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Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:58

More movie magic courtesy of MIFF

Written by Allen Adams

WATERVILLE - One of the highlights of Maine's cinematic calendar is about to get underway in Waterville.

The Maine International Film Festival is set to take place from July 13 through July 22. The festival - marking its 21st year - will once again feature a vast array of films - nearly 100 in all. Comedies, dramas and documentaries, feature-length films and shorts, movies new and old from all over the world and from right in our backyards here in Maine.

Monday, 02 July 2018 15:37

Fair fare – fun with food festivals

Written by Allen Adams

There’s a lot going on in the summertime here in Maine.

There’s all of the outdoors stuff, of course. There are mountains to be climbed and trails to be hiked. There are oceans and lakes and rivers begging to be swum in or kayaked or sailed upon. There’s even the nigh-ubiquitous ritual of heading “upta camp,” where you can do some, most or even all of these things depending on where you go.

Or if you’re leaning towards the arts, there are a multitude of options for you to take in, whether you’re looking for concerts or live theatre or film festivals. There’s a whole lot on that side of things as well.

But you might not be as familiar with just how many food-based festivals are happening all around the state of Maine over the course of the summer. These events – some taking place in just a single day, others clocking in at a week or longer – are devoted to celebrating various foodstuffs that are inherent and integral parts of life here in Vacationland.

We’re not in time for all of this summer’s festivals – for instance, the always-exceptional Maine Whoopie Pie Festival took place back on June 23 – but there are still all manner of tasty trips there for the taking, with a variety of festivals playing out over the next few weeks.

Here’s a look at just some of what’s to come.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018 14:19

Living large with lawn games

Written by Allen Adams

With the solstice behind us, we can start looking forward to the full onset of summer. After a long cold winter and a less-than-ideal spring one has to think that Mother Nature owes us a decent summer experience, right? Time will tell.

Regardless, it's time to really start leaning the fun in the sun portion of 2018. Even the cruelest of weather patterns will allow us a few days over the coming months in which to get out and enjoy what the season has to offer.

However, there's only so much lounging one can do. There are only so many places to go for a swim. And sometimes, you're looking for something fun that doesn't involve taking a trip to the coast or to your favorite dipping spot.

That's where lawn games come in.

BANGOR - Tim and Cameron Ward are two of the most visible people in the Bangor area community.

A single dad to a son with special needs, Tim can regularly be seen strolling along the Bangor Waterfront with Cam. You may find the pair taking in live music at a local establishment, showing support for the Black Bears hockey team at Alfond Arena in Orono, sharing a meal in a local restaurant or attending church at the Newman Center at the University of Maine.

Anyone who knows Tim and Cam has a story to share, and it usually revolves around Tim’s tireless devotion to his son. Spend time with them and you will hear the words ‘I’m proud of you’ directed from father to son. It’s probably Tim’s most frequently used sentence – and he means it.

BANGOR – A former Penobscot Theatre Company stalwart has returned to Bangor to bring a long-beloved theatrical experience to life on the Bangor Opera House stage.

Former PTC artistic director Scott R.C. Levy has made his way back to the Queen City to direct a production of “Shear Madness,” adapted from a 1963 German murder mystery by Paul Portner by Marilyn Abrams and Bruce Jordan. The madcap and improvisational comedy is one of the longest running nonmusical plays in the world, having been running nonstop in Boston since January of 1980. The PTC production is scheduled to run from June 14 through July 8.

Once again, summer’s arrival is upon us. The weather is warming up and the days are approaching their greatest length. People near and far are going to descend on our state’s beaches, mountains and forests; people are going to swim and hike and boat and generally experience the outdoors in a fashion that one can only achieve in Maine.

But there are other summertime perks, too.

For those who love live theater, there are loads of options. Companies near and far are bringing exciting work to stages all over the region; no matter where you might be, there’s a good chance that you’ve got some excellent theater happening nearby.

Some of these companies are stalwarts of the scene, having been around for decades. Others are relative newcomers, bringing a new energy to the proceedings. Bangor, Belfast, Bar Harbor – they’ve all got something for you; Orono and Ellsworth and Stonington too.

It’s well worth your time to experience some of what our area’s summer stages have to offer. Here’s a look at just some of what’s to come.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018 14:13

ImprovAcadia: 15 years of fun

Written by Allen Adams

BAR HARBOR - Improvisational comedy is one of the ultimate high-wire acts in the entertainment realm. Watching as a group of quick-thinking, quicker-witted actors strive to generate engaging performances on the fly can be both exhilarating and exhausting when improv is good, it can be very good, but when it’s bad? It’s BAD.

However, when it comes to the work being done by ImprovAcadia, a short-form improv theater just beginning its 15th season at 15 Cottage Street in Bar Harbor, you’ll never have to worry about the latter. This is a group that is inevitably powered by speed and smarts, bringing some of the best improv you’re likely to see anywhere right into our own backyard.

“A book is a dream you hold in your hands.” – Neil Gaiman

PBS is underway on its quest to determine America’s favorite book.

“The Great American Read” is a months-long TV series airing on PBS. It’s an effort to celebrate and explore the joy of reading by way of an expert-curated list of American’s best-loved novels. It’s about how and why these beloved works were created … and why we feel the connections to them we do.

Journey keyboardist and songwriter Jonathan Cain says the perfect opening for his long-awaited memoir, “Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations” (Zondervan/Harper Collins), arrived when his band received a richly deserved, long overdue accolade in April 2017.

“The opening is the most important part of a memoir,” Cain told me during an interview for BIG 104 FM and The Maine Edge. “Those first three chapters are so important for setting the stage. Once Journey was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I had my opening. I’m glad that I had that experience because I don’t think it would have been the same book without it.”

A band that had achieved mega-success more than a quarter-century before the Rock Hall induction, Journey had been continually snubbed by the nominating committee – that is until they appeared on an online fan vote ballot. Journey’s loyal and passionate audience – the same one responsible for the sale of nearly 50 million of the band’s albums in the U.S. - responded overwhelmingly.

“Don’t Stop Believin’” is a revealing, inspiring and fast-moving account of Cain’s life in and out of music.

Tuesday, 08 May 2018 14:49

All Roads Music Festival returns to Belfast

Written by Allen Adams

BELFAST – A multitude of Maine’s musical roads are converging once again.

The All Roads Music Festival is returning to Belfast on May 19, bringing one of the biggest collections of Maine musical talent into one place for one jam-packed day of celebration. Spread across five different stages in four different venues, All Roads is playing host to some two dozen bands and individual artists, all devoted to putting what our state’s music scene has to offer.

There will be music from across all genres – whatever you like, you’re almost certainly going to be able to find it on one festival stage or another. In addition, All Roads is playing host to the always-wildly-successful Maine Songwriters Circle, where half-a-dozen talented songwriters get together and share a little of their collected collective wisdom, and a panel discussion on Maine women in music.

For tickets, a full schedule or more information about the festival, visit the All Roads website at www.allroadsmusicfest.org.

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