Northampton Press

Monday, October 14, 2019

Movie Review: 'Men' not 'Monumental'

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"The Monuments Men" is anything but monumental.

That's too bad. The fact-based story about the United States' military mission to recover world-renowned works of art confiscated and hidden by the German Nazis during World War II has the earmarks of a bonafide thriller: priceless art, war, Nazis and a stellar cast, including and directed by George Clooney.

A catalogue of attributes doesn't always add up to a great work of art, much less entertaining cinema. "Monuments Men," at times, is a monumental bore.

Theater Review: Place Civic's 'Cities' on your itinerary

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Civic Theatre Artistic Director William Sanders knows drama. And, he knows how to select stage dramas and direct them.

Sanders puts a fine point on "Other Desert Cities," an audacious; by turns, surprising, and, ultimately, thought-provoking and heart-rending drama-comedy about one family's secrets.

"Other Desert Cities" continues through March 15 at Civic's Nineteenth Street Theatre, 527 N. 19th St., Allentown. The play was reviewed March 1.

School board hires coaches

Thursday, February 27, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

The hiring of two coaches and the resignation of one coach has been accepted by the Northampton Area School District School Board.

Michael Glassic was recently hired as assistant baseball coach, with 80 percent experience and 50 percent of the assistant coach stipend, for a total compensation of $1,917.60, no benefits, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between NASD and NAEA effective for the 2013-14 school year.


Thursday, February 27, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Refinancing to save district $142,000

Refinancing of bonds is expected to recoup a windfall $142,000 for Northampton Area School District.

By a unanimous 9-0 vote Monday, the NASD school board, at the recommendation of the administration, authorized the administration to work with Public Financial Management, Inc. (PFM), district consultants, for the issuance of General Obligation Bonds Series B 2014 to refund the district's General Obligation Bonds Series 2006, 2007 and 2009, via a Parameters Resolution, on March 10 for a net minimum savings target of 2 percent.

And the Oscars go to ...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It's not nearly as surprising as who will receive an Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards, as who has not received a competitive Oscar.

The list, to name a few, includes Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant and Peter O'Toole.

That said, the year 2013 is memorable for brilliant directing, brave acting and superb productions. It was a year for the ascendancy of African-American directors and actors, as well as for fact-based stories.

This year, there could even be a WeightWatchers honor in the first category:

Movie Review: 'Lego Movie' deconstructs

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Usually, the merchandise tie-in, toys and product promotions occur immediately before, during or after the release of a major motion picture.

With "The Lego Movie," the toys were there first.

Lego (from the Danish, "leg godt" (play well) is the brainchild of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter in Denmark. From 1949 to 2013, an estimated 560 billion Lego were manufactured. The colorful interlocking plastic bricks and accompanying gears, figurines and parts are connected imaginatively to construct vehicles, buildings and displays.

School board hires new coach

Thursday, February 13, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

A new Northampton Area High School "Konkrete Kids" varsity football coach has been hired, with promises to "turn the program around."

Mark Scisly was hired, as recommended by the Northampton Area School District administration, by the Northampton Area School Board, by a vote of 7-0 Monday night. Two board members were absent.

Scisly, an East Penn School District Lower Macungie Elementary School health-physical education teacher since August 2002, has been the Boyertown Area High School head football coach since February 2008.

Theater Review: 'Family' has 'Royal' pedigree at Playhouse

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

In "The Royal Family," playwrights George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber take Shakespeare's dictums that "all the world's a stage. And men and women merely players" and "the play's the thing" and apply it to a thinly-veiled send-up of the first family of theater, the Barrymores.

Only, in "The Royal Family," through Feb. 16, Pennsylvania Playhouse, Bethlehem, the Barrymores are called the Cavendishes and Kaufman and Ferber take liberties with the subject material by minimizing their accomplishments and maximizing their foibles.

Movie Review: 'Her': love at first gigabyte

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Her" is a brilliant, prescient and unsettling romantic comedy by director Spike Jonze (born Adam Spiegel; director, "Adaptation," 2002; "Being John Malkovich," 1999).

The "Her" of the film's title is an OS1 (as in "Operating System," the recorded voice within a phone, mobile device or computer).

"Her" takes place in Los Angeles of the not-too-distant future where Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) works as a Cyber Cyrano, composing hand-written love letters for folks at a loss for words to express their feelings to their significant others.

Theater Review: 'The Bride' vows to entertain at The Pines

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Return with us to the days when newspaper editors were tyrants, entry-level journalists were treated like chattle and the ever-present sound of the newsroom was the rhythmic rat-tat-tat of manual typewriters.

That's the setting for a world-premiere musical, "Here Comes the Bride," through March 9, The Pines Dinner Theatre, 448 N. 17th St., Allentown.