Northampton Press

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Passion for choral arts: Bel Canto Youth Chorus, Bach Choir of Bethlehem join forces for new voices

Friday, August 10, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

For the Bach Choir of Bethlehem and Bel Canto Youth Choir, formerly based in Red Hill, Montgomery County, a merger of the two nonproft choral groups has been a long time coming.

In 2012, Bel Canto sang with the Bach Choir for Benjamin Britten’s cantata “St. Nicolas” and the following year, members lent their youthful voices to the Bach Choir’s 2013 CD “A Child’s Christmas in Bethlehem.” Last year, Bel Canto singers performed in the Bach Choir’s performance of Leonard Bernstein’s iconic “Mass.”

Now the two groups have become one.

On 15th anniversary, Penn’s Peak is prestigious CMA venue nominee

Friday, July 27, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

When Pencor Services, Inc., took a chance on a concert hall in the mountains of Penn Forest Township, general manager Craig Stelling never dreamed the site would one day be in the company of legendary country music venues like Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and Austin City Limits Live.

But as Penn’s Peak embarked on its 15th anniversary this year, Stelling learned that the Carbon County concert hall is one of five nominees for the Venue of the Year - Small Capacity in the Industry Award and Studio Recording division for the 53rd Academy Of Country Music Awards (CMA).

Mall shooting suspect in custody

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Police Log

DA, Whitehall police: Bethlehem gang member charged in June 1 incident

An alleged Bethlehem gang member has been arrested in the June double shooting at the Lehigh Valley Mall.

Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin and Whitehall Township Police Chief Michael Marks announced that 19-year-old Miles Harper, of 1206 Gordon St., Bethlehem, has been charged with two counts of attempted homicide and two counts of aggravated assault in the June 1 shooting that left two men wounded.

Print it at Kutztown Folk Festival

Friday, July 6, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Tucked between the hex sign display and the horse-powered carousel at the Kutztown Folk Festival, a 100-year-old printing press clicks and clacks as it churns out hand-fed printed souvenirs.

It’s the first time the historic cast iron press is on display as part of the Pennsylvania-Dutch festival at the Kutztown Fairgrounds through July 8.

The press is from the National Museum of Industrial History in Bethlehem and is part of a new exhibit on early printing at the museum through Oct. 31.

‘Hairspray’ ‘You can’t stop the beat’ at Munopco Music Theatre

Thursday, June 28, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

More than 60 people will recreate the 1960s era in Munopco Music Theatre’s big, bold and bright production of the hit Broadway musical “Hairspray.”

The musical about a plump teen who yearns to be on “The “Corny Collins Show,” an American Bandstand-style television show in Baltimore, features catchy 60s’-flavored songs and lots of high-energy dancing.

One of the cast members even joked she was losing weight from all the dancing, says Munopco “Hairspray” director Susan McDermott.

Teenage angst at Civic, according to ‘Peanuts’

Saturday, June 16, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

“Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” asks what happens when a certain beloved blockhead and all his pals hit their turbulent teens.

Inspired by the popular Peanuts comic strip, “Dog Sees God,” opening June 15 at Civic Theatre 514, imagines what it might be like after the gang reaches puberty and faces high school.

Jonathan Shehab, Civic director of marketing, makes his Civic stage debut as CB, the central character. Shehab is not the only Civic staffer in the show. Kelsie Kosberg, Civic box office manager, plays Van’s sister.

It’s not all about getting into ‘The Beast’ mode at MSMT

Saturday, June 16, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

“Beauty and the Beast” may be best-known for its dancing silverware extravaganza “Be Our Guest” scene, but it is the heart-breaking ballad “If I Can’t Love Her” that rests at the core of the story about a prince transformed into a beast as punishment for his cruel ways and warned to change or forever stay a beast.

“If I Can’t Love Her,” which was added when the Disney animated film was made into a 1994 Broadway musical, was composed by Alan Menken with lyrics by Tim Rice.

Lehigh Valley Summer Theater: Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre to pull out all the stops for opener, Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Saturday, June 16, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre (MSMT) promises spectacle with a big, splashy family show, a stage-filling classic Frank Loesser musical, and the high-flying acrobatics of a modern circus.

“It’s going to be a very happy summer,” says MSMT artistic director Charles Richter. “There will be lots of premiere performing.”

The 38th season kicks off with Disney’s Broadway musical, “Beauty and the Beast,” June 14 to July 1. The production will feature lavish scenic design, spectacular special effects, and “a touch of Disney magic,” says Richter.

From ‘Harry Potter’ role to ‘King Richard II’ at PSF

Friday, June 8, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) is known for bringing big-name film and Broadway stars to perform in its renowned festival at DeSales University in Center Valley. And the 27th summer season promises to be no exception.

An actor best-known for his role in the “Harry Potter” film series will join actors who have been seen on Broadway, the West End, opera and in film and television, to perform in six different plays through Aug. 5.

Lehigh Valley Summer Theater: Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival explores new terrain for 2018 season

Friday, June 8, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

It’s one of only seven places in North America, where you can see three of Shakespeare’s plays at one event.

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) 27th summer season at Desales University in Center Valley is poised to attract patrons from across the globe with its professionally-produced Shakespeare and so much more.