Northwestern Press

Sunday, May 31, 2020

With COVID-19, third time’s not the charm for Mayfair; Cedar Crest cancels it for 2020

Monday, April 27, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The third time is not the charm for Mayfair with the announcement that concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced cancellation of the 2020 arts festival.

Mayfair 2020 was to return May 22-24 for the third year on the Cedar Crest College campus in Allentown.

The three-day festival is regarded as heralding the unofficial start of summer on Memorial Day weekend.

In an April 27 statement on the Cedar Crest College website, Audra Kahr, chair of the Mayfair committee and Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Cedar Crest College, said:

Coronavirus impact extends into June: Miller Symphony Hall concerts, NCC Summer Theatre canceled; Southside Film Festival postponed

Monday, April 27, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to devastate the Lehigh Valley arts and entertainment community, including cancellation of concerts through June at Miller Symphony Hall, cancellation of concerts through May at Godfrey Daniels, suspending of Northampton Community College Summer Theatre and postponement of the 17th annual SouthSide Film Festival.

Movie Review: ‘The Way Back,’ indeed

Friday, April 24, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Motion pictures screened for reviews in this column just before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic unreeled the multiplexes and other film venues in the name of social distancing couldn’t have more ironic titles.

First there was “Onward,” seen March 11 at the AMC Allentown 16, Catasauqua Road, Allentown. The review of that movie, now available digitally for home-viewing, was published in the April 15 Focus section of the eight Lehigh Valley Press newspapers and soon after on the Press websites.

WFMZ telecast to spotlight seniors in area high school musicals salute

Thursday, April 23, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

While the 18th annual Freddy Awards won’t be presented in 2020 because of the public and charter schools shutdown mandated because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a television show in lieu of the awards show will be broadcast.

The TV show will salute high school seniors who were part of musicals scheduled to be presented at their schools.

The “Freddy Awards: A Television Special Celebrating the High School Musical Class of 2020” will be telecast 6:30 p.m. May 21, 69-WFMZ, a partner with the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, in presenting the awards show.

Movie Review: ‘Onward’ not upward

Friday, April 17, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Editor’s Note: “Onward,” one of the last major theatrical motion pictures released just prior to the coronavirus pandemic that closed movie theaters, is available in various formats for home-viewing.

I’m not sure what they’re smoking in Emeryville.

Or maybe the film-makers at Pixar Animation Studios’ California headquarters were in Beast Mode.

“Onward,” the latest Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) film from Disney-Pixar, has a cast of beasts with nary a beauty among them.

Coronavirus impact: Freddy Awards off; producers working on WFMZ telecast

Friday, April 17, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

While the 18th annual Freddy Awards per se will not be presented, an April 9 press release statement from Shelley Brown, President and CEO, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, seems to raise the curtain on some possibilities.

“With Governor Wolf’s school-closure announcement today [April 9], it has become impossible for us to present our annual live television special in its usual form,” Brown, Executive Producer, Freddy Awards, stated in the press release, adding, “We are working with our production partner, WFMZ, right now to determine what is possible this year.”

Coronavirus impact: Miller Symphony Hall halts concerts through June; NCC Summer Theatre off; Southside Film Fest canceled

Friday, April 17, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to devastate the Lehigh Valley arts and entertainment scene, including cancellation of concerts through June at Miller Symphony Hall, cancellation of concerts through May at Godfrey Daniels, suspending of Northampton Community College Summer Theatre and postponement of the 17th annual SouthSide Film Festival.

In Allentown, still to be impacted might be the annual Mayfair Festival of the Arts, May 22 - 24, Cedar Crest College; annual Baum School of Art auction, May 16, and annual City Arts Camp.

Freddy Awards will not be presented ‘in its usual form,’ but producers are working on WFMZ telecast for May 21

Saturday, April 11, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

While the Freddy Awards per se will not be presented, an April 9 press release statement from Shelley Brown, President and CEO, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, seems to raise the curtain on some possibilities.

“With Governor Wolf’s school-closure announcement today [April 9], it has become impossible for us to present our annual live television special in its usual form,” Brown, Executive Producer, Freddy Awards, stated in the press release, adding, “We are working with our production partner, WFMZ, right now to determine what is possible this year.”

Coronavirus closings: PSF at DeSales U. will return in 2021

Saturday, April 11, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy had high hopes for the 2020 season.

Now he has high hopes for the Festival’s 2021 season.

“We were really excited about this season and we are still excited about this selection of extraordinary plays,” Mulcahy says in a March 30 phone interview hours after a PSF press release stated: “In response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival has announced the cancellation of all performances for its upcoming summer season.”