Acoustic Blues; Friday night in Allentown

Our friend Tom Cooney and his group, Acoustic Blues Project (ABP), will be playing in Allentown tonight, Friday, September 22nd, 2017, at HiJinx Brewing Company, 905 Harrison Street, Allentown, PA.

Enjoy a Friday evening of great beers and blues at HiJinx Brewing Company. The “ABP” with special guest bass player Warren Snead covering for Leon Bonam. We’re on from 6-9 pm. Come on by!

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Free “Kindness Rocks” Painting Event

HP kindness rock

Perhaps you’ve seen brightly colored painted rocks laying on the ground while you were out walking, or in someone’s garden, (or in a Little Free Library), and wondered about them, and hopefully they served to bring a smile to your face and brighten your day for just a moment (or longer). Maybe it had a saying written on it, maybe it was just a colorful design, or maybe it was a familiar face, like the Harry Potter kindness rock that showed up in the Washington Street Free Library in East Greenville, the other day. These pocket size painted “kindness rocks ” have been showing up all over the country and local areas.

Now you can be a part of brightening someone’s day with a random piece of rock art, without having to go to the trouble of finding the rocks or buying any paint. Tomorrow, the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center is hosting a free Kindness Rock painting event in the afternoon from noon to 2 p.m. (Saturday, September 23, 2017). According to the Town and Country newspaper, “The completed rocks will be collected and placed around town for people to found and keep.” Schwenkfelder Library, 105 Seminary Avenue, Pennsburg, PA. Free admission.

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Bethlehem Celtic Classic (& last chance to see Burning Bridget Cleary!) – Sept. 22-24, 2017

The Celtic Classic Highland Games and Festival  in Bethlehem, PA, begins this Friday, and runs through Sunday; September 22-24, 2017. This is the 30th year for the outdoors festival, which is free, and open to the public, and features craft tents; a pipe band competition (1:30 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday), a drum major competition (5:45 p.m. on Saturday and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday), Highland Dance competition, Celtic Classic Youth Fiddle Competition (from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday morning; at least one local student from our area will be competing!), and more; five stages with live musical performances by an assortment of Irish and Scottish bands and groups (over the course of three days) including Blackwater, Seamus Kennedy, Glengarry Bhoys, Timlin and Kane, and Steel City Rovers, to name just a few. The Celtic Heritage Hollow is a “kids and cultural area” with children’s theatre, children’s activities, music and dance, storytellers and demonstrations from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There will be food, and assorted beverages (for kids and adults) for sale at various locations at the event.

And this is your last chance, after almost twelve years and five recorded albums, to see the local Celtic band (Harleysville) Burning Bridget Cleary, whose members are going on “an indefinite leave of absence” at the end of this year in order to pursue separate musical paths. The group is schedule to play four different sets throughout the weekend;  on Friday, September 22nd – 4:15 p.m. on the Grand Pavilion and at 8:15 p.m. on the Celtic River Stage; on Saturday, September 23rd 4:30 p.m. on the Grand Pavilion; and on Sunday, September 23rd at 12 noon in the Ice House. All the concerts are free and in Bethlehem on the Celtic Classic grounds (in historic Bethlehem, below the Hotel Bethlehem).



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Opening Weekend at DCP Theater, Montgomery Theater, and McCoole’s in Quakertown

The Last 5 Years opens at DCP Theater, (795 Ridge Road, Telford, PA) on September 15 and runs through 30, 2017.

The Last Five Years is an emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The show’s unconventional structure consists of Cathy, a struggling actress, telling her story backwards while Jamie, a successful novelist, tells his story chronologically. By Jason Robert Brown, this musical will touch your heart.

The Gin Game opened last night, September 14th and continues on stage at Montgomery Theater (124 Main Street, Souderton, PA) until October 8, 2017

This Pulitzer Prize winning play is about two elderly residents at a nursing home who strike up an acquaintance. Neither seems to have any other friends, and they start to enjoy each other’s company. Weller offers to teach Fonsia how to play gin rummy, and they begin playing a series of games that Fonsia always wins. Weller’s inability to win a single hand becomes increasingly frustrating to him, while Fonsia becomes increasingly confident.

The classic story turned into a Broadway musical, Jeckyll and Hydetakes the stage at McCoole’s Arts & Events Place in Quakertown, PA (10 S. Main Street) tomorrow evening, September 15, 2017 and will continue its run through the end of the month, September 30, 2017. Tickets may be bought at the door or online.

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“Bourbon Street to Bernstein”

The Pennsylvania Philharmonic Brass has scheduled a series of four free preview concerts over the next month, Bourbon Street to Bernstein. The first of these concerts begins at 5 p.m.  in Pottstown tonight, Thursday, September 14, 2017, at @107 Where Events Happen (107 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA). Because refreshments will be served at tonight’s concert, they are asking, though not requiring, an RSVP and donation at the door.

107-posterJoin us in Pottstown for “Bourbon St to Bernstein.” You will have a chance to hear selections from our 2017-2018 season, performed by The Pennsylvania Philharmonic Brass and support a noble cause: music education! Enjoy great music, food, drinks and company. $10 suggested donation at the door.

There is no suggested donation for their next concert at Upper Dublin Public Library (805 Loch Alsh Ave, Fort Washington, PA ), tomorrow night at 7 p.m., Friday, September 15, 2017. RSVP or just show up.

Sunday night, September 17, 2017, the Pennsylvania Philharmonic will be in Honeybrook, PA at the Wyebrook Farm (150 Wyebrook Road) for the third concert in the Bourbon to Bernstein series; free admission, doors open at 5 p.m. RSVP recommended but not required.

The final concert in the series will be held at Phoenixville Public Library (183 2nd Avenue, Phoenixville, PA) on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 7 p.m. Admission is free of charge, reservations are required.

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Community Day, local artists’ exhibits, Celtic Classic, and Kindness Rocks

The annual September event closing down Main Street from the crossroads of Route 663 and Route 29 (the Square in Pennsburg, PA) to 4th Street (the Post Office in East Greenville) known as Pennsburg Community Day and East Greenville Community DAy begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017 (although the streets will be closed starting at 8 a.m. to enable local volunteer organizations, non-profits, and businesses to set up). The free public street fair continues through the day until 4 p.m. and will feature food, crafts, face painting and local bands; Barefoot Bobby and the Breakers from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., the Red Hill Jazz Band from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in front of St. Mark’s Church in Pennsburg, and the Upper Perkiomen High School Band.

A public reception with Julie Longacre will be held on Sunday, September 10, 2017 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Mennonite Heritage Center (Harleysville, PA), which is hosting a retrospective art exhibit containing 58 paintings, along with watercolors and sketches, created over the last 50 years by local artist Julie Longacre of Bally, PA. While a few of the paintings, and some prints, are for sale, many other paintings are on loan to the museum from private collections. The exhibit will be on display through November 4, 2017 at Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA.

Next weekend, on Saturday evening, September 16, 2017, Brad Hendershot and Katherine Krieg, local painters currently living in Marlborough Township, will be at the Opening Reception of their two person show Times and Places in Doylestown at the Patricia Hutton Gallery from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. The reception is open to the public and the show continues through October 15th.

Reflecting on his life in rural Pennsylvania and the remote Monhegan Island, Maine, Bradley Hendershot’s watercolors emphasize details and textures designed to evoke a strong feeling or mood in the viewer.  Often his paintings exhibit his keen interest in history and depict a way of life that is rapidly disappearing into the past.
Inspired by her surroundings, Katharine Krieg’s oil and watercolor paintings are her response to everyday encounters – experiences ranging from peaceful interiors to the turbulence of nature.  A quiet sense of introspection and the passage of time are themes that recur in her works of landscape and still life. 

If you prefer a musical ending to your day, a free piano concert  by Seth Trumbore will be held in Harleysville beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 16, 2017, in the sanctuary of the Church of the Holy Spirit, 2871 Barndt Road, Harleysville, PA. A free will offering and reception follows the concert. (Just FYI – I heard Seth perform Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at a public concert at this church earlier this summer and it was just amazing!)

And mark down the following dates; September 22-24, 2017 when the Celtic Classic Highland Games and Festival is held in Bethlehem, PA – outdoors, free, and open to the public, featuring a craft tent; a pipe band competition, a drum major competition, Highland Dance competition, fiddle competition, Celtic poetry competition, and more; five stages with live musical performances by an assortment of Irish and Scottish bands and groups (over the course of three days) including Burning Bridget Cleary, Blackwater, Seamus Kennedy, Glengarry Bhoys, Timlin and Kane, and Steel City Rovers, to name just a few. There will be food, and assorted beverages (for kids and adults) for sale at the event.

The Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center is hosting a free Kindness Rock painting event on the afternoon of Saturday, September 23, 2017 from noon to 2 p.m. According to the Town and Country newspaper, “The completed rocks will be collected and placed around town for people to found and keep.” Schwenkfelder Library, 105 Seminary Avenue, Pennsburg, PA. Free admission.
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Where are you spending Labor Day Weekend?

So many choices, so little time (so what else is new?)! I confess, I’ll be spending most of this weekend in front of the computer, either at work, or at home updating these pages with the upcoming theater events (e.g. The Gin Game at Montgomery Theater), art openings (e.g. Reverberations: Sound Sculptures by Harry Bertoia at Allentown Art Museum), fall festivals (e.g. Celtic Classic Highland Games and Festival in Bethlehem at the end of September, Harry Potter Festival in October), and more.

For this weekend, though, let’s start with Bethlehem’s First Friday in the Southside Arts District, with art, artists, and musicians inside and outside along 3rd and 4th Streets – happening now (from approximately 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday, September 1, Bethlehem, PA).  If you are going, definitely stop by the Banana Factory Arts Center, 25 W. Third St., Bethlehem, PA, then walk around the nearby shops and streets to see what is happening there for First Friday, and consider ending the night at Levitt Pavilion Steel Stacks for a free outdoor concert (and maybe some refreshments). The Sean Fleming Band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. (the band “takes traditional Irish music to a new level”).

If you already have plans for tonight, there will be three more free concerts at Levitt Pavilion Steel Stacks this weekend; the Allentown Symphony Orchestra will be playing Broadway Favorites, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, September 2nd, The Craig Thatcher Band will take the stage with their blend of blues and rock on Sunday evening, September 3rd, and GRAMMY award-winning blues-funk musician and actor from New Orleans Chris Thomas King closes out the holiday weekend with an evening outdoor concert on Monday, September 3rd. While there is some seating, you are advised to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Parking is free at the venue, and there are refreshments (soft drinks and alcoholic drinks, along with some food) for sale by the SteelStacks, 645 E. First Street, Bethlehem, PA.

Closer to home, at the New Goshenhoppen Park, 3rd Street, East Greenville, PA, the 95th Annual Allentown Band Concert and Park Picnic is scheduled for this Saturday, September 2nd, 2017.  Find a seat and enjoy “Piano in the Park” as it takes the bandstand stage at 3:15 p.m. featuring Grace Notes Piano Studio and students of Susan Royer (co-founder Make Music Upper Perk)! The Allentown Band Concert will be held from 5:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. At the park there will also be cake walks, funnel cakes, birch beer, homemade desserts and other picnic food for sale. There is no parking fee or admission charge to the park or the concerts. Seating is available, although you are welcome to bring your own lawn chairs and blankets, and your own picnic food.

If you prefer to be indoors, OpenMic at the WingMan Bar and Grill (Route 29, East Greenville, PA, by the Walmart) is also this Saturday night, September 2, 2017.

And get in line early if you are interested in free tickets for the Barnes Art Museum (Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA) on Free First Sunday – September 3, 2017. Tickets are handed out beginning at 9 a.m. (the museum opens at 10 a.m.) The Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble will be playing outside for the enjoyment of all, regardless of if you get a ticket. The Allentown Art Museum offers free admission every Sunday afternoon, from noon to 4 p.m.

What are your plans for the weekend? If you know of any great art/music/theater events happening in our area this weekend, let us know by adding your comments to this post!

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