It’s a jam-packed weekend of fun all over the state, so let’s waste no time in getting straight to the good stuff. Three days and nights of the fourth annual Maine Science Festival kicks off Friday night in Bangor, featuring tons of educational and fun (and almost entirely free) programming for both kids and adults. A full schedule can be found at the MSF website. It’s also the first weekend of Penobscot Theatre Company’s challenging and interesting new production “Ugly Lies The Bone,” Friday through Sunday at the Bangor Opera House. Also on Friday evening, there’s an Improv Acadia show at 8 p.m. at 51 Main St., there’s the monthly Bangor Contra Dance at 8 p.m. at the UU Church, and Allison Bankston and Hippie Soup are at Nocturnem Drafthaus.
Down in Portland, on Friday night, there are sold-out shows from both alt-pop band Lucius at the State Theatre, and “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah at Merrill Auditorium. There’s also Ann Wilson of Heart at Aura, Phish tribute band Pardon Me Doug at Portland House of Music, Mill Fire, Added Color and Mirth at Empire, An Overnight Low and Pete Witham and the Cozmik Zombies at Bayside Bowl, The East Pointers at One Longfellow Square, and a tribute to songwriter Jason Molina at the Apohadion Theater.
Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day, so of course, there are tons of things to do, starting with lots of Irish-themed community dinners through the Bangor region, including corned beef and boiled dinner meal at 5:30 p.m. at the Bangor Grange, and a corned beef supper at 5 p.m. at the Legion Hall in Old Town. All day long in downtown Bangor, there’s music and other shenanigans, for the Irish and the pretend Irish alike. At Paddy Murphy’s, the fun starts at 6 a.m., with songwriter Pete Nickerson, and continues throughout the day and night with Rick Hanscom, a local Irish music showcase, fiddler Gus LaCasse, the Sail Bums, the Penobscot Fiddles and Stesha Cano. Also getting into the Irish spirit, Geaghan’s will host piper Peter Beckford and the Highland Pipe & Drum Band throughout the day and evening. Elsewhere, Yeahman is at Nocturnem, the Allison Ames Band is at the Sea Dog, the Skyliners Big Band is at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, and up in Orono, the Fremont Street String Band is at Black Bear Brewing Company. On Sunday, the Napper Tandies play an afternoon of Irish music from 2 to 5 p.m. at Mason’s Brewing Company in Brewer, and the Bangor Symphony’s annual pops concert, featuring music from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Wicked” and others, is set for 4 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts.
For St. Patrick’s Day fun in Portland, look no further than bars like Brian Boru, Ri Ra and Bull Feeney’s, all of which will undoubtedly packed to the gills with pickled patrons and with music both Irish and not, all opening at 6 a.m. and featuring food, booze and bands galore. At noon, there’s the Irish American Club St. Patrick’s Day parade, starting at Portland’s Fish Pier. Also on Saturday night, there’s jam band Joe Russo’s Almost Dead at the State Theatre. Knuckle Puck, Boston Manor, Free Throw, Hot Mulligan and Jetty Bones are at Port City Music Hall. U2 tribute act The Joshua Tree is at Aura, and there’s electronic music with Of The Trees, Ives, Maxfield and Daze Inn at Empire, as well as songwriter Colleen Raney at One Longfellow, and metal bands Shabti, Brain Famine, Culling the Herd and Cynicism at Geno’s.
There are of course lots of other places to get your Irish on this weekend. We recommend places like the Myrtle Street Tavern in Rockland, Byrne’s Irish Pub in Brunswick, the Irish Setter Pub in Presque Isle, Leary’s Landing in Bar Harbor, and Finn’s Irish Pub in Ellsworth.
Back in the Bangor area, this weekend also brings the annual Eastern Maine Sportsman’s Show, set for 4-9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Saturday at the Memorial Gym at UMaine. There are 120 exhibitors of canoes, fishing, hunting, boating, gear, camping and more, and the BDN’s own John Holyoke and Aislinn Sarnacki will be there, too!
On various-sized screens this weekend, on Netflix, Ricky Gervais’ new comedy special went up this week, as did “Jackass 3.5,” a new movie from everyone’s favorite lunatics, while in cinemas, the reboot of “Tomb Raider” opens this weekend. The Maine Jewish Film Festival has several screenings this weekend at Bangor Mall Cinemas, including “Bye Bye Germany” at 7 p.m. Saturday, “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” at noon on Sunday, and “Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators” at 1:45 p.m. Sunday.