Q. My eight-year-od son seems to enjoy the company of a boy in the neighborhood who is 11. He shows up at our house every day, and from what I see, he is a big brother to my son. They play games together nicely, and he is very polite. I have tried to visit the boy’s house and meet a parent, but no adult is ever home, and no one calls to check up on him. My concern is: Why would an 11-year-old want to play with an eight-year-old? Should I put restrictions on how much time he spends at our house? I want to be kind, but I am concerned about this relationship.
Lots of farce, a little slapstick and an ample serving of comic mayhem are back on the stage at the Pennsylvania Playhouse, Bethlehem, in “Moon Over Buffalo,” through Feb. 24.
The latest offering is one of two dozen award-winning plays and musicals written by Ken Ludwig, who also penned “The Fox on the Fairway” and “Crazy for You,” both of which were produced by the Playhouse last season.
Civic Theatre of Allentown’s production of “Noises Off,” through Feb. 24 at the 19th Street Theatre, Allentown, is a madcap romp through the clichés of farcical comedy and slapstick, with some very inventive twists.
In each of the three acts of “Noises Off,” cast members perform the first act of a play-within-the play, a sex farce titled “Nothing On.”
No chance to get bored, though. The audience views each Act One from a different perspective: onstage rehearsal, backstage shenanigans and on- and off-stage performance chaos.
Q. My daughter is only seven-years-old and she is already being bullied. I thought that kids didn’t start this until middle school. She is being teased on the bus for everything from her backpack to her clothes. Almost every day she comes home crying, and now she does not want to ride the bus anymore. What can I do to help her stand up for herself?
The panelists began with some questions of their own.
Q. My sister and her husband are going through a separation and probably a divorce. My children, ages eight and five, keep asking questions like why their aunt comes to visit them alone. We keep telling them that Uncle Kevin is out of town, but eventually we will have to be honest with them. How do we explain divorce to children?
The panel stressed the importance of being honest with children when answering their questions, but that doesn’t mean that you have to go into great detail.
It’s a whodunit with a comic twist and a motley cast of characters worthy of any rogues’ gallery.
It’s The Pines Dinner Theatre’s highly-inventive, wildly-funny, season-opener “Who Done It?,” an audience-participation murder-mystery stage show.
The show was presented Jan. 18, the performance seen for this review, and Jan. 19, 25, 26 and Feb. 2 at the Allentown theater.
Q. Steve and I have been living together for four years, and we are thinking about starting a family. Is it important for children to have married parents? We are fine as we are, but not sure whether getting married is the right thing.
In answering this question, the panel discussed it from several different perspectives.
Q. I’m sure everyone has gone through this, but it mortified me. What do you do when a young child (loudly) points to someone and says, “That man is fat,” or something equally embarrassing?
In response to the question, the panel observed that what young children say is an observation, not judgmental.
“Children learn from observation, sight and sound, and experience,” panelist Mike Daniels said, adding, “They make comparisons, but not connections.”
Q. I am a single mom with two young children. Nearly all my income goes to rent, keeping my car on the road and bills. “Good” food is expensive. I can already see my six-year-old getting fat on what I can afford. What can I do? I’m not sure they will eat vegetables and salad, but they sure love macaroni and cheese.
“The idea that good food is necessarily expensive isn’t exacting accurate,” panelist Chad Stefanyak said. “Grandmother showed us that if you have chicken tonight, you have chicken salad for lunch tomorrow and chicken soup the next day. You can stretch things.”
Q. My 16-year-old daughter does not have a driver’s license, but some of her friends do. She asks repeatedly for permission to get into cars with her friends who have drivers’ licenses, but are inexperienced drivers. How many ways can I say, “No?” When, or under what circumstances, should I say, “Yes?”
The panel first talked about how to deal with the daughter’s repeated requests to go driving in vehicles with friends, then switched to ways to make the experience safer when the mother eventually has to say, “Yes.”