Out and About

Out and About: Celebrate Independence Day with music, fireworks

What better way to enjoy Independence Day than with spectacular fireworks and great music?

Around the region, there are plenty of places to watch an amazing fireworks show and listen to music, whether from a symphony orchestra or a rock band.

Berks County has its Star-Spangled Spectacular concert at 8 p.m. on July 4. Hear the Reading Symphony Orchestra perform your favorite patriotic melodies at a free concert in a park-like setting.

The event features fun and food trucks, and concludes with a dazzling fireworks display.

The orchestra, conducted by Andrew Constantine, will perform selected marches by John Philip Sousa; works by John Williams, including "Liberty Fanfare," "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" and "Star Wars" theme, an armed forces salute and Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture."

Tickets are free and available at Boscov's locations, the RSO office, and other outlets. Donations will be accepted for the Helping Harvest food bank.

The concerts is at EnerSys's world headquarters at 2366 Bernville Road (Route 183) in Bern Township.

For information, go to readingsymphony.org.

The Allentown Band highlights America's birthday with a concert of patriotic favorites at Steelstacks in Bethlehem before an exciting fireworks display over the Lehigh River.

Activities stars at 3 p.m. at Air Products Town Square with the making of free patriotic dream catchers, led by artists from the Banana Factory and music by Low Budget Kings, Nate Myers and Big Bone Daddy.

The Allentown Band, conducted by Ronald Demkee, takes the stage at Levitt Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. The bands repertoire includes "The Star-Spangled Banner," "America the Beautiful," "Liberty Bell March," Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the music of George M. Cohan.

Following the concert are fireworks at 9 p.m.

Steelstacks is at 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem.

For information, go to allentownband.com.

Allentown's Independence Day bash includes a party featuring music, dance performers, food vendors, craft beer that starts at 5 p.m. and concludes with a fireworks display over Cedar Beach Park.

The Allentown Police Department will be offering the "APD Olympics" for kids to have a chance to compete on the field. The Allentown Fire Department will have an open house and a meet-and-great with the arson dog Judge, and Allentown EMS will be on site with hands-only CPR.

J. Birney Crum Stadium gates open at 5:30 p.m. Stadium entertainment includes dance performances by XCAPE Hip Hop Dance Group and Sharon Plessl School of Dance; and band performances by Scott Marshall's Highway, James Supra Blues Band and Billy Bauer Band. The Allentown summer playground program children will perform the traditional flag drill as part of the celebration.

New for 2019 is a second stage with entertainment at Cedar Beach Park, including the Nomadic Soulz, John Caanavos Band and Connie's Calvacade, along with craft beer from Hijinx and Allentown BrewWorks. Food vendors include Allentown Shaved Ice, Udder Bar Ice Cream, Tacos Y Tequila street tacos, Queen City BBQ and Wao Burger truck.

Fireworks are at 9:20 p.m.

The event is free and donations will be accepted at the entrances to J. Birney Crum Stadium, with proceeds going to the Allentown Police Athletic League.

For information, go to www.allenownpa.gov.

Beat the heat with a little Bach

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem returns to Allentown for the second of three Bach At Noon on July 9 at St. John's Lutheran Church.

In collaboration with the Arts at St. John's series, the Bach at Noon program is presented on the second Tuesday of the month in June, July, and August, and is free and open to the public.

Doors open at 11:30 am and concerts begin at 12:10 pm. Each performance will feature soloists, along with members of The Bach Choir and Bach Festival Orchestra, with an informative and lively introduction to each piece from conductor and artistic director, Greg Funfgeld.

The program includes Franz Joseph Haydn's "Second Concerto for Horn in D Major," featuring Anthony Cecere on French horn; Johann Sebastian Bach's "Cantata 66 – Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen" and Johannes Brahms' "Motet – Let nothing ever grieve thee."

A good will offering will be taken.

St. John's Lutheran Church is at 37 South Fifth Street, Allentown. For information, call 610-866-4382 or go to bach.org.

Military goes free at Pines Dinner Theatre

In honor of the Independence Day weekend and as a thank-you for their service, Pines Dinner Theatre of Allentown is offering a free dinner and show ticket to "Rock Around the Clock" for veterans and active-duty military personnel for all shows through Sunday. Call the box office to reserve tickets. Military identification is required.

This is the final weekend of the theater's nostalgic musical revue, featuring the music of the 1950s and 60s featuring a six-person cast singing more than 50 favorite rock and roll hits, backed by a three-piece on stage band.

The two-hour show stars Abigail Garrigan, Mikaela Krall, Amber Blatt, Dom Torres, Edsel Romero and James Ofalt.

Dinner features a choice of herb grilled boneless chicken breast, slow-roasted homestyle pot roast, or striped Pangasius. Entrees are served with seasonal vegetables and rosemary roasted potatoes. Vegetarian option are wild mushroom ravioli in a garlic butter sauce or fettuccine Alfredo with broccoli. Also included is salad, fresh baked bread, and family style apple crisp for dessert. Beverages, a la carte menu items, and dessert upgrades are available for an additional charge. A special addition for this show is an old fashioned banana split.

Times are 12:30 p.m. dinner and 2 p.m. show Thursday and Sunday, 6:30 p.m. dinner and 8 p.m. show Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $50 for adults, $35 for children ages 10-16 and $20 for children ages 2-9. Pines Dinner Theatre is at 448 North 17th Street, Allentown.

For information, call 610-433-2333, or go to pinesdinnertheatre.com.

'The Perfect Dog' family musical at NCC Summer Theatre

A family musical based on actor John O'Hurley's best-selling book "The Perfect Dog" opens July 10 in the Lab Theatre at Northampton Community College Summer Theatre.

Featuring a seven-member cast and directed by Clair M. Freeman, the musical follows Sam Brown, a 12-year-old perfectionist who is searching for the perfect dog to enter in the town's dog show. When she can't find a flawless dog anywhere, she turns to the family mutt Max.

The musical stars Katie Gilhooley as Sam and Dedrick Ramos as Max. Also in the cast are Matthew Camardo as Mr. Brown and a yorkie; Emma Gerstein as Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Hayes and Ideal Ida; Garrett Shin as Charlie and a bulldog; Kiana Clarke as Alex and Joshua Battisti as a German shepherd.

A portion of the ticket sales from the show will be donated to Animals in Distress, a no-kill animal shelter in Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County.

Showtimes are at 1 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday, July 10 to August 4. Lab Theatre is in Kopecek Hall, Northampton Community College, 3585 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem Township, Northampton County. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

For information, call 484-484-3412, or go to ncctix.org.

Sing for America presents Lehigh Valley premiere of 'Tuck Everlasting'

"Tuck Everlasting," a new musical based on the 1975 novel "Tuck Everlasting" by Natalie Babbitt, makes its Lehigh Valley debut July 4-6 at Cedar Crest College, in a production that will raise funds for families of area servicemen.

When Winnie Foster sees Jesse, a mysterious boy drink from a spring in Treegap Wood, she follows him, but when she meets his family – the Tucks - they kidnap her to keep her from revealing the secret that drinking from the spring makes them immortal.

Jesse, who becomes fond of Winnie, asks her to drink he water when she is 17 so they can be married. Meanwhile, Winnie's family is searching for her, and a mysterious man in a yellow suit discovers the secret of the spring and wants sell the water, but a disaster forces the Tuck family to leave town. When Winnie turns 17, she contemplates drinking the water, but ultimately pours it out.

Founded by the Gilbert Family of Easton, Sing For America has raised more than $50,000 for families of active military since 2005 through song and dance performances and through musical productions since 2011.

Performances are 5 p.m. July 4, 11 a.m. July 5 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. July 6 in Alumnae Hall, Cedar Crest College, 100 College Drive, Allentown.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and students and $12 for children under age 6. For information, call 610-417-2189, or go to singforamerica.com.

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