BANGOR – The City of Bangor and Spectra Venue Management, managers of Cross Insurance Center, are excited to announce that Comedian Ron “Tater Salad” White, best known as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour phenomenon, will be coming to Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center this summer, July 30, 2016 with his stand-up show. The comedian’s stand-up act will take place on the first Saturday of this year’s fair and will add an exciting element to the annual community event. The Bangor State Fair will take place July 29-Aug. 7.
ORONO – On Sunday, March 6, 2016 at 3 p.m., cellist Inbal Segev, known for her “warm, pure and beautiful tone” (Strings Magazine) will perform as guest soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in concert at Collins Center for the Arts (2 Flagstaff Road), led by Music Director Lucas Richman. The program will also include Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. Segev will conduct a master class on Friday, March 4, at 4 p.m. at Minsky Recital Hall at the University of Maine School of Performing Arts. It will be free and open to the public.
Segev has worked closely with Richman in the past, most recently performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on the world premiere recording of his “Three Pieces for Cello and Orchestra,” which appeared on his album “IN TRUTH: Lucas Richman,” released on Albany Records in September 2015. Segev gave the world premiere of Three Pieces for Cello and Orchestra in May 2013 with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Richman.
BANGOR – On Saturday, Feb. 20, Eastern Maine Pagan Pride Association is hosting a Bacchanalian Ball from 6-10 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor, 120 Park Street, Bangor, ME.
Bacchanalia is an ancient festival celebrating the Greek God, Bacchus – the God of wine, revelry and merriment. The Bacchanalian Ball will feature music for dancing, a chocolate buffet and a live auction of wonderful crafts and services, hosted by Bacchus himself.
FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to present non-fiction, environmental author Kathryn Miles as the next reader in its celebrated Visiting Writers Series. Miles will read from her work at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 11, in The Landing in the UMF Olsen Student Center. The reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by a signing by the author.
According to author Janine DeBaise, Miles’s non-fiction work is known for combining the scientific facts of a story with a good narrative that entertains while educating. Miles’s “Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy” (Dutton 2014), is the first complete, moment-by-moment account of the largest Atlantic storm system ever recorded. In this riveting account, she takes the reader inside the enormous storm and the people whose lives were forever changed.
Animated sequel familiar, but still plenty of fun
As much as we might bemoan the lack of originality in Hollywood, there’s no denying the reality that there’s a lot of money to be made by giving people what they’ve already shown that they like.
Animated movies are among the guiltiest of offenders. Any animated film that achieves even a modicum of success swiftly becomes a franchise, a family-friendly cash cow that can be counted on to generate serious box office and merchandising revenue over and over and over again. Granted, all of these animated franchises fall prey to the inevitability of diminishing returns, but some manage their drop-offs better than others.
“Kung Fu Panda 3” is a good example of that sort of quality management. The folks at DreamWorks have never been shy about hitting the same notes repeatedly (“Shrek,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and – most egregiously – “Madagascar”), but they’ve handled this particular series with a lighter touch. The end result is a film that, while undeniably familiar, still manages to retain a bit of freshness.
Historical rescue drama mostly mediocre
The moviegoing public has always had an affinity for films that are based on a true story. Of course, there’s always a degree of interpretation and dramatic license that goes into bringing those narratives to the big screen – too often, reality simply isn’t deemed interesting enough.
“The Finest Hours” is an example of a movie that seemingly sticks fairly closely to its original source material. The story of a 1952 Coast Guard rescue operation off the Massachusetts coast has plenty to recommend it, with heroic actions in the face of overwhelming odds and the uncaring rage of Mother Nature and all of that.
Alas, while the pieces are there for something really good, the end result is ultimately less than memorable.
With the welcome news that Ringo Starr & His All Star Band are set to play Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on June 8, it’s a good time to assess some of Starr’s greatness. The Beatles would not have been the group we know today without him.
For starters, he completed the group. They truly became The Beatles when Ringo officially joined the band in August 1962, four years after John, Paul and George began playing together. When Ringo accepted the job, the chemical reaction synthesized by the coming together of those precise personalities created a form of divine magic that can never be duplicated.
Ringo: “Every time he (Pete Best, previous Beatles drummer) was sick, they would ask me to sit in.”
BANGOR – Waterfront Concerts is proud to present the 2016 Live Nation Country Megaticket as part of the Machias Savings Bank Concert Series.
This is your season ticket to eight of the top selling Country shows across the US this summer. See the biggest superstars in country music today, plus the superstars of tomorrow. The Megaticket includes Dierks Bentley with Randy Houser, Came and Tucker Beathard on June 4; Florida Georgia Line with Cole Swindle, The Cadillac Three and Kane Brown on June 23; Kenny Chesney with Old Dominion on July 9; Luke Bryan with Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch on July 17; Toby Keith on July 21; Darius Rucker with Dan + Shay and Michael Ray on July 29; Miranda Lambert with Kip Moore and Brothers Osborne on Aug. 21; and Rascal Flatts with Kelsea Ballerini on Sept. 4.
World premiere comedy captures Maine spirit
BANGOR – The Bangor Opera House is playing host to a truly hair-raising experience…an experience taking place for the very first time.
Penobscot Theatre Company is presenting the world premiere of “Hair Frenzy,” a new work by local playwright Travis Baker. Directed by PTC veteran Dominick Varney, this spiritual sequel to 2014’s Clauder Prize-winning “One Blue Tarp” is running through Feb. 14.
The play revisits the fictional town of Clara, Maine; it’s a small town with a big heart, filled with the sorts of regular folks and eccentric characters that will likely ring familiar to anyone who has spent time in our state.
Jim C. Hines talks fantasy, fandom and fatherhood
Jim C. Hines’s "Revisionary" ($26, Daw) hit shelves this week, bringing the final installment of his Ex Libris series. Fans of the series rejoin Isaac Vainia and his companions Lena and Nihidi as they deal with the fallout of the world coming violently to terms with the idea of magic and magic users.
Not only does Hines have an excellent grasp of characterization, all of his characters are brimming with humor, anger and a vibrancy that easily connects with the audience. Partly it’s the characters themselves, but it’s also part of the rich world he’s created. Yes, it’s built around the real world - but the problems that crop up around poorly thought out legislation and terrorist attacks that leave citizens in turns terrified and vengeful.
Hines deftly balances humor, gritty realism and a sense of whimsy and dread – no mean feat when any one of those things could make the stories feel overwrought or bleed it of its gravity, but he deftly avoids those pitfalls. Hines proves himself to be a master of his craft with this latest book. Once you start, you will be rocketed forward and unable to stop.
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