It is almost 10 a.m. and 20 youngsters are seated on the red carpet that covers three sides of the thrust stage in Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley.
Another dozen or so pre-schoolers, wearing identical T-shirts, sit in theater seats close to the stage. Older children are interspersed throughout the theater.
The youngsters are here to see a performance of “Alice in Wonderland,” through Aug. 4 at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, complete with all the kooky characters Alice meets after falling down the Rabbit Hole.
Q. I am a stay-at-home mom of three: ages 8, 6 and 4. My husband works long hours, and we have no family in the area to help out. I have started gaining weight, and often feel sad and lonely. I know I should take time for myself, but I don’t know how. Any advice?
The panelists had a number of suggestions, ranging from things the mom could do for herself to ways she might connect with other adults.
The discussion began by explaining that part of dealing with the situation was to not feel guilty about wanting to have time to herself.
What’s not to like about the Pines Dinner Theatre’s latest offering, “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” when you have music and lyrics by the great George M. Cohan?
Pines Co-producer Oliver Blatt, who also wrote the book for the musical, has woven into the storyline of Cohan’s life many recognizable tunes, such as “45 Minutes to Broadway,” “Give my Regards to Broadway” and “It’s a Grand Old Flag.”
Q. My 12-year-old daughter wants to start “hanging out” with her friends. I know I need to give her more freedom as she gets older, but this is so hard. What should I be checking out or asking her when she wants to go with her friends to the mall or a park?
The first questions to ask, according to panelist Pam Wallace, are: “Who are you going with? Where are you going? What will you be doing? Will there be an adult with you?”
You don’t have to know anything about golf to enjoy the Pennsylvania Playhouse’s zany production of “The Fox on the Fairway,” continuing through June 17. You just need to sit back and enjoy the hilarity.
Written by Tony-Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig, “The Fox on the Fairway” is a farce about two country club rivals and the absurd bet they make on the outcome of a golf match. The dubious lengths one of the men goes to keep from losing the bet leads to uproarious consequences.
Q. Whenever I get on the phone, my two boys, ages 6 and 4, misbehave. They do things they would not do any other time like climbing on chairs to reach snacks, throwing things and fighting. I have to hang up from important calls. What can you suggest?
An early suggestion was to give the boys something to play with, as well as setting boundaries.
Make sure the boys know when it is OK to interrupt the parent on the telephone, and when it is not.
Q. My 17-year-old daughter recently shared that her close friend was sexually assaulted by a relative who is now in jail. She has never gone for counseling, is not doing well in school, is becoming withdrawn and doesn’t want to talk about it. My daughter said her friend doesn’t want anyone to know what happened. What can I do?
Q. My daughter is five and our son, three. She has never been interested in playing with dolls or “girly” things, but rather prefers the games and toys we purchase for her brother. We have even agreed to her request for a really short, boy-style haircut. She is well adjusted, bright and articulate, but we are concerned about her lack of interest in anything feminine. Should we do more to encourage her to become more “girly,” and inhibit her tomboy side?
It might seem incongruous to call a theatrical production about dying a feel-good play, but that is a perfect way to describe Civic Theatre of Allentown’s latest offering, “Tuesdays with Morrie,” through May 20, Alumnae Hall, Cedar Crest College, Allentown.
Written originally as a best-selling memoir by sportswriter Mitch Albom, then turned into a TV movie and later a play by Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher, “Tuesdays with Morrie” celebrates life and death as natural progressions.
Q. I am a young father of a two-month-old. I really enjoy being a dad except when the baby won’t stop crying. What should I do?
The panel members began by congratulating the father for recognizing the problem. They said they have all been through the baby-crying situations themselves.