On Friday night in Bangor, roots band the Bald Mountain Boys play at Paddy Murphy’s, reggae and jam band Sunsplash is at the Sea Dog, it’s Queen City Sound System vinyl night at Nocturnem Drafthaus, singer-songwriter Stesha Cano is at Black Bear Brewing, improv troupe The Focus Group performs at 8 p.m. at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, and there’s a holiday-themed drag show at the Bangor Inn & Suites on Hogan Road; the show is at 8 p.m. and admission is $10. Up in Orono, rockers Phosphenes perform at Woodman’s. On Saturday, the Heather Pierson Jazz Trio performs Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Bangor Arts Exchange, the delightful duo Him & Her are at the Sea Dog, the Brad Hutchinson Project performs at Paddy’s, and acoustic band Piedmont is at Nocturnem.
On Friday night, the Dead Sessions are at Port City Music Hall, the Blues Prophets and the Outerspace Band are at Portland House of Music, there’s a burlesque show at Empire, songwriters Lucy Kaplansky and Sara Cox are at One Longfellow Square, and there’s a giant metal showcase at Geno’s. On Saturday, everybody’s favorite Maine rapper Spose offers his annual pDank Christmas show at Aura, while at the State Theatre, it’s the annual Fogcutters big band holiday spectacular. Elsewhere, electro jam band ExMag is at Empire, Nuclear Bootz, Ogre and Moist Boy are at the Apohadion, and New England punk legends the Pubcrawlers, the Gamma Goochies, the Jonee Earthquake Band and the Aquanauts are at Geno’s. On Sunday, comedian Louie Anderson is at Port City Music Hall, and Lauren Rioux hosts a holiday bluegrass show at One Longfellow.
On Saturday night on the Midcoast, singer Hannah Reimann performs the songs of Joni Mitchell at 6:30 p.m. at 18 Spring Street in Belfast; there’s a holiday party at Lake St. George Brewing in Liberty, featuring rockers the Rugged; it’s Dead/Phish night at Thresher’s Brewing in Searsmont, and rockers Living Room Circus are at the Myrtle Street Tavern in Rockland. On Sunday, the Strand Theatre hosts “Strand on the Air,” a live and local radio show-style variety showcase, set for 5 p.m., and a capella group Street Corner Symphony is at the Camden Opera House, set for 4 p.m.
There are, of course, many holiday events occurring this weekend, such as the Robinson Ballet and Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s annual performance of the “The Nutcracker,” Saturday and Sunday at the Collins Center for the Arts; Penobscot Theatre Company’s two holiday shows, “Elf: The Musical” at the Bangor Opera House and “The Santaland Diaries,” at the Bangor Arts Exchange; and a production of “A Musical Christmas Carol” all weekend at the Grand Theatre in Rockland. And, in Rockland, I’ve got to point out a truly ridiculous event, that also sounds like it would be a really, really great time: an open singalong to Handel’s “Messiah,” set for Fog Bar & Cafe; rehearsal at 2:30 p.m., performance at 4:30 p.m., on Saturday.
This weekend on TV, “RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars” season four premieres on VH1; “Fuller House” season four premieres on Netflix, and the highly anticipated debut of Alfonso Cuaron’s film “Roma” also premieres on Netflix. There’s a new standup special from comedian Pete Holmes on HBO on Saturday, and on Sunday, the Bruce Springsteen “Live on Broadway” special premieres on Netflix. In movie theaters, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” opens in cinemas, as does Clint Eastwood vehicle “The Mule” and the Peter Jackson-directed “Mortal Engines.”