Arts Around Town

Arts Around Town: Allentown Public Theatre's 'Neverland' comes to Jordan Heights

From far-away Neverland with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell comes an original version based on the all-ages classic "Peter Pan" tale with Allentown Public Theatre's "Wendy, an Adventure in Neverland," beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday and July 28 and 29 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 417 North Seventh Street, Allentown. The free production has been devised collaboratively by members of the APT ensemble and is being performed in partnership with the Puerto Rican Culture Preservation.

This version begins and ends in Allentown, where main character Wendy Moira Angela Darling resides with her mom, Mrs. D. Drumming and dance will be performed in segments by members of the Puerto Rican Culture Preservation.

Director/deviser/performer is Anna Russell, who said the language and spirit of the original script is "so wonderfully playful and inventive...with larger-than-life characters, an endless stream of unlikely adventures, and constantly-shifting realities. The play captures both minds and hearts as it pushes us to new heights of truth and humility as only make-believe can."

In addition to Russell are Willow Reichard-Flynn, writer/performer; Louise Howard, deviser/performer; Aaron Fischer, writer; Sarah Desrosiers, stage manager, and Chloe Cole-Wilson, costume designer.

As part of the Upside Allentown Artist-in-Residency Program, APT is performing the production at several locations in the city's Jordan Heights, including Union Baptist Church, 302 North Sixth Street, Allentown on August 6 and the Arts Park on August 17. Accompanying free workshops will precede each production.

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Star of the Day presents William Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors," running Friday through Sunday at McCoole's Arts & Events Place, 10 South Main Street Quakertown, Bucks County. Director is Will Windsor Erwin.

The cast includes Miguel Torres Jr., John Corl, Keith Moser, Kristopher Sanchez, Ben Ruth, John Leiderman, Rachel Williams, Lisa Gump, Paul Knappenberger, Bekah Eichelberger, Dara Connelly, and Marcy Repp.

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Visiting guest artist Tom Schuman, pianist/keyboardist with Spyro Gyra, comes to the second annual "Christmas City Summer Jazz Festival," presented by the Pennsylvania Jazz Collective on Saturday at the Municipal Ice Rink, 345 Illick’s Mill Road, Bethlehem. The free event will run from 12:30 to 10 p.m.

"Schuman and Lehigh Valley natives have had relationships since early in their careers and as far back as 1978," said Alan Gaumer, artistic/executive director of Pennsylvania Jazz Collective,

Gaumer said the opportunity for Schuman's appearance has been possible with a performance by Spyro Gyra at the Blue Note in New York City on July 25. Schuman, a native of Buffalo, New York, now resides in Las Vegas.

Accompanying Schuman will be bassist Tony Marino and drummer Alex Ritz. Additional valley artists will appear throughout the set, Gaumer said. Schuman also will appear as a soloist on the PAJAZZ Big Band set.

Other acts include NEEMA, Frank DiBussolo Trio, Pete Fluck & Craig Thatcher, Eric Mintel Quartet, Nancy & Spencer Reed, PAJAZZ Idol youth group winners, Dave Roth Trio, and ESQ and the PAJAZZ Big Band with an all-star lineup.

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The second annual "SouthSide Swing" returns to SteelStacks in Bethlehem beginning tonight through Saturday with plenty of dancing to swing, rockabilly and hot jazz, as part of the Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks Summer Concert Series.

Performers include Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra, with popular 20th century swing and jazz; Avalon Jazz Band, with French and American swing jazz, and Evan Sherman Big Band, a 16-piece jazz party group.

Also in the lineup at the TD Bank Community Stage are Chelsea Reed & the Fairweather Five, and Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.

The performances are free and feature large wooden dance floors at Levitt Lawn and Air Products Town Square. Free beginner swing lessons will be given at Levitt Lawn before shows by Gas House Dance Hall of Catasauqua, Lehigh County.

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Musical theater continues in the Lehigh Valley with Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre's "My Fair Lady," directed by Charles Richter, through July 30, and Atlas Circus Company's world premiere all-ages circus experience, "Wild," created and directed by Noah Dach, through July 29.

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University in Center Valley offers "The Three Musketeers," in repertory with "As You Like It" and the "Extreme Shakespeare" production of "Troilus and Cressida," through August 6.

The children's production of "The Ice Princess" and "Shakespeare for Kids" runs through August 5.

A one-night-only concert by Dee Roscioli (Eva Peron in this season's PSF production of "Evita") will be held July 31 at 7:30 p.m., with an eclectic evening of Broadway, pop hits, and new original work on the Main Stage.

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