Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Movie Review: ‘Mission’

Friday, August 10, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Mission: Impossible - Fallout” is the action movie of the summer, the year, and quite possibly the decade.

The shiny, flashy, nearly nonstop thriller confirms its star Tom Cruise as the cinema’s last action hero.

It’s a mantle that has passed from the likes of Clint Eastwood, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone and, one would think, Dwayne Johnson, Daniel Craig and Vin Diesel.

A first for Packard: Car featured at 55th Das Awkscht Fescht

Friday, August 3, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Packard, featured car for the 55th annual Das Awkscht Fescht, Aug. 3-5, Macungie Memorial Park, Macungie, is legendary, from being one of the first gasoline-powered vehicles to powering military aircraft during World War I and II.

Das Awkscht Fescht is said to be the largest antique and classic car show in the United States, with 2,500 vehicles expected.

A “Friday Night Cruise to the Fescht,” is Aug. 3. There’s a “Car Corral” sales area; “Antique Auto Flea Market,” with 500 vendors; arts and crafts with 100 artisans; entertainment; food, and a fireworks display Aug. 4.

Nellie McKay seeks solace in the standards

Friday, August 3, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

For her latest album, Nellie McKay returns to one of her favorite “books,” the Great American Songbook.

And she gives a nod to one of her favorite classic movies.

McKay performs selections from “Sister Orchid,” 8 p.m. Aug. 4, Sellersville Theatre 1894, Sellersville, Bucks County.

After several concerts in New York City, including SummerStage, Central Park, and a four-day series. Sept. 19-22 at Birdland, McKay returns to her home turf of the Poconos, for a concert at the Deer Head Inn, Sept. 29.

Theater Review: PSF season ‘Ends Well’

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

All’s Well That Ends Well.

It’s one of William Shakespeare many titles and phrases that have entered the lexicon.

“All’s Well That Ends Well,” primary source material for the phrase, on stage through Aug. 5, brings down the curtain on the 2018 Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) at DeSales University, Center Valley.

There is no curtain to bring down or up in the three-quarter round Schubert Theatre. Nor is there a director, scenic designer, costume desiger, lighting designer, or sound designer.

Movie Review: Amanda ‘Mia!’

Monday, July 30, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Mamma Mia!” Here We Go Again” is really Amanda Seyfried’s movie.

While the movie poster for “Mama Mia! Here We Go Again” lists its stars in alphabetical order, Seyfried stars as Sophie, daughter of Donna (Meryl Streep), who is readying the reopening of Hotel Bella Donna on a Greek island (The fictional Kalokairi. Island scenes in the sequel were filmed on Vis, Croatia, in the Adriatic Sea).

Movie Review: All you need is glove

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The feature animated film, “Yellow Submarine,” was produced to fulfill a three feature movie contract for The Beatles, the 1960s rock band that enraptured the world.

Fifty years after its release in 1968, with a restored print and soundtrack, the re-release shows that “Yellow Submarine” has traveled well. The film has even grown in stature for its inventive animation, dialogue of mordant wit and, of course, its soundtrack of Beatles’ songs, including the title song that inspired it.

Theater Review: PSF’s crowns a new ‘King’

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) “King Richard II” is fierce.

And yet the king at the center of William Shakespeare’s history play, in its PSF debut though through Aug. 5, Main Stage, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, is a soft target.

As the knives are pulled, the swords are drawn and the heads are rolled (and trundled out in bloody sacks), King Richard II (Christian Coulson) is emotionally-cauterized. You want to warn him, run to his side, give him a hug.

Theater Review: Loving ‘Shakespeare In Love’ at PSF

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Shakespeare In Love” could be subtitled “Shakespeare With Writer’s Block.”

William Shakespeare (played by the magnificent Luigi Sottile), taking a page from modern nomenclature, must come up with his next hit.

Quill in hand, centerstage at his desk, backdropped by the impressive wood two-tiered set by Scenic Designer Daniel Conway that evokes The Globe Theater, Shakespeare laps up plot points from his pal, Kit Marlowe (an enthusiastic Justin Adams), as willing and eager as the shaggy dog, Spot (the willing and eager Buddy Igor), that ambles on stage.

Theater Review: Grande shows how to ‘Succeed’ at MSMT

Monday, July 16, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

If you want to have the dibs on saying,”I saw him when ..., “ don’t miss the astounding performance of Frankie Grande in The Muhlenberg College Summer Music Theatre production of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.”

Grande does it all: act, sing and dance (including speed-tap and a handstand flip) in the terrifically-entertaining musical directed with impish charm by MSMT co-founder Charles Richter.

Movie Review: ‘Ant-Man’ is big fun

Monday, July 16, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Ant-Man And The Wasp” is preposterous. That’s OK. It’s preposterous fun.

The Marvel Comics superheroes Ant-Man, aka Scott Lang, is played with charming bravura by Paul Rudd.

The Wasp, aka Hope Van Dyne, is played with confident strength by Evangeline Lily.

Together, and apart, they are big fun. Ant-Man super-sizes to proportions bigger than the Stay Puft Marshamallow Man in “Ghostbusters.”

They are also small fun. Ant-Man shrinks to the size of, well, an ant. And the Wasp, too, goes from large to small.

Call it “Honey, I Shrunk The Superheroes.”