East Penn Press

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Movie Review: Nanny dearest, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

Wednesday, January 2, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Mary Poppins Returns” isn’t as bad as I thought it might be.

Nor is it as good as I wanted it to be.

“Pish posh,” as Mary Poppins might say.

“Mary Poppins Returns” is the near-perfect 2018 holiday season release.

“Mary Poppins Returns” is paced by a terrific performance by Emily Blunt as the nanny Mary Poppins.

It also features a great performance by Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack the Lamplighter.

There are fine supporting performances, including Ben...

13th Annual ABEs salute Lehigh Valley Stage:

Friday, December 28, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The big news for the Lehigh Valley theater community in 2018, was, of course, Civic Theatre of Allentown’s successful $5.5-million “The Next Act” capital capaign to renovate and reopen its historic Nineteenth Street Theatre, namesake of Allentown’s West End Theatre District.

The other 2018 story of note in ABEs-land, as in the 13th annual Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton (ABEs) Lehigh Valley Press Focus awards for locally-produced theater, was the success of Northampton Community College’s...

Focus theater review list 2018

Friday, December 28, 2018 by The Press in Focus

Here is the Lehigh Valley Press Focus theater review list for 2018.The list includes production title, theater company, review publication date and reviewer’s name.

The publication dates correspond to dates where the reviews are archived on the Lehigh Valley Press web page:

thelehighvalleypress.com/focus

Focus 2018

theater reviews

“Christmas City Follies XIX,” Touchstone Theatre, Dec. 11. Carole Gorney.

“A Christmas Carol,” Civic Theatre of Allentown...

Movie Review: ‘Ralph’ rules ‘The Internet’

Monday, December 24, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Ralph Breaks The Internet” is not about the latest Ariana Grande music video going viral nor about a Russia troll farm hacking United States’ social media.

The animated sequel to “Wreck-It-Ralph” (2012) is more clever than that. Ralph doesn’t only “break” the internet, he wrecks it. They don’t call him “Wreck-It-Ralph” for nothing.

In “Ralph Breaks The Internet,” Wi-Fi service is being offered at the local videogame arcade. After Wreck-It-Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly)...

Jim Brickman brings joyful exchange to Miller Symphony Hall

Thursday, December 20, 2018 by STEPHEN ALTHOUSE in Focus

‘Tis the season that piano sensation Jim Brickman hits the road.

The Grammy-nominated pianist understands that being a successful entertainer is about more than creating captivating and beautiful music. Brickman’s easy as Sunday morning style resonates with his audience and it’s part of the reason they keep coming around for more.

Brickman’s 30-city United States holiday tour, “A Joyful Christmas,” lands at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

“I’m...

Movie Review: Who stole ‘The Grinch’?

Thursday, December 20, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The Grinch” almost stole the Christmas movie. The 2018 iteration of the Dr. Seuss’ classic takes a lot of the fun out of previous versions of “The Grinch.”

The real question is: Who stole “The Grinch”? That said, the film has its amusing moments and is gorgeous to look at.

The primary source material (other than The Grinch and his machinations being inspired by Charles Dicken’s Scrooge in the “A Christmas Carol” 1843 novella) is the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” 1957...

Sequel to ‘Bear’ book by Bud Cole published

Thursday, December 20, 2018 by ED COURRIER in Focus

“Bear and Buddy’s Wild and Crazy Adventures,” the sequel to Bud Cole’s “The Mystery of Little Bear” is now available for fans of the late nature writer’s books.

Cole, a retired Northampton Area School District elementary school teacher, found a new outlet for his love of science and the outdoors through writing.

His column, “Bud’s View,” ran in the Focus section of the eight Lehigh Valley Press regional print newspapers and websites. Cole’s freelance articles and photography...

Healthy Geezer: Contact dermatitis

Thursday, December 20, 2018 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. What causes rashes?

The most common cause of a rash is contact dermatitis, an inflammation of the skin that comes from direct contact with irritants or allergens. A red, itchy rash from contact dermatitis isn’t contagious, and usually goes away in two to four weeks.

Irritants or allergens include: detergents, soaps, makeup, deodorant, clothing, chemicals, rubber, metals, jewelry, fragrances, plants and medicinal lotions.

There are two types of contact dermatitis....

Respectfully Yours: How to eat pizza

Thursday, December 20, 2018 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I was engaged in a friendly debate recently on what is the right etiquette for eating pizza. When, if ever, is it OK for someone to eat pizza with a fork and knife? I say eating pizza with your hands is totally acceptable. Am I right?

Dear Reader, This answer depends entirely on your location and who you are eating with. Many foods are meant to be eaten with your hands.

Wraps with fillings may fall out, tacos, crispy bacon, and corn on the cob should be...