Can we all make a solemn promise, right here, right now? OK, repeat after me: I solemnly swear to wait until after Christmas before I begin spoiling the plot of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” for all the people that haven’t seen it yet. Thank you. I’ll be seeing the film on Sunday. I’ve got the whole rest of the weekend to be distracted.
And what sorts of distractions are there? Let’s take a look. In Bangor Friday night, there’s a Puerto Rican music and dance party to benefit hurricane victims, 7 to 10 p.m. at the Maine Holistic Center on Main Street. There’s also the first-ever Santa Con Downtown Bangor, which, if you are not already aware, is a chance for people to put on Santa suits and get very drunk at downtown bars. It starts at 5 p.m. at Happy Endings and goes from there. You have been warned. Elsewhere, Allison Bankston and Hippie Soup play at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and the Adam Babcock Band is at Paddy Murphy’s. On Saturday, there’s some Maine metal with Zud, Manic Abraxas and Combatant at Bangor Arts Exchange, Dean Ford and the Keepsakes are at the Downunder Club at Seasons, Rural Roots Revival perform at Nocturnem, the Blast Addicts are at Paddy’s, and over in Brewer, Skyliners Big Band is at the Next Generation Theatre.
Down in Portland, Friday night brings the annual Fogcutters Big Band Christmas Extravaganza at the State Theatre, featuring loads of local musicians. Elsewhere, regional favorites Dispatch are at Aura, Shut Down Brown is at Portland House of Music, the Stash Band and Muddy Ruckus are at Empire, and there’s local punk rock with I Suppose You Know Karate, Gamma Goochies and Gwynne and the Tonics at Geno’s. Moving onto Saturday, take your pick from roots and rock acts including Adam Ezra and Jason Spooner at Port City Music Hall, the Johnny Clay Shanks Band and Tim Mercer at Portland House of Music, or songwriter Chris Smither at One Longfellow Square. On the funkier side of things, there’s Icelandic DJs Hermigervill, Berndsen and local band Bright Boy at the Space Gallery, or the annual pDank Christmas with Spose and friends at Aura. Or you could just dig some local metal with Eldemur Krimm, Fire in the Field, Ogre and Dirty Love at Geno’s.
Oh, did we mention it’s Star Wars weekend? Cause it is. If you love all things Jedi — and I know I do — you’re probably going to see the movie this weekend or next week. There are a few fun things happening in the area to celebrate, including a weekend-long mini-Star Wars convention in the lobby of Bangor Mall Cinemas, through Sunday afternoon. There’s also a Star Wars parade through downtown Bar Harbor starting at 5 p.m. Friday, followed by a Star Wars costume contest at 6 p.m. at Atlantic Brewing Midtown, and then a 7 p.m. screening at the Criterion Theatre.
For some holiday fun, there’s of course the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and the Robinson Ballet’s annual performances of “The Nutcracker,” at 12:30 and 5 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Collins Center for the Arts. It’s weekend two of Penobscot Theatre Company’s sumptuous production of “Beauty and the Beast,” and in Ellsworth, the Grand Theatre presents the radio play version of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Friday through Sunday. In Portland, you can watch the annual Casco Bay Boat Parade of Lights from the Maine State Pier, starting at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. And in Camden, there’s a 3 p.m. screening of “Home Alone 2” at the Camden Opera House on Sunday.