X marks the spot
The Southside Film Festival (SSFF) is underway.
You may have seen those posters with the big red "X" on them.
The X isn't for the MPAA ratings of the films being shown at the SSFF.
Rather, X is the roman numeral 10, as in the SSFF 10th anniversary.
The X also marks the spot, or screening locations, for more than 57 films, through June 15, Broughal Middle School auditorium, Victory Fire House, Lehigh University Sinclair Lab Auditorium and Godfrey Daniels, all south side Bethlehem.
The Muhlenberg Summer Music Theater (MSMT), at 33 years and counting, is the Lehigh Valley's longest-running summer theater.
MSMT founding Artistic Director Charles Richter is counting on continuing to be involved.
Of this year's season, for which he directs "Crazy For You," June 12 - 30, Richter says, "We're trying to move ahead and be bigger and better than ever."
The voice on the other end of the phone is unmistakable:
You're probably familiar with her voice from her debut album, "On How Life Is," and its hit single, "I Try," No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts in 1999, bringing her a 2000 female pop vocal Grammy.
The voice of David Murray is less familiar.
However, the sound of his saxophone is. Gray is a founder of the World Saxophone Quartet, received a 1989 jazz instrumental group performance Grammy for "Blues for Coltrane: A Tribute to John Coltrane," and a 1989 Guggenheim Fellowship.
West Park Civic Association presents the 31st annual West Park House Tour, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. June 16.
This year's tour, featuring 13 properties, includes period mansions, luxury apartments and elegant townhouses decorated in styles from contemporary to shabby chic.
Preview the newly-refurbished apartments in The Livingston and explore the private museum of internationally-renowned artist James Paul Kocsis in the Hotel Traylor.
When a fairy-tale romance gets mixed up with bejeweled high society and low-brow hucksters, the summer nights get hot in 1925-era Florida.
The dialogue in "The Cocoanuts" sparkles, the play is fast-paced, witty and captures the vaudevillian culture of long-ago comedians.
Ara Barlieb directs The Crowded Kitchen Players' production of the patter-rich, three-act play, with music and lyircs by Irving Berlin and book by George S. Kaufman with additional text by Morrie Ryskind, through June 23, McCoole's Arts and Events Place, 10 S. Main St., Quakertown.
With three productions in three weekends, the Second Annual Actors in Action Festival offers three very diverse plays in the kind of theater not often seen in the Lehigh Valley produced under the aegis of the Allentown Public Theatre (APT).
First up is one-man show of a tabloid journalist's tell-all, then a play about four corporate types trapped in that peculiar corporate hell of sensitivity training, and finally a free-form action and dialogue exploration of body image. The festival is June 13 - 30, Antonio Salemme Foundation gallery, 542 W. Hamilton St., Suite 203, Allentown.
They try: the David Murray Quartet featuring Macy Gray, above, performs 7:30 p.m. June 18, Musikfest Cafe, ArtsQuest Center, Steel Stacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. Few musicians in jazz history have proven more vigorously productive and resourceful than David Murray. From the moment he first visited New York as a 20-year-old student in 1975, Murray has careened forward in a cool, collected, rocket-fueled streak. Over the past 35 years, he released more than 150 albums under his own name.
Actors in Action Festival: "The Atheist," "Sensitivity Training," "The Un-Named Body Project," June 13 - 30, Allentown Public Theatre, Antonio Salemme Foundation gallery, 542 W. Hamilton St., Suite 203, Allentown. 610-433-4150
"Beauty and the Beast," through Aug. 9, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Arts, DeSales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley. 610-282-WILL
There's not a lot of magic in "Now You See Me," even though the film's milieu is prestidigitation.
There are digital special effects aplenty the kind of cinematic magic we expect in sci-fi, fantasy and action films.
The special effects cannot distract from a weak screenplay with half-baked plot and lack of character development.
"Now You See Me" inadvertently proves a motto said in the film by one of the magicians: "The closer you look, the less you see."
The Community Music School holds its Annual Gala Recital, 1 p.m. June 9, Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth Street, Allentown.
The recital is free and open to the public. A reception follows the recital.
Student year-end performances include, by school district or area:
Allentown School District: Peter Loikits, voice; Ashley Chila, piano; Parkland: Valmiki and Prathysha Kothare, both piano; Steven Wroge, violin; Kelly McMahan, violin; Joseph Hall, trumpet; Julia Young, piano; Kristie Budihardjo, violin;