Northampton Press

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Review: ‘Ocean’s 8’

Saturday, June 23, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Ocean’s 8” is slick escapist fun, fueled by terrific performances by the leading females in its cast.

The movie is a remake of the successful “Ocean” caper movies, which began in 1960 with the release of “Ocean’s 11,” which starred the so-called “Rat Pack” of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

A series of remakes, “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001), “Ocean’s Twelve” (2004) and “Ocean’s Thirteen” (2007) starred an ensemble cast that included George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt.

Lehigh Valley house sales decline in May for fourth month in a row

Saturday, June 23, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Sales of houses in the Lehigh Valley continued their percentage of decline into the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same time in 2017, just as the prime summer residential real estate sales season gets underway.

According to the May monthly report of the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR), closed sales were down a bit less: 8.5 percent with 765 houses sold in May, compared to 836 houses sold in May 2017.

Teachers are hired at Siegfried, Moore elementary buildings

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in School

Several teachers have been approved for employment in the Northampton Area School District to replace those who have retired.

NASD Board of Education voted unanimously 9-0 at the June 11 meeting to hire:

• Ryan Hercik, elementary teacher, Siegfried Elementary School, effective Aug. 20, pending receipt of proper documentation, at $52,166, with benefits

• Ranim Sankari, elementary teacher, Siegfried Elementary School, effective Aug. 20, at $52,166, with benefits

Theater Review: ‘Beauty’ of a ‘Beast’ at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre

Monday, June 18, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Disney Beauty And The Beast: The Broadway Musical” is the Disney version of the beloved fairytale about the bookish Belle who looks beyond the cover of the Beast to discover a Prince of a person inside.

The Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre (MSMT) version is satisfying, fun and entertaining for the whole family. It’s really the kind of musical you can, and should, take your child, grandchild or a young family relative to see.

Theater Review: ‘Ragtime’ sings, dances to a timely tune at Pa. Shakespeare Fest

Monday, June 18, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Ragtime” is a sprawling musical that defies description. By turns, it’s three musicals in one, with interlocking storylines that mix historical figures with fictional characters.

It’s big. It’s brash. It’s bold.

“Ragtime” is also profoundly relevant to contemporary societal problems in the United States.

Movie Review: ‘Star Wars’

Saturday, June 16, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” takes us back to the halcyon days of Hollywood science-fiction film-making: You know, the days when characters, stories and plot development meant something.

“Solo” tells the story of the young Han Solo (played with astonishing alacrity by handsome and fresh-faced Alden Ehrenreich) and how he met his compatriots Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (the wonderful and compelling Donald Glover of Childish Gambino music video fame).

LV house sales decline for third-straight month

Saturday, June 16, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

House sales in the Lehigh Valley declined for a third-straight month, this time in double-digits for April, putting house sales for the year-to-date in negative territory.

Closed sales were down 10.6 percent with 591 houses sold in April, compared to 661 houses sold in April 2017, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) April report.

Closed sales for 2018 are down 3.2 percent, with 2,118 houses sold, down from 2,189 houses sold year-to-date or 2017.

Theater Review: ‘Newsies’ delivers at NCC Summer Theatre

Thursday, June 14, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Whether playwrights will be writing musicals about the internet and social media only time time will tell.

The media, and newspapers, in particular, have long been the subject of stage dramas and movies, going back at least to “The Front Page” (1931) and up to and including “The Social Network “ (2010) and “The Post” (2017).

Usually, the protagonist is an overly-enthusiastic reporter, hard-driving editor, or wise-cracking femme fatale. You don’t often find a musical entirely about singing and dancing reporters, say, a Bernstein and Woodward, or an editor, say, a Ben Bradlee.