The Charles Brown IceHouse

56 river St. Bethlehem

Housed in a cheerful red building, The Charles Brown IceHouse is one of the modern Bethlehem arts scene’s original players. Restored to quaintness in the early ’90s, the IceHouse on Sand Island joined Godfrey Daniels and Touchstone Theatre as one of the few public venues cultivating the local arts community.

The IceHouse has always provided a stage for homegrown theater, dance, poetry and other performances that had previously borrowed space from churches and schools. It produces plays from Allentown Public Theatre, the Pennsylvania Youth Theater, the Crowded Kitchen Players and others, and is most famous as the home of the Mock Turtle Marionette Theater.

The IceHouse continues to host music, drama and events exploring social issues. Its placement between Historic Main Street and the burgeoning SouthSide makes it a ready destination for creative minds and curious audiences.

The Charles Brown IceHouse

State Theatre

453 Northampton St. Easton

Easton’s State Theatre was converted from a bank to “Neumeyers Vaudeville House” in 1910. With ornate décor, a balcony and overhanging marquee, it’s a spectacular sight before the curtains even go up, and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The 1,500-seat venue brings in celebrated performers like Lea Michelle and Joe Bonamassa, as well as touring shows like Dirty Dancing and Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. Bringing a Broadway feel to Easton, the State Theatre is a venue to watch if you love musical theater, and it hosts a grand award ceremony for local high school musical theater, the Freddy Awards, which are broadcasted live each May.

This month, a screening of ’80s romcom Say Anything will be followed by a live Q&A with John Cusack himself, and iLuminate performs the light and dance phenomenon that wowed the judges on America’s Got Talent.

State Theatre


101 Founders Way Bethlehem

With the rusty ridges of the old Bethlehem Steel factory rising alongside it, the ArtsQuest campus is a stylish assortment of stages, with free and ticketed concerts, independent cinema and festivals throughout the year.

ArtsQuest started with the epic summer event Musikfest, still its flagship enterprise more than 30 years later. For the past seven years, the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks on Bethlehem’s SouthSide has been expanding offerings, from outdoor summer concerts at the Levitt Pavilion to an ever-growing stand-up and improv scene and more engaging community events every year.

Down 3rd Street from the Stacks, the Banana Factory is another arm of ArtsQuest’s mission, full of artists’ studios and galleries of their work. Art classes of all sorts are offered here, even glassblowing.

This month, AQ’s Yuengling Summer Concert Series brings Young the Giant, Boyce Avenue and Milky Chance to the outdoor stage.


Civic Theatre

527 N. 19th St. Allentown

Allentown’s first community theater was started in the 1920s by a group of reporters from The Morning Call with an interest in drama, and now, the “Civic Little Theatre” isn't so little anymore. The gorgeous Art Deco 19th Street Theatre is a big name in the Lehigh Valley, bringing in premieres, post-Broadway productions and an annual presentation of A Christmas Carol, almost in its 30th year.

National Theatre Live brings British theater to the screen at Civic's Theatre514 across the street, so you can see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof this month straight from London’s West End. For live theater, Civic is presenting Billy Elliot the Musical next month.

Newly renovated and more luxurious than ever, Civic is not just a place to swoop in for entertainment: Check for events designed to bring the arts-loving community together to savor the thought-provoking substance Civic offers.

Civic Theatre

Miller Symphony Hall

23 N. 6th St. Allentown

Starting as an edifice of wood and stone in 1817, Miller Symphony Hall was once famous for its vaudeville, minstrel shows and burlesque. The magnificent Beaux-Arts theater is now home to the Allentown Symphony Orchestra and a gamut of guest performances, Met Opera transmissions and more.

The ASO’s more than 20 concerts a year include classical, educational and pop music, spellbinding the audience with Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Disney musicals.

Recipient of the national American Prize for “orchestral excellence,” the ASO works its magic in the 1,100-seat Performance Hall, while upstairs, the Rodale Community Room hosts the Comedy Upstairs and Jazz Upstairs series, cabaret-style with light fare and cash bar. This month, Mike Krisukas of Zen for Primates reunites with former band members to share their unique brand of jazz, and the ASO gives us music from 2001: A Space Odyssey, with guest pianist George Li playing select works by Grieg.

Miller Symphony Hall

The Williams Center for the Arts

317 Hamilton St. Easton

In striking architecture of brick and glass, the Williams Center has been home to Lafayette College’s proscenium theater since 1983. Its location on College Hill in Easton puts it near the downtown’s nightlife and close to the community it strives to lure through its doors with a jaw-dropping performance series.

In the cozy 400-seat space, guest artists from worldwide immerse the audience in a dazzling array of genres, including New York City's Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with Nobuyuki Tsujii, Dreamers’ Circus bringing Scandinavian folk with a classical twist, jazz from Welshman Gwilym Simcock, French choreography, traditional Japanese drum and the season goes on. The newly built Buck Hall down the street holds a black box theater and cinema.

Tapestries has been an initiative at the Williams Center to share and celebrate the work of Muslim artists through 2017–18, featuring American hip-hop dance artist Amirah Sackett (seen at top of page) later this month.

The Williams Center for the Arts

Zoellner Arts Center

420 E. Packer Ave. Bethlehem

Home to Lehigh University’s music and theater departments, Zoellner Arts Center has been a bastion of creative partnership and outreach, offering a fantastic variety of experiences to Valley arts lovers since it was added to the campus more than 20 years ago.

Enmeshed in the local arts scene, Zoellner works with Touchstone Theatre, the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Its three theaters present a season full of extraordinary performances by both students and guest artists.

A multidisciplinary guest artist series offers musicals, acrobats, opera, classical quartets and traditional jazz. With renowned artists like Yo-Yo Ma, Lily Tomlin and Ani DiFranco, plus obscure but phenomenal acts chosen to knock our socks off, Zoellner presents experiences to remember. This month’s slate includes The Ultimate Queen Celebration covering Freddy Mercury’s hits and “post-apocalyptic vaudeville” from the theatre department, Dog Act.


The Alternative Gallery

707 N. 4th St. Allentown

Since its humble beginnings tucked into the ground floor of Downtown Allentown’s Holiday Inn, The Alternative Gallery has become a major player at the Cigar Factory Artist Studios, where it dabbles in many forms of expression. Open houses, open mics and concerts, the Open World Animation Fest (complete with a cereal bar), retro arcade meetups and other events all over the Valley show the Alternative's multifaceted mission.

The Cigar Factory also holds artists’ studios for rent, Jay and Brian's Excellent Video Store and the Coffee Shop Without Limits, tying it all together with a little caffeine. This informal, playful and very cool venue is also a place for children, with pay-as-you-can art classes on Saturday afternoons.

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the Alternative’s Allentown ArtsFest, an extravaganza of music, local and regional art, food, graffiti murals, breakdancing battles and a full-scale skate park.

Celtic Classic

Upcoming Events

A Conversation with John Cusack

September 20 7:30pm
State Theatre

Join John Cusack after a screening of Say Anything.

Amirah Sackett

September 27 8pm
The Williams Center for the Arts

Founder of the collective We’re Muslim, Don’t Panic, Sackett presents a heartfelt appeal to always choose love.

Boyce Avenue

September 22 7pm

Florida-based Youtube sensations.

Brothers Osborne

September 5 7pm

Bringing you their major label debut—Pawn Shop.

Cirque Éloize: Hotel

September 16 4pm
Zoellner Arts Center

Check in to a uniquely re-imagined hotel that never sleeps!

Dog Act

September 28–30; October 3–6 Times Vary
Zoellner Arts Center

Florida-based Youtube sensations.

Early Elton: A Tribute to the Trio Tours of ’70–’72

October 5 7:30pm
State Theatre

It’s part of a series called Stage on Stage.

Eddie Palmieri & His Salsa Orchestra

September 29 8pm
Zoellner Arts Center

One of the finest jazz pianists of the past 60 years.


September 23 5pm
State Theatre

A fantastic journey of wireless technology and dance.

Jon Dorenbos

September 23 7:30pm
State Theatre

Former Philadephia Eagle brings the Magic.

Marita Golden

September 23 7:30pm
Zoellner Arts Center

Award-winning author of 16 works of fiction.

Milky Chance

September 28 7:30pm
State Theatre

German folktronica making a name for themselves.

Neemah's Treasure the Musical

September 23 & 23 3pm
The Charles Brown IceHouse

Come along on a fantastical journey through the heart of a tween girl, living through many of life’s troubles.

Orpheus with Nobuyuki Tsujii

September 14 8pm
The Williams Center for the Arts

Performing an innovative orchestration of Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto.

Steve Coleman

October 19 8pm
The Williams Center for the Arts

The celebrated saxophonist believes music is a form of energy, a holistic part of the entire vibratory spectrum, from micro to macro.

Steven Wright

September 7 8pm
State Theatre

Academy Award winning comedian Steven Wright.

Stile Antico

October 14 3pm
The Williams Center for the Arts

Stile Antico explores the way music was used to gain favor with Queen Elizabeth I during her reign.

Tony Gairo's Cross Current Big Band

Sept. 26 & October 31 7pm
The Williams Center for the Arts

Check out this Bethlehem band at the IceHouse on the last Wednesday of every month!

The Ultimate Queen Celebration Starring Marc Martel

September 22 8pm
Zoellner Arts Center

Roger Taylor and Brian May handpicked Marc Martel to take on the lead vocals for their Queen tribute tour known as the Queen Extravaganza.

Young The Giant

September 18 7pm

Acclaimed alternative rock band