Northampton Community College Theatre Departments "Blood Brothers," is emotionally gripping, funny and ultimately devastating. The Bethlehem Township college's poignant production of the tragic show is in NCCs Lipkin Theatre, through Oct. 29.

Mickey is the twin who stays with his birth mother and is brought up in a large, poor family where opportunities are few.

BBb As Mickey, Max Wetherhold does an outstanding job and shows impressive range, as he convincingly portrays a mischievous seven-year-old, a surly teen and an adult descending into depression and despair.Eddie is the twin who was raised in an upper class family, and goes to boarding school and university. Dylan Rex nicely portrays the results of Eddies prim and proper upbringing, while still expressing the characters naive delight at hanging out with the rougher Mickey, as well as his ultima.

As Mrs. Johnstone, the beleaguered mother who feels she has no choice but to give away one of her twins to her wealthy employer, Heather Gilkeson is painfully tragic. You feel every emotion wrung out of the character as she desperately tries to do what is best for her family against all odds. Gilkesons haunting "Tell Me Its Not True" is truly heart-breaking.

Ian Gilkeson imbues the role of narrator with a slightly sinister and foreboding presence, as he skulks about the stage in the background, periodically warning the characters that there will be a price to pay for what has transpired.

Lydia Walker is feisty and expressive as Linda, the girl who comes between the twins with tragic results. Walker convincingly displays Lindas defiant support for the twins as they grow up, as well as her anguish as an adult as she tries to solve their problems.

As Mrs. Lyons, the childless woman who adopts Eddie, Anna Hartman goes from desperation to paranoia and finally descends into madness in the ominous "Madman."

One of the pitfalls of this show is that adults must portray young children; however as the childhood siblings and friends of the twins, Shannon Callaghan, Buster Page, Cade Kocher, Kevin Hernandez and Alex Kleinschmidt are all believably youthful.

The nine-piece band creates a great musical backdrop for the show and the singers.Brett Oliveiras multi-level set is simple but effective.

Particularly fun was the moving street light.

The show is nicely paced by directer Bill Mutimer, who makes full use of the theater space, both on stage and throughout the audience.

Tickets are $5.

Audience members are asked to bring nonperishable food donations for the NCC food pantry which provides food for students who need assistance.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28; and 3 p.m. Oct. 29.For information, call 484-484-3412; or go to