1. You know, I went into the writing of this week’s roundup of events thinking “Eh, it’ll probably be a rather sleepy one this weekend.” But I was wrong. I was super wrong. Let’s waste no time, shall we? This Friday night in the Bangor region, you can start your night off with the monthly Bangor Contra Dance at 8 p.m. at the UU Church on Park Street, or a show from mentalist and comedian Logan Rouse at 7 p.m. at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer. Later that night, there’s rock from Buddusky, Big Fred and Idle Pilot at the Central Gallery, there’s the Northside Ramblers at Paddy Murphy’s, there’s Allison Bankston and Hippie Soup at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and there’s night one of two nights of Dance Yourself Clean at the Penobscot Pourhouse. Down in Winterport, the 2 Guys play fun folk music during dinnertime at the Bacon Tree, while up in Orono, rockers Stone Free are at Woodman’s in Orono, comedian Bob Marley is at the Collins Center for the Arts, and jam band Fish Jug at the Boomhouse in Old Town. Moving onto Saturday, Hollywood Casino’s Lancaster Room hosts the ninth annual Paraween performance from local dance troupe the Haus of Paradigm — a dark, glittery Halloween extravaganza with two shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m.; tickets are $10. Afterwards, enjoy either Stesha Cano at Paddy’s, Sonja Hannington at Nocturnem, or standup comedy at the Sea Dog with Freddie Stone, Adam Hatch and Mark Chaplin. On Sunday, the Brewer Performing Arts Center hosts its annual Celtic concert at 1 p.m., featuring Chris Gray and friends and Twisted Strings.
2. Does it seem a little weird that a metal band is at a concert hall like the Merrill Auditorium in Portland? But if it’s a prog-metal band like Dream Theater, it starts to make sense. Anyway, Dream Theater is at Merrill on Friday night. Also on Friday, Dweezil Zappa is legally obligated to say he’s not playing Frank Zappa’s music (though he is) at the State Theatre, EDM artists Jack Garratt and Brasstracks are at Port City Music Hall, songwriters These Wild Plains, Hayley Thompson, Hannah Daman and the Martelle Sisters and Clara Junken are at Empire, Maine legend David Mallett and his Band are at One Longfellow Square, Plexaglass and Hours North are at Bayside Bowl, and Phish cover band Pardon Me Doug is at Bayside Bowl. On Saturday, there’s a fundraiser at Port City Music Hall for Rick Kidson and techno festival Beltek, which was tragically devastated by a fire last summer, featuring EDM acts like Dara, Harder They Come, Paullinate and Omari Nkosi. Elsewhere, Afraid, Herbcraft and Ada are at the Space Gallery, Wild Adriatic and Chris Ross and the North are at Empire, Bonhomme Shelter is at One Longfellow, jam band Revibe is at Bayside Bowl, and songwriter David Bromberg is at Portland House of Music. On Sunday, Yonder Mountain String Band is at Port City Music Hall, and Gerry O’Beirne and Darlin’ Corey are at One Longfellow.
3. This weekend on the Midcoast, Friday brings entertainment options like the Soapbox Company at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, songwriters Dana Rader and Taylor MacNeil at Rock Harbor Brewing, also in Rockland, and Elvis 1956, a live tribute show performed by local musician Jessi Mallory, at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts. On Saturday, George Stephens and Kathy Westra are at Rock City, Ragged Jack is at Myrtle Street Tavern, and the Nikki Hunt Band is at Trackside Station, all in Rockland. If you’re not on the Midcoast and rather are across the bay, in Bar Harbor this Friday, folk trio Goldenoak perform at College of the Atlantic, the Maine Dead Project is at Carmen Verandah, while on Saturday, there’s the fall edition of the Island Story Slam at 7 p.m. at the Criterion Theatre.
4. Everybody seems to have their fall show going up this weekend, so theater lovers, take note — this is a great weekend to see a play or musical! In Bangor, the Penobscot Theatre Company opens its brand new production of the two-person musical “Murder For Two.” In Ellsworth, there’s weekend two of the big, lovable community theatre production of “The Producers” at the Grand Theatre. In Blue Hill, New Surry Theatre offers up the second weekend of Edward Albee’s classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at the Blue Hill Town Hall. In Orono, the School of Performing Arts opens its fall production of “Big Love,” an incisive contemporary play set for Hauck Auditorium on the University of Maine campus. In Brooks (in Waldo County) the Marsh River Theatre performs “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” Nora Ephron’s touching play about cancer, at their theater on Route 139. And in Portland, Mad Horse Theatre Company, based in South Portland, offers up two one-off shows from this year’s Portland Fringe Festival: “Nixon Sings!” a one-man musical revue featuring the former president singing showtunes, and “God Save the Queen: Paul Lynde 79,” another one-man show about the game show and gay icon. For information, look up any of the above theater companies on Facebook.
5. There’s an awful lot more to promote here, so here’s a short list. For Halloweeny-style fun, try Ghostport in Bucksport, one of the Ghostly Bangor from the Bangor Historical Society, or the Haunted Trails at Hampden Academy. It’s also the closing weekend of Greater Bangor Beer Week, including tap takeovers at The Family Dog in Orono, Nocturnem Drafthaus in Bangor, Mason’s Brewing Company in Brewer, a beer dinner on Saturday and pumpkin carving on Sunday at Blaze in Bangor, and much more. If you don’t like beer, at the Cross Insurance Center there’s Bangor Uncorked, a wine fest set for 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday. And if you don’t like ANY of that, there’s the Portland Comic Expo, all day on Sunday at the Portland Expo, with artists, shopping, cosplay, kid’s activities and more.