1. Boom goes the dynamite! Bangor is a very happening place to be this weekend. For your downtown shenanigoats, may I suggest something in a Friday? You can start with the 6:30 p.m. Pecha Kucha presentation at the Bangor Opera House. Then you can move directly onto either the 8:30 p.m. River City Cinema showing of “Albatross” (starring Jessica Brown Findlay, a.k.a Lady Sibyl from “Downton Abbey”) also at the Opera House, or you can attend the grand opening of KahBang Arts’ Spring Gallery at Mezzenine, the upstairs area of Zen Asian Bistro on Main Street. Art from five Maine women and music from the 220s is set for the night, which runs from 7 p.m. until midnight. Down the street, enjoy Portland indie trio the Milkman’s Union (pictured above) at Paddy Murphy’s, starting around 9:30 p.m., the acoustic duo Pitch Black Ribbons at Nocturnem Drafthaus, at 8 p.m., Sam Shain and the Seasick Crocodiles at Ipanema, starting at 9:30 p.m., and Magnetic North at the Sea Dog, starting at 9 p.m. And that’s just Friday! On Saturday, there’s plenty more, including a double bill of rock with Lit on the Flash and the Tree Streets at Paddy Murphy’s, the melodic indie pop of the Rotating Taps at Ipanema, the sweet bluegrass sounds of the Main Street 2 at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and the disco-country-punk sounds of the Larks at Hollywood Slots. It’s a good time to be a Bangorian!
2. Is it fair to call it Spring already? Judging from Thursday’s weather, perhaps so. Even if the temps drop down a bit, it’s still farther from winter than it is closer. Regardless, it will be a wonderful weekend to walk around in Portland, and to start, let’s take a look at Friday. The Space Gallery hosts a pretty incredible night of metal, featuring Waranimal, Barnburner, Sylvia, Phantom Glue and Death Cloud, starting at 8:30 p.m.; admission is $8. At the Empire on Congress Street, the Fogcutters Big Band (pictured above), a local group, will swing with you starting at 8 p.m. Port City Music Hall hosts Canadian Irish rockers Enter the Haggis, starting at 8 p.m., and at Geno’s Rock Club, A Robot presents a night of experimental rock with 13CrystalSkullz, Cuss and Holland Holland. On both Friday and Saturday, the Big Easy hosts local heroes Paranoid Social Club, with opener Cam Groves, and on Saturday at Slainte check out Volcano Rabbit, Gin Lab and De Repente.
3. Welcome spring a little early with some unique, hilarious events statewide, starting with the second annual WERU Comedy Showcase, set fot 7 p.m. Friday at the Next Generation Theatre on Center Street in Brewer. Meanwhile, the last weekend of the wickedly funny musical “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” based on the movie of the same name, is set for Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Lyric Music Theatre on Sawyer Street in Portland. And on Saturday at Spectacular Events Center in Bangor, three standup comedians bring a little estrogen to the field, when Karen Morgan, Amy Tee and Jodie Sloane perform starting at 7:30 p.m.
4. This weekend marks the regional level of the annual Maine Drama Festival, in which 2,000 high school students from 70 schools statewide compete to bring the best, most efficient and artistic production of a one-act play to a panel of judges. There are performances set for Friday and Saturday at MDI High School, Camden Hills High School, Stearns High School, Freeport High School, Leavitt High School, Windham High School, Skowhegan High School and Marshwood High School. It’s $10 for a whole day of theater. Is there a better deal than that? Visit mainedramacouncil.com for a full schedule and listing of plays.
5. Movies opening this weekend! Well, the hotly anticipated adaptation of the popular young adult novel “The Hunger Games” hits theaters on Friday, and frankly, I’m actually excited to see this one – even though I’m the last person on the planet that has not read the book. There’s also Pixar’s first foray into live-action, with “John Carter of Mars,” which looks suspiciously like a cross between “Total Recall” and “Starship Troopers.” But what do I know? I’ll see it on dollar night! Also opening this weekend in eastern Maine is “Shame” at Railroad Square Cinema and “Pariah” at the Nickelodeon in Portland.