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Entertainment

Monday, October 20, 2014

Zion UCC, Second and Iron streets, Lehighton is again hosting its ecumenical Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 30.

The cantata was created by former Zion UCC Director of Music Paul R. Smith 40 years ago. The current Director of Music, Brad Cressley, has continued the tradition.

Last year's cantata featured 80 voices which represented 22 different chuches and organizations.

Cressley said, "This year we hope to have a choir of 100 strong and the group is once again looking for vocalists to join the cantata."

Friday, October 17, 2014

The 44th annual Lehighton Halloween Parade will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday at Seventh and Coal streets.

The rain date is 2 p.m. Sunday.

Julie Harris, parade chairman, said paraders are permitted to toss candy and gum to parade viewers. They are not allowed to stop and perform in front of the judges' stand.

The grand marshal is retired Lehighton Area School District music teacher Paul Smith, who serves as director of the Lehighton Band.

The lineup is as follows:

Division 1

(Form on Coal Street between Eighth Street and Beaver Run Road)

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Gone Girl" is one of the best suspense thrillers in decades. It has thrills, chills, plot twists and turns. At times, it's terrifying.

It's a real nail-biter. (Believe me, I know. I did.)

There are several reasons why you should see "Gone Girl."

First, of all, it's very entertaining. Second, the actors are excellent. Third, the direction is superb.

Finally, because there should be several Oscar nominations, "Gone Girl" should be on your must-see list.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Tommy James of Tommy James and the Shondells fame will beperforming at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The story of Tommy James from the pop band Tommy James and the Shondells is soon going to be a movie.

The band was known for a bunch of major hits, including "Hanky Panky," "I Think We're Alone Now," "Crimson and Clover" and "Sweet Cherry Wine."

Saturday at 8 p.m., the congenial singer will be performing at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe. Tickets are $33 and $38 and are available through TicketMaster or at Penn's Peak box office.

While music was always James' first interest, his determination to succeed led him to cross paths with the mob. This made him a targeted man.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"The Boxtrolls" is a film more to be admired than loved.

The film utilizes stop-motion animation, whereby each, or several frames, of film are shot with minor adjustments to the figurines before the next shot.

As if to emphasize the exactitude of this process and how painstaking it is, during "The Boxtrolls" end credits, the filmmakers pull back from the set to reveal in fast-motion, and in shadow, a puppet animator guiding each move of one of the film's main characters.

Friday, October 3, 2014

"The Maze Runner" is the latest entry into the genre of movies based on best-selling Young Adult (YA) teen dystopian novels, following on the heels of "The Hunger Games," "Twilight" and "Justin Bieber's Believe."

JK (Just Kidding) about the 2013 Justin Bieber documentary. Then again, given the dystopian trajectory of his career, maybe not.

"Twilight" is a curious mix of corny vampire family in their modern manse scenes and CGI action (no, not those involving Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart).

Thursday, September 25, 2014

If you are fascinated by dolphins and are looking for an entertaining family movie, consider "Dolphins Tale 2."

The charming movie has a good cast, including two outstanding young leads; gentle humor, life lessons, and then there are those dolphins.

Dolphins connect us to the sea. They are human-like in their reactions. Their cherubic faces are in a perpetual state of bliss.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Calvary," as with Christianity's New Testament event from which the film derives its title, is difficult, brutal and shocking.

The film begins in a confessional booth in a Roman Catholic church in Ireland where Father James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson), a fiftysomething Irish priest, is told he will be killed the following Sunday by the very person to whom he is giving confession.

The supplicant boasts that he will revel in killing "a good priest."

Thursday, September 11, 2014
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Wishbone Ash will perform at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe on Sept. 19.

On Sept. 19, legendary British rockers Wishbone Ash take the Mauch Chunk Opera House Stage, located at 14 W. Broadway in Jim Thorpe, for a concert as part of their 2014 U.S. Blue Horizons Tour Summer Tour.

Led by founding member Andy Powell, the band continues to help define the modern rock sound. Touring and producing outstanding progressive rock for over 40 years, Wishbone Ash remains one of Britain's most well-known bands. Always best appreciated live, their twin-guitar sound, honed back in the '70s, is one of their defining and enduring traits.

Thursday, September 11, 2014
Ana Popovic

Ana Popovic will be returning to Penn's Peak on Saturday.

The award-winning, hard-touring guitar slinger blends smoking electric funk and slide guitar, jazzy instrumentals and a tight blues groove with soulful, feminine vocals, making her an irresistible force in the world of contemporary blues music.

During 2013 she appeared on the cover of several magazines. Her album "Can You Stand The Heat" was a "Pick Of The Week" by USA Today and featured on NPR Music.

Nearly all of her albums made the Top 5 of the Billboard Blues Charts and are played regularly on U.S. radio.