MCCC To Celebrate 30 Years Of Arts Excellence With 2016-17 Lively Arts Season

Blue Bell, PA —Montgomery County Community College will celebrate three decades of bringing world-class entertainment, soul-enriching music, peerless comedy and thought-provoking discussion to the community through its 2016-17 Lively Arts season.

Since 1986, the Lively Art series has connected the community through electrifying musical, dance and theater performances, stimulating workshops and lectures, Young Arts Explorers events and meet-the-artist receptions. This year’s season promises even more with its family series and a new film series. Visit www.mc3.edu/livelyarts or call 215-641-6518 for more information and tickets.

The series continues with a host of musical, theater and comedy performances, including:

·      The Capitol Steps (Oct. 16) – The popular, award-winning group will share its special brand of satirical political humor – just in time for the presidential election – through song parodies and skits that play off recent headlines.

·      Repertorio Español’s Production of “El Quijote” (Oct. 22) – The classic story of the Man of La Mancha is told in Spanish with English captions by experienced and emerging Latino theater artists.

·      The Joey Alexander Trio (Nov. 6) – Child prodigy Joey Alexander, a 13-year-old self-taught Indonesian jazz pianist who released his first album in 2015, has performed for Herbie Hancock and Bill Clinton and at prestigious jazz festivals.

·      Charles Lloyd and Friends featuring Bill Frisell, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland (Dec. 4) – Venerated Memphis-born jazz musician and composer Charles Lloyd, who has played with such legends as B.B. King and Bobbie “Blue” Bland and has recorded with The Doors and the Beach Boys, brings his mastery of tenor saxophone, flute, piano and more to audiences in a blend of jazz, world music and other genres.

·      Aaron Diehl Quartet featuring Warren Wolf (Feb. 11) – Diehl, a Juilliard grad and Cole Porter jazz fellow who has toured with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, is joined by Berklee-trained multi-instrumentalist and recording artist Warren Wolf for an evening of jazz blended with hip-hop, funk, rock and world music.

·      Cyrille Aimée (Feb. 18) – The jazz vocalist and French native, who has been praised by the Wall Street Journal as “astonishingly creative…with a brilliant sound, fresh ideas [and] impeccable rhythm,” brings a gypsy sensibility to her singing.

·      James “Blood” Ulmer Odyssey Trio (Feb. 25) – Ulmer, a jazz and blues guitarist, singer and recording artist, applies his southern roots in gospel toward a highly individualized sound described as “a cross between Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Mike Bloomfield.”

·      Monnette Sudler’s Philadelphia Guitar Summit “Chord Nation” (Mar. 4) –Philadelphia-native guitar expert Monnette Sudler will present “Chord Nation,” featuring M’OUD Swing Moroccan Oriental Jazz, Paul Bollenback Portraits of Space and Time Quartet with Orin Evans, Mike Boone and Byron Landham, Gloria Galanta Harp Jazz Ensemble featuring Monnette Sudler and introducing Nasir Dickerson, soloist bringing his African melodies on the African harp-Kora.

·      Sébastien Lépine (Mar. 12) –  Lépine – the award-winning Canadian cellist, chamber musician, conductor and composer who breathes new life into classical music – will join forces with 4 Ailes, a string quartet that has performed all over Quebec and shared the stage with Ingrid St.-Pierre and other accomplished artists.

·      Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (Apr. 1) – The Grammy-winning pianist, composer and founding artistic director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance performs with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, which has preserved the music of his father, the legendary Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill.

·      Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Apr. 7) – Known as the “bad boys of jazz,” this troupe of seven brothers from the south side of Chicago formed a group as children under their trumpet-playing father, Kelan Phil Cohran, and has played with everyone from Prince to Mick Jones of The Clash.

·      Koresh Dance Company (Apr. 29) – Now in its 25th year, this acclaimed dance company led by Israeli founder Ronen “Roni” Koresh has toured extensively and been praised for its “rich, multicultural blend of intensity and physicality” offering “all the finesse and grace of a ballet with the athleticism of an Olympic sport.”

New this year in honor of the Lively Arts’ 30th anniversary, the College will debut a film series sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation On Screen/In Person. Films include:

·      You Belong to Me (Oct. 18, 3 p.m.), an expose of what it meant to be an African American in the Jim Crow South in the 1950s as seen through the lens of a bizarre sex- and race-related murder.

·      Love thy Nature (Nov. 8, 4 p.m.), a cinematic journey narrated by Liam Neeson about the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world.

·      Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save our World’s Children (Feb. 8, 3 p.m.), which profiles the man who led a revolution in vaccine innovation that saved millions of young lives.

·      Real Boy (Mar. 21, 7 p.m.), a coming-of-age story about a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice as a musician, a friend, a son and a man.

·      States of Grace (Apr. 13, 3 p.m.), an award-winning portrait of devotion and trust that documents one woman’s fight to restore her life with her partner and teenage daughter after a tragic accident results in a seven-week coma and a dozen surgeries.

In its annual Young Arts Explorers series, the College will engage children through highly entertaining, educational performances, including:

·      Janet’s Planets (Jan. 26), a live performance from Janet Ivey of the popular TV show in which she explores science, technology, engineering, art, math and the wonders of the galaxy through an imaginative, interactive learning adventure

·      Seussical (Jan. 27), a musical presented by TheatreWorks USA that takes audiences into the world of Dr. Seuss through a story of friendship, loyalty, the power of being unique and the importance of fighting for your beliefs

For its new Family Series, the College will engage audiences of all ages with:

·      Seussical (Jan. 28), a musical presented by TheatreWorks USA that takes audiences into the world of Dr. Seuss through a story of friendship, loyalty, the power of being unique and the importance of fighting for your beliefs ·

Okee Dokee Brothers (Mar. 11), the Grammy-winning performers who use family-oriented Americana folk music to inspire kids to go outside, be creative and gain a greater respect for the natural world and their communities

The Lively Arts Series events are held in the Science Center Theater at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

For more information, visit mc3.edu/livelyarts, email livelyarts@mc3.edu or call the Box Office at 215-641-6518. Follow the College’s “Destination Arts” page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DestinationArts.

$9.99 RUSH TICKETS: Charley’s Aunt, Presented By Act 1 DeSales L

Act 1 DeSales presents

Charley’s Aunt

Friday, September 30, 2016
8:00 p.m.
Main Stage of the
Labuda Center of the Arts

2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
 
_
ONE OF THE MOST SENSATIONAL FARCES EVER WRITTEN

Charley’s Aunt is set during the Victorian era at Oxford University, in the quarters of two undergraduates who frantically search for a way to express their love to their soon departing sweethearts. The solution to their problem comes in the form of Charley’s aunt who is visiting from Brazil. With her acting as a chaperone, the boys can invite their lovers to an official lunch and finally pop the question. However, all goes wrong when a message arrives informing the boys that the aunt is delayed and won’t make it in time. In a last ditch effort the young lads coerce their friend to don a dress and become “Charley’s aunt.” Throughout the afternoon the troublesome trio fumble through spastic conversations, unexpected suitors, cat-and-mouse meet-ups, and the occasional teatime mishap. Charley’s Aunt is a frenzied farce filled with so many twists and turns it will make your head spin.

Click Here to Buy
Last Minute Discount
RUSH Tickets
for ONLY
$9.99!

(price of regular General Admission ticket is $25.00)
Rush Tickets available online only
through Lehigh Valley Arts Council Box Office


Please Note:
** Rush Tickets are available for Orchestra seating only.

** Convenience fee of $2.50 is charged at checkout in addition to the price of a standard Rush Ticket (total ticket price + convenience fee = $12.49)

For additional information, please visit Act 1, DeSales University’s Website or call: 610-282-3192 .

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
www.LVArtsCouncil.orgwww.LVArtsBoxOffice.org

Rush Ticketing is a service of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. For more information, visit:
www.lvartscouncil.org/RushTicketing.html

Lehigh Valley Arts Advocate – June 2016‏

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

On Tuesday, June 14, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Disability Friendly Community, in cooperation with the Williams Center for the Arts, present Red, White & Blue, an evening of laughter and fellowship with comedian Josh Blue. The event marks the culmination of the yearlong commemoration through the arts of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Arts & Access has been a remarkable journey-expanding cultural accessibility through community collaboration. Thank you to the many individuals, businesses, and foundations for their time, expertise and financial support.

The Lehigh Valley has a rich and diverse arts culture, but too often those experiences were closed to people with disabilities. Thankfully, that has begun to change. During this inaugural year, the attendance and the number of disability-friendly events exceeded goals by 25% –demonstrating both a strong need to expand services and a willingness to participate. Thirty cultural organizations teamed up with social service agencies to present sensory-friendly performances for children with autism; dance classes for Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers; audio-described and open-captioned theatrical performances; lectures; exhibitions; poetry readings; film screenings; and public meetings. (589 people with disabilities attended fifty disability-friendly events, accompanied by 705 family members and friends.)

There is really so much to be proud of! The scope of the initiative and the breadth of support speak to the power of the arts to bring people together. And I am pleased to announce that the Arts Council Board of Directors voted at their March meeting to make the program a permanent one, Arts & Access Always.
Randall Forte, Executive Director

WORKSHOP ADDED: Last Call for a Free PPA Grant Workshop!

Calling all artists, community groups and arts organizations of the Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties!

Applications are now being accepted for the Pennsylvania Partners of the Arts(PPA) Project Stream Grant, which awards up to $2,500 to eligible individuals, community groups, and non-profit organizations to conduct arts projects which have a significant public component.

The deadline for all applications is June 20, 2016!


FINAL GRANT WORKSHOP
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
800 Hamilton Street, Suite 201, Allentown, PA 18101

Registration for the final Project Stream grant writing workshops is recommended but not required. To register, please email the Lehigh Valley Arts Council’s new PPA Coordinator Zach Kleemeyer at PPA@LVArtsCouncil.org.


A NIGHT OF CELEBRATION! Red, White & Blue

Tuesday, June 14th will certainly be a night to remember! Our Red, White & Blue event, welcoming comedian Josh Blue to the Lehigh Valley, will celebrate the community and reflect on the successes of Arts & Access.

Tickets are now being mailed to those people who have submitted RSVPs for the event. These tickets are necessary for entry!

Some things to note for our guests:

  • The event will take place at the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College at 7:00 p.m. (317 Hamilton Street, Easton, PA 18042).
  • If you require any accommodations, please arrive at least 40 minutes before the event (6:20 p.m.) so we may seat you comfortably. Your driver may drop you off in front of the theatre, and a greeter will usher you to your seat.
  • Please bring your tickets; they are necessary for entry!
  • Directions to Lafayette College
  • Campus Map

    PARKING:

  • Please park in the Markel Parking Deck, Lafayette’s primary parking deck, located behind Markel Hall on North Campus Lane. This parking deck is only a short walk to the Williams Center.
  • Accessible parking will be available along Hamilton & High Streets in front of the Williams Center. If you’ve replied that you require an accessible parking space, this will be reserved for you.

We are looking forward to those of you who can join us for this evening of laughter and fellowship!

ARTS ALIVE: A Personality of a Collection

The final 2016 Arts Alive event is proving to be most popular, but there are still a few seats available!

Join us at the home of art enthusiasts Bruce and Pamela Loch, as they lead a private tour of their fine art collection and share stories about a few favorites.

Read about the Lochs’ modern home in Lehigh Valley Style’s featured article, ‘Home is Where the Art Is.’


Date: June 25, 2016
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm
Location: Home of Bruce & Pamela Loch
Fees: $15 for Members of the Arts Council; $25 for Nonmembers

PURCHASE TICKETS


UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

PENNSYLVANIA SINFONIA ORCHESTRA presents:

VALLEY VIVALDI SERIES

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201 ◊ Allentown, PA 18101
610.437.5915 ◊ info@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org
LVArtsBoxOffice.org

Lehigh Valley Arts Council To Present Comedian Josh Blue At Williams Center For The Arts, Lafayette College, June 14

Josh Blue, the celebrated comedian who uses his own affliction with cerebral palsy as part of his routine, will perform in Easton at 7 p.m. June 14 at Lafayette College, Easton, Pa. The event is sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, in cooperation with the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette, to celebrate LVAC’s yearlong Arts & Access program, a call for Valley arts organizations to be more inclusive of persons with disabilities.

Blue was the grand prize winner at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, has appeared on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and is a favorite on the college comedy circuit. He is known for his ability to improvise and encourage his audience to overcome preconceived notions about people who are labeled as “disabled.”

A recent L.V. Research Consortium survey revealed that more than 13 percent of the Valley’s population has a disability and that this population grows by about three percent per year.

“Josh Blue is the ideal ambassador for greater inclusion of the disabled,” says LVAC Executive Director Randall Forte. “We are overwhelmed at the success of the first year of Arts & Access, particularly with the enthusiasm of our participating arts organizations.”

Since June 14 is also Flag Day, the program has been tagged “Red, White and Blue.” Invitations are in the mail to Arts Council members and the clients of Lehigh Valley non-profit agencies serving clients with challenges such as blindness, deafness, autism and other disabilities. A limited number of tickets will also be available to the public, particularly for individuals with disabilities, by calling LVAC at 610-437-5915.

The event marks the culmination of the Arts Council’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The LVAC program was a response to a request by the L.V. Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community to encourage local arts organizations to reconsider how their offerings can better serve disabled individuals.

For example, the Josh Blue event will be interpreted by an American Sign Language practitioner, will be audio-described, and the hand-out program will be available in Braille and large print versions. LVAC offers arts groups assistance and lends the special equipment needed for audio description.

As a result of Arts & Access, 30 cultural organizations have teamed with social service agencies over the past year to provide greater accommodation at more than 50 disability-friendly events, including sensory-friendly performances for children with autism, movement classes for Parkinson’s patients, audio-described and open-captioned theatrical performances, lectures, exhibitions, poetry readings, film screenings, and public meetings. LVAC reports that as a result of Arts & Access 2015-16, 589 people with disabilities attended those events, accompanied by 705 family members and friends.

For supporting documents and materials, please click here: http://www.lvartscouncil.org/red-white-and-blue/

‘Servant of Two Masters’ at Muhlenberg‏ College

Allentown, PA – In 18th century Venice, Commedia dell’Arte was king. The classic theatrical style, which features masks, stock characters, and comic improvisation, was beloved by the nobility and working class alike, and trips to see the side-splitting misadventures of the masked characters were a vital part of the Venetian social scene.

Now, for the first time, a Commedia dell’Arte play will appear on the Muhlenberg College mainstage: Carlo Goldoni’s comic masterpiece “Servant of Two Masters,” directed by Muhlenberg theater professor Francine Roussel.

Presented by Muhlenberg’s Department of Theatre & Dance, “Servant of Two Masters” runs Dec. 3–6 in the College’s Baker Theatre. Tickets and information are available at http://www.muhlenberg.edu/theatre and at 484-664-3333.

A longtime teacher and practitioner of Commedia dell’Arte, Roussel says that modern audiences are consistently surprised by how relevant — and how funny — they find “Servant of Two Masters” to be.

 “‘Servant’ is a comedy of all times,” Roussel says. “It doesn’t age, and humans are humans. We can all recognize ourselves in the 18th century stock characters.”

The play follows the misadventures of the scheming servant Arlecchino, who comes up with a plan to sate his legendary appetites: he will serve two masters at the same time, and thus receive twice the money and twice the meals. But serving more than one master could land him in deep trouble, so Arlecchino must hide his double life. Comedy unfolds against a Venetian backdrop of romance and deception.

The Commedia dell’Arte tradition dates back to the 1500s and is a direct precursor of today’s slapstick and sketch comedy. In fact, the word “slapstick” derives from a prop that Commedia actors use to hit each other as loudly (and painlessly) as possible. The modern Harlequin figure, with his familiar patchwork costume, also traces his roots to Commedia; the English name “Harlequin” and Italian “Arlecchino” both derive from the French “Arlequin,” and the character had already been around for more than 150 years by the time he appeared in “Servant of Two Masters,” in 1746.

“The character of Arlecchino is so unique, so endearing, and so energetic,” Roussel says. “Everybody wants to follow him wherever he wants to go.”

The role of Arlecchino will be played by Muhlenberg senior Henry Evans, an actor, dancer, and acrobat who co-founded Muhlenberg’s Circus Workshop in the spring of 2014. Evans will put his acrobat and juggling skills to good use in the production. He says that working on “Servant” has been similar in many ways to his circus performances.

“It’s like a juggling routine,” he says. “It’s this balance of keeping the tradition of Commedia, but at the same time putting our own spin on it, making it contemporary.”

For an undergraduate theater program, Muhlenberg has an unusual degree of connection to the Commedia dell’Arte tradition. Roussel frequently teaches a Commedia class, and a three-month, Commedia-centered program in Arezzo, Italy, is one of the most popular study abroad destinations for Muhlenberg theatre students.

Roussel holds Master of Arts degrees in both modern European and classical French literature from the University of Paris, La Sorbonne. She also earned the Certificat of L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris, where she studied mime and mask. Roussel was part of the “Groupe des 50,” which established the Actors Studio in Paris. She has worked extensively in theatre and film in both Europe and the United States over the past several decades.

The production also features scenic and lighting design by Curtis Dretsch, costume design by Liene Dobraja, and fight choreography by Michael G. Chin.

Performances of “Servant of Two Masters” are Dec. 3 – 6: Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 3-5, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students. Performances are in the Baker Theatre in the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre and Dance at Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg College is a highly selective, private, four-year residential college located in Allentown, Pa., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, sciences, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Muhlenberg offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and dance. The Princeton Review ranked Muhlenberg’s theater program in the top twelve in the nation for eight years in a row, and Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theater and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States. Muhlenberg is one of only eight colleges to be listed in Fiske for both theater and dance.

Montgomery County Community College West End Student Theatre And Theatre Arts Program To Present ‘Fuddy Meers,’ A Comedy By David Lindsay-Abaire

West End Student Theatre students rehearse for the upcoming performance of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Fuddy Meers” Nov. 12-14 in Montgomery County Community College’s South Hall Community room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. Photos by Diane VanDyke

West End Student Theatre students rehearse for the upcoming performance of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Fuddy Meers” Nov. 12-14 in Montgomery County Community College’s South Hall Community room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. Photos by Diane VanDyke

Pottstown, PA — Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) West End Student Theatre and Theatre Arts program are proud to present “Fuddy Meers,” a comedy by Pulitzer prize-winning dramatist, David Lindsay-Abaire.  Show dates are Thursday, Friday & Saturday, November 12, 13 and 14 at 7 p.m., with a special afternoon performance Friday, Nov. 13 at 12:30 p.m.

All performances will be held in MCCC’s South Hall Community Room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.mc3.edu/livelyarts or call 215-641-6518. This production contains adult language and themes.

“Fuddy Meers” is an entertaining, funhouse mirrors-type comedy. In it, when Claire wakes up each morning, her loving husband patiently explains that she suffers from a form of psychogenic amnesia that erases her memory every night when she goes to sleep.  Life with a new blank slate every day seems to suit Claire just fine, but who is that limping man in the ski mask? Or his accomplice with the sock puppet? And why does he say her husband is trying to kill her?

“David Lindsay-Abaire’s play is wickedly fun, sometimes brutal, often quirky and ultimately sweet,” says director Tim Gallagher.

Directed by Gallagher, assisted by Carly Watson and stage managed by Morgan Carrasquillo, the cast includes Joe Donely, Michaela Santiago, Derek Peterson, Tess Devlin, Lexi Lyon, Erik Reyes, and Kayla Velasquez. The production is designed, produced and presented by the students of the West End Student Theatre (which includes Morgan Carrasquillo, Joe Donley, Shari MacNeill, Scott MacNeill, Tess Devlin, Zachary Clark, Christian Flint, Carly Watson, and Matt Giongo), under the guidance of Tim Gallagher and Christopher Kleckner.

Free parking is available. For directions, visit http://www.mc3.edu/about-us/directions-and-maps.

Jeffrey Sweet In A One Man Show February 14 At Steel River Playhouse

Picture 577On February 14, 2015, Jeffrey Sweet, the author of “Court Martial at Fort Devens”, will be appearing at Steel River Playhouse in his one-man show, “You Only Shoot The Ones You Love”, a 75-minute yarn about how the Cossacks almost killed his grandmother and what that has to do with a generation of Jews bringing teeth and cojones (look it up) to American comedy. In response to Joe McCarthy, Nixon and HUAC, wits like Nichols and May, Alan Arkin, Shelley Berman, and Jules Feiffer (and Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Neil Simon and Mel Brooks) invent modern American satire. For more information, click here.

Beth Henley’s Wildly Warm-Hearted Southern Comedy ‘The Miss Firecracker Contest’ Premieres At Muhlenberg

Allentown, PA — Beth Henley’s Southern comedy “The Miss Firecracker Contest” opens Feb. 18 at Muhlenberg College, with a cast of six college seniors. Director Francine Roussel says that the cast is ideally suited to convey the play’s themes of accepting ourselves for who we are in order to move ahead in our lives.

“Henley’s themes are really strong, but there is a lightness to her writing,” Roussel says. “The show is a comedy, almost to the point of farce, but at the same time, there are extremely moving moments where the characters are at a precipice, looking at their lives.”

“The Miss Firecracker Contest” runs Feb. 18-22 on the college’s Studio Theatre stage. Tickets and information are available at muhlenberg.edu/theatre and 484-664-3333.

Roussel says she selected the show because college students can relate to it — both those playing the characters and those watching in the audience.

“They are at a point in their lives where they are going to invent their life after college,” she says. “I think the play is at the core of what’s on their minds. What are their dreams? What are their concerns for the future?”

“The Miss Firecracker Contest” tells the story of 25-year-old Carnelle Scott, known around her tiny Mississippi town as “Miss Hot Tamale” for a past that she would like to forget. She’s got flaming red hair, a sparkler between her teeth, tap shoes on her feet, and The Star Spangled Banner on the tape deck, not to mention a burning desire to win the crown in this year’s Miss Firecracker Contest — the annual beauty pageant in her town. Carnelle hopes a Firecracker victory will help her shake her tarnished reputation and leave town in a blaze of glory.

“All these characters are dealing with crucial rites of passage,” Roussel says. “You can laugh out loud, but at the same time realize how desperate the characters really are.”

“The Miss Firecracker Contest” is Henley’s followup to her Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy “Crimes of the Heart.” First produced in 1980, the play also explores themes of femininity and beauty.

Russell Norris plays Delmount, Carnelle’s older cousin who has just been released from an asylum. Norris says he and his character are quite different in many respects, but they are both people at a crossroads, learning all they can before they move forward.

“This process is the perfect culminating experience,” Norris says. “We’re all going out into the professional world so soon, and we’re all in it together. It’s really bringing us together as a cast, and we all have a similar goal to learn as much as we can in this last opportunity, and soak in the experience.”

Norris’s castmate Julia Garber, who plays Carnelle, agrees. But she also points out that, for all the play’s complex and dynamic characters, it is also very funny.

“I think the audience is going to laugh really hard,” Garber says. “It’s not just a crazy, Southern comedy, but a play that has a lot more depth. I can take a lesson from Carnelle to always stay hopeful and believe in myself.”

Muhlenberg College is a liberal arts college of 2,200 students in Allentown, Pa. The college offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theatre and dance. The Princeton Review consistently ranks Muhlenberg’s production program in the top 15 in the nation, and the Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theatre and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States.

Performances of “The Miss Firecracker Contest” are Feb. 18-22: Wednesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for LVAIC faculty and staff. The performance is intended for mature audiences. Tickets and information are available at 484-664-3333 and muhlenberg.edu/theatre.

Pottstown Area PAL Presents 3rd Annual Comedy Show

Headliner: Chris Coccia

Feature: Rubi Nicholas

MC: James Thomas

May 10th, 2014
Doors open at 7pm * Showtime is 8:15pm
TICKETS $20.00
Elks Lodge #814 * 61 E. High St., Pottstown
Contact the PAL office for tickets: 610-327-0527

Benefits ALL PAL Programs.
Snacks & Beverages provided along with sandwiches sold by the Elks Lodge. Come out for
some great laughs and lots of fun!

SPONSORED BY THE POTTSTOWN AREA POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE

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Steel River Playhouse Presents La Cage Aux Folles – Broadway Hit Musical!

Picture 577Thursdays thru Sundays, June 6 – 23

Contains comedic sexual references.  Please note – children under 4 will not be admitted to the performance.  

Best known as the feature film, The Birdcage, starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane.  Tony-awarding winning musical from legendary Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly!Mame) and the irrepressible Harvey Fierstein (HairsprayTorch Song TrilogyMrs. Doubtfire).  It’s the classic “guess-who’s- coming-to-dinner” set-up, but with a few complications!

Talk-backs with the cast and crew following the performance (Sundays 6/9 & 6/16).

Sponsored by Exelon Generation.  Tickets: $15 – $26

www.steelriver.org or 610.970.1199

Fans Flock To Scranton, Pa., For ‘The Office’ Fete

Lackawanna County Courthouse, Scranton, Pennsy...

Lackawanna County Courthouse, Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SCRANTON (AP) — The actors who play Pam, Jim, Dwight and other beloved characters from the popular NBC show “The Office” bade farewell on Saturday to the northeastern Pennsylvania city of Scranton that served as the TV setting for their fictional paper company.

The NBC mockumentary about a clan of quirky cubicle-dwellers at the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. wraps up May 16 after nine seasons, and a crowd estimated at 10,000 attended a “Wrap Party” in Scranton to show their appreciation.

Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson and other stars rode in classic convertibles and posed for hundreds of photos as fans thronged around them. The stars later took the stage in front of the Lackawanna County Courthouse and played a concert with The Scrantones, the band that performed the show’s theme song.

Steve Carell, who played office boss buffoon Michael Scott, wasn’t expected to make an appearance but surprised fans at a celebration later outside the city at PNC Field, home of the New York Yankees’ Triple A affiliate, The (Scranton) Times-Tribune reported.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130505/ENTERTAINMENT01/130509628/fans-flock-to-scranton-pa–for-the-office-fete-#full_story

Jonathan Winters, Funny Man And Comedic Inspiration, Dies At 87

Jonathan Winters as a truck driver

Jonathan Winters as a truck driver (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jonathan Winters, the rubber-faced comedian whose unscripted flights of fancy inspired a generation of improvisational comics, and who kept television audiences in stitches with Main Street characters like Maude Frickert, a sweet-seeming grandmother with a barbed tongue and a roving eye, died on Thursday at his home in Montecito, Calif.  He was 87.

His death was announced on his Web site, JonathanWinters.com.

Mr. Winters, a rotund man whose face had a melancholy basset-hound expression in repose, burst onto the comedy scene in the late 1950s and instantly made his mark as one of the funniest, least definable comics in a rising generation that included Mort Sahl, Shelley Berman and Bob Newhart.

Mr. Winters was at his best when winging it, confounding television hosts and luckless straight men with his rapid-fire delivery of bizarre observations uttered by characters like Elwood P. Suggins, a Midwestern Everyman, or one-off creations like the woodland sprite who bounded onto Jack Paar’s late-night show and simperingly proclaimed: “I’m the voice of spring.  I bring you little goodies from the forest.”

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/13/arts/television/jonathan-winters-comedian-dies-at-87.html?hp&_r=0

Muhlenberg’s ‘Bartholomew Fair’ Offers ‘Mix Of Punk And Puritan,’ Still Relevant 400 Years After Debut

Logo of Muhlenberg College

Logo of Muhlenberg College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown, Pa. – For years, Muhlenberg College theater students have looked forward to working with Kevin Crawford, a professor at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Now, Crawford brings his unique brand of physical theater to the Muhlenberg Mainstage with Ben Jonson‘s over-the-top comedy “Bartholomew Fair.”

One of Europe’s premiere schools for the performing arts, Accademia dell’Arte is a popular study-abroad location for Muhlenberg theater and dance majors. Kevin Crawford has worked with Muhlenberg students since 2002 as a professor at the Accademia and currently directs the school’s Master of Fine Arts program in physical theater. Crawford makes his Muhlenberg directing debut.

The production runs Feb. 21-24 in the Baker Theatre at Muhlenberg. Crawford and musician Caroline Boersma are this season’s Baker Artists-in-Residence, sponsored by the Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation.

Jonson’s 1614 play is “a noisy, exuberant slice of Jacobean life,” Crawford says.  Depicting a day in the 17th century life of the Fair, the play pits Puritan excesses against the cruder vices and pleasures of the Fair’s underclass — the thieves, swindlers, prostitutes and pimps who thrived there.

“It’s about the upper-class society meeting the underbelly at the Fair and what happens when they interact,” Crawford says. “Madmen become prophets. Prophets humiliate themselves and gradually become madmen themselves. It’s a mix of punk, puritan, and opposition. Clean versus dirty.”

Crawford says that despite its 17th century origins, the story still resonates with modern audiences. Crawford wants to take the world of “Bartholomew Fair,” Jonson’s last great comedy, and show exactly how relevant it still is today.

 “I’ve done ‘Bartholomew Fair’ before with students and I liked it,” Crawford says. “I was attracted to its language and its time. It’s a contemporary of ‘The Tempest,’ but a bit more racy. It’s quite unusual. … It’s a comedy, definitely not a heavy piece. It’s a fun piece.

“The thing that’s fun for me is watching this 400-year-old text just bursting to life. It’s like a firework display.”

Kevin Crawford is a founding member of the Roy Hart Theatre Company, whose groundbreaking influence on contemporary voice-work for theater is internationally recognized. He toured extensively with the company for more than 20 years, during which time the company received several prestigious prizes including an Obie Award in New York and the Prix Jean Vilar at The Printemps des Comédiens.

Crawford’s Accademia colleague, Boersma will provide original musical arrangements to the production. Her unique score uses music from the early 1600s, which she will accompany on cello, along with vocal and instrumental performances by the actors themselves. Boersma is coordinator of the music program at the Accademia dell’Arte, where she also teaches,

The music is important because it’s written into the show,” Boersma says. “Characters are always singing. It’s quite integrated. For me as a musician, it’s always interesting to work with theater. It adds a dimension.”

The show will also feature Muhlenberg faculty member Holly Cate in the role of Ursula, the Pig Woman. Cate describes Ursula as a grandmother figure to the Fair participants.

“Ursula is mean and nasty,” she says, “but she also takes care of everyone, and they take care of her.”

She describes the humor as “funny and bawdy,” with extreme characters and outrageous situations, and she says audiences will empathize with the characters’ faults and hypocrisies, as well as their successes.

 “It’s like Monty Python in 1605,” she says.

Cate originally signed on to do the show because she wanted the opportunity to work with Crawford.

“If he wanted me to read from the telephone book, that is what I would do and I would have been delighted,” Cate says. “He’s fabulous. It’s incredible to be in the room with an artist of his caliber and a teacher of his caliber.”

Faculty member Tim Averill’s scenic design will add another dimension to the show. Recently returned from sabbatical during which he explored ways in which sustainability can be incorporated into the theatrical process, Averill seeks to keep the production as eco-friendly as possible.

“Limitation is a path to creativity,” Averill says. “Sustainable theater happens when conscious choices to be sustainable are part of the artistic aesthetic.”

Averill’s set design will use elements from previous productions as well as found objects that will be modified for the show. In addition, all the paint on set will be water based, not petroleum based, and he will use the least amount of “new stuff” possible to create a hand-crafted aesthetic, he says.

Averill hopes to use “Bartholomew Fair” as an example of how a designer can preserve production values while also creating a sustainable piece of theater.

“I’m excited about the challenge of the production,” Averill says, “and I’m excited to be part of a process that puts fun out into the world.”

Both Averill and Crawford have tried to incorporate fun into every aspect of the show, from the rehearsal and design processes to the performance itself. For Cate, the process has shown her how accessible the humor in the script really is.

“Kevin has a love for the language, which is rich and nasty and fabulous and profane,” Cate says. “I think it’s going to be like a little confection that everyone is going to enjoy. It’s going to be very funny — a grand experiment.”

“Bartholomew Fair” will feature costume design by guest artist Annie Simon and lighting design by Gertjan Houben. Molly Serpi is the production stage manager.

Performances of “Bartholomew Fair” are Feb. 21–24: Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for patrons 17 and under and LVAIC students, faculty, and staff. Performances are in the Baker Theater, Trexler Pavilion for Theater and Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown. Muhlenberg Theater & Dance performance information and tickets are available at 484-664-3333 orwww.muhlenberg.edu/main/academics/theatre-dance/

First Night Pittsburgh Brings Downtown Alive With More Than 100 Events In 45 Venues

English: Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can ring in the new year at home with Ryan Seacrest — sadly, we lost Dick Clark this year — or you can join the crowd at one of the city’s most festive celebrations, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh.

As Stefon would say on “Saturday Night Live,” it has everything: Bollywood dancers, Japanese sword dancers, rockers, hip-hoppers, puppet paraders, treasure mappers, unicycling jugglers, human pinatas — no, not really pinatas, but that’s about all it doesn’t have.

It begins at 6 p.m. Monday with a Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks Display and a performance by Adam Brock & The Soul Band on the Dollar Bank Stage at Seventh Street and Penn Avenue.

The evening concludes with a performance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a New Orleans jazz/R&B institution since 1977, and then the Countdown to Midnight and Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale atop Penn Avenue Place and Fifth Avenue Place.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/first-night-pittsburgh-brings-downtown-alive-with-more-than-100-events-in-45-venues-667932/#ixzz2GIiKJiQF

Television’s Fall Season Endures

For years, Alan Wurtzel, the head of research for NBC, has questioned the enduring validity of a television season — the ritual competition of network series, which begins again Monday night.

“I’ve been saying the idea of a television season is an anachronistic artifact,” Mr. Wurtzel said. “It’s a 52-week-a-year business. We never take a night off.”

The tradition of the fall season, originally tied to the start of the model year for new cars, is now more than 60 years old. It is defined arbitrarily and rather arcanely by the Nielsen Company as 34.5 weeks between mid-September and mid-May. The season doesn’t account for the increasing number of viewers who watch shows on their own schedules and it hasn’t stopped cable networks from introducing hit shows all through the year.

And yet, the idea persists, in large part because it still works. In defiance of diminishing ratings, attention on the new network shows seems only to have increased, as more blogs and social media sites offer breakdowns of the lineups and predictions of successes and failures.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/business/media/television-changes-but-the-fall-season-endures.html?_r=0

Reviving Live Arts At The State Theatre Of Boyertown

It’s a work in progress for owner Kevin Rhude, who would like to turn the 100-year-old State Theatre of Boyertown into a theater of the arts.

At 61 N. Reading Ave., the theater shows three to four movies a week at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in addition to a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturdays and Sundays.

But Rhude of Boyertown wants the theater to go beyond film and be a venue for arts of all kinds.

Rhude purchased the State Theatre in 2008.  Having worked in real estate for more than 20 years, Rhude said he has an appreciation for old buildings and art.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=412991

Gospel Concert & Christian Comedy Show – Pottstown

Saturday, April 21, 3pm

Second Baptist Church, 507 N. Adams Street, Pottstown

Support the great things happening through the Wings of Victory Outreach Organization and enjoy an evening of great entertainment.
All proceeds will benefit programs for homeless women.

PROGRAM INCLUDES:

Soloist:  Arnetta Morgan

Choirs:

Mt. Olive Baptist Church Mass Choir, Pottstown, PA

Zion Baptist Church Choir, Ambler PA

Bethel Baptist Church Mass Choir, Phoenixville, PA

Second Baptist Church Mass Choir, Pottstown, PA

Comedian: “Miss Regina” of Delaware (Regina Scott)

Presentation to Honor Margaret Banks for her work in the community

Jay Leno To Headline At Bethlehem Sands Event Center

Jay Leno has been the subject of criticism sin...

Image via Wikipedia

Jay Leno, who hosted NBC-TV’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” from 1992 to 2009, then resumed as its host in 2010 after having his own prime-time “The Jay Leno Show,” will perform at the event center  on Aug. 10.

Tickets are $65, $79.50 and $99.50.

To see who else is coming, click on the link below: http://blogs.mcall.com/lehighvalleymusic/2012/02/late-night-talk-show-icon-country-music-monarch-biggest-selling-instrumentalist-ever-set-for-sands.html