Northampton Press

Friday, February 22, 2019

Theater Review: Crowded Kitchen Players' whirlwind of mirth

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Crowded Kitchen Players (CKP) perform a neat trick in its production of "A Flea in Her Ear," through Oct, 12, McCoole's Arts & Events Place, Quakertown.

CKP co-founder and "Flea" director Ara Barlieb turns inside out the stereotypes exploited by the French farce written by George Feydeau in the version by David Ives by casting against stereotype.

The results are a whirlwind of mirth.

Students lauded for 'Homecoming'

Thursday, October 3, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

"I can't say enough about our students' demeanor and behavior and the staff. And really, no issues Saturday night," said Northampton Area School District Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik, referring to the student Homecoming dance.

Ben Longacre, Northampton Area High School Student Council president, who represents council at school board meetings, said that 550 of a possible 600 attended the dance Sept. 21 at Northampton Memorial Community Center.

"It was a big success," Longacre said in his report at the Sept. 23 school board meeting.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Pennsylvania Playhouse 'Spelling Bee' letter-perfect

The Pennsylvania Playhouse (TPP) production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" creates a conundrum: Is it this community theater or regional theater?

Yes, TPP's "Spelling Bee" is that good. You might say it's letter-perfect. Wordsmiths should not miss "Bee," which spells out many unusual words (syzygy, cenacle, elanguescence), has a plethora of puns and a dollop of double-entendres.

Movie Review: 'Prisoners' takes no prisoners

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

When it comes to psychological thrillers, "Prisoners" takes no prisoners.

"Prisoners," paced by an intense, carefully-crafted and completely believable performance by Hugh Jackman, is a tension-filled nail-biter with a plot twist that you probably won't see.

Keller Dover (Jackman) is a middle-class father living in western Pennsylvania who owns his owns remodeling business. He and his wife, Grace (Maria Bello), have a teen son, Ralph (Dylan Minnette), and young daughter Anna (Erin Gerasimovich).

De Niro, Pfeiffer all in 'Family'

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"The Family" is a generically-titled film that is anything but generic.

The mob comedy-drama stars the iconic Robert De Niro, in one of his best roles in years, and the magnificent Michelle Pfeiffer, also in one of her best performances.

"The Family" is smart entertainment on the order of "Goodfellas" (1990). In fact, there's a nod in the storyline to "Goodfellas," directed by Martin Scorsese, who produced "The Family."

There's also a sense of "Married to the Mob" (1988) "Analyze This" (1999), and "Meet the Fockers" (2004).

Call it "Meet the Mobsters."

Middle School construction project is on schedule

Thursday, September 19, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

The $80.7-million Northampton Area Middle School and Secondary Campus Renovation Project is said to be on schedule and on budget.

"It is on schedule, on budget and there have been no change orders," Christopher W. Haller, Project Manager, D'Huy Engineering, Inc., said in his report at the Northampton Area School District Board of Education Sept. 9 meeting.

Concrete-block load-bearing walls are in place for the 272,000-square-foot middle school that will accommodate 1,500 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students.

Lake Bell in 'World' of her own

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"In A World ... "

You may have heard that phrase, intoned by Don LaFontaine at the beginning of movie previews, or trailers, as they are known.

LaFontaine, who died in 2008, was dubbed "the voice of God" for his recordings of more than 5,000 film trailers, and thousands of television commercials, network promotions and video game trailers.

LaFontaine parodied his own career in TV commercials for Geico Insurance and the "Mega Millions" lottery game.

A 'Konkrete Kontroversy'

Thursday, September 12, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Petition demands change, says team nickname represents Ku Klux Klan

With the start of football season, the name of the Konkrete Kids Northampton Area High School football team has itself become a political football.

A nationwide petition, already said to be signed by 2,500 as of the Monday night deadline for this story, demands that Northampton Area School District change the nickname of its football team, as well as its sports teams and its school nickname because, the petition claims, the initials of "Konkrete Kids" spell out KKK, the initials for the Ku Klux Klan, a far right-wing organization.

Reaction in NASD has been vocal and swift.

'The World's End' does not suffice

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"It's the end of the world as we know it," to quote the 1987 R.E.M. rock song, and I was feeling fine until near the end of the movie "The World's End."

Then, as in so many movies nowadays, it seems all apocalypse breaks lose, and "World's End" ends in fire.

"Ice would suffice," to quote the 1920 Robert Frost "Fire and Ice" poem.

Instead, director Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead," 2004; "Hot Fuzz," 2007; "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," 2010), loses his cool.