Whitehall-Coplay Press

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Review: ‘Beguiled’

Friday, July 14, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s midway through the 2017 movie year and, though it’s early in the Oscar race, “The Beguiled” is a contender.

Look for multiple Oscar nominations, including for Nicole Kidman, actress, as Miss Martha, headstrong headmistress at a young women’s academy circa 1864 Virginia during the Civil War. A wounded Union solder, Corporal McBurney (Colin Farrell, likely supporting actor nominee), is given refuge at the school.

Movie Review: Baby, you can drive ‘Transformers’

Friday, July 7, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Transformers: The Last Knight.”

Or is it?

“Transformers Universe: Bumblebee” is set for a June 2018 release. A sixth “Transformers” is set for a June 2019 release.

In this, the fifth movie, the Transformers don’t do all that much transforming. When they do transform, from cars and vehicles to Autobots, they mostly do so lurking behind a building support column or accompanied by flare effects.

The fascination with “Transformers” is to see them transform. Isn’t that what made the Hasbro toy so much fun to begin with?

2017-18 season: Miller Symphony Hall leader sees renewed opportunity in Allentown renaissance

Friday, July 7, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Season schedule: Page B2

Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, home to the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, had a “great season” for 2016-17, and Allentown Symphony Association Executive Director Sheila K. Evans has an even better season in store for 2017-18.

“It was a great season. We had an amazing season last year,” Evans says.

Maestra Diane Wittry is in her 22nd season as Allentown Symphony Orchestra Music Director-Conductor, bringing world-class artists to Miller Symphony Hall, enhancing the cultural community in the Lehigh Valley.

Theater Review

Friday, July 7, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Inspector ‘Hound’

The howls you hear during “The Hound of the Baskervilles” stage play at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival aren’t those of the titular hound, although there is that.

No, the howls are nearly nonstop from the audience at “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” a regular laugh-riot through July 16, Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley. The opening night June 23 performance was seen for this review.

Review: ‘Cars 3’

Friday, June 30, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s called “Cars 3,” but there are many more than three cars in “Cars 3.” It’s named “Cars 3” because it’s the third in the Disney-Pixar feature animation series about a rambunctious group of cars with anthropomorphic traits. That’s not a stretch because many of us give our “chrome horses” affectionate or not so affectionate male or female names.

“Cars 3” again gives us vehicles that are quite the characters with cute, spiffy or clunky bodies, personalities and voices. The cars’ suspensions and tires animate like frisky puppies or barnyard animals. The grilles function as mouths.

Theater Review: ‘The Hound’ is afoot at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

- Sherlock Holmes,

“The Hound of the Baskervilles”

The howls you hear during “The Hound of the Baskervilles” stage play at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival aren’t those of the titular hound, although there is that.

No, the howls are nearly nonstop from the audience at “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” a regular laugh-riot through July 16, Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley. The opening night June 23 performance was seen for this review.

Medical marijuana: Salisbury Township amendment sent to LV planners

Sunday, June 25, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

A proposed amendment to the Salisbury Township Zoning Ordinance to regulate medical marijuana facilities has been advanced to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.

The Salisbury Township Planning Commission voted unanimously 7-0 to submit the amendment to regional planners for review. Stephen McKitish, planners vice-chairman, made the motion to bring the matter to a vote, seconded by planner Richard Schreiter.

Lehigh Valley house sales rebound 14 percent in May

Saturday, June 24, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Sales of houses in the greater Lehigh Valley rebounded by double-digit percentages in May.

Closed sales increased 14 percent in May to 800 houses sold, compared to 702 in May 2016, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR).

For the year-to-date, closed sales are up 5.2 percent to 2,960 from 2,813 in year-to-date in 2016.

Pending sales posted even stronger double-digit percentage gains, up 21.9 percent in May to 958, compared to 786 in May 2016.

Review: MSMT ‘Hair’

Saturday, June 24, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s the 50th anniversary of “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.”

“Hair” was post-hairspray. Young women let Aqua Net on the shelf, ironed their hair, or went Afro. Young men let Brylcreem on the shelf and skipped the barber.

“Hair” was pre-”Hairspray.” It set the stage for other non-book Broadway musicals (“Company,” “Godspell,” “Pippin”).

“Hair” is of a time, a time that now seems long ago, naive and quaint. It not only seems long ago. It was long ago: a half-century long ago.