Bethlehem’s social entrepreneur Jeff Parks once said he never wanted anyone to be able to say there was nothing to do in the Lehigh Valley.
As the visionary who spearheaded the creation of Musikfest, Christkindlmarkt, the Banana Factory, the ArtsQuest organization and SteelStacks, Parks has done more than his share to assure a year-round abundance of local music, arts and educational programming. The purpose behind his efforts, however, goes far deeper than just providing someplace to go.
“Crazy For You,” through Aug. 12, Pennsylvania Playhouse, Bethlehem, is one of those feel-good, toe-tapping shows not unlike the wildly-popular romantic musical comedy movies of the 1930s.
That’s because “Crazy For You,” which premiered on Broadway in 1992, is based heavily on George and Ira Gershwin’s 1930s hit “Girl Crazy.”
“How I Became a Pirate” is a delightfully-funny children’s musical evocative of “Treasure Island” with just a hint of “Peter Pan.”
Adapted from best-selling author Melinda Long’s book of the same title,” the production continues through Aug. 4 at Northampton Community College Summer Theatre.
The prolific writing team of Janet Vogt and Mark Friedman wrote the libretto, music and lyrics for “Pirate,” once again exhibiting their expertise in telling beloved children’s stories.
Q. My five-year-old daughter’s new best friend comes from a family with same-sex parents. I am stuck on how to begin to answer questions she may have about this. Can you help me with some pointers on how to handle the discussion?
The first reaction from the panel was that there is an assumption that the daughter is going to have questions about her friend’s parents.
Q. My son will be getting his driver’s license this summer. I know other parents have lived through this, but I am terribly anxious. What can I do for my own peace of mind? Is there anything to do to increase his consciousness of the responsibility he will have, and how dangerous this really is?
The discussion began with panelist Mike Daniels’ observation that “children go through many milestones in their lives, but none cause more anxiety than their getting a license to drive.”
Q. We leave next week for our family vacation. It will be a nine-hour drive with our three children: two boys ages four and six, and our 13-year-old daughter. My patience is already taxed, and I need a good vacation. How can I keep this fun for all of us?
Since the parent is already taxed and taking on a lot of the responsibility for the trip, panelist Chad Stefanyak suggested that she include the children in the planning, such as what snacks and drinks to bring along. He also urged her to change her expectations from the negative to “This is going to be an adventure.”
With rousing music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards, and an engrossing book by Peter Stone, “1776” is an often whimsical, frequently poignant reminder that the tortuous path to American independence began not just on the battlefield, but on the political front, as well.
“The Rat Pack Lounge,” a musical written by James Hinderman and Ray Roderick, brings back memories of the 1960s when Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and, usually, a fourth or fifth entertainer (Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop), packed ‘em in at the Sands Hotel, Las Vegas.
Now playing at The Pines Dinner Theatre, Allentown, through Aug. 19, “The Rat Pack Lounge” is from every aspect the best Pines’ production so far this season.
Q. I am the father of nine- and 11-year-old daughters. Years ago, I made some very bad decisions, including leaving my wife and my children, and losing custody. I have grown up, straightened out and have established myself. I want to reconnect with my daughters, but don’t know how to go about it.
The panelists strongly urged the father not to try and contact his daughters on his own, while also discouraging him from going to the girls’ school.
Despite its title, “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” Civic Theatre of Allentown’s latest offering, seems straight-forward enough, at least for the first couple of scenes.
The lead character’s dog has died of rabies, and CB invites his friends to the funeral, but no one comes. Along the way, he wonders where people and dogs go when they die.