1. FABLES OF THE RECONSTRUCTION

Storytelling as entertainment and oral documentary has experienced a resurgence in popularity from podcasting’s emergence as a mainstream media format and the migration of terrestrial radio programs like The Moth and This American Life to the world of mobile devices, effectively letting you TiVo your radio. Monthly storytelling meet-up group Word Portland team up with the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies to follow the trend, hosting AND PEPPER: A LIVE STORYTELLING EVENT at LFK on Thursday night. Local storytellers Rosemarie De Angelis, Winston “Tony” Antoine and Jaed Coffin will be joined by The Moth’s NYC Story Slam Grandslam winner Jeff Simmermon. This donation-based event will “sell out,” so to speak, so get there early, particularly if you want to get a seat.| Nov 1 | Thu 6 pm | LFK, 188 State St, Portland | $5 | 21+ | wordportland.weebly.com

 

 

2. CALL ME ISHMAEL

 

In playwright Samuel D. Hunter’s THE WHALE, the 40-something-year-old, morbidly obese body of Charlie serves as an ample metaphor, both for the magnitude of this complex man’s problems and the quiet desperation of our American lives. An ailing, obese man as the center of a work of entertainment might feel uncomfortable to some, given our cultural climate of obsessive body hacking and impossible beauty standards, but this is not a play meant to take on those larger social issues. Presented by Mad Horse Theatre Company and starring company member Burke Brimmer along with guest artists Amanda Eaton and Amy Torrey, plus Cape Elizabeth High School students Gus LaRou and Ella Briman, The Whale is an award-winning play exploring empathy that has an unlikely but genuine comedic heart — while his more recent works are more grounded in the real, many of Hunter’s earlier plays are absurdist comedies. It’s a unique and challenging entry into Mad Horse’s compelling 2018-19 season. | Nov 1-18 | Thu-Sat 7:30 pm; Sun 2 pm | Mad Horse Theater, 24 Mosher St, South Portland | $20 | All Ages | madhorse.com 

 

3. COMING IN HOT

 

The folks at Creative Portland, the team responsible for the First Friday Art Walk, offer a juried group art show in their space on Free Street that changes up every six months. Created to support the local artist economy and help market local talent, the show brings together artists who answered an open call for works. On Friday, they open ON THE VERGE, their fall exhibition featuring over 20 local artists, which will run from November through April. Artists included range from established Mainers to new residents and younger emerging artists from the greater Portland area. All the artwork will be for sale throughout the exhibition, and includes paintings, photography, prints, drawings and mixed media works. Check it out on First Friday during the Art Walk, or visit the gallery during the week through April. | Nov 2 | Fri 6 pm | Creative Portland, 84 Free St, Portland | Free | All Ages | creativeportland.com 

 

 

4. HOW VERY

 

Heathers, in its day, was a mind-blowing cult film that confused audiences by setting dreamboat Christian Slater as a dark anti-hero for disillusioned youth who took things way too far. While young boys might have seen some of their own anger displaced onto Slater’s character, young girls were all too familiar with the satirized politics of popular girls taken to the extreme, each Heather getting drunk with power before ultimately meeting her own demise. Despite all the murder, mayhem and big-shouldered fashion, Heathers was also extraordinarily funny. Eminently quotable and to this day a story that resonates, HEATHERS: THE MUSICAL will be performed by actual high school students (are their parents okay with this?) from Casco Bay High. Get your seat in the high school auditorium and travel back in time with actual youths as they interpret the reign of terror of Heathers Chandler, Duke, McNamara, and of course Veronica Sawyer. | Nov 2-3 | Fri & Sat 7 pm | Portland High School Auditorium, 284 Cumberland Ave, Portland | $10 adults, $5 students | All Ages | cbhs.portlandschools.org

 

5. PULLING YOUR STRINGS

 

That “dark” Muppet movie was sort of a disappointment, huh. Outside of it just being a sort of poorly-done movie generally, there’s just nothing all that shocking about puppets cursing and being raunchy because shows like KING FRIDAY’S DUNGEON PUPPET SLAM have been making puppets do all kinds of nefarious things for quite a while now. Look no further than your own backyard for bits of fur, foam and fabric engaging in a bawdy, underground, roadhouse-style show planned in self-aggrandizement by a now-deposed King Friday, broke and depressed, living in squalor under a tumbledown old theater. Featuring performers from the Shoestring Theater, Peaks Island Puppets, Tophat Miniature Stage Productions and more, this puppet variety show features comedy, music, storytelling, ventriloquism and more, and is not for the kiddos. This one’s for the adults that want to sully all of their memories of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood with images of King Friday being, well… kind of a douche.| Nov 2-3 | Fri & Sat 8 pm | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St, Portland | $12 - $18 | 21+ | mayostreetarts.org

 

 

6. STUCK IN THE SOUNDTRACK WITH YOU

 

In the ‘90s and early aughts, Quentin Tarantino redefined the art of the movie soundtrack, pairing deep cuts and vintage one hit wonders with surf classics and punk to create a musical movement that had suburban-bred college kids dancing - poorly - to Steelers Wheels at frat parties in lieu of Dave Matthews or whatever was relevant at the time. A program they're calling "CINEMATIC - A MOVIE SOUNDTRACK ENSEMBLE" hits PHOME for a night of Tarantino soundtrack hits, including music from the heavy soundtrack hitters Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Reservoir Dogs, while also trotting out tracks from Jackie Brown, Death Proof and more. While a lot of the songs on Tarantino soundtracks were forgotten for a time before making their comeback, you have to have hard chops to pull off a lot of the true funk, soul, punk and rock styles that characterize these songs in order to do a show like this right. The band is made up of some of Portland’s most skilled musicians for a night of well-done tribute.| Nov 3 | Sat 8 pm  | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St, Portland | $10 | 21+ | portlandhouseofmusic.com  

 

7. WE WERE ONLY FRESHMEN

 

Maine’s budding brewery industry has really graduated into a full-fledged economic force in the state as each passing year brings a new slate of brewers trying their hand for a piece of that sweet, hoppy, foamy pie. As part of Portland Beer Week, the Maine Brewers’ Guild welcomes the class of 2018 to the Maine Brewery scene at their FRESHMEN ORIENTATION event. 13 new breweries will be on hand serving samples of their beers and snacks to cleans your palate between tastings. Everybody knows that there is only one sport tailor-made for drinking beer, so Bayside Bowl is the venue of choice in case you want to hit the lanes after the event. Strap in Mainers, if we keep going at this rate, 2019 and beyond is going to be a boozy, buzzed ride. | Nov 4 | Sun 3 pm | Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St, Portland | $35 | 21+ | baysidebowl.com

 

8. THESE MOVIES ARE THE BOMB

 

Bomb Diggity Arts is a community art program for adults of all abilities offered through Momentum, an agency that provides support services to adults who have differences in ability or development from average adults. Bomb Diggity has a bunch of cool programs and events going on at any given time, ranging from gallery-style art shows at their space on Congress Street to the group’s members building a giant paper mache unicorn and marching with it in the Pride parade. They have a film festival too — Sunday’s WATCH THIS! FILM FESTIVAL will showcase short audio visual works by directors in the program. Genres include comedy, animation, documentary, adventure and more, and showcase the creativity and human perspectives of this community within our community. | Nov 4 | Sun 6 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St, Portland | $8 | All Ages | portlandhouseofmusic.com

 

9. SEW COOL

 

A sewing bee is the sort of thing that feels far away and olde-tymey, a social event as ancient as a cotillion or having someone come and call on you to visit in the parlor. Sewing, however, is not lost as both an art form and a practical, utilitarian skill even if most high schools have ridded their curriculums of home economics programs that formerly taught kids to do it. Mayo Street Arts hosts a modern sewing bee called STITCHHIVE, an open group of needle and thread enthusiasts who work on anything from quilting to needlepoint. Bring your project and extra supplies to share if you can, bring snacks or friends or your well-behaved kids, or just show up to chat and watch or learn a few techniques from old pros. Just because most of us have better skills on a laptop than we do on a piece of fabrics on our lap tops doesn’t mean that we can’t learn to fix our own socks and give the Amazon warehouse employees a break once in a while. | Nov 5 | Mon 6 pm | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St, Portland | Free | All Ages | mayostreetarts.org

 

10. RETURN TO FORM

 

Let’s go check in on Sam Beam, the fella who has been creating and performing music as IRON & WINE for over 16 years (though he still somehow feels “indie” in that way that his now-major label, Sub Pop, will always feel “indie.”) Over the years, Beam’s quiet, Southern Gothic aesthetic puffed itself up like a sparrow waiting out a rainstorm, but on Iron & Wine’s most recent studio releases, 2018’s Weed Garden and 2017’s Beast Epic, Beam has scaled everything back for a return to his rootsy origins. On tour with experimental singer songwriter duo Ohmme, Iron & Wine will drive his rusted out Chevy pickup truck into the tall creekside reeds of the State Theater on Tuesday night, providing a peaceful respite from the anxiety of watching the polls on election night. | Nov 6 | Tue 7:30 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St, Portland | $30 | All Ages | statetheatreportland.com

 

11. VIDEO KILLED THE DANCE PARTY STAR

 

Boozical Theater is taking November off from their variety show-style, themed tributes to musicals; during their hiatus, DJ Cougar is hosting a weekly VIDEO DANCE PARTY, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: it’s a dance party, but instead of just playing your favorite hits, Cougar will “spin” your favorite videos on Flask’s movie screen. Dance is pretty infectious — it’s hard to watch someone else dancing (dancing well, anyway) and not want to do it yourself. To wit, check out Christine and the Queens’ new video for “5 Dollars” and try to stay still through the entire four minutes. Betcha can’t. If the DJ is taking requests for videos that show some epic moves alongside a killer dance tune, I suggest Madonna’s oh-so-controversial “Like A Prayer” video, Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend,” and of course anything from America’s first and only Queen, Beyonce. | Nov 7 | Wed 9 pm | Flask Lounge, 117 Spring St, Portland | Free | 21+ | flasklounge.com      

 

 

  

 

12. BOOZY CRYPTIDS

 

KATHLEEN MADIGAN is a journalist-turned-comedian who got her start moonlighting doing stand up in St. Louis clubs while working for the local papers during the day. Her bawdy, curse-laden comedy sets stand on legs of longform narrative about the day to day, like her family being forced to buy fake Louis Vuitton purses while traveling in Paris or outlandish stories about her life, now in LA. A “scene” comedian for the past couple of decades, Madigan is often on the late night talk show circuit or doing Comedy Central appearances, a bit older and wiser (and with more chops) than most working lady comedians - that perspective gives her comedy that ‘80s feel that we miss from grown ups like Paula Poundstone and Whoopi Goldberg.  Kathleen brings her latest show Boxed Wine and Bigfoot to the State Theatre on Wednesday, and it’s not for the easily offended. | Nov 8 | Thu 7:30 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St, Portland | $25 - $30 | 21+ | statetheatreportland.com

 

 

 

 

Victoria Karol is a contributing writer for the Portland Phoenix, covering local music and the Dance Card listings. She produces Music Video Portland, Maine's video music awards and writes about feminism and culture on her blog hottrashportland.com.

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