Summer officially begins Friday when the solstice marks the longest day of the year.
Celebrate the summer solstice and the sun's light and warmth, which heralds the summer season, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 21 with a summer solstice party at the Berks County Heritage Center in Bern Township.
Discover local goods and produce from a farm-to-fork-style farmer's market. Find your inner musician while checking out the drum circle by Living in the Rhythm, or the flute circle with members of Turtle Moon Native American Flute Circle. There will be a flute-building station, participatory music, educational materials and trading blanket items on display. No experience is necessary for music circles.
Join "Porcupine Pat" for a yoga walk along the Union Canal Towpath from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., or go for a leisurely walk to learn about the history of the Deppen Cemetery from 6 to 7 p.m.
Listen to a story by the campfire, and children can enjoy the kids craft area. Members of Berks County Amateur Astronomical Society will be on hand to talk about the science behind the solstice. The event is free but donations are appreciated.
Berks County Heritage Center is at 1102 Red Bridge Road in Bern Township. For information about the event, call Becky Hughes at 610-374-8839.
Teen cast presents 'Guys and Dolls' at Genesius
See the 1951 Tony Award-winning show "Guys and Dolls" when an all-teen cast brings to life the timeless story June 21 though 30 at Genesius Theatre in Reading.
Adapted from short stories by American author Damon Runyon, and with music by Frank Loesser, "Guys and Dolls" was hailed as the perfect musical comedy when it premiered on Broadway.
Genesius' production is directed by Becka Malanios and features musical direction by Dara Himes and choreography by Emily Snyder.
New York's most infamous crap game organizer, Nathan Detroit, tries to pull together cash to set up the biggest craps game in town, while the authorities breathe down his neck. Meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide, is frustrated that they've been engaged for 14 years. Nathan turns to fellow gambler, Sky Masterson, for the money, and Sky ends up chasing straight-laced Sarah Brown as a result. Guys and Dolls takes audiences from Times Square to the cafes of Havana, Cuba, and even into the sewers of New York City, but eventually, everyone ends up right where they belong.
The cast of Berks County teens, age 13 to 19, features Andrew Bausher as Nathan Detroit, Chloe Martaurano as Miss Adelaide, Ben Daniels as Skye Masterson, Paulina Cevallos as Sarah Brown and Roberto Guevara as Nicely Nicely Johnson.
"Guys and Dolls" is Malanios's favorite musical. She said audiences will be hooked from the opening number of "Fugue for Tinhorns," and "we plan on making the audience sit up and pay attention from the first note until the last note of Act 2."
Performances are 7:30 p.m. June 21-22 and 26-29; and 3 p.m. June 23 and 30.
Tickets are $33 for adults; $22.50 for seniors and $17.50 for students. For information, go to genesiusdifference.org.
Fundraiser with 'Getting Grace's' Dan Roebuck at Pa. Playhouse
Rody Gilkeson, administrator for the Pennsylvania Playhouse, turned to an old friend when he was looking for someone to help raise money for a sorely-needed new lighting system at the Bethlehem community theater.
Gilkeson has known Dan Roebuck since they met at the playhouse in 1974. Roebuck, a Bethlehem native who now lives in California, has forged a more-than-30-year career as a successful character actor and director.
Now, Roebuck will return for "An Evening with Daniel Roebuck, Pennsylvania Playhouse's Favorite Son," a fundraiser for the playhouse's "Light Up the Night" campaign, at 7 p.m. June 22.
Roebuck, who is a 1981 graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School, also has a long history with the playhouse, since he first auditioned for a play as a 13-year-old.
Gilkeson said the playhouse's lighting system, which was installed in 1960s, is deteriorating. He said replacing the system will cost $22,000, and the playhouse got a $10,000 grant toward the system, but must come up with matching funds.
That's why he turned to Roebuck, who is a huge supporter of the Bethlehem community.
In 2016, Roebuck returned to Bethlehem to film "Getting Grace," an independent film shot entirely in the Bethlehem area. It includes the Moravian Book Shop, Burnside Plantation, Pete's Hot Dog Shop and St. Luke's University Hospital in Fountain Hill. The film stars Roebuck as a funeral director who learns about celebrating life from a teenage girl dying from cancer. He also directed the film, which is available on DVD.
Roebuck is also known for his roles in the ABC hit "Lost;" the critically acclaimed Amazon series "The Man in the High Castle," as well as a long list of TV shows, including "West Wing," "Matlock," "NCIS," "Law & Order" and "Matlock;" and also in films such as the 1993 classic "The Fugitive" and the critically acclaimed "The River's Edge."
The evening will start out in the theater in an "actor's studio" format, followed by a question-and-answer period. Highlights of Roebuck's screen and film career will be shown on a video screen. Following the formal program, there will be a meet-and-greet and autograph session in the lobby, and a wine and cheese reception in the green room.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and there is a suggested donation of $20 per person, which will benefit the "Light Up the Night" campaign.
"An Evening with Daniel Roebuck, Pennsylvania Playhouse's Favorite Son," is 7 p.m. June 22, at Pennsylvania Playhouse, 390 Illick's Mill Road, Bethlehem.
Tickets are $20. For information, call 610-865-6665, or go to www.paplayhouse.org.
'Constellations' opens at Civic in Allentown
"Constellations," a play that explores love, friendship and the notion of free will against the backdrop of quantum physics, opens in Civic's Theatre514 in Allentown on June 21 and runs through June 20.
Written by British playwright Nick Payne, the two-person show begins with a simple encounter between a man and a woman. The play, which was the winner of the London Evening Standard Theatre award for best play, follows Roland, a beekeeper, and Marianne, a cosmologist/quantum physicist through their romantic relationship after they meet at a barbecue.
Marianne believes that there are multiple universes that pull peoples' lives in various directions which is reflected in the play's structure when scenes are repeated, often with different outcomes.
The Tony Award-nominated play, which premiered on Broadway in 2015, explores the couple's relationship through infidelity, ballroom dancing and facing mortality.
Kathleen Oswalt plays Marianne and Will Morris plays Roland.
Oswald was last seen at Civic as Mrs. Wilkinson in "Billy Elliot." Past roles at Civic include Sally Bowles in "Cabaret" and Annette in "God of Carnage."
Morris played Mitch Albom in last season's "Tuesdays with Morrie" at Civic. Other favorite roles at Civic include Prior Walter in "Angels in America" and Homer Wells in "The Cider House Rules."
Performances are 7:30 p.m. June 21-22, 27-29 and 2 p.m. June 23 and 30.
Theatre514 is at 514 North 19th Street, Allentown. Tickets are $29 for adults, $27 for students and seniors, and $20 for theater students. Thursday only tickets are $26 for adult and $24 for students and seniors. For information call 610-432-8943, or go to www.civictheatre.com.
Valley premiere of 'Freaky Friday A New Musical'
"Freaky Friday," which imagined what would happen if a parent and child switched places, has been made into a musical by Disney, and "Freaky Friday A New Musical" makes its Lehigh Valley premiere at Star of the Day's production June 21-23.
The story was first a 1972 comedic children's book by Mary Rodgers, then a hit Disney film in 1976, starring Jodie Foster, and again adapted for television in 1995 starring Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffmann, and for the big screen in 2003 with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan.
The musical features music written by Tom Kitt of "Next to Normal" and lyrics written by Brian Yorkey of "If/Then." The book is by Bridget Carpenter, co-executive producer and writer on TV hits, "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood."
Daniel Petrovih directs the musical as it follows an overworked mother and her teenage daughter who magically swap bodies, and have just one day to put things right again. But by spending a day in each other's shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another's struggles, learn self-acceptance, and realize the love and mutual respect that mark the bond between a mother and daughter.
The all young adult cast stars Lauren Jardine as Katherine and Alexa Scheetz as Ellie.
The rest of the cast includes David Erb, Emma Cort, Kyleigh Vicoso, Maggie Toner, Gabriel Craig, Brewer Cort, Brittany Baumeister, Aiyana DeBello, Ada Corovessis, Anna Lorenzo, Gabi Kutz, Annaliese Warnke, Riley Loz, Nik Peterson, Camryn Ivory, Bryanna Pye, Maeve Yanes, Courtney Bodnar, Emily Ahern, Chelsi Fread, Haylee Leayman, Abby Roth, Danny Merk, Brian Merk, Daniel Vanarsdale, Tessa Seals, and Kalley Yellak.
Kirsten Almeida, Star of the Day president, is choreographer of the show.
Performances are 7 p.m. June 21-22 and 2 p.m. June 23 at Salisbury High School, 500 East Montgomery Street, Salisbury Township, Lehigh County. Tickets are $20. For information go to www.StaroftheDay.org.
Quick-change comedy opens at Pa. Shakespeare Festival
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's hilarious gothic spoof "The Mystery of Irma Vep," opens June 22, with previews June 20 and 21, in the intimate Schubert Theatre on DeSales University's Center Valley campus.
It is the second time the festival is staging Charles Ludlam's raucous sendup of Victorian melodrama.
The last time the show was presented in 2007, the quick-change tour-de-farce was a huge hit and now the cast and director return for the new production.
Returning with director Jim Helsinger are actors and festival veterans Christopher Patrick Mullen and Brad DePlanche, who play all the roles, both male and female, with 35 costume changes.
Mullen plays Lord Edgar, an Egyptologist, to DePlanche's Lady Enid, who is Lord Edgar's second wife. Lord Edgar has never completely recovered from the death of his first wife, Irma Vep (whose name just happens to be an anagram for vampire). Adding to the chaos are the opinionated house staff, a maid named Jane Twisden (Mullen) and a swineherd named Nicodemus Underwood (DePlanche.)
When Enid is attacked by a vampire, Edgar goes to Egypt to seek answers in an Egyptian tomb, and along the way resurrecting the mummy of an Egyptian princess. Returning home with the sarcophagus, Edgar prepares to hunt down the werewolf he blames for the death of his son and first wife, and it turns out people are not who they seem.
The festival's Young Company, made up of DeSales University theater majors, serve as dressers for the quick changes and make many of the on-stage shenanigans possible. They also dress as mummies and dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" during one scene change to entertain the audience.
Steve TenEyck's set recreates the "Downton Abbey-style English estate" of Mandacrest Manor. He also provides the scene-setting lightning and thunder.
Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 7 p.m. Tuesdays; 2 p.m. Sundays June 20-July 14; also 7:30 p.m. June 23 and July 14; 2 p.m. June 29, July 6 and 13.
Schubert Theatre is in Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley. Tickets are $25-$59. For information call 610-282-9455, or go to www.pashakespeare.org.
'Oklahoma! at 75' benefits Bucks County Playhouse
"A Beautiful Dawning: Oklahoma! at 75," a celebration of Rodgers and Hammerstein's groundbreaking musical, is a highlight of Bucks County Playhouse's fifth Oscar Hammerstein Festival, June 21-22.
The concert, to benefit Bucks County Playhouse, is based on the recent production at the 92nd Street Y in New York.
The Oscar Hammerstein Festival weekend at the playhouse in New Hope also features a staged reading of the new musical "Being Theo" and more.
The festival celebrates the importance of lyrics in the creation of new musicals. Hammerstein wrote "Oklahoma" in Bucks County at Doylestown's Highland Farm.
The concert at 7:30 p.m. June 22 will star Justin Guarini, a Doylestown native who was the runner-up on the first season of "American Idol" and who has been seen on Broadway in "American Idiot," "Romeo and Juliet," "Wicked," "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," and "In Transit."
The staged reading "Being Theo," a coming-of-age musical comedy by Michael Patrick Walker, is 8 p.m. June 21.
The festival is named in honor of the master writer whose accomplishments during his career included mentoring a young Stephen Sondheim at Highland Farm. The weekend of events is part of a year-long program that offers expert mentorship to early career composers and lyricists.
Bucks County Playhouse also has partnered with Roundabout Theatre Company's Space Jam Program by offering two teams of composers and lyricists an artistic retreat in Bucks County. Space Jam is a playwright-support initiative designed to give writers the time and space to work through various types of solo and group writing retreats. This year, the festival will preview works by the two teams at a presentation for passholders.
The festival is June 21-23 at Bucks County Playhouse, 70 South Main Street, New Hope. Tickets are $65 and $150 for the benefit concert; $25 for "Being Theo;" and $375 and $750 for an all festival pass.
For information, call 215-862-2121, or go to buckscountyplayhouse.org.
Latin music festival at SteelStacks
Experience three days of music, food and family fun including free concerts, arts and crafts, children's activities, Latin dance presentations, and a Mariachi Mass at ¡Sabor! Latin Festival June 21-23 at Bethlehem's SteelStacks.
A celebration of the region's Latino culture, ¡Sabor! features live music by local, regional and national musical acts, as well as cultural programming presented by community organizations such as the Hispanic American League of Artists (HALA), Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley, Borinqueneers and Latin American Motorcycle Association. The festival is an outreach program of the Sabor! Cultural Committee, which includes representatives from the region’s Latin community including Hispanic American League of Artists, Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley, Panorama and La Mega 99.5.
Performing Friday are Herencia Jibara at 6:30 p.m. at Air Products Town Square; Pablo Batista's Latin Jazz Ensemble with special guest Nestor Torres at 8 p.m. at Levitt Pavilion and Hector Roasado y su Orquesta Ache at 10 p.m. at the Town Square.
Saturday features Héctor el Father: Conocerás la Verdad at 1:30 p.m. in Frank Banko Alehouse Cinema; a Puerto Rican flag raising ceremony at 3:30 p.m. at PNC Plaza and music by Pancho Bongo Y Su Orquesta at 4 p.m., The Lehigh Valley Urban Latin Orchestra at 6 p.m. and JD & su Grupo En Secuencia at 10 p.m. at Town Square; and Los Hermanos Moreno at 8 p.m. at Levitt Pavilion.
Sunday starts with the Mariachi Mass by Holy Infancy Catholic Church at 10 a.m. in the Fowler Blast Furnace Room and concludes with Los Pleneros de USA from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Town Square.
SteelStacks is at 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. For information, go to www.steelstacks.org.
Guitar-A-Rama concert at Goggleworks
The 5th annual Guitar-A-Rama concert at Reading's Goggleworks Center for the Arts lets audience members watch guitar masters perform while being able to interact with the musicians one on one.
This event 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. June 22 and presented by Berks Country Fest, is a celebration of the instrument and its players. Performances featuring diverse styles of guitar as a highlight will be in the Boscov's Theater of the Goggleworks as well as on the Sly Fox Pub Stage.
There's no doubt the culture of the guitar and related instruments like ukuleles has had significant impact on the culture of Americana, country, folk, bluegrass, classical, rock, jazz and related musical art forms both here in America and around the world.
There are shows at 1 and 6 p.m. and tickets are $25 for each show.
The first show features guitar sessions with local teacher Josh Taylor and his students from the Reading Musical Foundation inner-city Guitars After School class of 2018/2019 from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Various styles of guitar music are featured, according to what students have been working on. Graduates are awarded their brand new Martin guitar.
Performing are Hot Club of Reading 1:45 to 2:30 p.m.; Ernie Sites 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.; and Jay & Lee Duo with special guest performers making their debut from the New York Guitar Institute 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.
The session ends with a group grand finale jam at 4:50 p.m.
From 5 to 5:45 p.m. Dick Boak presents "The History of the Guitar."
The second show features the same lineup from 6 to 9 p.m.
Goggleworks Center for the Arts is at 201 Washington Street, Reading.
For information call 610-236-4744 or go to berkscountryfest.com.
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