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Entertainment

Monday, May 17, 2010
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Country singer John Michael Montgomery performs at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.

The last time John Michael Montgomery performed in the immediate area was a good decade or more ago when he headlined a nearly sold-out concert at the Allentown Fairgrounds.

Last night, he performed at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, singing most of his number one hits. It's a comeback for the star who was a commander on the charts in the 90s but then had to take time off for surgeries and other personal matters.

He battled a little hoarseness last night, but for the most part was his old self and got a warm reception from the audience.

Monday, May 17, 2010
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS

Students at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School, Lehighton, presented "Bugz" Sunday to family and friend at the Lehighton Annex. The program featured a comedy of bugs of all types, from honey bees to gypsy moths. The show was their spring presentation.

Monday, May 17, 2010
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS

A musical parody of building a skeleton was presented by the students of Ss. Peter and Paul School, Lehighton. The production of "Bones" was well received by family and friends at the Lehighton Annex on Sunday.

Thursday, May 13, 2010
John Michael Montgomery performs Sunday at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe. The concert starts at 8 p.m.

"Life's a dance that you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow ..."

"Life's a Dance" was one of seven number-one hits for country singer John Michael Montgomery, and one of 20 songs which hit the top 10 in Billboard for him.

The words to this song can be related to by everyone, especially Montgomery.

The Danville, Kentucky native started with very little, made it to the top in his profession, then experienced tough times.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Iron Man 2," arguably the 2010 blockbuster season's most anticipated movie, is entertaining for most of its two-hour length, with its mix of cheeky dialogue and dazzling special effects.

As with the similarly effects-laden "Sherlock Holmes," the main reason to see "IM2" is Robert Downey Jr., reprising his role as billionaire Tony Stark, aka Ironman. There are strong supporting performances, especially by Gwyneth Paltrow, back as Pepper Potts. Scenes with Downey and Paltrow, filled with libido-charged sarcasm, are the film's best.

Monday, May 10, 2010
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS Dennis DeYoung (with guitarist James Leahey in the background) performed the music of Styx at Penn's Peak Friday night.

Dennis DeYoung opens his Music of Styx shows with a sweeping rendition of "The Grand Illusion", the title track from one of the band's platinum-era albums.

That is entirely appropriate for DeYoung's current version of his Styx favorites show, which returned to Penn's Peak in JIm Thorpe Friday night.

With his new band, DeYoung might be in a position to pull of his grandest illusion yet when it comes to the Styx repertoire.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Furry Vengeance" has a funny enough premise: Forest creatures rise up to resist a developer who wants to build million-dollar mansions in their habitat.

The result is a comedy of impervious surfaces.

Call it "Habitat for Destruction."

"Furry Vengeance" is arguably the year's worst movie, albeit, the year is not quite halfway over.

The problem begins with screenwriters Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert (blame them also for co-writing "Mr. Woodcock"), who haven't built on the concept much beyond an idea jotted down on the proverbial cocktail napkin.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS Dennis DeYoung, shown here at a 2009 concert at Penn's Peak, returns to the Jim Thorpe venue with The Music of Styx on Friday, May 7.

When it comes to the music of Styx, Dennis DeYoung wrote much of the book, so to speak.

A founding member and former vocalist and keyboardist for the multiplatinum progressive rockers from Chicago, DeYoung has penned and sung on such Styx hits as "Lady", "Come Sail Away", "Babe" and "Mr. Roboto".

DeYoung has performed his Styx songs during his solo career as well, including a stop at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe on Valentine's Day last year.

Monday, May 3, 2010
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS James Otto performs at Penn's Peak, Sunday night.

You likely never heard the song "Soldiers and Jesus" unless you were at Penn's Peak last night.

"Soldiers and Jesus" was only recently written by singer-songwriter James Otto. He performed at the Jim Thorpe venue last night and told the audience they were among the first people hearing it.

It was obvious the crowd loved the patriotic number. It definitely has the potential to become a big hit.

Saturday, May 1, 2010
Ron Gower/Times News Nicole Rose of Hackettstown, N.J. leans against jukebox in Roadie's Restaurant at Penn's Peak. On Sunday, May 16, she will be singing on the Penn's Peak stage, opening for country great John Michael Montgomery.

Nicole Donate, who sings professionally as Nicole Rose, is too young to have ever seen a concert by the Fabulous Burd Boys. But she's heard a lot about them.

The Fabulous Burd Boys are considered among New Jersey's most popular country music bands in the '60s and '70s.

They also brought many big-name country singers to their Hickory Grove Opry Farm near Califon, New Jersey.

Nicole Rose, 23, is grand niece of The Burd Boys and she's embarking on a career of her own which seems to be getting a shotgun start and has already spread beyond the borders of New Jersey.