It's Black Friday, the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season in downtown Bethlehem. The city is festive. Merchants are ringing up record profits.
Then … one of those shopkeepers is murdered in a mysterious fashion.
Thus begins Larry L. Deibert's latest novel, "The Christmas City Vampire."
Deibert signs copies of his book, 1 - 3 p.m. March 3 for "Local Author Sundays" at the Moravian Book Shop, 428 Main St., Bethlehem.
This is Deibert's third or fourth novel, depending on how you count.
The Lehigh County Conference of Churches (LCCC) presents "People Without Homes," a photography and poetry exhibit and community discussion, 5 p.m. Feb. 27, Tower Auditorium, Sacred Heart Hospital, 421 Chew St., Allentown.
"People Without Homes" is the recent sabbatical project of LCCC Executive Director Rev. Dr. Christine L. Nelson.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. Free parking is available.
A discussion on chronic homelessness begins at 6 p.m. Feb. 27.
Light refreshments will be served.
"We've been trying to do this play for years. But this is the first time we got the rights, which is ironic with the movie coming out this year," says Civic Theatre of Allentown Artistic Director William Sanders.
Sanders directs the Lehigh Valley premiere of "August: Osage County," opening March 1 and continuing March 2 and March 7 - 10, on Civic's main stage, 527 N. 19th St., Allentown.
It's called "Burlesque to Broadway," but the song and dance revue, 7:30 p.m. March 2, State Theatre for the Arts, 453 Northampton St., Easton, is much more, according to its star.
"It's a celebration of women, from Burlesque to Broadway and beyond," says Quinn Lemley, star of the show with co-stars, Sara Brophy, portraying Raz, a Rosalind Russell character, and Amanda Brantley, portraying Gracie, based on Gracie Allen. They're backed by a 10-piece orchestra.
"The show is like a young Bette Midler meets 'Chicago,' " Lemley says.
Submissions are now being accepted for the eighth annual award-winning Student Poetry Project.
In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, three poems will be selected in each of the Elementary, Middle School and High School categories and published in the April 24 and 25 Focus section in the Lehigh Valley Press newspapers.
The student whose poem is selected as the best poem in each category may have his or her photo published with the selected poem.
Boa unconstricted: Sequins, fans and boas – oh, my! Quinn Lemley, above, and her diva sidekicks, Gracie and Raz, are set to dazzle in a scintillating tribute, "Burlesque to Broadway," 7:30 p..m. March 2, State Theatre for the Arts, 453 Northampton St., Easton. The show, directed by Tony Award-winning Joe Hardy, tells a joke-filled, compelling and uplifting story of icons who rose from meager beginnings to become strong, celebrated artists. The Las Vegas-style production takes you to the world of vaudeville, Minsky's and The Ziegfeld Follies.
Cascading faeries descend upon the stage in a rainbow of colors to bless the newborn Princess Aurora, also known as "Sleeping Beauty," with gifts of beauty, energy, song and temperance.
The evil faerie, Carabosse, performed by Kathryn Washer, casts an evil spell upon Princess Aurora. When she turns 16, she will prick herself with a spindle and fall dead.
Luckily, the lovely Lilac Faerie, performed by Esther Martinez, with her six attendants, casts a counterspell that she will fall asleep for 100 years.
Just when one thought that France's "Rust and Bone" set the mark for depressing cinema, there's "Amour."
"Amour" was nominated for five Oscars, picture, actress (Emmanuelle Riva), director (Michael Haneke), original screenplay (Haneke) and foreign-language film (Austria's entry). The film won the Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival.
In "Amour," Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Riva) are retired music teachers who are in their 80s. After Anne has successive strokes, Georges promised her that he will not place here in a long-term care facility.
As part of the "Year of Faith" campaign, the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture at DeSales University is hosting a symposium on faith and relationships with Erika Bachiochi, J.D., a nationally-syndicated author and speaker; moderated by Anne Lewis, professor of theater at DeSales University, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27, University Center, DeSales University, Center Valley.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Diocese of Allentown. No tickets are required.
Civic Theatre of Allentown holds open auditions 7 p.m. March 11 for its May 4 -10 production of "Next to Normal," the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt, in the upstairs rehearsal hall, 19th Street Theatre, 527 N 19th St., Allentown.
Callbacks will be held the following evening, March 12. The musical will be directed by Civic's Artistic Director William Sanders with music direction by Justin Brehm.
Information: CivicTheatre.com, 610-432-8943