Northwestern Press

Friday, April 20, 2018

Tapper creates past times in 'National Pastime' at Bucks

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

"National Pastime," an original musical with music and lyrics by Albert M. Tapper and book by Tony Sportiello through April 19, Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, is hoping to get called up to the big leagues, aka the bright lights of Broadway.

"I wrote the music and lyrics to the show. We started working on it a few years ago and it's played now in five different cities. We are hoping that from Bucks County we take it to Broadway," says Tapper in a phone interview.

Saget projects at 'Full House'

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Philadelphia native and "Dirty Daddy" Bob Saget brings his R-rated brand of comedy to the Sands Bethlehem Event Center 8 p.m. April 19.

Saget doesn't consider himself a touring standup comedian in the traditional sense. His live shows are grouped into small blocks of dates in nearby cities rather than months of performances across the country.

"It's actually not much of a tour. That's what I like about it," Saget says in a phone interview.

For Ron White, a working-class comedian is something to be

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Comedy's resident bad boy Ron "Tater Salad" White returns to Easton's State Theatre Center for the Arts for two shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m. April 10.

When asked if the early show will differ from late show, White explained they will be by and large the same performance.

"I only take stuff out of my show one joke at a time. When I write something funny enough to go in the show then I take something out of the show," White says in a recent phone interview.

Rob Stoneback scales down with septet for 'Jazz Upstairs'

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Big Band leader and renowned trombonist Rob Stoneback scales down and brings his septet to Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, 7:30 p.m. April 17, for the monthly "Jazz Upstairs" series.

The Lehigh Valley native, who calls Whitehall home, has played behind notable names like Aretha Franklin, Sonny and Cher, Johnny Mathis and Natalie Cole.

When asked about his preferred style, Stoneback says, "I'm pretty much a straight-ahead jazz guy, meaning that I usually do standards, maybe a little Be-Bop, some Dixieland. Everything is pretty melodic because that's the way I like stuff."

Theater Review: 'Breaking' good at Pines Dinner Theatre

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Songs from Neil Sedaka's extensive catalog provide the musical foundation for The Pines Dinner Theatre's latest production, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," weekends through May 10.

The setting for the play, written by Erik Jackson and Ben H. Winters, is Esther's Paradise, a South Pacific style resort in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains.

Theater Review: Pa. Playhouse 'I.R.S' pays off in laughter

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

John and Leslie need to convince the IRS they are a married couple. Seems simple enough, but what the IRS doesn't know is that both parties are male.

That may not sound unusual in this day and age, but "Love Sex & The I.R.S" is set in New York during the late 1970s, well before the legalization and acceptance of same-sex marriage.

"Love Sex & The I.R.S," written by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore and directed by Charles Weigold, III, weekends through April 12 at Pennsylvania Playhouse, Bethlehem, brings to the stage many elements of classic madcap comedy.

Shemekia Copeland, Tommy Castro at Blast Furnace Blues

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Blues lovers rejoice.

The annual three-day Blast Furnace Blues Festival returns March 27 - 29 to ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem.

Featured performers include Shemekia Copeland, Tommy Castro, Heritage Blues Orchestra and John Németh & the Bo-Keys.

Along with concerts, workshops, a new addition to the festival for professional and aspiring blues musicians, begin March 26.

Hannibal Buress's time has arrived

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

If you are unaware of who Hannibal Buress is, then you haven't been looking. The 32-year-old stand- up comic has been honing his craft since he was 19-years-old and can be found seemingly everywhere these days. He's the next big thing you may not have discovered yet.

Buress can be seen on the critically-acclaimed Comedy Central show "Broad City," which is in the midst of its second season. He co-hosts "The Eric Andre Show," now in its third season on Adult Swim where he is the ideal laid-back counterpart to Andre's manic energy.

Raymond does comedy the Amish way

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Twenty years ago, the man known these days as Raymond the Amish Comic was toiling away at a screen-printing factory. It would be the last day-job he would hold.

"In 1996, I was fired when I returned from my Christmas vacation," says Raymond, who lives in Emmaus. "I saved up my vacation so I could do some headlining from Christmas to New Year's in Reading: two shows a night, all sold-out.

Vance Gilbert, Ellis Paul sing Godfrey's at 39 going on 40

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 by DEB BOYLAN in Focus

Godfrey Daniels, Lehigh Valley's legendary listening room, celebrates its 39th anniversary with its Fifth Annual Membership Appreciation Concert and Party featuring Vance Gilbert and Ellis Paul, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. March 20, Foy Hall, Moravian College, Main and Church streets, Bethlehem.

The concert is first in a year-long slate of concerts leading up to Godfrey's 40th anniversary.

Kicking off Godfrey's slate of performers post membership party are Davey O with Jessica Smucker, 8 p.m. March 21, Godfrey Daniels, 7 E. Fourth St., Bethlehem.