Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Elton John ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ starting here in Allentown at PPL Center

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Yellow Brick Road begins in Allentown right at the PPL Center at Seventh and Hamilton.

That’s where Sir Elton John kicks off his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road - The Final Tour.”

The buzz is already on the street.

Apparently, they’re building the Yellow Brock Road tour brick by brick, or at least semi tractor-trailer by semi tractor-trailer, some 20 of them, which pulled into center city Allentown Sept. 2 with the precious cargo.

“EJ’s stage is a monster” described one unnamed eyewitness.

The set is reported to have cost $15 million.

Theater Review

Friday, August 31, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

A solid-gold hit at Bucks County Playhouse

Displayed on the back wall inside Bucks County Playhouse are posters and photos of productions and stars who appeared there over the years, including Grace Kelly, who made her acting debut at Bucks Playhouse in 1949 in playwright and uncle George Kelly’s “The Torchbearers,” and Robert Redford, in the 1963 world premiere at Bucks Playhouse of Neil Simon’s “Barefoot In The Park,” then called “Nobody Loves Me,” the first play ever directed by Mike Nichols.

And there’s “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” starring Billie Burke, produced in 1956 at Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope.

Movie Review: ‘Finale’

Friday, August 31, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Operation Finale” is an important film that should be seen as much for its history-based story as for its presentation of that story.

The title refers to the “capture and extraction” of Adolf Eichmann, said to “the architect” of “The Final Solution,” in which 10 million, including 6 million Jews, were killed in The Holocaust, promulgated by the Nazi regime in Germany.

Pittsburgh Symphony official appointed Allentown Symphony executive director

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Board of Directors of the Allentown Symphony Association has announced the hiring of Alfred O. Jacobsen as its new Executive Director.

A reception for Jacobsen will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sept, 22, Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, prior to the opening 2018-19 season concert at 7:30 p.m. of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.

Bakithi Kumalo brings ‘Graceland’ to Bethlehem

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Bakithi Kumalo is bringing “Graceland” back home with The All-Star “Graceland” Tribute Band,” 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1, Levitt Pavilion, SteelStacks, Bethlehem. The concert is free and open to the public.

Home is Bethlehem now for Kumalo, legendary Johannesburg, South Africa, bass player on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album (1986) and in his subsequent concerts, including “Homeward Bound: The Farewell Tour.”

Kumalo originated the memorable bass line of “You Can Call Me Al” on Simon’s now classic world music album, “Graceland.”

LV house sales in decline for sixth month in a row

Friday, August 24, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

The topsy-turvy Lehigh Valley house sales market continued in July with closed sales and new listings down by double digits and median sales price and average sales price up by double digits. A key factor is the decline in inventory by more than one-third of houses for sale.

And the “B-Word” is being mentioned, as in real estate bubble when the bubble of increasing house prices could burst as it did a decade ago in the Great Recession of 2007-2008, which was attributed in large part to the nationwide collapse of the residential real estate market.

Movie Review: Truth is ‘Strangers’ than fiction

Friday, August 24, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Three Identical Strangers” is a fascinating documentary film that raises more questions than it provides answers.

David Kellman, Eddy Galland, and Bobby Shafran are identical triplets adopted soon after their birth by three separate families.

Through a serendipitous occurrence, two of the triplets meet. Then, all three triplets meet.

The documentary follows the triplets, their families and friends from gleeful reunion of the boys at age 19, to tabloid headline and TV talk show fame, to tragedy after the apparent suicide of Eddy Galland in 1995.

Movie Review: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ insightful fun

Monday, August 20, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Crazy Rich Asians” is loaded.

It’s loaded with glitz, humor and heart. It’s a film that’s deeper than its title would indicate.

“Crazy Rich Asians” is the Cinderella and her prince story transported from medieval Europe to 21st-century Asia.

The storyline has its roots in the 17th century fairy tale, “Cendrillon,” by French writer Charles Perrault, with a stop along the way at Jane Austen’s 1813 novel, “Pride And Prejudice,” all the way up to HBO’s “Sex And The City” (1998-2004).

Review: Pooh bear

Friday, August 17, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Winnie-the-Pooh and his adorable cuddly stuffed animal friends are revisited in the film, “Disney’s Christopher Robin.”

The film is an enjoyable nostalgia trip for those who grew up with the books of A.A. Milne that were illustrated by E. H. Shepard, including “When We Were Very Young” (1924), “Winnie-the-Pooh” (1926), “Now We Are Six” (1927) and ”The House At Pooh Corner” (1928).

LV median sales price higher than 2007 real estate bubble; closed sales down for fifth month

Friday, August 10, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

The sellers’ market continued apace in the Lehigh Valley during the summer real estate season.

According to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) June report, competition by buyers boosted quick sales above the asking price.

On average, a house is selling in little more than a month.

And, according to the GLVR, the June Median Sales Price is higher than that of when the housing bubble burst in 2007 at the start of the Great Recession.