East Penn Press

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Up close & personal: State Theatre’s Shelley Brown promises fans more ‘Wow’ for venue’s 2017-18 season

Saturday, July 29, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The Wow Factor” is in effect for the 2017-18 season of the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton.

The 2016-17 season at the historic State Theatre was billed as “90 years of Wow.”

State Theatre President and CEO Shelley Brown says when she was planning the 2017-18 season she made sure that the 91st year would continue to “Wow.”

“It really inspired me that it was really important to me that we’re ready for 90 more,” says Brown. “That’s why the tag line, “Nobody does it better.’

Theater Review: Shakespeare as we like it at PSF

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) has saved the best for last in its 2017 season (“Troilus and Cressida,” July 26-Aug. 6, notwithstanding) with a splendid production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” which bookends a season that opened with the spectacular “Evita” (June 14-July 2).

“As You Like It” is in repertory with “The Three Musketeers,” through Aug. 6, Main Stage, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley. In other words, it’s the same cast in different roles. “As You Like It” was seen opening night, July 22, for this review.

House sales in Lehigh Valley decrease 2.4 percent in June

Friday, July 21, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

During what is traditionally considered to be the peak house sales season, the summer months, sales of houses in the Lehigh Valley moved back to negative territory.

Closed sales decreased 2.4 percent in June to 893 houses sold, compared to 915 in June 2016, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR).

At midyear 2017, closed sales are up 4 percent to 3,878 from 3,728 year-to-date in 2016.

‘Despicable Me 3’

Friday, July 21, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Despicable Me 3” isn’t so much despicable as bland.

This time, Steven Carell gets to voice two characters of the film’s title, the original “Despicable Me,” Gru, and now his twin brother, Dru.

The saving grace in the third of the “Despicable” series (“DM2,” 2012, and the original “Despicable Me,” 2010) are, of course, the Minions, those one and two goggle-eyed, blue denim bib overall-wearing, yellow vitamin capsule looking, nonsense-spouting characters.

Theater Review: ‘All for one’ in ‘The Three Musketeers’ at PSF

Thursday, July 20, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The Three Musketeers” mantra of “All for one, and one for all” sums up the sword-wielding comedy-drama at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF), through Aug. 6, Main Stage, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley.

The show’s full title, “Ken Ludwig’s The Three Musketeers Adapted From The Novel by Alexandre Dumas,” underscores the “one for all” approach to the material, staging, acting and direction. The July 12 opening night performance of “The Three Musketeers” was seen for this review.

Review: ‘Beguiled’

Friday, July 14, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s midway through the 2017 movie year and, though it’s early in the Oscar race, “The Beguiled” is a contender.

Look for multiple Oscar nominations, including for Nicole Kidman, actress, as Miss Martha, headstrong headmistress at a young women’s academy circa 1864 Virginia during the Civil War. A wounded Union solder, Corporal McBurney (Colin Farrell, likely supporting actor nominee), is given refuge at the school.

Movie Review: Baby, you can drive ‘Transformers’

Friday, July 7, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Transformers: The Last Knight.”

Or is it?

“Transformers Universe: Bumblebee” is set for a June 2018 release. A sixth “Transformers” is set for a June 2019 release.

In this, the fifth movie, the Transformers don’t do all that much transforming. When they do transform, from cars and vehicles to Autobots, they mostly do so lurking behind a building support column or accompanied by flare effects.

The fascination with “Transformers” is to see them transform. Isn’t that what made the Hasbro toy so much fun to begin with?