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Fall Preview: Spotlight on Lehigh Valley Stage

The spotlights are back on this fall at Lehigh Valley stages with the return of indoor and in-person performances, including the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, with Broadway touring productions; Civic Theatre of Allentown, with the musical, “Annie,” and Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem, with the return of “Festival Unbound.”

Theaters are observing recommendations for coronavirus (COVID-19) protocol from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Check theater websites or call theaters for policies.

Here’s an overview of Lehigh Valley Stage for the 2021-22 season:

Between the Lines Studio Theatre

“The Lady and the Clarinet,” a new play written by Michael Cristopher and directed by Rachel Williams, runs 7:30 p.m. Sept 17; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, and 2 p.m. Sept. 19, Between the Lines Studio Theatre, 725 N. 15th St., Allentown.

Tickets: www.eventbrite.com/e/the-lady-and-the-clarinet-tickets-167074657799

Cedar Crest College

“Broadway or Bust” opens the season, Sept. 30 - Oct. 3, Samuels Theatre, Tompkins College Center, Cedar Crest College, Allentown.

Tickets: www.cedarcrest.edu/academics/performing_arts/events.shtm; 610-437-4471

Civic Theatre of Allentown

Civic Theatre of Allentown’s season includes shows at 19th Street Theatre, 527 N. 19th St., and Theatre514, 514 N. 19th St., Allentown.

Civic presents the popular musical “Annie,” based on the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” Sept. 24 - Oct. 10; “Silence! The Musical!,” a musical parody of the 1991 film, “The Silence of the Lambs,” Oct. 22 - 30; Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Dec. 3 - 18, and “Who’s Holiday,” a parody of what happened to Cindy Lou Who after the events of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” Dec. 10 - 19.

Also: “The Color Purple,” a musical based on the 1982 Alice Walker novel of the same name, Feb. 25 - March 13, 2022; “Significant Other,” a comedy about four friends looking for relationships in New York, March 18 - 27, 2022; “Frozen Jr,” a version of the Disney musical for young performers, April 7 - 10, 2022; “Spamalot,” a musical adaptation of the Monty Python film, May 6 - 22, 2022, and “Indecent,” about a play charged with using obscenity, June 17-26, 2022.

Tickets: www.civictheatre.com; 610-432-8943

DeSales University Act 1

Act 1 DeSales University Theatre productions at Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, include “Pride and Prejudice,” based on Jane Austen’s 1813 romantic novel, Sept. 29 - Oct. 10; Lynn Nottage’s “Crumbs from the Table of Joy,” about a black family in the 1950s, Oct 14 - 24, and Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” with original score and directed by Dennis Razze, Dec. 1 - 12.

Also: the Thornton Wilder classic, “Our Town,” Feb 16 - 27, 2022; Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” adapted by Michele L Vacca, March 17 - April 14, 2022; and “The Sound of Music,” the beloved musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein II, April 27 - May 8, 2022.

Tickets: www.desales.edu/news-events/act-1-productions; 610-282-3192

Muhlenberg College

Actors and dancers perform live on stage, following a mostly virtual season in spring 2021 at Muhlenberg College.

“En el tiempo de las mariposas” (“In the Time of the Butterflies”), Sept. 30 - Oct 3, a staged reading, opens the season. Performances include Spanish subtitles.

“Call Me By Any Other Name … Just As Sweet,” Oct. 21 - 24, is a world premiere “queer deconstruction” of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

“The Saint Plays,” Dec. 1 - 5, is inspired by the lives of Biblical characters and Catholic saints.

“Assembly,” a performance festival January through May 2022, features five works of theater, dance and music.

“Miss You Like Hell,” Feb. 17 - 20, 2022, is a new musical about the bond between mothers and daughters. It’s by Pulitzer Prize-winner Quiara Alegría Hudes (“In the Heights”) and singer-songwriter Erin McKeown.

Tickets: www.muhlenberg.edu/seeashow, 484-664-3333

Munopco Music Theatre

Munopco Music Theatre shows at Scottish Rite Cathedral, 1533 Hamilton St., Allentown, are: “Shrek the Musical,” based on the 2001 animated feature film “Shrek,” Sept. 18 - 26, and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” a musical inspired by the real-life Chicken Ranch brothel in Texas, Feb. 26 - March 6, 2022.

Tickets: www.Munopco.org; 610-437-2441

Pennsylvania Playhouse

The Pennsylvania Playhouse plans a full season but has only announced its fall productions for the community theater at 390 Illicks Mill Rd., Bethlehem.

“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” a musical comedy based on the 1907 novel “Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal,” is Oct. 8 - 24, and Irving Berlin’s “Holiday Inn,” inspired by the classic movie, is Dec. 3 - 19.

Tickets: www.paplayhouse.org; 610-865-6665

Pennsylvania Youth Theatre

Pennsylvania Youth Theatre of Bethlehem’s Season includes “Christmas is Here Again,” Dec. 3 - 13, and Roald Dahl’s “Matilda The Musical,” May 6-15, 2022.

Tickets: www.123pyt.org; 610-332-1400

Pines Dinner Theatre

Pines Dinner Theatre opened “Mid-Life 2! #WhatDidIComeInHereFor?” Sept. 10, where it continues through Oct. 24 at 448 N 17th St., Allentown.

The 2021 season concludes with “Home for the Holidays,” Nov. 10 - Dec. 19.

Upcoming: “Lucky Malone’s No So Lucky Night,” Jan. 14 - April 30, 2022; “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?,” May 13 - June 26, 2022; “Game Show,” July 8 - Aug. 21, 2022; “I Left My Heart: A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett,” Sept. 9 - Oct. 23, 2022, and “At the Stroke of Midnight,” Nov. 4- Dec. 18, 2022.

Appetizers, entrees, desserts and beverages are ala carte purchase. Dinner is served before the performance. Audiences are welcome to BYOB.

Tickets: 610-433-2333

State Theatre

Broadway touring productions stopping at The State Theatre Center For the Arts, 453 Northampton St., Easton, include: “Waitress,” Nov. 16, 17; “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” Nov. 21; “Rent: 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour,” Jan. 12, 13, 2022; “Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show,” April 3, 2022; “Hairspray,” April 16, 2022; Blue Man Group, April 14, 2022; “Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons,” June 5, 2022, and “Fiddler on the Roof,” June 19, 2022.

Tickets: www.statetheatre.org; 800-999-7828

Touchstone Theatre

Touchstone Theatre opens its 2021-22 season with the third edition of “Festival UnBound,” a five-day celebration, Sept. 29 - Oct. 3, of visual arts, music, participatory dance, original theater and community dialogue.

“Festival UnBound” takes place at venues throughout Bethlehem and includes a pre-festival weekend of original performances by Touchstone-Moravian MFA students, Sept. 17 - 18.

Attendance is free for all events, which include work by Touchstone, local artists and organizers, and acclaimed guest artists from beyond the Lehigh Valley.

Information: www.touchstone.org/festival-unbound

Zoellner Arts Center

Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, theater productions at 420 E. Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, include: the musical that recreates the chance meeting of four music stars, “Million Dollar Quartet,” Nov. 6; Stephen Schwartz’ “Godspell in Concert,” March 4 - 6, 2022; and two short plays, “A Walrus in the Body of a Crocodile” and “The Actor’s Nightmare,” April 22 - 30, 2022.

Tickets: www.zoellnerartscenter.org, 610-758-2787

Next week in Lehigh Valley Press Focus: Fall Preview, Part 2

CONTRIBUTED IMAGE Touchstone Theatre opens its 2021-22 season with the third edition of “Festival UnBound,” Sept. 29 - Oct. 3, and a pre-festival weekend of performances, Sept. 17 - 18.
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEIN JoAnn Wilchek Basist, Civic Theatre of Allentown Board Immediate Past President, and William Sanders, Civic Theatre of Allentown Artistic Director, opening night, “They're Playing Our Song,” the stage musical which reopened the theater, July 23.