Watching the opening night performance of “Angels in America: Part One: Millennium Approaches” at Civic Theatre of Allentown was a jarring reminder of just how tumultuous was the decade of the 1980s, and how little we have progressed nearly 40 years later.
Civic Theatre Artistic Director William Sanders directed the award-winning play in 1997, as well as this production 20 years later at Civic, which is highlighted by superb acting, brilliant staging and a masterful script.
“Church Basement Ladies,” the latest offering through May 14 in The Pines Dinner Theatre’s eighth season, is a musical-comedy gem, filled with hand-clapping songs, witty lyrics and crazy antics.
The musical, written by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlk, was inspired by the best-selling book “Growing Up Lutheran,” a humorous remembrance by Janet Letnes and Suzann Nelson of being Lutheran in the Midwest during the 1950s.
Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist and founder-director of The Conversation Project, will speak on “The Most Important Conversation America Isn’t Having” at the seventh annual Dr. and Mrs. Max Littner Memorial Lecture Series for Bereavement, 7:30 p.m. April 19, Central Moravian Church, Main and Church streets, Bethlehem. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The lecture is also sponsored by St. Luke’s University Health Network.
The third time is supposed to be the “charm,” but possibly not where theatrical productions are concerned.
Despite a Pulitzer Prize-winning script by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman that gained the reputation as one of the most popular and successful plays of modern times, Pennsylvania Playhouse’s third staging of “You Can’t Take It With You,” continuing through April 9, got off to a slow start and never quite hit the mark.
A trip to Ireland inspired “Pints, Pounds and Pilgrims,” one of the funniest of the Crowded Kitchen Players’ productions now playing in honor of St. Patrick’s Day through March 19 at The Unicorn Theatre, 417 Front St., Catasauqua.
Civic Theatre of Allentown’s production of “9 to 5: The Musical,” continuing through Feb. 26, is full of surprises. When you least expect it, a minor character belts out a rousing song, or someone from the ensemble does a “George Spelvin” walk-on that’s good for a laugh while distracting the audience’s attention from the scene changes.
If you are a fan of the Big Band Era, and the rousing music it produced, you are going to love Pennsylvania Playhouse’s Christmas production of “The 1940’s Radio Hour,” running through Dec. 18, 390 Illick’s Mill Rd., Bethlehem.
The show is set in a fictional New York radio station, WOV, as in “V for Victory,” on Dec. 21, 1942. The two-act play written by Walton Jones, originally presented at the Yale Repertory Theatre, made it to Broadway by way of Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.
“A Christmas Carol” is Charles Dickens’ endearing and enduring story of the miser Ebenezer Scrooge and how he finds redemption. It was an immediate success when first published in 1843, and was adapted for the stage almost immediately. Since then there have been some 50 play adaptations, and at least 28 film versions.
It’s a cross between an Agatha Christie who-done-it, a Noel Coward comedy and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
It’s the Crowded Kitchen Players (CKP) unconventional holiday treat, “The Down of a Thistle,” through Dec. 18, Unicorn Theatre, 417 Front St., Catasauqua. The Dec. 10 performance was seen for this review.
Billed as a “jovial Christmas melodrama,” and staged as a radio show, the play features a nine-member cast playing 10 characters, half of whom manage to get killed off before the end, ala Christie’s “Ten Little Indians.”
You might think it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but not if you are Clara, the lead character in “The Miracle of Christmas,” the original holiday production that runs through Dec. 23 at the Pines Dinner Theatre, 448 N. 17th St., Allentown.