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Wednesday, 26 September 2012 14:54

The Collins Center for the Arts Gala Sept. 29

ORONO - Few entertainers today are as accomplished or versatile as Ben Vereen and his legendary performances are woven into the fabric of this country's artistic legacy. The Collins Center for the Arts Gala at the University of Maine, present 'Steppin' Out with Ben Vereen' on Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (207) 581-1755 or online at http://www.collinscenterforthearts.com. The Collins Center for the Arts is located on the University of Maine campus at 5746 Collins Center for the Arts, Orono.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:36

Fans or phantoms?

Let me start by telling you that I am completely biased regarding my subject this week. This is a column about University of Maine football, and I am the play-by-play broadcaster for that team and have been for over 15 years. During that run of over 175 games, I've seen some of the greatest moments in team history. As a matter of fact, among the recently-compiled list of 'Top Ten Maine Football Moments,' I've been behind the microphone for seven of them. I've also witnessed some colossal low points, from heartbreaking losses to jaw-dropping blunders. The point is, I've got a dog in this fight, but I also feel eminently qualified to talk about Maine football, being one of an incredibly small group of people (me, color analyst Bob Lucy, equipment manager Steve Jones and Coach Jack Cosgrove) to have seen every game since 1997.

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 12:04

Johnny Baseball' steps to the plate in Orono

New musical offers different take on The Curse of the Bambino'

ORONO It's always a welcome surprise when two of your (seemingly) disparate interests come together in an unexpected way.

The University of Maine at Orono's Summer Music Theatre Festival is currently in the process of building one of those improbable marriages with their upcoming production of 'Johnny Baseball,' a musical created around the history of the Boston Red Sox.

That's right a musical about the Red Sox.

Published in Cover Story

ORONO - Alzheimer's is no laughing matter, but Maine humorist Tim Sample is hoping to use his wit, jokes and Downeast accent to draw a crowd to his upcoming show in Orono that will benefit the Walk to End Alzheimer's.

"One of the bizarre aspects of being in the business of humor for three and a half decades is I started doing standup in an era when nobody, and I mean nobody, would be using the F' word," explained Sample.

Sample, who was born in Aroostook County and raised in Boothbay Harbor, says he doesn't need to use vulgarities to be edgy, hip or funny. He's been able to gather quite a laundry list of material for his shows, CDs, videos and books, just by observing and talking to folks he comes in contact with.

"Rather than using humor as a means of leading reality, I use humor as a lubricant for difficult truths of life," said Sample. "I talk about aging like, 'Did you not think it was going to happen to you?' My mother is 89 years old, and I'll be moving her into assisted living. Her issue that she's balking at is she doesn't want to be with the old people - but at 89 and 90 years old, you are one of the old people."

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 15:22

A taste of Orono

ORONO Many cities and towns can boast of fine eateries, but there's something unique about Orono. The influx of hungry college students paired with a close proximity to other bustling towns has allowed for a diverse and delightful mix of eateries within a stone's throw of each other.

When class is in session, Orono is a bustling town, but as the semester winds to a close and the students go on break, things quiet down some. For those of us who enjoy the area year-round, that can mean it's our turn to check out some of the wonderful eateries with slightly less of a crowd. It doesn't matter if you're looking to grab a sandwich on your way to a meeting, going to have a blast with your friends or taking your special someone out for a romantic evening. There is a place for you.

If you haven't been to Orono to see what it has to offer, you may just want to take a look. Here's the 10 cent tour:

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 13:54

Orono hosts HOPE festival

ORONO - The HOPE Festival is returning to the University of Maine in Orono again this year, this time with special guest and renowned author Bill McKibben.

"What's so exciting about this is he tells us the bad news and good news about climate change and how small groups of people can make a difference," explained Ilse Petersons from the Peace & Justice Center in Bangor.

McKibben and six students created the organization called 350.org, a grassroots group that has organized thousands of rallies all over the world to promote sustainability and a more environmentally friendly way of life. McKibben will be joined by more than 70 vendors at the 2012 HOPE Festival in Orono on April 21.

"There will be people from Hike for Homeless selling raffle tickets, people from Cooperative Maine available to talk to those interested in starting co-ops," explained Petersons. "There will also be people from Food & Medicine to help those who are still out of work, and a group from the Maine Solar Energy organization will be there creating outdoor solar cookers."

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 16:35

Maine Masque takes the reins with Equus'

Student production dark, challenging

ORONO One of the wonderful things about academic theater is the relative freedom it affords; there's a pervasive optimism that informs it. While it might be a touch raw sometimes, it is almost always passionate.

The Maine Masque, the University of Maine's student theater group, is full of individuals filled with that sort of passion. A show produced by the group independent of the faculty annually closes the mainstage season of UMaine theatre.

This year's offering is a production of Peter Shaffer's 'Equus,' running through April 7 at Hauck Auditorium on the University of Maine campus.

Martin Dysart is a psychiatrist at a provincial facility in England, specializing in work with children. His life changes when a young man named Alan Strang is brought into his office, alternating between sullen silences and angrily spouting commercial jingles. Dysart is informed that Alan has been brought here because he committed an act of gruesome violence against a stable full of horses; Dysart's job is to find out why.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 11:24

Fair weather complainers

First, congratulations to the University of Maine men's hockey team for battling to the Hockey East Championship game and earning a berth at the NCAA tournament. Twenty-three wins and counting...

Second, congrats to the UMaine hockey fans (well, most of them) for actually acknowledging that the Bears are still playing into late March.

To some of you I just can't take it anymore. You've finally pushed me too far! By "you," I mean the UMaine hockey "fans" who want to see nothing more than Tim Whitehead fail and be fired, as though the program would be better off if that happened.

Published in The Sports Edge
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