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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.
Winterfest, comedy and Puppy Bowl: 9 things to do in Maine this weekend
Written by: Aimsel Ponti
3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Outdoor Ice Rick at Wentworth Field, 20 Municipal Drive. On Facebook Scarborough Winterfest celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and the two-day schedule is jam-packed with fun. On Friday, there's a pond hockey tournament, open skating, free cocoa and s'mores and a bonfire, and it wraps up with fireworks at 8 p.m. On Saturday, activities kick off at 10 a.m., and they include open skating, cardboard sled races, a human dog sled and a kids' indoor bounce house at the nearby Wentworth gym, among other events. Be sure to also check out the show from the AxeWomen Loggers of Maine who will be showing off their incredible skills as world champion choppers, sawyers, log rollers and ax throwers. AxeWomen Loggers of Maine will be part of this year’s Scarborough Winterfest.Photo by Mike Wetherbee.
'The Way Life Is - Maine Working Families and Communities' Opening Reception
5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Union of Maine Visual Artists Gallery at Portland Media Center, 516 Congress St., Portland. thewaylifeisinmaine.weebly.com Through Feb. 22, stop by the UMVA Gallery in downtown Portland where you'll find the work of 38 artists from around Maine, including painters, sculptors, installation artists, printmakers and photographers, all focused on Maine workers, families and communities. Swing by during Friday's opening reception, and you can hear Patricia Smith Ranzoni reading from her book "Still Mill: Poems, Stories & Songs of Making Paper in Bucksport, Maine." "Madeline's Yard" by Lesley MacVane. Image courtesy of the artist.
'Peter and the Starcatcher'
7:30 p.m. Friday to Saturday. 2 p.m. Sunday; also 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, starting Feb. 7. Through Feb. 17. The Theater Project, 14 School St., Brunswick, $10 to $35, pay what you want on Thursdays. theaterproject.com Brunswick is the place to go for a Tony-winning play based on a book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. "Peter and the Starcatcher" puts a very different spin on the 100-year-old tale about a down-and-out orphan who becomes Peter Pan. You'll meet trouble-making pirates and jungle tyrants, along with unlikely heroes, as the show explores themes of greed, despair, friendship, duty and love. Photo courtesy of The Theater Project
9 p.m. Friday. Baxter Brewing Co., 130 Mill St., Lewiston, free, 21-plus. maineeventcomedy.com Maine Event Comedy hopes to make you cry in your beer. But they would be tears of laughter elicited by headlining Portland comic Ali Simpson who's performed all over New England and beyond. The show happens at Baxter Brewing where you'll also have your gut busted by Boston's Jeff Medoff, New Hampshire's Randy Williams and New York City's Tanael Joachim. Crack open a can of Hop Tryst, Ein Stein or one of several other Baxter brews and get ready to be cracked up. Oleh Dovhan/Shutterstock.com
7:30 p.m. Saturday. City Theatre, 205 Main St., Biddeford, $20 in advance, $25 at the door. citytheater.org Biddeford Winterfest happens Friday to Sunday with sledding, snow golf, pony rides and all sorts of other seasonal fun. One of the indoor highlights of the weekend is an appearance by New Hampshire comic Juston McKinney. McKinney's comedy specials can be found on Amazon Prime and Showtime, and he's appeared on "The Tonight Show" as well as some Comedy Central specials. McKinney initially pursued a career in law enforcement, but the call of the comedy set him down a laughter-lined path in 1997 and he's been cracking up the masses ever since. Photo courtesy of Juston McKinney
Capital City Improv
7:30 p.m. Saturday. Johnson Hall, 280 Water St., Gardiner, $16, $14 seniors, $5 youth. johnsonhall.org As an audience member, you'll help steer the ship when Capital City Improv uses your suggestions to create on-the-spot hilarity. Dennis Price is the founder of Capital City Improv, and he studied and performed improv with the legendary Second City in Chicago. He's called Maine home since the late '90s and has been working here ever since as an actor, performer, improviser, teacher and director. In other words, this guy knows his stuff. He and his crew will hit you with everything they've got, and you'll love every second of it.
Super Bowl LIII Party
11:30 a.m. Sunday through post-game. Dock Fore, 336 Fore St., Portland. On Facebook The New England Patriots take on The Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and Dock Fore is celebrating the occasion with a Super Bowl party that kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with $3.95 bloody Marys and $2.95 mimosas. The Old Port bar will also whet your sports whistle by having the Arsenal Football Club game on (that's English football, aka soccer), followed by some Bruins, Celtics and PGA action. The official Super Bowl tailgate party starts in earnest at 3 p.m. with $1.95 20-ounce Budweisers and Rolling Rocks available through post-game. At 4 p.m., a fabulous spread of free food will be rolled out, and it includes buffalo chicken dip, chicken taquitos, wings, pizza, stuffed bread and plenty of peanuts. Kick-off is at 6:30 p.m., and you'll see every play, thrown penalty flag and Tom Brady facial expression on Dock Fore's four big-screen TVs. New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.AddyTsl/Shutterstock.com
'Laurel & Hardy Shorts (Vol. One)'
3 p.m. Sunday. Strand Theatre, 345 Main St., Rockland, $7.50. rocklandstrand.com There's a new Laurel and Hardy movie coming out soon called "Stan and Ollie" starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly. But here's a chance to see some of the original material as The Strand is holding a special screening of "Laurel & Hardy Shorts (Vol. One, 1932)." You'll see four short films starring one of early Hollywood's most celebrated comedy duos, known for their slapstick antics. The screening includes "Helpmates," during which Ollie needs Stan help to clean up after a wild bash before his wife returns. You'll also see "The Music Box," which finds the pair trying to move a piano up a steep flight of stairs. "Their First Mistake" and "County Hospital" are the other two that will have you laughing away the afternoon. Still from the 1932 Lauren and Hardy short film comedy "The Music Box." Photo courtesy of Strand Theatre
Puppy Bowl XV Viewing Party
3 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Little Tap House, 106 High St., Portland. On Facebook The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, Allagash Brewing and Little Tap House are teaming up for a tail-waggin' event that will get you home in time for the big game. Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl is pretty much the cutest annual television event you could ever hope to see, and not only can you watch it at Little Tap House, all sales of Allagash White will be donated to the Animal Refuge League. Cheer on the league's pup Flora, a very sweet American Staffordshire terrier/boxer who's a proud member of Team Fluff and is "competing" at this year's Puppy Bowl. Grab a bite to eat to wash down your beer as you enjoy what will be the best kind of dog-day afternoon. Flora photo courtesy of Animal Planet