quote the rock band, The Who, “Don’t get fooled again.”

There will be plenty more to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe even though some of the main characters may be gone.

At the risk of being attacked by “Avengers” fans, we say no more.

Fans will relish “Avengers: Endgame” for its panoply of Marvel characters, quippy dialogue between characters, and huge action scenes, especially a concluding battle that recreates an armageddon of Biblical proportions.

On the road to Bethlehem for the Bach Festival in May

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Another May. Another ‘Mass.’”

So observed David R. Umla, of Allentown, who has sung J. S. Bach’s “Mass In B Minor” in the Bass I section of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem for two decades since the 1998-1999 season.

“It’s like coming home,” said Umla, standing outside Packer Memorial Church on the Lehigh University campus in Bethlehem between sessions of the “Mass,” presented in two parts on the afternoon of May 11 for the 112th Bach Festival.

“It never gets old,” continued Umla. “I could sing it every weekend.”