East Penn Press

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Bach Choir brings Christmas concerts to two cities

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Two cantatas that Johann Sebastian Bach wrote specifically for the holidays in the 18th century highlight the Bach Choir of Bethlehem Christmas concerts, 8 p,m. Dec. 8, First Presbyterian Church, 3231 Tilghman St., Allentown, and 4 p.m. Dec. 9, First Presbyterian Church, 2344 Center St., Bethlehem.

The Choir, conducted by Bach Choir Artistic Director Greg Funfgeld, will be joined by the Bach Festival Orchestra and five soloists on three joyful pieces to usher in the season.

Allentown’s Jerome Collins returns with Straight No Chaser

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

A decade after the release of Straight No Chaser’s hit debut album, “Holiday Spirits,” Allentown native Jerome Collins says he still has to pinch himself sometimes.

“We are just all American boys still doing what we did in college,” he says. “We never thought something we started for fun would be our livelihood.”

The male acapella group sensations bring “An Evening with Straight No Chaser” to the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, for two shows, 4 and 8 p.m. Dec 8. The tour is in support of the group’s sixth album, the retrospective “One Shot.”

Bill Engvall brings his real-life comedy to Penn’s Peak

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by ERIN FERGUSON in Focus

Bill Engvall, one of the top comedians in the United States, brings his tour to Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe, at 8 p.m. Dec. 7.

As a native of Galveston, Tex., Engvall’s career in comedy started after moving to Dallas where, on a dare, he tried his hand at stand-up comedy one night at a nightclub with friends.

“I had always been a fan of comedy, but I never thought about it as a career. That night was basically a dare. I had no planned thing to do.

Kenny G brings Christmas tunes and more for State Theatre debut

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Kenny G has played Tokyo, Singapore and Spain.

He’s performed in London’s Royal Albert Hall and New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

And at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, he’s at the State Theatre Center for the Arts for his first-ever Easton concert.

And Kenny G wouldn’t have his life any other way.

“I’m proud of being one of the guys who has been a road musican for the last 30 years,” he says.

Movie Review: ‘Beasts’ not so ‘Fantastic’

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” has fantastic special effects, fantastic casting and fantastic acting.

As for the storyline: not so fantastic.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is a big disappointment and isn’t much better than the reboot, or “Harry Potter” prequel, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (2016).

Theater Review: A different take on ‘Christmas Carol’ at Pa. Playhouse

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” comes wrapped in many theatrical packages from traditional to musical, to casts of 100 or more down to a single actor playing all the roles as Dickens did when he performed his work on stage.

The Pennsylvania Playhouse is showcasing yet another variation on the old classic with a “A Broadway Christmas Carol,” through Dec. 16.

Not your run-of-the mill version of the classic, “A Broadway Christmas Carol” features a cast of four, shameless pirating of melodies and outrageously-funny parodying of lyrics from popular Broadway musicals.

Theater Review: Civic ‘Christmas Carol’ community again inspires

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

It’s “bah humbug” season again, and for the 29h year, Ebenezer Scrooge and his cohorts are on stage at Civic Theatre of Allentown’s 19th Street Theatre, once again bringing to life Charles Dickens’ inspiring story of humanity and redemption, “A Christmas Carol.”

The adaptation of the beloved tale is the collaboration of Civic Theatre’s Sharon Lee Glassman and Artistic Director William Sanders, who has directed each year’s production for the past quarter-century.

Review: ‘Marvel Universe’ stunning spectacle at PPL Center

Saturday, December 1, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

To say that “Marvel Universe Live! The Age Of Heroes” is not your son’s or daughter’s Marvel Comics is an understatement.

“Marvel Universe Live!,” seen opening night, Nov. 29, at PPL Center, Allentown, where performances are at 7 p.m. Nov. 30; 11 a..m., 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 1, and noon and 4 p.m. Dec. 2, is nothing short of spectacular entertainment for all ages, and the ages.

‘26 Pebbles’: Parkland High School student play about Sandy Hook in state contest

Friday, November 30, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

A Parkland High School production of “26 Pebbles,” a play about a very difficult topic, the 2012 shooting of 20 students and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., will get a statewide audience Dec. 1.

Mark A Stutz, Director of Visual and Performing Arts, Parkland School District, is hoping the student production could even reach a national audience.

“We felt it was a message that needed to be brought to as many people as we could,” Stutz says of the Parkland production, which he directed.

Evans has ‘Christmas’ spirit

Friday, November 30, 2018 by ERIN FERGUSON in Focus

Country singer Sara Evans is back with her limited engagement tour of “At Christmas,” stopping at 8 p.m. Dec. 1, Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe.

Evans began her career in the late 1990s and quickly became one of country music’s top female singers with five No. 1 country singles, including “No Place That Far,” “Suds In the Bucket,” “A Real Fine Place To Start,” “Born to Fly” and “A Little Bit Stronger.”