America, the vengeful – ‘The Purge: Anarchy’
Sequel offers grislier, more ambitious tale
Last year’s “The Purge” was one of those films that – while not a spectacular effort – stuck with me. The basic concept – an alternate future America in which the government has initiated a nationwide annual purge which meant that all crime (including murder) was legal for 12 hours – was an intriguing one. Granted, the film never explored that notion as much as I might have liked – it was essentially a pumped-up home invasion thriller – but there seemed to be a good deal of potential there.
- ‘Sex Tape’ should have been deleted
More monkey business – ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’
Sequel a smart and engaging action offering
Like many others, I have occasionally succumbed to the temptation to dismiss Hollywood’s recent slate of effects-laden sequels and reboots as derivative money grabs, devoid of any true meaning – more artifice than art. Sure, some of them are a lot of fun, but there isn’t much beyond that. In general, that attitude – while perhaps a bit overly broad – has merit.
The Manhattan Short Film Festival coming to The Public Theatre
LEWISTON - Filmgoers in Lewiston Maine will unite with audiences in over 300 cities spanning six continents to view and judge the work of the next generation of filmmakers from around the world when the 16th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival screens at The Public Theatre in Lewiston on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28 at 7:30, and Sunday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m.
Of the 626 entries received from 48 countries, Manhattan Short selected 10 short films as finalists. Each film is 18 minutes or under in length. Countries represented this year include Australia, Finland, England, Ireland, France and the USA in what festival organizers describe as the “United Nations of Film Festivals.”
Full-swing farce – ‘The Fox on the Fairway’
PTC opens 40th season with golf comedy
BANGOR – Anyone who has played the game of golf knows that no matter how seriously you take the game, there are always going to be moments where you just can’t help but laugh. Whether you’re talking about slices, hook, shanks or even just ridiculous clothing, there’s always humor to be found on the link.
Penobscot Theatre Company has teed up some golf-related giggles of their own to open the 2013-2014 season. PTC is presenting the Ken Ludwig farce “The Fox on the Fairway” at the Bangor Opera House. The show, directed by Orono native Shelley Butler, runs through Sept. 22.
Maine artist exhibits in Spain in September
PORTLAND/SPAIN – When Portland, Maine artist Ann Tracy was chosen as a finalist in the 2014 Julia Margaret Cameron Awards, she was also invited to exhibit that work at the Third Biennale of Documentary and Fine Art Photography in Malaga, Spain at the Municipal Museum beginning Sept. 18 and running to Nov. 20. A reception for this work and other new works will be held Wednesday, Aug. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Constellation Gallery, 512 Congress St. in Portland.
Tracy has returned from New York, where she showed her digital mixed media paintings based on historic artworks "The Green Graces Series" as well as new work based on her recent trip to Cuba this past January with Bilhenry Gallery at Art Expo New York 2014, on Pier 94.
The Grand's ‘Monty Python’s Spamalot’ is holding auditions
ELLSWORTH - The Grand is excited to announce auditions for its new production of the Broadway hit “Monty Python's Spamalot,” to be held Aug. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Aug. 2 and 3 from 1 to 3 p.m. In addition, there will be potential call backs on Monday, Aug. 4from 6 to 8 p.m. The production runs Oct. 17through Nov. 2, 2014.
“Monty Python’s Spamalot” is the first Grand live theatrical production in many years. Artistic direction is provided by long-time Grand collaborator Ken Stack and stage direction by Michael Weinstein (director of Bangor Community Theater's successful musical “White Christmas”). The production of the irreverent British comedy troupe's musical theater take on the Holy Grail legend gives local performers the opportunity to play King Arthur, Sir Lancelot and Sir Not Appearing in This Production. “Monty Python’s Spamalot” contains such crazy, yet tuneful, songs as “The Song That Goes Like This,” “Knights of the Round Table” and, of course, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
Anyone interested in auditioning should be ready to do a brief dance combo taught at the audition (so be dressed comfortably to move). Potential performers should also prepare a song, but the song needn't be from the show. Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script, and a British dialect is strongly encouraged.
Searching for country bands to join the fight against drunk driving
STATEWIDE – The “Pick Up A 12-Pack Of Life” digital CD project is currently looking for Maine country bands who are interested in making a difference while promoting themselves across the country.
National Campaign Spokesperson for this first of its kind project is singer/songwriter Jayna Lininger. The Pittsburgh native has been gaining popularity across the country and is looking to use her music to help promote a cause near to her heart. “This campaign has given me the opportunity to use my music as a powerful tool in raising drunk driving awareness,” says Lininger.
New Orleans piano legend Henry Butler and Panamanian Danilo Perez lead all-star jazz piano summit
STONINGTON — Opera House Arts (OHA) celebrates the 14th edition of its annual Deer Isle Jazz Festival at the Stonington Opera House, overlooking Maine’s busiest commercial lobster port, July 31-Aug. 2, 2014. The 14th annual festival deepens lasting community ties with world-class jazz musicians and extends its presentation of the most innovative jazz on the national scene. This year’s event amounts to a jazz-piano summit, featuring two astounding pianists, New Orleans’s Henry Butler and Panamanian Danilo Perez, each of whose artistry owes to an environment shaped, like Stonington’s, by a relationship with surrounding waters, with their trios.
Festival headliner Henry Butler (Saturday, Aug. 2, 7 p.m.) extends a long line of distinctive piano virtuosos born and raised in New Orleans that includes Jelly Roll Morton; as such, his artistry speaks of the mighty Mississippi River and the port that, a century ago, lent jazz what Morton famously called “the Spanish tinge.” Danilo Perez (Friday, Aug. 1, 7 p.m.) hails from Panama, home to a storied canal that links two worlds. His most recent recording, the brilliant “Panama 500,” honors the moment in 1513 when the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, having crossed the isthmus that is now Panama, is said to have first glimpsed the Pacific Ocean.
Midcoast Actors' Studio presents summer musical
BELFAST - Midcoast Actors’ Studio presents “Nunsense,” the hilarious musical spoof about the misadventures of five nuns trying to manage a talent show, Aug. 1-10 at the UU Church in Belfast.
Sadly, the rest of the sisterhood died from botulism after eating the vichyssoise prepared by Sister Julia (Child of God). Thus, the remaining nuns – ballet-loving Sister Leo (Jennifer Maher), street-wise Sister Robert Anne (Alex Clausen), befuddled Sister Mary Amnesia (Leah Smith), the Mother Superior Sister Regina (Irene Dennis) and mistress of the novices Sister Mary Hubert (Angela Domenichelli) – stage a show in order to raise the money to bury their dearly departed sisters.
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