The warm weather is here. We’ve had more sun this spring than I can recall in recently memory. It’s gorgeous, with cool breezes and minimal rain. And the tourists really haven’t started getting out yet. All this makes for an ideal opportunity for those of us who stick around all year to get out there and enjoy what our fine state has to offer before it gets too crowded.
When I’m doing a stay-cation I like to stay within a two-hour drive from my home base. So it worked out great when I had an interview in Camden last week. As many of you know, Camden is a tourist Mecca. And for good reason - but since it’s still a couple weeks before Memorial Day weekend, the flood of tourists hasn’t taken over yet. This meant I could follow Route 1 and 3 all the way back to my neighborhood, looking at the towns with a tourist’s appreciation, but without bad traffic.
Midcoast Actor’s Studio to tour Strindberg production
BELFAST/TENANTS HARBOR – Classic works of theatre sometimes get a bad rap. Too many people immediately dismiss older works as inaccessible, despite the fact that so many of them are built around themes whose universality hasn’t diminished in the years since they were first written and produced.
Take August Strindberg’s “Miss Julie,” for example. The play, written in 1888, was the subject of scandal in its day due to its frank depictions of sexuality and unflinching portrayal of class dichotomy – subjects that still inspire discussion and debate to this very day.
BELFAST - The Northern Lights Gallery at 33 Main Street in Belfast will open a new art exhibit featuring the work of painter Lisa Lebofsky and new sculpture from the collection of Judith Varney Burch on Friday, Dec. 7, 6-8 p.m. Eat More Cheese will provide a sampling of artisanal cheese, and wine will be provided.
Lisa Lebofsky is a fine artist based out of New York City. The exhibit will feature oil paintings on aluminum, a medium inspired by Lebofsky’s background as a metalsmith. The exhibit, titled “Sedna’s Gaze” after the Inuit goddess of the sea, was inspired by Lebofsky’s recent travel in arctic Greenland. In the summer of 2012, Lebofsky explored western Greenland for three weeks aboard Wanderbird, the expedition cruise vessel owned and operated by Belfast’s Rick and Karen Miles, who also operate the Northern Lights Gallery. Lebofsky’s work can be previewed on her website, www.lisalebofsky.com.
BELFAST - Front Street Shipyard and the City of Belfast learned recently that they have been awarded a $200,000 grant from the State of Maine’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Economic Development Program. These funds will be used to fund improvements to the waterfront facility of the former Belfast Boatyard, including strengthening its existing wooden dock, purchasing a 30-ton capacity crane and forming and pouring a structural concrete pad to support that crane. These improvements will greatly enhance Front Street Shipyard’s capabilities for unstepping (removing) masts from ships. These funds will also be used to assist the yard in acquiring a custom marine heated spray paint booth that will dramatically enhance its ability to perform consistently high-quality paint work. Overall, this project will allow Front Street Shipyard to maintain its competitiveness with the many other yards that are located around the world.
BELFAST - For one night only Jason Hemmens and Nathan Hemmens are flying into town to do a reunion concert for the first time in 10 years at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Hall for their home crowd of Belfast. They will be accompanied by their dear friend and band member Rod Webb from California. Back in Los Angeles the Hemmens brothers and Rod Webb make up a trio band called Jason Hemmens and Black Cream.
Outdoor Productions in Belfast and Searsport in July and August
BELFAST - The Belfast Maskers continue their 25th anniversary theatre season with open-air performances of the musical “Brigadoon” by Lerner and Loewe in July and August. This lively show is the central production of the company’s celebratory season with music, dance, live farm animals and humor in a magical evening of theatre.
The musical is set in the fictitious Scottish hamlet of Brigadoon, an enchanted village that is unchanging and unknown to the outside world except for one day every 100 years. Two visitors from New York stumble upon the village on its special centennial day and the town’s magical spell is put in jeopardy.
Mid Coast Actors’ Studio to present ‘Hedda Gabler’
BELFAST – One of the wonderful things about living in a lush creative environment such as ours is the steady appearance of new and interesting projects and organizations. People with passion tend to find a way.
The latest outbreak of that passion can be found in Belfast, where the newly-formed Mid Coast Actors’ Studio is preparing to mount their inaugural production. The group is tackling one of the true classics of dramatic literature, Henrik Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler.”
Jason Bannister, a performing arts teacher in Belfast, founded the group and proposed this piece as their first production.
“MCAS is a group that I started this winter,” said Bannister. “We are trying to focus on older plays in the public domain, classics that don’t get produced often in this area.
Poker documentary to be screened at the Colonial Theater
BELFAST - Poker is big business. There’s no disputing that the game has experienced an exponential surge in popularity over the past decade or so. It’s been so big, in fact, that it can be easy to forget the years of ups and downs the game faced before this recent explosion.
“All In: The Poker Movie” is a documentary that aims to determine the root causes behind this 21st century poker boom. The movie is currently being screened in theaters all over the country, including a number of Maine locales. The film has already screened at the Portland Museum of Art and will be coming to Belfast’s Colonial Theater on April 19.
The film, directed by Douglas Tirola, explores some of the history of poker, looking back at a time when the poker player was viewed as a somewhat shady, almost sleazy character. We get introduced to some of the legendary underground poker rooms in New York City (a number of which served as inspiration for the seminal poker film “Rounders”). The game’s popularity ebbed and flowed in Las Vegas, but in 1973, Binion’s put together a six-man tournament that they called “The World Series of Poker.”
BANGOR - If the temperatures aren't putting you in a spring-like mood, then the colors bursting from inside the new Frock Affair retail store on Main Street in Bangor sure will. This retail co-op combines the styles and tastes of four trendy women to create one unique slice of paradise that'll leave any clothing, jewelry, handbag and shoe-loving female shopper thirsting for more.
"These are our personalities. We wear this stuff. We love it. It represents us," said Susan Stephenson, co-op participant. "And this all came together four or five weeks ago."
Frock Affair, which opened at the beginning of April inside the former Bella Luna store, combines designer apparel with the often Maine-made creations of Jessi Sader of FX Dressed, Meg Asher of Local Color in Northeast Harbor, Katherine Loblein of Katwalk in Belfast and Susan Stephenson, Bangor blogger and creator of the Dress to Impress project.
BELFAST - Turns out cardboard isn't just for boxes anymore! Waterfall Arts in Belfast is hosting an art show next month called 'Corrugation Nation' which will display pieces of work made mostly out of cardboard. The show organizers say it's a great way to recycle and raise money for the nonprofit's art programs at the same time.
"Cardboard is everywhere and people don't know what to do with it," said Lorna Crichton of Waterfall Arts. "It's going to be an interesting show."
At least 50 percent of each piece of art must be constructed of corrugated cardboard, the kind cardboard boxes are made of rather than paperboard, which cereal boxes are made of. Paint, wood, wire, fiber, glue and other embellishments can be used to enhance the rest of the exhibit.
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