Out and About

Out and About: Perfect time to enjoy al fresco art

With the beautiful weather we've been having, what better place to enjoy works of art by local artists than in the great outdoors?

Both Berks and Lehigh counties are offering al fresco art festivals where the best of the region's painters, photographers and other artists can be seen in a bucolic setting.

Art in the Park returns to Allentown's verdant West Park on Saturday.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the free event, presented by the West Park Civic Association, will host more than 70 artists from the tristate area, as well as offering live demonstrations throughout the day. There will be original works of fine art and crafts from both professional artists and local high school and colleges who are given free exhibition space.

Live performances, including the Allentown Band, will be presented throughout the day in the bandshell. Food and drink will be available from a range of vendors.

Demonstrating artists include Peter Gourniak, photographer ad videographer; Vitoria Beck, Inkhound Press; Tom Evans, woodworker; James DePietro, painter; Arturo Cabrera, portrait painter; Erin Anderson, portrait painter, and Katie Hovencamp, sculpture.

A photo essay of the event will be created by photographer Theo Anderson and Gourniak will record a video of the event.

Cash prizes will be offered in a range of categories, with the winners selected by Kathleen Jameson, the new executive director and CEO, James Michener Art Museum and Scott Schweigert, curator of art and civilization, Reading Public Museum.

Providing entertainment will be Repertory Dance Theatre at 10 a.m.; Allentown Band at 12:45 p.m. and Hector Rosado at 3 p.m.

West Park is at 16th and Turner streets, Allentown. For information, go to westpark-ca.org/events.

The 25th annual Art on the Avenue in West Reading is the premiere art and music festival in Berks County, drawing more than 15,000 visitors. Local and regional artists and musicians are showcased from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the free, family-friendly festival on Penn Avenue, which also offers shopping, wine tasting, plenty of food and 13 bands on two stages.

Art on the Avenue is organized by the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation, which is dedicated to the revitalization and growth of West Reading.

As part of the event, the fourth annual Plein Air West Reading exhibition and competition will be held through Friday. Artists are invited to paint or draw a scene anywhere in Berks County through June 14.

The competition is juried with more than $3500 in awards including two $1,000 first prizes for best West Reading scene and best scene anywhere in Berks. An awards reception and patron preview will be held Friday.

On the Sixth Avenue stage, entertainment includes The Inner Urge Band, Jeff Mallon & the Bare Minimum, Grexin’, Talk Louder!, YAM YAM, Big Beat Tornado, Flux Capacitor and Allegro Dance.

On the Seventh Avenue stage, entertainment includes Culture Trip Band, Be, thequietcampaign, Erin Margaret and The Punk Folk, fire company and Non-Zero-Sum Jazz Collective.

For information, go to visitwestreading.com.

Stahl's Pottery Festival

See a huge variety of ceramic work from utilitarian bowls to modern sculpture when Stahl's Pottery Preservation Society, Inc. holds its 32nd annual Pottery Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Stahl's Pottery historic property in Powder Valley.

The event features 30 local potters displaying and selling traditional and contemporary pottery; tours of Stahl's potting sheds and kiln; pottery demonstrations; hands-on potting opportunities; an exhibit of original, historic Stahl's Pottery and the sale of baked goods and light refreshments.

Several of the participating potters will demonstrate turning pottery on the potter's wheel and other pottery making techniques. Raku pottery demonstrations will be performed periodically throughout the festival.

A limited number of redware, sgraffito plates commemorating the 25th anniversary of Stahl's Pottery Preservation Society and the Stahl's Pottery Festival made by Joel Leh, great grandson of Thomas Stahl, will be available for sale.

The Stahl's Pottery historic site at 6826 Corning Road, Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County, is a significant example of a rural arts and crafts revival pottery. The round, bee-hive, wood-fired kiln (originally built in 1933) survives to the present day.

Participating potters include Burslem Pottery, Clarissa's Clay, Clay Rat Studio, Deramics Clay Studio, Diane Dobbins Pottery, Fairydust Pottery, Folkart Pottery in Redware, Four Suns Studios, Gotta Wear Shades Pottery, House of the Rising Sun Art Studio, Huberhaus Pottery, John C. Neugebauer Pottery, Kathy Hooper-Milositz Pottery, Karen Robar Pottery, Kevin Lehman Studio, Longacre Pottery, Manheim Pottery, Marsha Dowshen Pottery, McDermott Pottery, Pia's Pottery, Pleasant Springs Pottery, Pottery by Bachert, Redearthworks, Red Hen Pottery, River Rat Pottery, Stone's Throw Pottery, Sunny Girl's Pottery, Suzanne Kent Pottery, Uzume's Pots and Wilz Pottery.

The festival will be held rain or shine. Parking is free. Admission is $4.00 per person; children under 18 are free. For information, call 610-965-5019 or go to www.stahlspottery.org.

Cheerleading musical at Muhlenberg

"Bring It On: The Musical" makes its regional premiere at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre on June 13, when the show inspired by the 2000 kitshy competitive cheerleading film, opens in Muhlenberg's Empie Theatre.

The musical, with music by "Hamilton's" Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt of Broadway's "Next to Normal," features a hip-hop score, production numbers that showcase athletic cheer routines, a multi-ethnic cast and the first transgender character to appear on a Broadway stage.

In the story, based on the "Bring It On" series' third movie, "Bring It On: All or Nothing," Campbell is captain of the cheerleading squad at Truman High School, when an unexpected redistricting forces her to spend her senior year of high school at the neighboring Jackson High School.

Campbell befriends Danielle and the dance crew girls to form a powerhouse squad for the ultimate competition – the national championships.

The show features choreography by Samuel Antonio Reyes and musical direction by Ed Bara, both of whom also worked on Miranda's "In the Heights."

To coordinate the show's cheer routines, 2018 Muhlenberg graduate Gabrielle Hines assisted Reyes for the cheer routine numbers.

Hines, who was a cheerleader at Muhlenberg, works as a cheer coach and also stars as Danielle.

The show also features Ashley Hiester as Campbell; Rachael Horun as Bridget; Asia DeShields as Nautica and Connor Harrison as La Cienega.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, 2 p.m. the first Saturday and Sunday, June 13-30, in the Empie Theatre. Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew Street, Allentown. Tickets are $35 for adults; $31 for seniors, $20 for students, and $17 for age 18 and under the first week; and $41 for adults, $37 for seniors, $24 for students and $21 for age 18 and under the rest of the run.

For information, call 484-664-3333, or go to muhlenberg.edu/SMT.

NCC Summer Theatre presents 'Falsettos'

Northampton Community College Summer Theatre presents "Falsettos," opening June 19 at the college's Lipkin Theatre.

"Falsettos" revolves around the life of Jewish dad Marvin, a charming, intelligent and neurotic gay man. As the story opens, he is trying to navigate relationships with his ex-wife Trina, his boyfriend Whizzer, his psychiatrist Mendel, his 10-year-old son, Jason, and the lesbians next door.

Marvin leaves his family to move in with Whizzer, trying to force him into a traditional married couple relationship.

Meanwhile, Trina is dating Mendel, who has asked her to marry him. Jason asks Mendel his intentions, trying to look out for his mother, as he worries that he will turn out to be gay like his father.

Act two takes place two years later in 1981. Marvin and Trina are fighting over planning Jason's bar mitzvah when Whizzer, who has reunited with Marvin, falls ill with the disease that would later be known as AIDS. Jason wants to cancel the bar mitzvah, but in a moving conclusion, ultimately decides to hold the coming-of-age rite in Whizzer's hospital room. Marvin is left to face life alone but declares he would do it all over again.

The cast includes professional actors Stephen Peters as Marvin; Kennedy Kanagawa as Whizzer; Hannah Keim as Trina; Skip Robinson as Mendel; Kristen Orr as Dr. Charlotte; and Emma Gerstein as Cordelia. Lehigh Valley student Todd Croslis, recently seen in Civic Theatre's "Fun Home," and "Billy Elliot," plays Jason.

The show is directed by Bill Mutimer, NCC Summer Theatre's artistic producing director.

Due to sexual themes, this show is appropriate for high school and older.

"Falsettos" is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 19-30, in the Lipkin Theatre, Kopechek Hall, Northampton Community College, 3585 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem.

Tickets are $15 for adult and $10 for students.

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

'Shakespeare in Hollywood' at DCP Theatre

DCP Theatre in Salford Township, Montgomery County, is presenting Ken Ludwig's award-winning comedy "Shakespeare in Hollywood," June 14-29.

Ludwig was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company to write the adult comedy, which won the Helen Hayes Award for best new play of the year in 2003.

In the story, Shakespeare's most famous fairies, Oberon and Puck, have magically materialized on the Warner Bros. Hollywood set of world famous director Max Reinhardt's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in 1934.

Instantly smitten by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the two fairies are ushered onto the silver screen to play themselves, and with a little help from a feisty flower, blonde bombshells and movie moguls, are tossed into loopy love triangles, with raucous results. Throw in the real life Puck, who has found a way to utilize his love potion and the mischievous magic of the movies is on display in this hilarious comic romp.

The show is directed by Emily Addis, and the cast includes Darian Granger, Aaron Wexler, Elizabeth Aber and Geordie Ditter.

There will be a director's reception with wine and cheese opening weekend.

Performances are 8 p.m. June 14-15, 21-22, 27-29 and 2 p.m. June 16 and 23, at DCP Theatre, 795 Ridge Road, Salford Township, Montgomery County. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for seniors, students, and children under 12. For information, all 215-234-0966, or go to www.dcptheatre.com.

'Dancing With the Stars' Derek Hough in Reading

Derek Hough, the only six-time champion in franchise history of the hit ABC show "Dancing with the Stars," will dance his way onto the stage of the Santander Performing Arts Center on Saturday, when "Derek Hough: Live! The Tour" comes to the theater in downtown Reading.

The live dance show is the first-ever solo tour for Derek Hough, who will take fans through a true fusion of dance and music, as he explores styles ranging from ballroom and tap to salsa and hop-hop and everything in between.

Creative team and two-time Emmy winners, Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo, also known as NappyTabs (Jennifer Lopez: All I Have Residency; Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour) co-create, direct and supervise choreography for the tour.

The Emmy Award-winner and New York Times best-selling author started dancing in his hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah, at age 11.

In 2016, Hough starred with Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Martin Short and Harvey Fierstein in NBC's "Hairspray Live!" and in 2017, he joined Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo at the judges' table for the NBC series "World of Dance," a dance competition that featured solo artists competing against duos and crews in all genres of dance, including hip hop, tap, ballet, break dancing, ballroom, and more.

The show is at 8 p.m. at Santander Performing Arts Center, 136 North Sixth Street, Reading. Tickets are $55.50, $65.50 and $81. For information, call 610-898-7469 or go to www.santander-arena.com.

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