Northampton Press

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Review: ‘Once’ again

Friday, August 9, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

You pretty much know what you’re going to get with a film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

There’s going to be knucklehead characters just on this side, or that side, of the law.

There’s going to be pop culture-infused quippy dialogue and visuals.

And there’s going to be an explosion, or explosions, of violence.

You get all this and more in Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in ... Hollywood.”

Curtain Rises: Clair Freeman a natural to direct ‘Avenue Q’ at Pennsylvania Playhouse

Friday, August 9, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Avenue Q” might not be your grandfather’s or grandmother’s musical. It could be your millennialist’s musical, though.

“Maybe it’s because I’m a professor at two colleges, I talk to a lot of young people,” says Clair M. Freeman, an adjunct faculty member in the Cedar Crest College performing arts department and the Northampton Community College theater department.

Teachers appointed for the 2019-20 NASD academic year

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in School

New appointments have been made for the 2019-20 school year in Northampton Area School District. These include, approved by a 9-0 unanimous vote by school directors, at the recommendation of the administration, at the May 6 NASD Board of Education meeting:

• Emily Boyle, biology teacher, Northampton Area High School, effective Aug. 19, at an annual salary of $53,555, with benefits

• Amy Wright, school counselor, NAHS, effective Aug. 19, at an annual salary of $56,812, with benefits

Curtain Rises: Clair Freeman a natural to direct ‘Avenue Q’ at Pennsylvania Playhouse

Saturday, August 3, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Avenue Q” might not be your grandfather’s or grandmother’s musical. It could be your millennialist’s musical, though.

“Maybe it’s because I’m a professor at two colleges, I talk to a lot of young people,” says Clair M. Freeman, an adjunct faculty member in the Cedar Crest College performing arts department and the Northampton Community College theater department.

36th annual Musikfest brings more than 500 performances to Bethlehem

Friday, August 2, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

There’s a new platz in town at the 36th annual Musikifest, Aug. 2-11, which kicks off Aug. 1 with “Preview Night.”

Zinzenplatz was chosen in a contest held by ArtsQuest, which presents Musikfest, to replace the name of Experienceplatz, Main and Lehigh streets, Bethlehem. Zinzenplatz honors Countess Benigna von Zinzendorf, daughter of Bethlehem founder Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf.

Musikfest, named the “Best Music Festival in North America” by USA Today’s 10best.com, is held in Bethlehem’s Historic District on the city’s northside and SteelStacks on the city’s southside.

Movie Review: ‘Spider-Man: Far from’ super

Friday, August 2, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Spider-Man: Far from Home” is the equivalent of a 1950s science-fiction drive-in flick.

One big difference is that “Spider-Man: Far from Home” has a $160-million budget.

The budget for “Plan 9 From Outer Space” (1959) was $60,000.

In “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” there’s a student field trip, but this being the 21st century, rather than going to the area planetarium, as in “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955), it’s a trip to Venice, Austria and Prague.

NASD administration sets dates for start of 2019-20 school year

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in School

With the month of August underway, Northampton Area School District administrators and teachers are gearing up for the start of the 2019-20 school year, with the first day of classes Aug. 26.

Teacher induction is 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 5 and 6. The NASD data retreat is 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 7. The NASD administrative data retreat review is 8 a.m.-noon Aug. 8.

Teacher and administration in-service days are Aug. 19, 20, 21 and 22. The Labor Day holiday is Sept. 2.

Theater Review: ‘Henry IV, Part 1’ essential, great at Pa. Shakespeare Festival

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

They do Shakespeare the old-fashioned way in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival production of “Henry IV, Part 1,” through Aug. 4, Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley.

It’s old-fashioned as in some 420-years old-fashioned when The King’s Men staged William Shakespeare’s plays at The Globe Theatre, London, England, sans director and sans costume, scenic and lighting designers. The PSF production follows such so-called “original practices.”

Allentown Band, soloists go Broadway in concert

Friday, July 26, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Allentown Band has increased its performance schedule from three to six concerts at Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

“We’re getting to be the house band,” quips Allentown Band Conductor Ron Demkee.

This includes “Broadway and Beyond,” with tenor Eric Fennell and mezzo-soprano Lauren Curnow, 7:30 p.m. July 27, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

“Last year, Symphony Hall initiated the summer series. One was a Broadway-themed concert by the band. The other was ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ with the band accompanying the silent film,” says Demkee.

LV house sales statistics show no increase in June

Friday, July 26, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

At the midway point in 2019, Lehigh Valley house sales were flat in June in the start of what is traditionally the peak residential real estate summer sales season.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley showed no increase in June, 0.0 percent in June, with 901 houses sold, identical to 901 houses sold in June 2018, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) monthly report released July 15.

Closed sales for the first six months of 2019 are up slightly, 1.3 percent, to 3,955 from 3,903 for the first six months of 2019.