Northampton Press

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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, 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.

For Shore: Steven Van Zandt brings Jersey Sound, ‘Summer of Sorcery’ to Easton’s State Theater

Friday, July 26, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

When Steven Van Zandt looked for a folllowup album to his critically-acclaimed “Soulfire” (2017), he knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to capture that sure-fire sensation of summer.

In the midst of the Summer of 2019, his Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul tour stops at 8 p.m. July 26, State Theater Center for the Arts, Easton.

At the center of the concert, part of a seven-month tour that takes him and the band across the United States to Europe and back again, are selections from Van Zandt’s “Summer of Sorcery” album.

Theater Review: These ‘Private Lives’ shine at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s called “Private Lives,” but the lives of two couples are on public display in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) sparkling new production of the 1930 Noel Coward classic comedy of manners, or perhaps, of ill-manners, through Aug. 4, Main Stage, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley.

Director of operations attends last meeting before retirement

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in School

After Robert J. Yanders’ last day as Northampton Area School District director of operations, he’s not going to Disney World.

He’s heading to Maine.

“I attended 480 board meetings. I may have missed two meetings, 12 meetings per year, for 20 years,” said Yanders July 15, attending his last NASD Board of Education meeting as an NASD official.

“I’ve been with Bob a long time — 10 years,” NASD Superintendent of Schools Joseph S. Kovalchik said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with Bob on the projects, improvements and the weather. I will miss him dearly.”

Board approves appeal plan

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in School

Northampton Area School District officials have approved resolutions that may increase tax revenue for the district and help clear the road for a major proposed warehouse in the district.

At the July 15 meeting, NASD Board of Education voted unanimously 9-0, under the policy portion of the agenda, to approve two measures relating to the appeal of assessments in the district.