East Penn Press

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Jumping for joy: Lehigh Valley premiere of Elton John musical, ‘Billy Elliot,’ reopens restored 19th St. Theatre

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

When William Sanders looked around to select the play for the reopening of Civic Theatre of Allentown’s $5.5-million renovation and restoration of its historic Nineteenth Street Theatre, he needed to look no further than his favorite musical.

“Billy Elliot.”

“Billy Elliot” premiered in London’s West End in 2005 and was nominated for nine Laurence Olivier Awards, receiving four, including best new musical.

Maria Bamford has Rx for her standup comedy

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Maria Bamford’s comedy can be difficult to describe.

Imagine if all the voices in your head decided to put on a show while embodied in an adorably nervous human chihuahua and you might get a clue as to Bamford’s original comedic brand.

Maria Bamford returns to Musikfest Cafe, 7 p.m. Oct. 14, ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, Bethlehem.

Bamford’s brew, a comedy stew, is part performance art, masterful vocal manipulation, physical comedy, cathartic confessional and stand-up that defies comparison.

Movie Review: ‘Smallfoot’ small

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Smallfoot” is “Frozen” without the ice-skating.

And also without Olaf.

“Smallfoot” has gorgeous animation of snow-laden landscapes of mountains and trees. The detail of artistry is impressive. For example, the hair on Migo, a Yeti (voiced by Channing Tatum) is incredible, as is the animation of the face, eyes, mouth and physical movements of the character.

The Family Project: First-grader reading

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. My six-year-old daughter entered first grade this year. By the end of the first week of school, my daughter started becoming tearful at home, right in the middle of fun activities. When I ask her what is wrong, she says things like, “Who is going to play games with me when you die?” I had no idea where this is coming from. I reassure her that I’m not going anywhere, and she calms down. But the next day, it happens again. It is really upsetting me that she is so consumed with thoughts of me or her father leaving her. What might be going on?

Respectfully Yours: College roommate

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I’m a freshman in college and this is the first time I’ve had a roommate. I’m having trouble adjusting because we have drastically different social lives and study habits. Our dorm room is small and we can’t seem to get out of each other’s way. What can I do to survive living with my roommate?

Dear Reader,

First-year college students like you have a lot on their minds: making new friends, navigating the campus, and choosing a major.

Respectfully Yours: Barking dog

Friday, October 5, 2018 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn, My neighbor’s dog barks periodically throughout the day and it’s getting on my nerves. I don’t want to disrupt a good relationship between my neighbor and me. What can I do?

Dear Reader,

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but when your neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking, it can become a nightmare. There are some things you can do to regain peace and quiet without starting a war with your neighbor.

Give your neighbors the benefit of the doubt. There’s a possibility they don’t realize their dog is barking so much and aggravating you.

Movie Review: Running out the ‘Clock’

Friday, October 5, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

You’ve heard the term “clock-watcher.” It’s when an employee has his or her eye on the clock on the wall at work and his or her mind on the door. He or she is deemed a “clock-watcher.”

The clock on the wall is “in” the wall in “The House With A Clock In Its Wall” and the eyes of Uncle Jonathan (Jack Black); his nephew, Lewis (Owen Vaccaro), and the uncle’s platonic friend, Florence (Cate Blanchett), are trying to watch the clock, if they could only find it. This is not from lack of trying. At one point, Lewis is punching a mantle clock, but not “the” clock.

Pennsylvania Sinfonia launches 2018-19 season at Christ Lutheran

Friday, October 5, 2018 by The Press in Focus

Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, the local chamber orchestra founded in 1982 by its Music Conductor Allan Birney, begin its 2018-2019 season with a program of “Pomp and Passion,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, Christ Lutheran Church, Allentown.

With an orchestra that is deliberately small in size to play classical chamber music, the sound is agile and intimate. Listeners can easily distinguish the different instruments in the musical mix. Birney programs works that showcase the capabilities of the chamber orchestra.