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.
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.
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 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.
Q. My parents have been babysitting my children since they were born, but now my parents are getting older and are not as physically able or alert as they used to be. I am not comfortable having them watch the children anymore. How do I tell them without hurting their feelings?
Q. I have been struggling with addiction for many years. I want to go into a rehabilitation program, but I don’t know how to tell my children, ages eight and 11. They are going to think that I am a terrible person and mother. What should I say to them?
All the experts agreed that the mother was very courageous to face the problem, and several asked what would her children think of her in future years if she didn’t go into rehab.
The Pines Dinner Theatre has kicked off the Christmas season theatrical schedule with “Over the River and Through the Woods,” an original musical full of spirited songs, some good humor and lots of schmaltz. Performances continue through Dec. 23.
“The Scrapbook Show: The Life and Times of Richard Redd” marks the end of Richard Redd’s long and prolific career.
The retrospective exhibit of 60 years of innovative works by the award-winning artist at the Alternative Gallery in The Cigar Factory, Allentown, features not only Redd’s early works, but also pieces not been seen for decades. Scattered among those gems are poems, clippings and snapshots celebrating the artist’s life.
Q. My elderly mother, who has Alzheimer’s, lives with me and my family. We have a teenage son, and I am worried about how this is affecting him. I spend so much time taking care of my mother that I fear I am losing touch with him and what’s going on in his life. How can I create a sense of balance in my family?
It would be good to know how severe is the grandmother’s Alzheimer’s. Is she entirely dependent or does she have some interaction?
Q. My 16 year-old high school junior just told us that he doesn’t to go to college. He is so bright, and his grades are excellent, but he wants to go to a vocational-technical school instead. I feel that he will not be working to his abilities or reaching his full potential in a trade. How can we convince him that he needs to go to college?