Experience the reenactment of a historic event from the founding of our nation, when Easton celebrates Heritage Day on Sunday by restaging one of the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, which occurred in Easton on July 8, 1776.
Easton was one of only three places, along with Philadelphia and Trenton, that had a public reading of the document on that day. Robert Levers, chair of the Committee of Safety and Northampton County's representative to the Provincial Conference of Committees, read the document on the steps of the courthouse, then located in Centre Square, with a parade escort of the new flag to the courthouse.
On Sunday, there will be a parade at noon, which escorts Levers, portrayed by Christopher Black, and the Easton flag, to the Heritage Stage in the square, where all will assemble to hear a dramatic reading of the words that created the United States of America.
Town criers will make their cases for or against independence at 11 a.m., prior to the parade, on the Heritage Stage. Onlookers are encouraged to voice their opinion in response to their calls for independence or continued loyalty to the crown.
The free, full-day family festival showcases local history, offers activities for kids, includes a visit from the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile and concludes with an amazing fireworks display over the Forks of the Delaware at 9:30 p.m.
Various stages in Centre Square, Riverside Park and Scott Park will feature performers, including the Penn's Woods Puppet Theatre, Phydeaux's Flying Flea Circus, School of Rock, Phildelphia Funk Authority, Dana Gaynor Band, Roi and the Secret People, East Texas Tramps and Chris Cummings Trio.
Most of the children's activities are free, including "Be the Bugler," where kids get a free lesson on the history of the bugler atop the Soldiers and Sailors monument in Centre Square. Kids will be given a free bugle to participate in the event.
History-focused tours will include the Sigal Museum & Historic Houses, Parsons-Taylor House, State Theatre, Trinity Episcopal Church, First United Church of Christ and St. John's Lutheran Church.
For a full schedule of events go to heritageday.org.
WK&S Railroad holds Kids Day Weekend
Once each year, the WK&S Railroad in Albany Township hosts its "Kids' Fun Weekend" with lots of extras, besides the regular train excursions. Saturday and Sunday, climb aboard the Hawk Mountain Line and also take a ride on a motorcar, check out the recycled railroad display, and have an ice cream treat. The Schuylkill & Lehigh Model Railroad Club will be open in the former Atlantic City Railway coach, located behind the station.
The Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern railroad runs on three and a half miles of track that were once part of the Schuylkill & Lehigh branch of the Reading Company system. The Reading Company was known as a mighty coal hauler, but the S&L was a rural agricultural branch, sometimes called the "Slow & Lonesome." The branch was perhaps best known for the "Berksy," a local passenger train that carried students to and from the only area high school at Slatington.
Passengers are treated to rolling farm fields, as well as forests, fills, cuts, tree covered hills, a bridge over scenic Ontelaunee Creek and the two old-time towns of Trexler and Wanamaker. Passengers even get a good view of their own train thanks to some sharp curves along the line.
The WK&S train includes one or two coaches, an open observation car and a Reading caboose pulled by one of three vintage center-cab diesel locomotives.
Train departs at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. both days. Tickets are $10 for adults and children age 3-11 and $2 for children age 2 and under. Reservations are not required.
The train station is at 42 Community Center Drive, Albany Township.
For information, go to www.kemptontrain.com.
Yarn bombing in Easton
Join the Karl Stirner Arts Trail in Easton and fabric artist Chawne Kimber as she guides guests through the art of yarn bombing at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Presented by the ACE collective of Lafayette College, visitors are invited to selectively adorn the trail with color and joy. All ages are welcome. Go to the Blue Bridge entrance and walk to the KSAT Dog Park.
Chawne Monique Kimber is an African-American mathematician and quilter, known for expressing her political activism in her quilts. She is a professor at Lafayette College, where she heads the department of mathematics.
Described as where art and nature converge, the 2.4-mile long trail, connecting Easton's downtown, College Hill and West Ward neighborhoods, follows the Bushkill Creek. Through the placement of artwork in a natural setting, the trail seeks to stir the public imagination and sense of possibility.
The trail is named for German-born sculptor Karl Stirner, who moved to Easton and encouraged other artists to come to the city.
The Karl Stirner Arts Trail is dedicated to advancing civic dialogue and infusing the community with creative capital, so as to bolster economic revitalization and foster civic and cultural pride.
The Karl Stirner Arts Trail is at 500 Bushkill Drive. There is no admission for the trail.
For information, go to karlstirnerartstrail.org.
Shakespeare's 'Antony and Cleopatra' opens at PSF
Experience one of history's greatest love stories when Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" is presented in repertory with Noël Coward's "Private Lives" is on the main stage at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival through August 4.
In the sweeping saga, a fateful meeting reshapes the ancient world when Roman triumvir Marc Antony falls like Caesar before him for Cleopatra, the enchanting Queen of the Nile. As civil unrest plagues Rome, this exotic and intriguing tale illuminates the collision of power and passion as empires hang in the balance. Shakespeare's dark and intimate portrait of this storied affair features some of the most transcendent poetry on love and loss in the canon.
Director Eleanor Holdridge said what also drew her to the show is "the epic wills of the characters" and called Shakespeare's language in the play "some of the most beautiful in the canon."
"It gets at the complicated messiness of the human spirit, the tangled battle between love and honor, and the responsibilities of rulership vying with the yearnings of the heart," she said.
South African actress Nondumiso Tembe plays the doomed Queen of the Nile.
Tembe plays opposite Neal Bledsoe as Antony. Both Bledsoe and Tembe, who have extensive theater, film, and television credits, make their festival debuts.
Bledsoe's credits include television shows "Shameless," "The Man in the High Castle," "The Last Tycoon," and "Impressionism" on Broadway. He will be featured alongside Val Kilmer in the upcoming feature film "Soldier's Heart."
Tembe, a multi award-winning artist, is the first South African actress to obtain a masters of fine arts in acting from the Yale School of Drama.
Also in the cast are Justin Mark as Octavius Caesar, a shrewd and manipulative politician who stands in the way of Antony and Cleopatra's happiness; Liam Craig as Enobarbus, a trusted follower of Marc Antony and Ilia Paulino as Charmian, Cleopatra's attendant.
Performances are through August 4 at Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley.
Tickets are $25-$68. For information, call 610-282-9455, or go to pashakespeare.org.
Tap-dancing 'Anything Goes' at MSMT
"Anything Goes," a crazy 1930s Cole Porter comedy with tons of tap dancing rounds out Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre's season July 11 to 28 at the college in Allentown.
The high-spirited musical has been produced at Muhlenberg four times – the last time 20 years ago.
Porter's classic jazz-age musical has proved to be enduring since its original 1934 run on Broadway.
The story concerns madcap antics aboard an ocean liner going from New York to London. Billy Crocker is a stowaway in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. He enlists fellow passengers singer Reno Sweeney and Public Enemy #13, "Moonface" Martin, to help him in his quest to win Hope.
In the showcase role of Reno Sweeney, is Mia Scarpa, who previously played Mama Rose in "Gypsy," Dolly Levi in "Hello Dolly" and Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun" at Muhlenberg Summer Theatre.
Jarrod Yuskauskas who appeared opposite Scarpa in Muhlenberg's "Gypsy" and "Hello Dolly" plays Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Bob Fahringer, who was Cogsworth in last year's "Beauty and the Beast" plays Moonface Martin.
The show features well-known songs such as "I Get a Kick Out of You," "You're the Top," "Blow Garbiel Blow," and the title song.
Also on board is acclaimed tap choreographer Shelley Oliver.
Muhlenberg has previously produced "Anything Goes" in 1979, 1988, and 1998, and is holding a reunion celebration for anyone involved in those previous productions on July 27
Cast, crew, directors, designers and musicians are invited to attend a tap class by Rebekkah L. Brown, vice president for advancement, and a reunion reception in the Red Door Café, Seegers Union with Richter and a sing-along of songs from the show. For information on the reunion, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Anything Goes" is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Saturdays, except 2 and 7:30 p.m. July 13; 2 p.m. Sundays, July 11-28 in Baker Theatre. Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew Street, Allentown.
Tickets are $35 for adults, $31 for seniors and $20 for students, $17 age and under, the first week; and $41 for adults, $37 for seniors, $24 for students, $21 for age 18 and under the rest of the run.
For information, call 484-664-3333, or go to muhlenberg.edu/SMT.
'Red, White, and Tuna' in Fleetwood
Fleetwood Community Theatre presents the comedy "Red, White, and Tuna" this weekend at St. Paul's United Church of Christ.
It is the third in a series of comedic plays that takes place in Tun, Texas, in the series by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard (preceded by "Greater Tuna" and "A Tuna Christmas.")
It's a 4th of July Reunion in Tuna and Arles and Thurston are still at the news desk. All the wacky residents, including Petey Fisk, Bertha Brumiller, and her twins Charlene and Stanley, Vera Carp, Elmer Watkins, Pearl Burris, RR Snavely and his wife Didi, Leonard Childers, and Reverend Spike, return, along with some new ones. The satire of small town, Southern life follows the crazy, politically incorrect, stereotypical redneck world of the third smallest town in Texas.
Eight actors play 22 roles at this crazy high school reunion.
Jeff Jones, who also directs, plays a radio disc jockey and spokesperson for the independent nation of Free White Texas. Stan Durlak is the head of the Greater Tuna Humane Society and the other radio disc jockey. LeAnne Zettlemoyer is a chicken Farmer and the artistic director of the Tuna Little Theatre.
Cathy Leibensperger is a used gun store owner, the mayor of Tuna and owner of the radio station OKKK. Paige Rothermel plays the twins Charlene & Stanley Bumiller. The rest of the cast includes
Stevie Miller, Laura Jones and Jacqui Rothermel.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. July 12 and 13 and 2 p.m. July 14.
Tickets are $15. St. Paul's United Church of Christ is at 5 West Arch Street in Fleetwood.
For information go to onthestage.com/show/fleetwood-community-theatre.
'Pump Boys and Dinettes' at Pines Dinner Theatre
Allentown's Pines Dinner Theatre presents the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical "Pump Boys and Dinettes" July 13 through August 18.
The musical tells the story of four men (L.M., Jackson, Jim and Eddie) who work at a gas station and two waitresses (sisters Prudie and Rhetta Cupp) at the "Double Cupp Diner," a dinette, located somewhere between Frog Level and Smyrna, North Carolina, on Route 57 in the heart of Grand Ole Opry country. Together, these six friends sing songs of joy and heartbreak while accompanying themselves on guitar, piano, bass, and even kitchen utensils.
Pines' production showcases a cast of talented musicians and vocalists, including as the Pump Boys, Sean Carroll as Jim on acoustic guitar, Alex Burnette as L.M. on piano and accordion, Dom Torres as Jackson on electric guitar and Don Hart as Eddie on electric bass. harmonies flowin' in such songs as The Cupp Sisters are Abigail Garrigan as Prudie Cupp and Melinee Wilson as Rhetta Cupp.
Songs include "The Night Dolly Parton Was Almost Mine," "Fisherman's Prayer," and "Taking It Slow."
Dinner features a choice of grilled pineapple mango pork loin, 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.
Showtimes are 12:30 p.m. dinner and 2 p.m. show Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, 6:30 p.m. dinner and 8 p.m. show Fridays and Saturdays, July 13 through Aug. 18.
Pines Dinner Theatre is at 448 North 17th Street, Allentown.
Tickets are $50 for adults, $35 for children age 10-16 and $20 for children ages 2-9. Show only tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for children.
For information, call 610-433-2333, or go to Pinesdinnertheatre.com.
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