1. The wacky, whimsical new play “Becky’s New Car” (pictured) opens at the Penobscot Theatre on Friday night and continues through Sunday, so it’s an ideal weekend to enjoy what downtown Bangor has to offer. Friday night, you can hear the Blast Addicts at the Phoenix Pub on Franklin Street, you can check out the 220s at Paddy Murphy’s, there’s roots duo Pitch Black Ribbons at Nocturnem Drafthaus, alt-country band Bizzy Gruntry at the Big Easy, and songwriter Chris Ross at Ipanema; how’s that for some options? AND, there’s a 7:30 p.m. contradance at the UU Church on Park Street, featuring Perpetual E-Motion. On Saturday, the imminently enjoyable Rotating Taps play at Paddy’s; Mellow Endeavor plays one of its last Bangor shows of the year at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and up in Old Town, Paranoid Social Club plays at Kingman’s. New on the scene in Bangor is the re-opened, revamped Red One Lounge, located at the intersection of Hammond and Main, next door to Thai Siam. They’ll be serving upscale cocktails all night, all weekend.
2. Yet another great weekend at Empire Dine & Dance in Portland this weekend; Friday night, there’s Three Legged Fox, the Fear Nuttin’ Band and Beat Horizon, Saturday night there’s Voodoo and HD RnB, and on Sunday night there’s a big show featuring folk punkers Deer Tick, with Jeff Beam and Whale Oil. Friday night at the Big Easy JJ King has a CD release party, where he’ll be backed by the Mallett Brothers Band, while at Geno’s there’s Coalsack in Crux, Rural Ghosts and Arcane Lore. On Saturday, three bands are set for Slainte; they are Giant, Glass Fingers and Mr. Neet. Also on Saturday is the CD release party for bluesman Samuel James’ new album, set for the Space Gallery; and the State Theatre hosts Miike Snow (pictured) and Nikki and the Dove. And don’t forget Portland Stage, where the final weekend of Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Sisters Rosensweig” is set for Friday-Sunday; and the Mad Horse Theater offers “November,” a political comedy by David Mamet.
3. The Grand Theatre in Ellsworth this weekend hosts its second annual LGBT Film Festival, and there’s three days of films and events to enjoy. Friday night at 7:30 p.m., the film “Becoming Chaz,” about Chaz Bono, will be screened; Saturday, there’s “Three” at 1 p.m. and “Pariah” and 7 p.m.; keynote speaker Kate Kaminski will talk at 6 p.m. and at 9 p.m. Portland burlesque troupe the Dirty Dishes Brigade (pictured) will perform. On Sunday, the film “Weekend” screens at 2 p.m. Tickets for the whole weekend are $50; individual day passes are also available.
4. Speaking of movies, in Portland on Friday there’s a totally unique-to-Maine film event showcasing some in-state made movies. Portland’s State Theatre hosts the world premiere of five short films as part of the annual “Damnnationland: The Way Life Should Bleed” showcase. The program — in its third year — presents genre-defying original works from Maine filmmakers that redefine the classic thriller and horror categories, leaning toward visions that are surreal, comedic, and artful, while still providing scares, shocks, and surprises. This year’s filmmakers are llen Baldwin (Portland), Regina Bartholomew (New Gloucester), The Sisters Grumbling (originally from Wells, now in Portland, New York City, and Washington), Kyle Rankin (originally from York, now in Los Angeles), and R.J. Wilson (originally from Auburn, now in Athens, Ohio). The show starts at 8 p.m. and admission is $10. It’s for mature audiences (obviously).
5. Oh boy oh boy, it’s weekend one of Fright at the Fort, the ungodly creepy yearly festival of the macabre at Fort Knox in Prospect. It’s an all-out scare-fest featuring local talent dressed up to terrify, and it’s one of the longest-running events of its kind in the state. Tours start at 5:30 p.m. and go until 9 p.m., and admission is $10 for adults, $5 for 12 and under. I’m not kidding when I say it’s genuinely scary; these folks do a great job each year making a truly awesome Halloween event. On Saturday, it coincides with Bucksport’s Ghostport event, which has got horror movies screening at the Alamo Theatre and a fireworks display set to music, provided by WKIT 100.3 FM. Fun all around. Don’t forget your fake blood and/or Wolfman mask!