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BAR HARBOR – An icon of stage and screen will soon be treating a local audience to a gamut-running concert extravaganza.

The legendary Mandy Patinkin is bringing his show “Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Diaries” to the Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor on November 3. The concert is set to start at 3 p.m.; tickets are available at the Criterion’s box office or by visiting their website at www.criteriontheatre.org.

Patinkin will be accompanied by Adam Ben-David on piano. The show will include a wealth of songs pulled from his ongoing musical project “Diaries,” recorded as a sort of digital diary over the course of many months. His new album “Children and Art” – featuring some of the songs from these sessions – was released by Nonesuch Records on Oct. 25; it is Patinkin’s first album in over 15 years.

Few performers have achieved the kind of varied success that Patinkin has over the years. You might know him from his eight years as Saul Berenson on the Showtime series “Homeland” or his well-regarded stints on shows like “Chicago Hope” (for which he won an Emmy). Or maybe you know him from his time on the Broadway stage, winning acclaim for his work in musicals such as “Evita.”

And of course: he was Inigo Montoya, the swashbuckling Spaniard from the beloved film classic “The Princess Bride.”

(Editor’s note: Real talk, don’t sleep on 1988’s “Alien Nation” – he’s legitimately fantastic in that.)

In the following conversation, Patinkin offers a glimpse into his process. He talks about how “Diaries” came about and what led him to want to tour, as well as some insight as to how much music means to him and his well-being. And don’t worry – there’s a little “Princess Bride” talk in there as well.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 08:53

Celebrating Lucas! A 2019-20 BSO season preview

BANGOR – The Bangor Symphony Orchestra, led by musical director and conductor Lucas Richman, is set to kick off its 124th season next month.

The BSO is one of the cultural cornerstones of our region. It has the lengthiest history of any of our area’s arts organizations. Indeed, it has one of the lengthiest histories of any community orchestra in the entire country, bringing music to the Bangor masses since the waning days of the 19th century.

The 2019-2020 season features the symphony’s standard selection of excellence, with the six shows of the Masterworks series taking place at the Collins Center for the Arts on the campus of the University of Maine. Other BSO traditions will continue to be observed as well – their beloved partnership with the Robinson Ballet on a production of “The Nutcracker” will happen in December, while their annual Pops concert (titled “Music of the Knights” for reasons that will soon be made clear) has moved from its usual slot in March into late May.

It also marks the tenth year in the tenure of the BSO’s music director and conductor Lucas Richman; this season is intended to celebrate his time here in Bangor, with original works and performances from the man himself along with the usual excellence of the orchestra and its guest artists.

In addition, thanks to the symphony’s partnership with the Bangor Arts Exchange, the BSO is also providing a wealth of smaller-scale programming over the course of the year, with numerous events – many of them free to the public – taking place in the BAE building, located on Exchange Street in downtown Bangor.

Published in Cover Story

BELFAST – Maine’s many musical roads are once again converging on the midcoast.

The All Roads Music Festival is returning to Belfast on May 17 and 18, bringing one of the state’s largest collections of Maine-based musical talent into one place for two jam-packed days of sonic celebration. Spread across five different venues, All Roads is playing host to over 30 acts and something like 150 individual musicians. It’s a scene unlike any other in the state – one fully and utterly devoted to putting forward a cross-section of what Maine’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 a group of talented songwriters get together and share a little of their collected collective wisdom.

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

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 13:42

Weezer’s ‘The Teal Album’ has you covered

Anyone who knows me knows that for the most part, I stopped paying attention to music over two decades ago. My tastes, while not quite frozen in amber, haven’t changed a whole lot in the years that have passed since, so it’s rare for a new musical project to appear that piques my interest in any meaningful way.

And then Weezer dropped “The Teal Album.”

Published in Music
Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:11

‘A Star is Born’ burns bright

Predicting the relative success of a film, whether commercially or critically, is no easy feat. Sometimes, all the pieces are there for a hit, only for the final product to fall short. Other times, what looks like an abject disaster proves to be a runaway smash.

And then there are those movies that you can’t quite get a read on.

“A Star is Born” was one such film for me. I love Bradley Cooper as an actor – I think he’s got real talent – but how was he going to be in his directorial debut? Especially when he would be directing himself? And Lady Gaga is an undeniable musical powerhouse, but could she transcend her persona enough to create a character that felt real? Would the movie elicit genuine pathos … or simply come off as pathetic?

After seeing the movie, let’s check those boxes. First, Cooper displayed far more directorial talent than I would have expected from any first-timer, let alone someone directing himself. Second, Gaga is absolutely captivating in this role, exposed and vulnerable in a way we rarely see her. And finally – pathos. Wave after wave of elicited emotion … and every feeling is well-earned.

The story is simple and compelling. The performances are raw and heartfelt. The aesthetic is honest and the music is spectacular. It uplifts and undercuts with equal abandon. It is a fantastic movie experience the likes of which we don’t often see anymore – one that will almost certainly reap rewards come awards season.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 15 August 2018 11:55

Great shows grace the Gracie in 2018-19

BANGOR – There are some great shows that will be gracing the stage of the Gracie Theatre – located on the campus of Husson University – over the next year.

This marks the seventh season for the Gracie. Seven seasons of quality programming aimed at enhancing the cultural landscape of the region. Seven seasons of wonderful performances offering something for audiences of all ages to enjoy. Seven seasons of seeing things you won’t find anywhere else in the area.

Whether you’re looking for music or comedy or one-man shows featuring Hollywood icons, Gracie Theatre Managing Director Jeri Misler has come up with something for you. Misler was kind enough to chat with The Maine Edge about what’s going on at the Gracie and talk about some of the highlights, as well as about the process of assembling such a diverse season.

Published in Cover Story

BANGOR – One of the area’s annual musical highlights is hitting the high notes once again.

The Rotary Club of Bangor is getting ready to present its annual “Music Off Broadway” fundraiser at Husson University’s Gracie Theatre. This year’s event – titled “Music Off Broadway … and Beyond” – will have three performances – June 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. and June 16 at 5 p.m. Tickets are on sale at www.bangorrotary.org and at Patrick’s Hallmark Shop and Rebecca’s downtown.

It’s a chance to see some of the region’s most talented musical performers bringing their talents to the stage – all in service to a very good cause.

Bob Potts is the producer of this year’s show as well as one of the performers. He’s a longtime veteran of the event and was gracious enough to answer a few questions regarding the event.

Published in Buzz

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.

Published in Cover Story

North Carolina-based Steep Canyon Rangers have established themselves as one of America’s preeminent bluegrass bands and they’ve done it through a combination of shared vision, a love for the form and a persistent drive to evolve.

The Grammy-winning sextet, known for their ability to tailor a show for any type of venue, says they’re ready to present their “performing arts” face when they grace the stage of Orono’s Collins Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, April 21.

Published in Cover Story

Americana singer and songwriter Joel Thetford and his band entered Halo Studio in Windham last October with a mission to record a truly collaborative project with producer Jonathan Wyman. The resulting “Broken Things” is Thetford’s third and most impressive EP to date.

Published in Music
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