Northwestern Press

Friday, February 15, 2019

Respectfully Yours: The gift of re-gifter

Friday, December 7, 2018 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn, I’m not trying to take the easy way out, but I have received several gifts over the years that I have no intention of using. I am considering re-gifting them this year. When I ask around, I get mixed answers about this. What’s your opinion on re-gifting?

Dear Reader, At one time it was considered poor taste to re-gift. Today, however, it has become widely acceptable.

There’s nothing wrong with thoughtfully passing along an item that you yourself won’t use to...

Kenny G brings Christmas tunes and more for State Theatre debut

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Kenny G has played Tokyo, Singapore and Spain.

He’s performed in London’s Royal Albert Hall and New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

And at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, he’s at the State Theatre Center for the Arts for his first-ever Easton concert.

And Kenny G wouldn’t have his life any other way.

“I’m proud of being one of the guys who has been a road musican for the last 30 years,” he says.

“I’m proud of the hard work we do on tour and waking up at 4 a.m. to practice...

Theater Review: Civic ‘Christmas Carol’ community again inspires

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

It’s “bah humbug” season again, and for the 29h year, Ebenezer Scrooge and his cohorts are on stage at Civic Theatre of Allentown’s 19th Street Theatre, once again bringing to life Charles Dickens’ inspiring story of humanity and redemption, “A Christmas Carol.”

The adaptation of the beloved tale is the collaboration of Civic Theatre’s Sharon Lee Glassman and Artistic Director William Sanders, who has directed each year’s production for the past quarter-century.

In Sander’s...

Theater Review: A different take on ‘Christmas Carol’ at Pa. Playhouse

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” comes wrapped in many theatrical packages from traditional to musical, to casts of 100 or more down to a single actor playing all the roles as Dickens did when he performed his work on stage.

The Pennsylvania Playhouse is showcasing yet another variation on the old classic with a “A Broadway Christmas Carol,” through Dec. 16.

Not your run-of-the mill version of the classic, “A Broadway Christmas Carol” features a cast of four, shameless...

Movie Review: ‘Beasts’ not so ‘Fantastic’

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” has fantastic special effects, fantastic casting and fantastic acting.

As for the storyline: not so fantastic.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is a big disappointment and isn’t much better than the reboot, or “Harry Potter” prequel, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (2016).

Fans of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books, movies and theme parks who want to see “Fantastic Beasts” may want to do so in the 3D...

Bill Engvall brings his real-life comedy to Penn’s Peak

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by ERIN FERGUSON in Focus

Bill Engvall, one of the top comedians in the United States, brings his tour to Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe, at 8 p.m. Dec. 7.

As a native of Galveston, Tex., Engvall’s career in comedy started after moving to Dallas where, on a dare, he tried his hand at stand-up comedy one night at a nightclub with friends.

“I had always been a fan of comedy, but I never thought about it as a career. That night was basically a dare. I had no planned thing to do.

“I just ended up on stage...

Allentown’s Jerome Collins returns with Straight No Chaser

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

A decade after the release of Straight No Chaser’s hit debut album, “Holiday Spirits,” Allentown native Jerome Collins says he still has to pinch himself sometimes.

“We are just all American boys still doing what we did in college,” he says. “We never thought something we started for fun would be our livelihood.”

The male acapella group sensations bring “An Evening with Straight No Chaser” to the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, for two shows, 4 and 8 p.m. Dec 8. The...

Bach Choir brings Christmas concerts to two cities

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Two cantatas that Johann Sebastian Bach wrote specifically for the holidays in the 18th century highlight the Bach Choir of Bethlehem Christmas concerts, 8 p,m. Dec. 8, First Presbyterian Church, 3231 Tilghman St., Allentown, and 4 p.m. Dec. 9, First Presbyterian Church, 2344 Center St., Bethlehem.

The Choir, conducted by Bach Choir Artistic Director Greg Funfgeld, will be joined by the Bach Festival Orchestra and five soloists on three joyful pieces to usher in the season.

...

Touchstone ‘Follies’ back for 19th year, and counting

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Dancing hippos in pink tutus, a shopping cart ballet and singing Christmas trees are just a few of the unexpected delights in Touchstone Theatre’s “Christmas City Follies XIX,” a one-of-a-kind send-up of the Christmas season in the Christmas City, Dec. 6-23.

“We’ve been shaking it up bit this year,” says Emma Ackerman, Touchstone ensemble member and general manager. “And I think it’s fresher than ever.”

“Follies,” which Ackerman says has become a beloved tradition for many...

Broadway veteran launches children’s chorus for holiday concert

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

She’s performed on the Broadway stage, in New York City cabarets and appeared on television and in films.

But at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Broadway veteran Lynnie Godfrey performs in downtown Allentown with some of her most beloved co-stars, the 15 members of Allentown Children’s Chorus.

Godfrey and the young singers, who are first- through sixth-grade students, will perform for “Come Spend the Holidays with Lynnie Godfrey and the ACC” at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 37 S....