"Aida," July 26 - Aug. 11, Pennsylvania Playhouse, Illicks Mill Road, Bethlehem. 610-865-6665
"Beauty and the Beast," through Aug. 9, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Arts, DeSales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley. 610-282-WILL
"Disney's Aladdin, Jr.," 3, 7 p.m. Aug. 16; 3, 4 p.m. Aug.17, Pennsylvania Youth Theater, Charles A. Brown Ice House, 56 River St., Bethlehem. 610-791-4671
"Footloose," through Aug. 18, The Pines Dinner Theatre, 448 N. 17th St., Allentown. 610-433-2333
The décor and the ambiance at the 19th Street Theatre in Allentown's West End Theatre District is right out of the 1920's, but the movie projection system is now strictly 21st Century.
Electricians and riggers pulled out the twin 35mm film projectors and replaced them June 24 with Barco DCP (digital) projectors that can project DVDs, Blu-ray or stream downloads of movies.
The old projectors were junked, according to Civic Theatre of Allentown Managing Director Michael Traupman, because there is no market for them nor are they considered candidates for museums.
In the western genre of motion pictures, "The Lone Ranger" ranks right up there with the more unusual.
While not as odd as "Cowboys & Aliens" (2011), it's not in the classic style of director Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" (1992), "3:10 to Yuma" (the 2007 version and 1957 original) or director John Ford's "The Searchers" (1956), starring John Wayne.
However, "The Lone Ranger," despite the reviling reactions of many movie critics, has a lot to recommend it.
It is one of the wildest of movies about the Wild West as you're likely to see.
Whenever I tell someone I work in theater, their first question is always "Are you an actor?"
This is completely understandable, in part because when I first started in theater more than 20 years ago, I thought the only career in theater was acting.
Boy, was I wrong!
It takes many different people with many different talents and skills to create theater, and these unsung heroes work incredibly hard to make an evening at the theater the best and most amazing it can possibly be.
Without being too "punny" about it, you are in for a "Wilde" time of laughter with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) production of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," through Aug. 4, Main Stage, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley.
While the laughs are decidedly high-brow and not low-brow puns, you don't have to be knowledgeable about the vagaries of Victorian society to be in on the jokes.
Andrew McMahon has shaped a pop-rock music career with the bands Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin as vocalist, pianist and primary songwriter.
He's begun a solo career, with the EP, "A Pop Underground," released April 30, and new songs "Synesthesia," "Catching Cold," "Learn to Dance" and "After the Fire."
McMahon performs 8 p.m. July 23, Musikfest Cafe, ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks, 101 Founder's Way, Bethlehem.
"The Jack's [Mannequin] thing kind of started as a solo project," says McMahon in a recent phone interview.
Real to surreal: Two significant art exhibitions spanning the genres of realism and surrealism are on view through Aug. 9, Baum School of Art, 510 Linden St., Allentown. "Clarence H. Carter: Realism to Surrealism" in the David E. Rodale Gallery features the two major periods of Carter (1904 - 2000).
Oktoberfest auditions are noon-5 p.m. July 28, Banko Family Gallery, Banana Factory, 25 W. Third St., Bethlehem.
The third-annual Oktoberfest presented by Yuengling is Oct. 4 - 6, 11 - 13, SteelStacks, Bethlehem. Actors portray characters typically seen at a German Oktoberfest, complete with authentic German attire, and interact with festival guests while in character.
Auditions are primarily improvisation-based. An ability to perform with a realistic German accent is encouraged but not required. Actors will be paid for their appearances at Oktoberfest.
"Choreographically, I consider myself a kinetic storyteller," says Charles O. Anderson, the former Muhlenberg College professor now teaching dance at the University of Texas, Austin.
Anderson is the choreographer for the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre 33rd annual season production of "Jesus Christ Superstar," directed by James Peck with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, through July 28, Empire Theatre, Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.
Blackbirds are familiar birds observed throughout the Lehigh Valley. Blackbird flocks often tend to create great dark streaks as they fly across distant horizons. You may also have been close enough to hear the buzz of thousands upon thousands of wing pairs.
Members of the blackbird family tend to congregate, especially during spring and fall migrations. It is often difficult to tell one species from another when assembled in massive groups.