Salisbury Press

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Theater Review: Civic’s ‘Christmas Carol’ touching, timeless

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

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.

In its telling of the conversion of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the story epitomizes the contradiction between the worsening plight of the poor working class, and the revival of joyful holiday celebrations and...

Theater Review: MunOpCo ‘White Christmas’ stylish, faithful

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

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 song and the musical “White...

Theater Review: Pa. Playhouse ‘Elf’ youthful, commendable

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

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.

With music and lyrics by Grammy award-winning composer Harry Connick, Jr., and book by Lauren Gunderson and Andrew Fishman, the local staging uses Connick’s own narration and the musical’s soundtrack laid...

Theater Review: ‘Christmas City Follies’ relishes the holiday

Saturday, December 2, 2017 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

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.

Members of the outstanding ensemble cast are Emma Ackerman, Bill George and Mary...

‘Christmas Wonderland’ kicks off holiday spectacularly

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by ERIN FERGUSON in Focus

“Christmas Wonderland: A Holiday Spectacular,” one of the most delightful and enchanting Christmas shows this side of the North Pole, will be presented at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton.

The show features a cast of 24 singers and dancers who are hand-picked from London, New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The dazzling cast of high-kicking chorus girls transforms the stage into a winter wonderland filled with more than 1,000 glittering...

Todd Rundgren, the ‘White Knight,’ at the Peak

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by CAMILLE CAPRIGLIONE in Focus

Todd Rundgren says he remembers when he previously played Penn’s Peak: “It wasn’t that long ago. I remember wondering on the way to the gig if we were going to a farm or something. That’s how remote it seemed.”

“An Evening With Todd Rundgren” is at 8 p.m. Dec. 2, Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe.

The rock legend is expected to perform classics he has written and sung, such as “Hello It’s Me,” “I Saw the Light” and “Bang the Drum All Day,” as well as new songs from his 2017 album, “White...

Christmas with Annie Moses Band at Bethany Wesleyan in Cherryville

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by MAKENNA MASENHEIMER in Focus

The genre-defying Annie Moses Band Christmas tour makes a stop, 7 p.m. Dec. 1, Bethany Wesleyan Church, 675 Blue Mountain Drive, Cherryville, Lehigh Township, performing classic carols and holiday tunes.

The group is made up of siblings Annie Wolaver Dupre, violin and vocals; William Alexander Wolaver, viola; Benjamin Wolaver, cello; Camille Da Silva, harp; Gretchen Wolaver, violin, mandolin and guitar, and Jeremiah Wolaver, guitar.

“I suppose you can say we were formed at...

Pa. Playhouse taps inner ‘Elf’

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

While many theaters this time of year celebrate the holidays with more well-known or traditional plays, the Pennsylvania Playhouse, 390 Illick’s Mill Road, Bethlehem, stands out from the crowd with “The Happy Elf,” Dec. 1 - 17.

“[The Playhouse] wanted to stay away from ‘A Christmas Carol,’ ‘A Christmas Story’ and ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ because other theaters were presenting them,” explains director Bill Mutimer. “This was a good fit for the Holiday Season.”

“The Happy...

‘Christmas Carol’ turns 28 at Civic

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by MAKENNA MASENHEIMER in Focus

Civic Theatre of Allentown’s “A Christmas Carol” is back for its 28th year. The holiday classic brings Christmas cheer to the Nineteenth Street Theatre, 527 N. 19th St., Allentown, Dec. 1 - 16.

Adapted for the stage by William Sanders and Sharon Lee Glassman from the Charles Dickens’ novel, the holiday tradition continues to delight and inspire wonder with a cast of close to 100 Lehigh Valley performers.

Sanders, who’s again directing the show, describes the process of...

Well, hello, ‘Follies,’ it’s the 18th year at Touchstone

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by LUKE MUENCH in Focus

For many in the Lehigh Valley, attending Touchstone Theatre’s “Christmas City Follies” is a holiday season tradition, and this is no different for the show’s director Jp Jordan.

“This is my 13th. This is my 11th as director. For the first three, I was involved with, I was the musical director,” says Jordan, Touchstone Theatre artistic director.

“Christmas City Follies XVIII” opens Nov. 30 and continues through Dec. 22 at Touchstone Theatre, 321 E. Fourh St., Bethlehem.

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