Things To Do This Weekend, March 23-25: Rock star coifs, musical theater and maple syrup.

1. The fun continues at the KahBang Arts Spring Gallery at Zen in Bangor, when two wildly different but highly talented Portland acts take the stage: acclaimed singer-songwriter and Lincoln native Jacob Augustine on Friday night, and hip hop collective Grant Street Orchestra on Saturday. Meanwhile, 80s cover band Axiom and funk and soul cover band Juicebox play Friday and Saturday at Paddy Murphys, respectively, while acoustic trio Mellow Endeavor and Midcoast rock gods the 220s are the dual weekend fun at Ipanemas. Saturday brings the Bangor debut of gypsy jazz band Gypsy Caravan at Nocturnem Drafthaus. Up in Orono, heavy rockers OneSixtyOne are set for the upstairs of the Bear Brew on Saturday night.

2. Empire Dine & Dance on Congress Street in Portland is the place to be this weekend, with two great shows set. On Friday, singer-songwriter Jenny Owens Young is joined by indie bands Aunt Martha and Gregory and the Hawk. On Saturday, the venue hosts a Rock n’ Roll Hair competition for all those with fabulous rocker locks, with music by Bangor’s own When Particles Collide and Temperature of the Sun, power trio Lit on the Flash out of Wells, and Boston’s Naked on Rollerskates. Elsewhere, Flask lounge offers up a Friday night of electro rock, with The Other Bones, Dreamosaic and DJs Metris and Vik 44; Geno’s Rock Club plays it old school punk rock, rockabilly and folk punk with the Pubcrawlers, the Murder Weapon and Dark Hollow Bottle Company (pictured above), also on Friday; and jam band Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad plays Saturday night at Port City Music Hall.

3. Try on these two fun opportunities for fans of musical theater and theatrical rock in the Bangor area. The Bangor Symphony Orchestra teams up with cast members from “We Will Rock You,” the Queen musical, for night of orchestral versions of Queen songs, set for 8 p.m. Saturday at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono. The annual Music Off-Broadway, a night of showtunes featuring a who’s who of musical theater performers from eastern Maine, is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Peakes Auditorium in Bangor. In Portland, there’s two challenging productions up this weekend. At Space Gallery, the experimental theater troupe Lorem Ipsum presents an avant-garde staging of Henrik Ibsen’s “Ghosts” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while the Mad Horse Theater Company at Lucid Stage puts up “The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man In the Moon Marigolds.”

4. This weekend, it’s all about maple syrup – regardless of whether we keep hearing about how bad a season it might be this year. Sunday is Maine Maple Sunday, and sugarhouses from Aroostook to York will open up their doors for tastings, activities, candy and much more. There’s also some events set for Saturday, including the 16th annual Maple Festival and Irish Celebration at the Curran Homestead in Orrington, set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and the ending festivities for Skowhegan’s Maple Festival, set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Stock up on the sweet stuff, before it’s all gone!

5. I would be remiss in not mentioning the event that I’m taking part in on Friday night: the first ever Eastern Maine Chef Challenge, an evening of food and competition at Eastern Maine Community College. Three teams of chefs, four judges — including myself — and an audience full of hungry spectators will see who’s dish is the best. It’s an Iron Chef-style competition, which means it’ll be entertaining as well as delicious. There’s a cocktail hour from 5:30-6:30 p.m., and then the cooking begins in earnest. Admission is $25, or two for $44, and it takes play at Johnston Gym on the EMCC campus. I hope to see you there!

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, UMaine graduate, proud Bangorian and a writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food to all the cool things going on in the Greater Bangor area. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra. She's interested in everything that happens in Maine.