Paul Willistein

At the Movies: Black Panther

Mar 8, 2018

"Black Panther" has nearly everything going for it - great cast, fantastic computer-generated imagery, and distinctive and impressive production design - except for a solid screenplay. The movie has been hailed as the first Marvel Cinematic Universe directed by an African American, Ryan Coogler, with an African American cast in lead roles. Chadwick Boseman, an extraordinary actor, is the main reason why "Black Panther" holds together. Michael B. Jordan has equally strong screen presence.

At the Movies: The Greatest Showman

Mar 1, 2018

"The Greatest Showman" is a nearly all-singing, all-dancing, old-fashioned movie musical. The Oscar-winning ("City Of Stars") song-lyricist team of "La La Land," Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, are Oscar-nominated for their original song, "This Is Me," from "The Greatest Showman." It's best to set aside that the movie is based on the life of P.T. Barnum, and enjoy the wonderful performance by Hugh Jackman, a showman in his own right (Oscar nominee, actor, "Les Misérables"). Fine in supporting roles are Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, and Rebecca Ferguson. 

At the Movies: Phantom Thread

Feb 16, 2018

"Phantom Thread" is based on director John Paul Anderson's original screenplay about a 1950s' fictional London couturier, Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), who treats people like so many mannequins upon which to drape his designs. "Phantom Thread" is an Academy Award contender with six Oscar nominations: Picture, director (Anderson), actor ( Day-Lewis), supporting actress (Lesley Manville), original score (Jonny Greenwood), and costume design (Mark Bridges). The National Board of Review chose "Phantom Thread" as one of the Top 10 films of 2017.

Host Paul Willistein welcomes the three first-place winners of the 12th Annual Student Poetry Project to read their poems live on the air and discuss their writing. This year's top writers are Kara Gardner, Lincoln Elementary School, East Penn School District; Victoria Farrell, Trexler Middle School, Allentown School District; and Olivia Sica, Kutztown Area High School, Kutztown Area School District.

John Dodds welcomes John Ernesto, general manager of the annual Berks Jazz Fest, to preview the 2017 festival beginning March 31st. 

Lehigh Valley Beer Week (Pt. 1) on LV Arts Salon

Feb 14, 2017

This week's topic is the art of brewing, as will be on show at the fifth Lehigh Valley Beer Week, starting this coming Saturday, Feb. 18.

Host Silagh White offers a lively discussion with local artist Khalil Allaik. Originally from Lebanon, the conversation covers Allaik's work, inspiration and his current exhibit "Between Matter and the Void" at the Allentown Renaissance Hotel, which remains until March 9, 2017.

(Original air-date: 1/30/17)

Winners of 11th Annual Student Poetry Project on LV Arts Salon

Apr 21, 2016

In celebration of April being National Poetry Month, the winners of the 11th Annual Student Poetry Project (sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Press and WDIY) read their poems live on the air. Lehigh Valley Press Focus editor Paul Willistein and Marilyn Hazleton, The Swain School poet-in-residence and published poet, welcome and speak with the winners in each of the three categories: Marina from Parkway Manor Elementary School with "Moon;" Jazlynn from Trexler Middle School with "Nightmare;" and Mia from Whitehall High School with "The Waters of Bosphorus Lie

The PA Blues Festival celebrates 24 years of Blues in the Poconos! Host Jack Adams speaks with Pennsylvania Blues Festival producer and organizer Michael Cloeren about this year's festival at Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, running July 24-26.  For more information:

(Original air-date: 07/13/15)

2015 season of PA Shakespeare Festival on LV Art Salon

Jul 10, 2015

This week on Lehigh Valley Arts Salon, host Neil Hever speaks with Patrick Mulcahy, Producing Artistic Director of the PA Shakespeare Festival about the 2015 season.

At the Movies: Inside Out, an animated look inside the mind of a pre-teen girl, is by Disney-Pixar writer-director Pete Docter, who brought us Up and Monsters, Inc. Lehigh Valley Press movie reviewer Paul Willistein reviews the family comedy.

(Original air-date: 06/06/15)