Northampton Press

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Theater Review: Touchstone ‘Follies’ explores season’s wonder, with laughter

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

If you thought vaudeville was dead, then you obviously haven’t seen “Christmas City Follies XIX,” continuing through Dec. 23, Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem.

An annual vaudevillian holiday tradition for the past two decades, “Follies” has a talented seven-member ensemble that sings, dances, jokes and satirizes its way through its original music and scripts.

Dressed as Christmas trees, part of the ensemble opens the show singing a tribute to “O Tannenbaum,” and playing green kazoos. Throughout the night, could also be heard the sound of iconic ukuleles.

Theater Review: A different take on ‘Christmas Carol’ at Pa. Playhouse

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” comes wrapped in many theatrical packages from traditional to musical, to casts of 100 or more down to a single actor playing all the roles as Dickens did when he performed his work on stage.

The Pennsylvania Playhouse is showcasing yet another variation on the old classic with a “A Broadway Christmas Carol,” through Dec. 16.

Not your run-of-the mill version of the classic, “A Broadway Christmas Carol” features a cast of four, shameless pirating of melodies and outrageously-funny parodying of lyrics from popular Broadway musicals.

Theater Review: Civic ‘Christmas Carol’ community again inspires

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

It’s “bah humbug” season again, and for the 29h year, Ebenezer Scrooge and his cohorts are on stage at Civic Theatre of Allentown’s 19th Street Theatre, once again bringing to life Charles Dickens’ inspiring story of humanity and redemption, “A Christmas Carol.”

The adaptation of the beloved tale is the collaboration of Civic Theatre’s Sharon Lee Glassman and Artistic Director William Sanders, who has directed each year’s production for the past quarter-century.

The Family Project: Son and church

Friday, November 30, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. On Sunday, my 13-year-od son told me that he no longer wanted to attend church services. He said that he does not believe in God, and that going to church is a waste of time. Our family has always been very involved with our church, and I am horribly upset by this. I have two younger children and I don’t want them to be influenced by their brother. What can I do?

The Family Project: Grandfather’s illness

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. I am divorced and my eight-year-old son has bonded very closely with his grandfather, my dad, who has been taking care of him while I work. We have just found out that my dad has cancer, and is not expected to live more than a few months. I have not told my son yet. How do I tell him, and then how do I help him get through the next couple of months?

Everyone on the panel agreed that the son should be told sooner rather than later.

“A good place to start,” panelist Chad Stefanyak said, “is to find out how much the son knows about death.“

Family Project: iPhones, tablets,

Thursday, November 15, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. I have become one of those parents I never thought I would be. On those rare occasions when my husband and I go out for dinner, we have started to bring along our iPhones and tablets to keep our children, three- and five-years-old, occupied so that we can have adult talk, and so they don’t get bored. How can I stop this without them having a meltdown in the restaurant?

“We have to start by saying, ‘It’s OK,’” panelist Kristy Bernard said. “Times are changing, and technology is changing how parents raise children today.”

Theater Review: ‘Walkin’ in the Christmas season at The Pines

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

If you are eager to get into the Christmas spirit or if you just can’t get enough of the carols and holiday cheer, then The Pines Dinner Theatre’s spirited musical “Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland,” continuing through Dec. 23, is just the ticket.

It’s non-stop singing and dancing, with lots of references to the memories and traditions that make the season special.

The Family Project: Bedtime strategies

Friday, November 9, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. My daughters aged seven and four are giving me a lot of trouble when I put them to bed, and then again in the morning. At night, they don’t want to settle down and go to sleep. In the morning, they are tired and do not want to get out of bed. I wake up anxious because my mornings are always horrible, and bedtime is chaos. I’ve tried reward charts and timeout, and have taken toys away. I just don’t know what else to do. I am really overwhelmed and looking for help.

Theater Review: ‘Greetings!’ puts the fun in dysfunctionalism

Friday, November 9, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

The Global ImpActors Group production of Tom Duzick’s “Greetings!” is an insightful, witty and all too relevant exploration of intolerance and other things that divide us, continuing through Nov. 11 at The Macungie Institute, Macungie.

Set in Pittsburgh at Christmastime in 1990, “Greetings” introduces the Gorskis, a working-class family headed by Phil, a staunchly Catholic, traditionalist father, and his perpetually-anxious wife Emily.

Living at home is Mickey, the intellectually-challenged younger son who has never been able to speak more than a few monosyllabic words.