1. In the Big Bang Town, the Queen City’s got loads of fun stuff set for this weekend. On the music side of things, Paddy Murphy’s has a killer double header, with the hot sounds of the Aurora Jazz Project on Friday, and the Bangor-via-Boston band People and Things on Saturday. Also on Friday, the Bear Brew in Orono hosts the next edition of WPC Presents, set for 8:30-11:30 and featuring bluegrass from Bangor’s Prograssabillies, indie rock from Anthony Bitetti, a DJ set from Thom Cosgrove, and a special presentation by Allison Melton of the band Temperature of the Sun, who will be showing her Intermedia Master of Fine Arts thesis project — an album and accompanying short film titled “Anna Log: Stumped.” Back in Bangor, Therapy Lounge on the Odlin Road will host it’s Christmas Drag Spectacular, featuring seven queens from around the state, starting at 9 p.m. with a $3 cover. At Ipanema’s Bar & Grill on Saturday night, Bangor’s Blast Addicts (pictured at left) will rock your faces off. Hancock County singer-songwriter Bobbi Lane will perform at Nocturnem Drafthaus on Saturday. And, of course, you can catch the last full weekend of Penobscot Theatre Company’s production of “A Christmas Story,” with shows at 7 p.m. Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Whew!
2. Down Portland way, there are a couple of really neat shows this weekend, including ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro at One Longfellow Square on Friday night, and a evening of local indie-punk featuring Nuclear Boots, the Outfits and the Rattlesnakes at the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford on Saturday. The State Theatre hosts one of the best Christmas events of the season on Friday, with two special screenings of “It’s a Wonderful Life” set for 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., each preceded by a performance by the fabulous Portland vaudeville collective Over a Cardboard Sea, who will perform Depression-era songs to delight young and old alike. Admission is a Depression-era $6. There’s also the kickoff show for the two-weekend Nutcracker Burlesque, set for 7:30 p.m. at the St. Lawrence Arts Center. The dancers from Vivid Motion will perform their version of the Tchaikovsky classic — though with less tutus and point shoes, and a lot more fishnets and corsets. Other shows are set for 7:30 on Saturday and Sunday, and Tuesday-Thursday. Friday’s show is accompanied by the Lobster Crawl Auction, set for 6:30 p.m., an open auction of local goods that also features a lobster race. Yes, a lobster race. It is exactly what you think it is.
3. Still not Christmas-y enough? There’s a production of the time-honored holiday favorite “A Christmas Carol,” produced by the Everyman Repertory Theatre and performed by legendary Midcoast theater figure John Bielenberg. Shows are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Camden Opera House, and admission is $20 for adults, $10 for students, with all the proceeds going to benefit Everyman, Midcoast Maine’s professional theatre company. Or, of course, you could go see the ACTUAL “Nutcracker” — the one performed by the Robinson Ballet and accompanied by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, set to take the stage at the Collins Center for the Arts at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Call 581-1755 to reserve your tickets.
4. In more music news: did anyone realize that the band Barefoot Truth is playing at Fryeburg Academy this weekend? I totally didn’t until today. They’re a very good New England roots rock band who have developed quite a following ’round these parts. They’ll play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Fryeberg’s Laura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, and admission is $18, $10 for students. Check out their video for “Roll If You Fall” right here.
5. Finally, movies out this weekend include the new installment in the “Sherlock Holmes” franchise, starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, as well as the mostly mediocre-looking “New Year’s Eve.” River City Cinema in Bangor offers the city’s only screening of Lars Von Trier’s epic “Melancholia,” set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Union Street Brick Church. Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville also opens the new dark comedy “Young Adult,” starring Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt and written and directed by Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman, the “Juno” team.