East Penn Press

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Cookbook sale benefits public library

Thursday, December 7, 2017 by The Press in Focus

“What’s Cooking at the Library: 100 Years of Good Taste” is available at the Allentown Public Library, 1210 Hamilton St., Allentown.

The spiral-bound cookbook contains 344 recipes contributed by more than 30 library employees and families.

The cookbook includes an eclectic mix of handed-down family recipes and modern dishes. There are tried-and-true favorites, including German Potato Salad, Chicken Divan. Pork Barbecue and Moravian Sugar Cake.

Copies are being sold...

Holiday classics

Thursday, December 7, 2017 by The Press in Focus

ALLENTOWN

LIBRARY

Michèle LaRue will present dramatic readings of two holiday stories, 7 p.m. Dec. 13, Allentown Public Library, 1210 Hamilton St., Allentown.

The stories are “Dick Spindler’s Family Christmas” (1894) by Bret Harte (1894), and ”The Gift of the Magi” (1906) by O. Henry.

LaRue, a Chicago-born and New Jersey-based performer, tours nationally with her repertoire of century-old American “Tales Well-Told.”

The event is free and open to the public...

Theater Review: Civic’s ‘Christmas Carol’ touching, timeless

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

It was written in 1843 in the midst of the bleakness of the Industrial Revolution, but also in a period in England when interest in Christmas traditions was being revived. Charles Dickens’ novella, “A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas,” was perfect for its time.

In its telling of the conversion of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the story epitomizes the contradiction between the worsening plight of the poor working class, and the revival of joyful holiday celebrations and...

Theater Review: MunOpCo ‘White Christmas’ stylish, faithful

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

If you are dreaming of having a white Christmas this month, your best bet is MunOpCo Music Theatre’s stylish rendition of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas: The Musical,” on stage through Dec. 10 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, Allentown. The play is based on the 1954 holiday classic movie of the same name, which in turn, was named for the Academy Award-winning hit song featured in the 1942 film “Holiday Inn” starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.

The song and the musical “White...

Theater Review: Pa. Playhouse ‘Elf’ youthful, commendable

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

The Pennsylvania Playhouse production of “The Happy Elf,” continuing through Dec. 17, is a welcome change from slick traditional Christmas fare. It’s a musical comedy featuring a cast of mostly youthful actors and singers of diverse ages who are definitely full of the holiday spirit.

With music and lyrics by Grammy award-winning composer Harry Connick, Jr., and book by Lauren Gunderson and Andrew Fishman, the local staging uses Connick’s own narration and the musical’s soundtrack laid...

Theater Review: ‘Christmas City Follies’ relishes the holiday

Saturday, December 2, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

The annual “Christmas City Follies” is Touchstone Theatre’s holiday gift to the community, and it comes wrapped in witty scripting, colorful costumes and fine acting, all tied together with a touch of satire and loads of wisdom. Created by the Touchstone Ensemble and directed by Artistic Director Jp Jordan, this year’s 18th edition of “Follies” continues through Dec. 22 at the south side Bethlehem venue.

Members of the outstanding ensemble cast are Emma Ackerman, Bill George and Mary...

‘Christmas Wonderland’ kicks off holiday spectacularly

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by ERIN FERGUSON in Focus

“Christmas Wonderland: A Holiday Spectacular,” one of the most delightful and enchanting Christmas shows this side of the North Pole, will be presented at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton.

The show features a cast of 24 singers and dancers who are hand-picked from London, New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The dazzling cast of high-kicking chorus girls transforms the stage into a winter wonderland filled with more than 1,000 glittering...

Jim Norton faithful to the funny

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Jim Norton is your funny best friend. He’s that pal cracking wise on the playground, in the high school locker-room, or over morning coffee in the break room at work.

Jim Norton is an everyman of comedy, relatable, a middle-aged yet youthful personification of the archetypical American male.

As he approaches 50, he’s keen on settling down and his circumstances and outlook have changed since his Netflix special, “Mouthful of Shame,” aired in March.

Norton’s “Kneeling Room...

Todd Rundgren, the ‘White Knight,’ at the Peak

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by CAMILLE CAPRIGLIONE in Focus

Todd Rundgren says he remembers when he previously played Penn’s Peak: “It wasn’t that long ago. I remember wondering on the way to the gig if we were going to a farm or something. That’s how remote it seemed.”

“An Evening With Todd Rundgren” is at 8 p.m. Dec. 2, Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe.

The rock legend is expected to perform classics he has written and sung, such as “Hello It’s Me,” “I Saw the Light” and “Bang the Drum All Day,” as well as new songs from his 2017 album, “White...

‘White Christmas’ for MunOpCo 90th

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by MAKENNA MASENHEIMER in Focus

MunOpCo Music Theatre celebrates its 90th season with Irving Berlin’s classic holiday musical, “White Christmas,” 8 p.m. Dec 2, 9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 1533 Hamilton St., Allentown.

The show is based on the 1954 film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act. But when they follow two singing sisters to Vermont with romance on the mind, they discover that the...