Northwestern Press

Friday, November 22, 2019

Movie Review: ‘Spider-Man: Far from’ super

Friday, August 2, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Spider-Man: Far from Home” is the equivalent of a 1950s science-fiction drive-in flick.

One big difference is that “Spider-Man: Far from Home” has a $160-million budget.

The budget for “Plan 9 From Outer Space” (1959) was $60,000.

In “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” there’s a student field trip, but this being the 21st century, rather than going to the area planetarium, as in “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955), it’s a trip to Venice, Austria and Prague.

Theater Review: ‘Henry IV, Part 1’ essential, great at Pa. Shakespeare Festival

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

They do Shakespeare the old-fashioned way in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival production of “Henry IV, Part 1,” through Aug. 4, Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley.

It’s old-fashioned as in some 420-years old-fashioned when The King’s Men staged William Shakespeare’s plays at The Globe Theatre, London, England, sans director and sans costume, scenic and lighting designers. The PSF production follows such so-called “original practices.”

Allentown Band, soloists go Broadway in concert

Friday, July 26, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Allentown Band has increased its performance schedule from three to six concerts at Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

“We’re getting to be the house band,” quips Allentown Band Conductor Ron Demkee.

This includes “Broadway and Beyond,” with tenor Eric Fennell and mezzo-soprano Lauren Curnow, 7:30 p.m. July 27, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

“Last year, Symphony Hall initiated the summer series. One was a Broadway-themed concert by the band. The other was ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ with the band accompanying the silent film,” says Demkee.

LV house sales statistics show no increase in June

Friday, July 26, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

At the midway point in 2019, Lehigh Valley house sales were flat in June in the start of what is traditionally the peak residential real estate summer sales season.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley showed no increase in June, 0.0 percent in June, with 901 houses sold, identical to 901 houses sold in June 2018, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) monthly report released July 15.

Closed sales for the first six months of 2019 are up slightly, 1.3 percent, to 3,955 from 3,903 for the first six months of 2019.

For Shore: Steven Van Zandt brings Jersey Sound, ‘Summer of Sorcery’ to Easton’s State Theater

Friday, July 26, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

When Steven Van Zandt looked for a folllowup album to his critically-acclaimed “Soulfire” (2017), he knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to capture that sure-fire sensation of summer.

In the midst of the Summer of 2019, his Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul tour stops at 8 p.m. July 26, State Theater Center for the Arts, Easton.

At the center of the concert, part of a seven-month tour that takes him and the band across the United States to Europe and back again, are selections from Van Zandt’s “Summer of Sorcery” album.

Theater Review: These ‘Private Lives’ shine at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s called “Private Lives,” but the lives of two couples are on public display in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) sparkling new production of the 1930 Noel Coward classic comedy of manners, or perhaps, of ill-manners, through Aug. 4, Main Stage, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley.

Night on the Town: Wonderground digs that indie rock

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The name Wonderground evokes a 1960s’ vibe of The Beatles, Kinks and Zombies.

That’s exactly what Jason Adams and the members of Wonderground intend.

When asked to describe Wonderground’s sound, Adams says it’s “psychedelic soul progressive indie rock.”

True to that description, Adams lists the music groups and music artists influencing Wonderground as including Miles Davis, Zombies, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, and the Kinks.

Wonderground played July 19 at the Shanty on 19th, 613 N. 19th St., Allentown.

Movie Review: ‘Yesterday’ never knows

Monday, July 22, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The film title, “Yesterday,” is ironic.

The film is about a today when the only person who seems to remember The Beatles and knows the Fab Four’s songs is down-on-his luck folksinger Jack Malik (Himesh Patel). When Jack plays his own original songs, he’s used to performing for one person at a beachside gig, a few friends at a pub and gets by with a little help from his daytime job at a retail discount warehouse store. Jack begins playing Beatles’ songs. He becomes a one-man Beatles’ cover band and worldwide web sensation. He’s the Fab One.

Silver Jubilee: A ‘Season of Celebration’ for Conductor Diane Wittry in her 25th anniversary year with the Allentown Symphony

Friday, July 19, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

quarter of a century is a significant milestone: a silver jubilee.

For Diane Wittry, her 25 years as Allentown Symphony Orcestra Music Director and Conductor will be celebrated all-season-long in 2019-2020. It’s a “Season of Celebration.”

During Wittry’s 25 seasons of artistic leadership, the Allentown Symphony has risen to increasing standards of excellence, performing with passion and dedication and honored nationally with the prestigious “American Prize” for artistic quality in 2014 and 2017.

Single tickets for the 2019-2020 season go on sale Aug. 1.

Night on the Town: Wonderground digs that idie rock

Friday, July 19, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The name Wonderground evokes a 1960s’ vibe of The Beatles, Kinks and Zombies.

That’s exactly what Jason Adams and the members of Wonderground intend.

When asked to describe Wonderground’s sound, Adams says it’s “psychedelic soul progressive indie rock.”

True to that description, Adams lists the music groups and music artists influencing Wonderground as including Miles Davis, Zombies, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, and the Kinks.

Wonderground returns July 19 to The Shanty on 19th, 613 N. 19th St., Allentown.