On 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.
Clarks Summit will be a winter wonderland this weekend for the annual Festival of Ice.
“Frozen Fairy Tales” will mark the 11th year of the ice festival, with nearly 60 fairy-tale-themed ice sculptures around the borough’s downtown.
The sculptures, with themes like “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Brothers Grimm” and “Cinderella,” will all be done by Lakeville-based Sculpted Ice Works.
The large number of sculptures and free admission are the main draws for people from all over Northeast Pennsylvania, said Abington Business and Professional Association Executive Director Laura Ancherani. Depending on the weather, the festival averages about 25,000 to 30,000 people over the weekend.
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.
Rich Ruoff’s Sunday afternoon was a simple one.
He took a hot bath and lay down.
“I’m exhausted,” the director of the 2nd Annual Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival said around 5 p.m.
Not surprising, since he’d been running around like a madman well before the event started Friday evening, and for hours after it ended early Sunday morning.
Same goes for his director of operations, Sam Campbell.
Planning to visit the 2015 PA Farm Show when it kicks off Saturday?
Here’s a quick guide to where you can see the celebrity chefs, snag a free sample and catch a cooking demo.
The PA Farm Show runs Saturday through Jan. 17 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. If you’re looking for food, you’ll want to head to the PA Preferred Culinary Connection stage in the complex’s Main Hall.
According to a news release, samples of each dish will be offered to audience members and Pennsylvania wines may be recommended for pairings.
February 20 & 21, 2015
|As the Lehigh Valley Arts Council prepares for the 25th anniversary and yearlong celebration of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we are offering a two-day audio-description training workshop to the performing arts community. By becoming more disability-friendly, a cultural venue can also increase its capacity to attract a larger audience. Theatre practitioners from all walks of life—actors, students, volunteers—are invited to enroll in the upcoming audio-description training session and acquire new performance skills. The training also prepares performing arts groups to participate in the Arts & Access Celebration and to receive recognition and promotion in the Lehigh Valley for creating a more inclusive region.
Audio description assists patrons who are blind or low-vision to access the visual elements of stage productions through live narration provided by trained describers. Patrons use headsets to hear the audio description.
The Arts Council has contracted Mimi Smith, Executive Director of VSA Pennsylvania, and Steve Smith to provide the training over the course of two days, February 20 & 21, 2015. The Smiths have been describers for more than two decades, and are the founders of Amaryllis Theatre Co., a professional Philadelphia theatre that regularly includes artists with disabilities. They will introduce the class to the foundational skills—Observe, Analyze and Communicate— necessary to audio describe a play.
Typically, this workshop would cost $590. Thanks to the underwriting support of an anonymous donor, the Arts Council is able to offer it at a very reasonable price: $50 per person.
The workshop also includes admission to an audio-described performance of Dancing at Lughnasa at the Labuda Performing Arts Center on Thursday, February 19, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.
Reservations required, for more information and to reserve your spot:
Get ready to celebrate.
You can ring out the old and in the new this New Year’s Eve in a variety of ways.
Downtown Lancaster will welcome 2015 with the traditional ascension of the Red Rose Dec. 31 at Binn’s Park.
But before the countdown, the crowd will be entertained by Philly band Swift Technique, beginning at 10 p.m.
KENNETT SQUARE, PA – After a successful debut on New Year’s Eve 2013, the great Mushroom Drop will return this year to greet 2015.
The huge fungus made of lights will descend from a crane at the corner of State and Union streets at midnight.
Last year thousands of people arrived for the event that included food, music and all the enthusiasm of Times Square. Chairman Kathi Lafferty expects nothing less this year.
This event is free with the request that guests bring a can of food that will be contributed to the Kennett Square Food Cupboard.
Friday * December 5 * 8:00 p.m.
Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
Based on Louisa May Alcott’s enduring novel, this popular Broadway musical follows the lives of Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March as they come of age in Civil War America. An aspiring writer, Jo finds inspiration in the memories of the lives, loves, and tragedies that she and her sisters experience while their father is off at war. This holiday season, Little Women will remind us to stand for what we believe in and to care deeply for those we love. Ages 6+
Click Here to Buy
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for ONLY $9.99!
Price of Regular Ticket at the door $29.00
Rush Tickets available online only
Rush Ticketing is a service of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. For more information, visit:
Way back in the 1990s, I started going to the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.
Every March, I’d go back to find not only that the festival had gotten bigger and bigger – too big, it became clear this year, when four people were killed by a runaway drunken driver – but also that the city was mushrooming along with it.
In Austin, the livability factor is high – warm temperatures, live music, BBQ – and the stream of transplants so steady it doesn’t take long for new residents to start moaning about how everything was better before people who arrived after them came to town.
Which brings me to the latest indicator that everybody has figured out Philadelphia is a cool place to live. It’s the modeled-after-SXSW Forbes Under 30 Summit, the money magazine’s inaugural gathering of boldface billionaires and tech titans (and upstart entrepreneurs who wish to emulate them) that will take place in its planned-to-be permanent home from today until Wednesday.
For more information: http://www.artsquest.org/festivals/oktoberfest/brewersvillage.php
Slyfox’s CANJAM seems to be growing in popularity every year — it’s a twofold event featuring live music in a lush pasture next the brewery and the world’s largest Kan Jam™. competition. The outdoor game for four players is sweeping the nation with weekend warriors voraciously playing pick-up games on suburban lawns, parking lot tailgates and anywhere else they can find room.
Add to that, the brewery’s portfolio of authentic and original beers and a free music festival and you have the fixings for a great outdoor event.
The lineup for the music festival begins at 2 p.m, and features American Babies, Cheerleader, Hoots & Hellmouth, Shrimpboat and the Whiskeyhickon Boys. The bands represent many genres and styles guaranteed to please festival goers of all ages.
Ninety-six years young, the Ephrata Fair takes to the streets of the borough starting Tuesday.
The county’s oldest fair fills Main Street from Lincoln Avenue to Park Avenue, and State Street from Locust to Fulton, stopping just short of the Pioneer Fire Company building.
On the midway, the fair-goer will find food stands selling everything from full meals to sandwiches and cotton candy, including the Akron Lions’ Club’s famous toasted cheeseburger, along with games of chance and rides for all age groups, provided by Houghton Enterprises Inc. In Thomas Grater Memorial Park, Lancaster County’s youth shows off the best in livestock.
On Wednesday, the 81st annual Ephrata Fair Parade takes to the streets. This year’s edition features not one, not two, but three Mummers bands from Philadelphia, the Fralinger String band, the Uptown String Band and the Quaker City String Band, first place winners in the 2014 Mummers Day Parade.
Fair Website: ephratafair.org
A world map stood out among hundreds of motorcycles in front of Harley-Davidson‘s York Vehicle Operations.
Pins marked hometowns of bike enthusiasts who had traveled to visit the manufacturer’s annual open house.
John Minor pushed a pin through Hartford, Wis., a closer ride than two open house guests who made the trip from India.
Thursday marked Minor’s first visit to the Harley-Davidson factory in Springettsbury Township.
Northampton Community College
3835 Green Pond Rd.
Bethlehem, PA 18020
An olio is a round-robin of storytelling.This year’s Olio will feature some of the best storytellers in and around the area including:
Sasha Cheer (Pennsylvania Youth Storytelling Showcase Winner )
Robin Reichert (Lehigh Valley)
Judy England-McCarthy (New Jersey)
Lynn Ruehlmann (Virginia)
Bernie Libster (New Jersey)
Jennings & Ponder (Featured National Storytellers) (pictured).
StoryFUSION Festival – September 19th – 21st 2014
Headliners: Jennings and Ponder
World folktales, duo narrative performance, interwoven with traditional music. Besides evening performances on Friday and Saturday, there will be workshops, free children’s show and story swaps.
For full schedule go to www.storyfusion.org.
Jennings & Ponder:
In a powerful blend of technique and soul, this Vermont couple presents traditional world folktales as duo narrative performance, interwoven with traditional Celtic music on harp and concertina. By combining their voices, sensibilities, and creative talents, the duo has developed a form of entertainment that is truly magical, with a unique ability to transcend boundaries.
The purge of Atlantic City‘s weakest casinos continued Tuesday, as Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. filed for bankruptcy in Delaware, a week before it plans to close Trump Plaza, putting a fifth Atlantic City casino in danger of closing this year.
After a previous bankruptcy in 2010, during which Donald Trump lost control of the company to hedge funds, Trump Entertainment attempted to retool its operations, but failed to increase revenue and profits, the company’s chief executive, Robert Griffin, said in a court filing Tuesday.
Operating losses at Trump Entertainment, which also owns Trump Taj Mahal, soared from $5.1 million last year to $25.7 million in the first six months of this year, Griffin said. That put the company in a cash crunch.