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We'll help you plan your best summer yet with our annual roundup of can't miss events! Plus we've got a Face the Music interview with vocal powerhouse Josh Groban who is performing in Portland on 6/24. And as always, we'll help you have a terrific weekend with our hand-picked selection of events. Have fun out there!
Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at MaineToday.com and a music writer for MaineToday.com and the Portland Press Herald.
She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at Mainetoday.com. You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the News Center Maine TV show “207” to talk about...music of course.
Oscar Wilde play, Little Black Dress party: 10 things to do in Maine this weekend
Written by: Aimsel Ponti
Little Black Dress Event
6 to 9 p.m. Thursday. Portland Ocean Gateway, 14 Maine State Pier, Portland, $50. eventbrite.com Goodwill Northern New England cordially invites you to its seventh annual Little Black Dress party, which
features a fashion show, live and silent auction, music and hors d'oeuvres. All proceeds benefit the Goodwill
Veterans Access Fund, so head into the back of your closet or hit one of Goodwill's retails shops and find that
little black dress you've been waiting to wear or whatever other fancy threads you can come up with. Fellas, we
trust you to come up with some fine threads of your own and get gussied up for a good cause. Photo of Mary
Allen Lindemann by Samuel Cousins Photography
Hip Hop Heaven
7:30 p.m. Thursday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland, $5 suggested donation. space538.org If you've ever wondered about the history of hip-hop, mark your calendar for this gathering of Portland
artists who will share their thoughts on the spirituality and socio-political elements of hip-hop and their own
experiences with it. Samaa Abdurraqib will moderate the panel discussion with Dàveed Thete, Sonya Tomlinson, Mo
Nuñez and Malcolm Henry. Anton345/Shutterstock.com
'The Importance of Being Earnest'
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Russell Hall at University of Southern Maine, 37 College
Ave., Gorham, $16, $12 seniors, $8 students. usm.maine.edu/theatre Catch a local production of a play that's considered by many to be one of Oscar Wilde's finest comedic
works. Set in Victorian London, "The Importance of Being Earnest" bursts with brilliant satire as you get to know
Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing and their sordid double lives. "Oh, pleasure, pleasure! What else should bring
one anywhere?" Find out this weekend in Gorham. Everett Historical/Shutterstock.com
Festival of New Works
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. West Bath Fire Department Function Hall, 192 State Road, West Bath,
$12. brownpapertickets.com The Studio Theatre of Bath presents its inaugural evening of original one-act plays, all making their world
premieres. Festival of New Works features the romantic comedy "Chicken or the Fish" by Katherine Russo, the
farcical "Battle of the Sexist" by Steven Hayet and "Who Will Cry for the Cockroach" by MK Wolfe, which shows how
one man's actions can have an impact on human history. Gather one and all to see this trio of works by up-and-
coming playwrights, actors and directors. Hugolacasse/Shutterstock.com
7 p.m. Friday. The Strand Theatre, 345 Main St., Rockland, $10 in advance, $12 at the door. rocklandstrand.com The Strand Theater invites you to rock out in Rockland during the 13th annual battle of the bands. Proceeds
from Trekkapalooza 2018 benefit the youth mentoring program Trekkers. This year's crop of musical competitors are
Drive By Todd, The Extension Cords, Group Therapy, The Once Over, The Tune Squad and The Good Guys. They're all
Maine acts, and you'll hear a diverse range of covers and originals while supporting a wonderful cause. 'Nuff
said. Image courtesy of The Strand Theatre
8 p.m. Friday. State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland, $30 reserved seating. statetheatreportland.com Anthony Jeselnik is a veteran of Comedy Central where his show, "The Jeselnik Offensive," ran for two
seasons, and he's also written some scorching comedy roasts, including one from 2011 about our current president.
Jeselnik has also appeared on Conan, The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live! We watched a few YouTube clips and can
verify that Jeselnik is hilarious but also bold and edgy, so expect colorful language and no topic off limits on
his Funny Games tour. Photo courtesy of the artist
April Stool's Day
9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Eastern Promenade, Portland. easternpromenade.org/april-stools-day While we wish this day wasn't needed, it's important to have a fun attitude about it, as you lend a hand
and roam around the Eastern Promenade Park and surrounding neighborhoods picking up dog poop and other debris you
might come across. April Stool's Day is an annual event sponsored by the Friends of the Eastern Promenade, and it's
been happening since 1995. Keep your eyes peeled for one of the "golden turds" and win a gift certificate. And if
you invite any of your friends via text to join you on Saturday, it's an excellent excuse to use the poop emoji.
P.S. Rain date is Sunday. Staff photo by Derek Davis
Night of Laughs Comedy Show
8 p.m. Saturday. Ramada Saco Conference Center, 352 North St., Saco, $10, 21-plus. sacomainstreet.org Saco Main Street is a nonprofit that's all about making Saco a fabulous place to live and work by enhancing
the vitality of the downtown. Here's a chance to support the cause by way of a hilarity with a comedy show
featuring three professional laugh makers out of Boston. Jody Sloane, Nick Lavallee and E.J. Edmonds will be
hitting you with their best stuff, so plan on yucking it up big time. Joseph
'Belle of Amherst: Emily Dickinson'
2 p.m. Sunday. Chocolate Church Arts Center, 804 Washington St., Bath, $20 in advance, $23 day of show. chocolatechurcharts.org Visit the secret, eccentric and passionate world of writer Emily Dickinson in a performance by Ginger
Grace. "Belle of Amherst: Emily Dickinson" by William Luce brings her spirit, anguish and creative force to life
through Grace, who has been portraying the poet around the country for 11 years. You'll come to understand
Dickinson in a new way as you get transported back to the 1800s and learn how Dickinson was considered to be an
eccentric who dressed mostly in white and was reluctant to great guests, then later, rarely leave her bedroom. "The
soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience," wrote Dickinson so many years ago. Follow
her advice on Sunday. Photo courtesy of The Chocolate Church Arts Center
Merriconeag Poetry Festival
3 p.m. Sunday. Maine Coast Waldorf School, 57 Desert Road, Freeport, free. mainecoastwaldorf.org Spend some time hearing some fine rhymes at the 11th annual Merriconeag Poetry Festival. You'll hear verse
from Maine's poet laureate, Stuart Kestenbaum, as well as student poets from Cape Elizabeth, Deering and Falmouth
high schools, Maine Coast Waldorf School in Freeport, Morse High School in Bath, North Yarmouth Academy and Spruce
Mountain High School in Jay. Finwal89/Shutterstock.com