In Bangor this weekend, there are several unique events happening, including on Friday, when Ten Bucks Theatre hosts its two-day 24 Hour New Play Festival at the Bangor Arts Exchange — the plays are written Friday night on into Saturday afternoon, and are then performed at 7 p.m. Saturday night at BAE. Also on Friday is the Burt Reynolds Tribute Night at the Bangor Drive-In, with “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Cannonball Run” screened back-to-back starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Also on Friday night, Allison Bankston and Hippie Soup are at Nocturnem Drafthaus, Hunter is at Paddy Murphy’s, Little Rodeo is at the Sea Dog, and up in Orono, Jesse and the Geodes are at Woodman’s. On Saturday, the Ridge Road Blues Band is at Nocturnem, Piedmont is at Paddy Murphy’s, Sunsplash is at the Sea Dog, there’s the Diamond Divas Drag Show at the Downunder Club at Seasons, and Queen City Improv yuks it up at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer.
Portland this weekend is taken over by the annual Waking Windows music festival, with more than 60 bands and artists at venues throughout town, including Bayside Bowl, the Apohadion Theatre, the Space Gallery, Empire, Geno’s, One Longfellow Square, Local Sprouts and many more, with some of the featured artists including Jaw Gems, Miho Hatori’s New Optimism (of Cibo Matto!), Teen, Ivy Sole and lots and lots more. A full schedule can be found online at wakingwindowsportland.com. Elsewhere in town, on Friday night, blues singer Shemekia Copeland is at Portland House of Music, the Amoebas, Covered in Bees and Donaher are at Empire, and songwriter Jonathan Edwards at One Longfellow, while on Saturday, Jukebox the Ghost, the Greeting Committee and Fort Gorgeous are at Port City Music Hall, and the magical Neko Case and Thao are at the State Theatre; there’s also a local Ween tribute night at Portland House of Music.
I’m both delighted and a bit sad that this weekend brings the Common Ground Fair, the beloved annual celebration of rural living set for the Unity Fairgrounds and the first big event of the fall. Tens of thousands of lovers of all things natural, organic and back-to-the-land will descend upon Unity to eat, listen, shop and experience the beauty of simple Maine living. Tons of music, amazing food and people watching; what’s not to love? The fun starts Friday and goes through Sunday afternoon. Tickets at the gate are $15 adults/$10 seniors/free kids 12 and under.
Finally, this weekend brings the Great Maine Puppet Festival at the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth, three full days of fabulous puppetry for young and old alike. Events include a screening of the critically acclaimed “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, the Mr. Rogers documentary, at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by performances by Tanglewood Marionettes at 10 and 11 a.m. on Saturday, an adults-only performance of scenes from the puppet musical “Avenue Q” at 7 p.m. Saturday, and a 2 p.m. performance by the Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers on Sunday. Check grandonline.org for more info.
Opening in movie theaters this weekend is the accessible horror movie “The House With The Clock In Its Walls” and the big weepy romance “Life Itself,” as well as Michael Moore’s new documentary, “Fahrenheit 11/9.” On TV, the highly anticipated Netflix series “Maniac,” a dark sci-fi comedy starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, starts on Friday.