Northampton Press

Friday, November 16, 2018

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.

Theater Review: CKP ‘Eyes’ challenging material

Thursday, June 14, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Crowded Kitchen Players (CKP), noted for antic productions of orginal comedies, is presenting the world premiere of a serious drama, “A Softening Of Her Eyes,” written and directed by CKP co-founder Ara Barlieb.

The two-act play, featuring many of the CKP stable of players, continues at 8 p.m. June 15, 16 and 2 p.m. June 17 on the main stage of the Charles A. Brown IceHouse, Bethlehem.

School board OKs 2018-19 budget with tax hike

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Sole opposing director against including FedEx Ground projection in plan

By a vote of 8-1, Northampton Area School District Board of Education voted June 11 to adopt the 2018-19 final general fund, athletic fund and food services budget.

The 2018-19 general fund is $107,003,305. The athletic fund is $219,125. The food services fund is $2,446,795.

The general fund budget is increasing 4.15 percent from the 2017-18 general fund budget of $102,242,322.

To support the 2018-19 general fund budget, a property tax increase of 1.06 mills, or 2.01 percent, was approved, increasing the 2017-18 millage rate from 52.77 to 53.83 mills.

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Gala: Let the season begin

Thursday, June 7, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The “Luminosity” Gala, capstone of fund-raisers in the Lehigh Valley, heralds the start of The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.

An estimated 500 attended the annual gala June 2 at University Center, DeSales University, Center Valley. The theme of the gala was the red rose, a reference to the 2018 PSF season play, William Shakespeare’s “King Richard II,” July 19-Aug. 5, in repertoire with “Shakespeare in Love,” July 11-Aug. 5, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University.

SouthSide Film Festival documents its 15th year

Thursday, June 7, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s a benchmark year for the SouthSide Film Festival.

You might say, the Lehigh Valley’s oldest film festival that unreels June 12-16 on the south side of Bethlehem is documenting its 15th annual year.

“We are pretty documentary-heavy this year,” says SouthSide Film Festival Director Glenn Koehler, adding, “We ended up with a lot of really good feature-length documentaries this year.”

NASD budget vote is on June 11 agenda

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

2-percent proposed tax hike keeps baking elective, adds Spanish teacher

It’s been a long six months on the road to the Northampton Area School District’s 2018-19 final budget. The budget was first introduced Jan. 10. It was the middle of winter. The Jan. 8 school board meeting was postponed because of a snow/ice storm.

The first day of summer, June 21, is now approaching — and so is the deadline, June 30, for district budget approval.

The final budget is expected to be on the agenda for an up-or-down vote at the board of education meeting, to be held 6:30 p.m. June 11, in the NASD Administration Building, 2014 Laubach Ave., Northampton.