Northampton Press

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Neil Diamond launches world tour at PPL Center, Allentown

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Although illness prevented a December 2014 concert by Cher from completing a Trifecta to mark the opening of PPL Center that included September 2014 concerts by the Eagles and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and while there have been other notable concerts and events at the new downtown Allentown landmark, the honor to complete the Trifecta at the new arena goes to Neil Diamond, who opens his 2015 world tour at PPL Center with concerts at 8 p.m. Feb. 27 and March 1.

Movie Review: 'Still Alice' is unforgettable

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Still Allice" cuts to the core of human existence.

"Still Alice" examines the essence of communication.

"Still Alice" asks: When is Alice still Alice?

The film drama, "Still Alice," sensitively examines what happens when the brain no longer functions properly.

Alice (Julianne Moore) is a respected Columbia University professor of linguistics and an author. She is married to a successful medical researcher (Alec Baldwin). They live in a beautiful, charming and tastefully-decorated Manhattan townhouse.

Theater Review: A toast to APT's 'True West' at Touchstone

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"True West" is an explosive comedy with superb performances and production levels that combine to be audience-shaking.

The set for the Allentown Public Theatre production in the "Spotlight On The Valley" series on stage through March 1 at Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem, is as detailed as the language in the now-classic Sam Shepard play, first staged in 1980, as well as the meticulous direction by James Peck and the ruminative acting by Jason Roth (Austin) and Joshua Neth (Lee).

We have an Oscar winner

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Oscar spread the largesse at the 87th Academy Awards Feb. 22.

Thematically, Oscar again typically voted for disease ("The Theory Of Everything," "Still Alice") and dysfunctionalism ("Birdman," "Whiplash," "Boyhood").

Among the many participants in the Lehigh Valley Press Focus section Readers Pick The Oscar recipients, only one correctly chose all seven contest categories: Wendy McElwain of Whitehall.

NASD nets $328,000 in energy savings

Thursday, February 26, 2015 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Continued savings on energy costs are being realized in Northampton Area School District.

This time, an estimated $303,000 annual savings is expected because of the district's four-day summer work week and other initiatives.

An additional $25,000 savings is anticipated through use of a new Internet service provider for the district.

The NASD School Board voted 7-1, with one member absent Feb. 23, to approve four memorandums of understanding for a four-day week June 22 - Aug. 14.

NASD projects $300,000 savings on fuel oil, gasoline costs

Thursday, February 19, 2015 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in School

The Northampton Area School District should realize a savings of about $300,000 in fuel oil and gasoline costs during the 2015-16 school year because of a cooperative purchase agreement that has locked in low prices.

The district will pay about $2.13 per gallon for unleaded gasoline and about $2.22 per gallon for fuel oil.

With Lehigh Valley prices dipping to as low as $2.15 for one gallon of unleaded regular gasoline, but since increasing to about $2.39, some Northampton Area School Board members wondered if there couldn't even be more savings.

Pipeline concern

Thursday, February 19, 2015 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Resident: reroute it away from elementary school

The Northampton Area School District administration and school board is in an information-gathering phase concerning the proposed natural gas pipeline that is expected to be less than one-half mile from Moore Elementary School.

"Right now, we're gathering information," NASD Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik told a reporter for Northampton Press following the Feb. 11 board of education meeting.

Theater Review: '[title of show]' gives Broadway the business

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"[title of show]" is brilliantly simple and mind-bogglingly complex. This musical-comedy has enough humor and insight for 10 shows. It's not only a must-see, it's a multiple-see.

"[title of show]," continuing through March 1 at Civic Theatre of Allentown, skewers the Great White Way, but saves its best barbs for those who are Broadway-bound. It's the ultimate "let's put on a show" show.

On the way to exploiting its funny premise,"[title of show]" traveled from off-Broadway to Broadway. The musical's genesis and that journey is the concept for the show.

Oscar predictions: 'Boyhood' is 12 years a film

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It's an embarrassment of riches at this year's Oscars.

While 2013 was regarded as one of the best years in a decade for great films, one could make the case, based on the Oscar picture nominees alone for the 87th Academy Awards, that 2014 was even better.

The year 2014 will be remembered as the year of the director.

There was writer-director Richard Linklater's "12 Years A Film," i.e, "Boyhood," filmed over the course of 12 years with the same actors as we see lead actor Ellar Coltrane grow from an elementary school student of age five to a college teen of 18.

Movie Review: Simmons whips 'Whiplash' into Oscar shape

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Drum roll, please!"

"Whiplash" has five Oscar nominations, including picture, supporting actor (J.K. Simmons as Terence Fletcher, the hard-driving music teacher), adapted screenplay, editing and sound mixing.

Even for those who don't know the difference between a single paradiddle and a double-stroke roll, "Whiplash" is a must-see for the performance of Simmons alone, the presumptive supporting Oscar recipient. It's the role of a lifetime for Simmons, a noted character actor.