Reviews

APT's "Wendy" a playful fresh take on "Peter Pan"

"Wendy, An Adventure in Neverland" Allentown Public Theatre's children's show at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Allentown turns the story of "Peter Pan" on its ear while still staying true to the playful imagination of childhood.

The original play written by members of APT gives families a head strong main character in Anna Russell's Wendy, who drives the narrative of the story rather than just following Peter Pan around. Russell also directs.

In this version written by Russell, Aaron Fischer, Louise Howard and Willow Reichard-Flynn, Wendy runs away from home (or rather flies away) with Peter after having a fight with her mother, played by Howard.

The playwrights decided to base the play on the very imagination that "Peter Pan" author J. M. Barrie strived to evoke. The set is very simple - only a panel covered with handprints and a a window with a shade that serves as a screen for shadow puppets.

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Has ever "The Lady" been quite this "Fair"!

In the comfortably reliable tradition of Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, the breathtaking performance of a leading "lie-dee" distinguishes this seasonal performing arts series from anything else being offered in a musically rich Lehigh Valley region.

In the past three years alone, we've witnessed riveting, show-stopping renditions in 'Gypsy', Hello Dolly', and now this.

Where do they find them!

'My Fair Lady' occupies a peculiar position on the mantelshelf of prized American plays. It's a much revered but hopelessly misogynistic adaptation of a stiff and stuffy comedy by perhaps the least melodic of recognizable authors, Bernard Shaw, who actually won an Academy Award for the screenplay to the film version of the musical's source material, 'Pygmalion', about five hundred years ago.

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Sing for America's 'Once on This Island' irresistibly exuberant

Sing for America's production of 'Once on This Island' is not so much a play as it is a pure and simple celebration of love and of loss and of all the good and bad that comprise what we may call a good life well spent.

Sing for America, Lehigh Valley's most exuberant theatrical company, delivers an irresistibly bouncy production of this seldom seen musical at Zoellner Arts Center through July 16, 2017.

'Once on This Island', by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, enjoyed a year long Broadway run in the early 1990s. The show is based upon a novel by Rosa Guy, 'My Love, My Love; or The Peasant Girl.'

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Players of the Stage's 'Doubt' is a beautifully underplayed triumph

Players of the Stage's production of John Patrick Shanley's 'Doubt', which ran for three days recently at Relevant Church in Allentown, PA, rose and raced but never tripped on the cassock tails of Brian Wendt's beautifully drawn and infinitely disturbing portrayal of Father Flynn, a Bronx parish priest whose private interactions with a young male student furrow the brow of Sister Aloysius, principal at the St. Nicholas School over which Flynn presides.

The never-seen child under discussion happens to be the first black schoolboy admitted to St. Nicholas, and his presence seems to have unleashed all kinds of inhospitable behavior in pupils and staff. His purported effeminacy has even resulted in a beating from his father, much to the heartbreak and helpless anger of his mother.

The staunchly traditional educator, Sister Aloysius, however, sees in the child's suffering, and in the attention paid him by the priest, an opportunity to ward off what she perceives as Flynn's overly progressive mandates.

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"Blood Brothers" features strong cast, emotional performances at Pa Playhouse

Strong performances elevate Pennsylvania Playhouse's "Blood Brothers," a particularly British show that feels more like a play with music than a traditional musical.

The Willy Russell tuner delves into similar territory as his non-musical plays "Shirley Valentine" and "Educating Rita" - exploring the effects of the English class system.

In "Blood Brothers," which takes place during the economic downturn of Thatcher-era Britain, explores what happens when a pair of twins are separated and one is brought up in a struggling working class family, while the other enjoys a privileged upper-class upbringing.

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Stage News

Winners announced in Original Playwright Series contest

Each year the Shawnee Playhouse encourages local playwrights to submit their original and unpublished works for a chance to win our annual Shawnee Original Playwright Series contest.

This spring, each submission was read by volunteer actors over several weeks. The public was invited to listen to the readings of the original plays and had a chance to vote and comment on each work. When our Executive Committee reviewed the ratings, the tabulations revealed that three plays scored closely, so it was decided all three full length winners as well as the six short play winners would be produced and performed by Worthington Players in 2016. Read more...

Shawnee Playhouse readings of contest entries

Each year, Worthington Players produces and performs an original work at Shawnee Playhouse by an area playwright, chosen by our Executive Committee from among submissions received in an open contest.

Stage readings are held in the playhouse to help determine the winner.

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Crew Calls

Call for Director Applications at Pa Playhouse

Pennsylvania Playhouse is accepting applications for director of their 2017 Christmas show "The Happy Elf" by Harry Connick, Jr.

Performances are scheduled Dec. 1 through Dec. 17, 2017.

To apply to direct please forward your contact information and a resume of your theatrical experience (particularly directorial experience) to Beth Breiner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Deadline to submit applications: Oct. 27, 2017.

NEA Art Works: $10,000 awarded to Touchstone Theatre

Bethlehem, PA—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $10,000 to Touchstone Theatre to support the Young Playwrights’ Lab, a literary arts program. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

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Peter Pan lands in the Jordan Heights Neighborhood– a brand new take on the classic Peter Pan tale! from APT

ALLENTOWN: Come fly with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, as Allentown Public Theatre (APT) presents Wendy, an Adventure in Neverland, an original version of the classic Peter Pan story, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (417 N 7th St) July 21, 22, 23, 28 & 29! Devised collaboratively by members of APT’s ensemble and performed in partnership with the Puerto Rican Culture Preservation, Wendy, an Adventure in Neverland delves into the magical and mysterious realm of the imagination – where anything can happen!

You’ll face off with Captain Hook, fly over Fairy Glenn, and sing pirate songs with Smee, the nonconformist pirate, before the show is over. In APT’s version, you’ll also start and end in Allentown, where main character Wendy Moira Angela Darling lives with her mom, Mrs. D. Interspersed throughout the play are segments of drumming and dance, performed by members of the Puerto Rican Culture preservation.

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Upcoming Shows

DCP presents 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance'

DCP in Telford will present the drama 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance', a play written by

Jethro Compton and based on the short story by Dorothy M. Johnson.

DCP's press releases reads:

"Journey into the Wild West in this classic story of good versus evil. A tale of love, hope and revenge.

"When a young scholar from New York City travels west in search of a new life he arrives beaten and half-dead at Hallie's saloon.

"She gives him purpose in a broken land.

"But, is it enough to save him from the vicious outlaw, Liberty Valance, who wants him dead?"

'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' runs Jul 28 - Aug 6, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM,

Sunday at 2:00 PM, and Aug 10 - Aug 12

Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM.

Opening Weekend Features Wine & Cheese and Director's Reception.

For more information, please visit https://www.dcptheatre.com

The Pines Dinner Theatre, 448 N 17th St, Allentown, presents The Bikinis through August 20, 2017.

Allentown, Pa. – The Pines welcomes the Summer of 2017 with The Bikinis live on stage!

Back together after 20 years, the 4 ladies of the girl group "The Bikinis" bring back the sun, fun and all the great songs they sang down on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore...all to raise money for the good folks at Sandy Shores Mobile Home Beach Resort.

The Bikinis or "The Jersey Girls," relive their heyday and beyond, beginning with the summer of 1964, the night these four inseparable friends got their name, winning the Belmar Beach Talent Contest, wearing just their bikinis! The boardwalk was smitten with the 4 teens...Jodi and Annie, two sisters from Paramus New Jersey; Karla, their slightly manipulative first cousin from Philly; and best friend Barbara, from Staten Island.

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"SISTER ACT" COMES TO THE PENNSYLVANIA PLAYHOUSE

Based upon the hit 1992 movie, 'Sister Act' starring Whoopi Goldberg, this fast-paced musical comedy follows the exploits of Deloris Van Cartier as she escapes her gangster boyfriend after witnessing a cold blooded murder by impersonating a nun (Sister Mary Clarence) and hiding out at a parish on the verge of closing due to low attendance.

One mishap after another prompts the frustrated mother superior to limit Mary Clarence to the choir where she transforms the tone-deaf and horrible sounding group into a disco-infused hit … much to the chagrin of mother superior.

Unfortunately, while the media attention is bringing in new church members and tithes to save the parish it runs the risk of having Curtis discover Deloris’ hiding place and make sure she cannot testify against him.

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Selkie's George Miller and Kate Scuffle join "A Musical Journey Through American History" at historic Waldheim Park

(Lehigh Valley) The Allentown Band returns to bucolic Waldheim Park on Tuesday, August 8 at 7pm for "A Musical Journey Through American History", marking 102 years of making musical magic at the historic park.

In the open-air tabernacle pavilion, amidst the summer woods and charming cottages of Waldheim Park, the Allentown Band will take listeners on an American journey through the stirring music that has inspired and entertained us as a nation, from Revolution to Rock.

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DCP Theatre presents the musical 'The Last 5 Years' with book, music, and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown.

'The Last Five Years' is an emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years.

The show's unconventional structure consists of Cathy, a struggling actress, telling her story backwards while Jamie, a successful novelist, tells his story chronologically. By Jason Robert Brown, this musical will touch your heart.

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