Pride & Prejudice at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

July 20th, 2011 posted by

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Pride & Prejudice

Oh that Mr. Darcy! The most “abhorrent, repulsive, vulgar, rude, man in all of Hertfordshire” invaded Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival last night, much to my delight.

Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy have the greatest love story ever written. This production, which started it’s run last night, captured the essence of one of my favorite novels. The quick pace of the play was especially focused on the humor of Jane Austin’s writing, which was so refreshing.

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The Comedy of Errors is double, double, toil and trouble X 2

June 27th, 2011 posted by

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The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Last Friday night I took my mom to The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University. It was her first time, and she couldn’t believe that we have such high quality talent and a wonderful venue to view performances right in here in Lehigh Valley. Me on the other hand … I’m a veteran to the festival and I look forward to going each year. The hardest part for me is deciding which performance to see!

Typically my show nights start with dinner. I normally pack a dinner and a bottle of wine and sit on the lawn outside the theatre and listen to the music and improv performances. This year the weather was a little iffy so we decided to dine at Melt at The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley. It also happened to be my mom’s first time there … she doesn’t get out too much. She will definitely be heading back to Melt soon!

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My Enchanted Evening in Lehigh Valley

June 21st, 2011 posted by

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South Pacific

I often wondered why I love musicals so much, and Saturday night I figured it out. Unlike movies with a good plot and great acting, concerts with wonderful music and powerful singing, or performances by nimble dance ensembles, musicals are a combination of all three. When done well, they are unforgettable.

Case in point, South Pacific … the quintessential musical (you’re probably humming “Some Enchanted Evening” right now, aren’t you?).

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King Henry Hits the Stage

June 3rd, 2011 posted by

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King Henry

I had never been to Penn’s Peak for a show until recently, when Marc and I were invited to visit Penn’s Peak to experience a luncheon show, King Henry and The Showmen. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and it turns out I was not disappointed in the slightest.

We were greeted by Lynn, who not only does group sales but also performs in the show as well! We had a delicious family style lunch and talked to the other people at our table to see where they were visiting from. Three of the people from our table hailed from our neck of the woods in Lehigh Valley. As I looked around, I couldn’t help but notice there isn’t a bad seat in the place!

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Majestic Vision – 20 Years of Drama

May 26th, 2011 posted by

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P5250017

Lehigh Valley is blessed with some incredible talent. Yesterday I had the opportunity to witness several aspects of that talent. The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival held each summer showcases impressive local and professional talent in its productions. In honor of its 20th season a book of photographs of these seasons has been released entitled Majestic Vision. That is exactly what it is, a portrayal of the majesty of the productions of PA Shakespeare Festival. It is an incredible book with more than 190 pages of full color photographs, documenting productions since the early beginnings of the festival. Printed on high quality paper and hard bound, this book shows the artistry of the PA Shakespeare Festival productions.

Official PA Shakespeare Festival photographer, Lee Butz (whose office is down the hall from our offices) has demonstrated an ability to capture the moment in his photographs. Lee, an amateur photographer whose photographs are nothing less than incredible, is a Lehigh Valley native and for more than thirty-five years headed Alvin H. Butz, Inc., one of the country’s largest construction management firms. Lee is at the podium in the photo above.

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A New Found Appreciation

May 10th, 2011 posted by

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Penguins

Growing up with a Mother who was an art teacher and being happily married for 11 years to my wife who has an art degree, you would think I would have a better understanding or at least a greater appreciation for the arts.

Last week I had the newfound pleasure of attending the 23rd Annual Allentown Arts Commission Arts Ovation Awards held at the Holiday Inn Allentown Center City. From the opening performance of “Hair” presented by Dieruff High School to Allentown Central Catholic’s performance of Beauty and the Beast and Allen High School’s Canaan Days, I was truly impressed with the time and effort these students put into their craft.

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“Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”

April 19th, 2011 posted by

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Angus Young

A few weeks back I ventured to the Great American Music Theater in Lancaster to see Boz Scaggs.  I really couldn’t believe I was going to see Boz Scaggs, as I’m a product of ‘80s rock like AC/DC, KISS, and others, but I have to say his soulful sound was really enjoyable … and who doesn’t like the “Lido Shuffle?”

It got me thinking about the venue and how fortunate we are living in Lehigh Valley.  We are blessed to have such an abundance of exceptional music venues; from the larger facilities like Penn’s Peak and Stabler Arena – to the more intimate settings of Allentown Symphony Hall and the State Theatre.

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A State & State Combo

March 28th, 2011 posted by

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Statecafe-1a

Last Monday evening on my drive home from my guitar lesson, I was the first to call WDIY during a segment of Folk Classics and won two tickets to see The Kingston Trio at the State Theatre. Later in the week I made reservations at the State Café & Grill. I had promised the owner, Juan Martinez, that I would visit for dinner.

The State Café is just off  Northampton Street on Fifth. Its open kitchen and intimate interior are a treat. The place was hopping, as I’m sure it usually is on a show night, being the restaurant closest to the theater. Our strategically located table allowed us to watch the “dance” of food preparation in the kitchen and the end of the Butler/Florida overtime game. Both were entertaining.

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Valentine’s Weekend in Easton is a success

February 22nd, 2011 posted by

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Drinky's Red Bull Rail Jam

Valentine’s Weekend in Lehigh Valley’s Easton was a success from what I could see. They had multiple events taking place on Saturday, 2/12; 2nd Annual Snowflakes for Easton Snow Day, two events at State Theatre, and a Rail Jam.

I happened to be there for the Drinky’s First Annual Red Bull Rail Jam because my son was one of the snowboard competitors, and I was amazed at the crowds that were in Centre Square! It was bitter cold with winds ripping through the town and there were even a few real snowflakes coming down, which made the event seem more authentic. I mean, who would think Center Square in Easton would be home to a “ski slope” with rails? Well, Jack Frost/Big Boulder helped by setting the stage and the city helped by trucking in the snow. Overall I would say the spectators weren’t disappointed, unless they got there late and couldn’t get close enough to see the competition or they couldn’t find a parking spot in the city.

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A night out in Lehigh Valley

January 18th, 2011 posted by

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Cosmopolitan

Last Friday night was a winner in Lehigh Valley. Jeanne and I started at Cosmopolitan in Allentown. If you haven’t been to this restaurant, you have to go check it out. The owners spent a lot of money constructing this place and, in my opinion, it is the closest thing to four-star service in this area. When you walk in, there is a beautiful rainfall display behind the hostess area and a crystal chandelier that used to hang in Hess’s Department Store. I’m looking forward to warmer weather so we can experience the rooftop lounge area at Cosmopolitan; I am sure the views will be incredible up there.

We each had a specialty martini and the fish and chips appetizer (crispy calamari and flounder served with tartar sauce and fresh cut fries). I also ordered a hearts of romaine salad and Jeanne had the lobster ravioli bisque. The food was outstanding. There was no need for an entree; we were both stuffed at this point. Our check with tip at Cosmopolitan totalled $60.

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