We are coming to the end of the high school music theater season, and many college theater programs are also finishing up their year this weekend. (Don’t despair, there will be much to see in the months to come, thanks to summer and community theater, as well as year round professional theater which is worth the extra time and trouble to attend.)
In the Heights, winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical, is on stage April 23-25, 2015 at Dieruff High School, 815 N. Irving Street, Allentown; 7 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday. Also in Allentown, at the Lincoln Leadership Academy Charter School, 1414 E. Cedar Street, one can see Fame: The Musical; tickets will be sold at the door for the 7 p.m. show on Friday and Saturday, April 24th and 25th. Students at Liberty High School, 1115 Linden Street, Bethlehem, will be performing Aida on April 23-25, 2015; 7 p.m. curtain. Happy Days: A New Musical starts at 7 p.m on Friday and Saturday night at Pius X High School, 580 Third Avenue, Bangor. Shrek the Musical will be playing for two weekends, April 24 – 26 and May 1-3, (7 p.m. show on Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. matinee on Sundays) at Catasauguq High School, 2500 W. Bullshead Road, Northampton.
Join wise-cracking ogre Shrek and his loyal steed Donkey as they set off on a quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona, who harbors a secret in “Shrek: The Musical.” It’s presented the next two weekends by Catasauqua Area Showcase Theatre at Catasauqua High School.
The show features a cast of 60 of all ages. Catasauqua Area Showcase Theatre is a nonprofit group whose members build their own sets and backdrops, and make all their own costumes and props.
“Shrek: The Musical,” which ran on Broadway 2008-2011 and was nominated for nine Tonys, faithfully re-creates the 2001 animated hit film. It includes humorous songs by the Tony-nominated composer Jeanine Tesori, whose cast recording was nominated for a Grammy for best musical show album.
Morning Call, Cathy Lauer-Williams
A new perspective informs Muhlenberg College’s staging of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; informed by the ongoing national conversation triggered by the deaths of black men in the United States.
Imagine love blooming one sweltering summer night on a city street somewhere in the American Midwest. Two young lovers make an unlikely and courageous connection, a spark that defies distinctions of race, class, and culture. But when a black teenager dies, the city’s long-simmering tensions escalate into full-scale violence, leaving the two young lovers on opposite sides in a brutal and deadly conflict.
Following up acclaimed productions of “The Tempest” and “The Winter’s Tale,” director Troy Dwyer presents a brisk and pointed new adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragic love story, informed by the ongoing national conversation following the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y., and other Black men and women across the United States.
Performances this weekend of the show, which opened Wednesday night, are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday, April 24th; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 25th, and a final show on Sunday, April 26th at 8 p.m., at the Studio Theater, Baker Center for the Arts, 2400 Chew Street, Allentown.
A much lighter tact has been taken by DeSales University, Labuda Center, 2755 Station Road, Center Valley, whose students are staging the classic How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, April 22 – May 3, 2015, with performances every night of the week (showtimes vary). Tickets are available online, as well as at the door (although some performances are close to selling out at this point).