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Film: Love, Gilda

1. IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING

Before we had Kristen Wiig or Maria Bamford, before Amy Schumer had a show or Tiffany Haddish dominated Girls Trip, we had Gilda. Actor, comedian and triple threat on Broadway, Gilda Radner had an infectious, physically goofy and joyful approach to comedy and live performance that had Americans wrapped around Roseanne Rosannadanna’s cranky little finger during her five-year reign on Saturday Night Live, cracked us up as she danced with a dragged-up Dom Deluise in Haunted Honeymoon (horror comedy fans, check that one out if you’ve not seen it — ‘tis the season!), and calcified her reputation as a lauded stalwart of American pop culture icons until her untimely death in 1989 at the age of 42. Presented by the Maine Jewish Film Festival, LOVE, GILDA, an autobiographical film about Radner’s life, career and struggle with cancer, begins its run at the Portland Museum of Art. Directed by Lisa D’Apolito in cooperation with the Radner estate, the film unearths the artist’s diaries and personal recordings as the backbone of a narrative that features interviews with some of her closest friends and colleagues, including Martin Short, Laraine Newman, Paul Shaffer and more.  | Oct 18-21 | Thu 6 pm, Fri 2 & 6 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq, Portland | $8 | All Ages | portlandmuseum.org

 

2. THE POWER OF CANDY COMPELS YOU!

 

Speaking of seasonal films, as our most important High Holy Candy Holiday approaches, it’s a great time to while away the ever-darkening hours by exploring classic horror films that truly evoke the mood. THE EXORCIST is one of these. The 1973 film starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair and Max Von Sydow had a troubled production, inspiring rumors of the film being cursed. It went on, however, to become one of the highest-grossing films of all time, the first horror movie nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award (there are only five others — Get Out at this past February’s awards would be only the sixth to earn that nod). But you don’t care about any of that, so here’s the thing: The Exorcist is absolutely terrifying. Shocking, mysterious, gorgeously shot and almost completely devoid of a soundtrack or traditional ‘jump scares’, the film toys with our deep human need for control and to find answers, and digs into long-ignored nooks in our minds that leave us questioning ourselves long after its end, which, let’s be real here, is probably the scariest part of the whole ordeal. Cinemagic in Westbrook will show The Exorcist on Thursday as part of their Cult Classics series. Bring a buddy and enjoy sleeping with the lights on that night. | Oct 18 | Thu 8 pm | Cinemagic Westbrook, 183 Country Rd, Westbrook | $8.75 | All Ages | cinemagicmovies.com

 

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Film: The Exorcist

3. DANCE LIKE NO ONE IS DOING MURDERS

 

Despite humanity's best efforts, little is known about that very famous, to-this-day-unidentified serial killer who haunted the streets of London in the 19th century. PORTLAND BALLET’s production of JACK THE RIPPER takes the larger-than-life tale of the gruesome murders and turns it into something beautiful. Minimalistic sets and piano-focused music set the stage for the company to focus on the depth of performance from the dancers themselves — murder en pointe? Yes, exactly. Dance is an interesting way to face down a story as macabre and enigmatic as that of Jack the Ripper’s eviscerations of London sex workers, but it’s a journey of progress for the company, to an extent — Portland Ballet has performed this production before, with sold out runs in 2013 and 2014. After a four-year break, company Artistic Director and choreographer Neil Shipman has added 30 minutes of choreography to the production this year, building it into a full-length ballet. Part of Portland Dance Month. | Oct 19-20 | Fri 7:30 pm, Sat 2 pm | Westbrook Performing Arts Center, 471 Stroudwater St, Westbrook | $35 | All Ages | portlandballet.org

 

4. GROAN UPS

 

WEAKENED FRIENDS are back with a new album called COMMON BLAH, freshly available at their show on Friday at Port City Music Hall (though you can preorder it now if you’re one of those people). Featuring the band’s video for the record’s first single “Blue Again,” NPR summarized the album’s aesthetic as “mid-20s malaise,” which seems accurate, but is more universal than it sounds. The rock trio of Sonia Sturino, Annie Hoffman and Cam Jones have definitely captured a sound. Slower tempoed, more raw and engaging through lyrics that ask you to commiserate, “Blue Again” has universal appeal, and you don’t have to be quarter-life crisis-ing it to get it. There’s a throwbacky ‘90s sound that recalls Veruca Salt, L7 or Tracy Bonham, and Sturino’s lyrics and vocals sound legit pissed. (Honestly, what woman isn’t right now?) Common Blah even goes a little bit meta, featuring a cameo from Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis, the erstwhile king of ‘give no shits’ ennui transformed into messy, blasé guitar licks for the prozac generation. NYC rock band Nervous Dater and Portland’s noise rock outfit Mouth Washington open the show. Put your Doc Martens on and channel that anger like the Bush, Sr. administration is in the White House. | Oct 19 | Fri 8 pm | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St, Portland | $15 | All Ages | portcitymusichall.com

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Weakened Friends

 

5. YOU CAN RELY ON THE OLD MAN’S MONEY

 

GOD BLESS YOU, MR. ROSEWATER, or Pearls Before Swine, is a 1965 sci-fi-ish novel by Kurt Vonnegut that was released sandwiched between what are, these days, his two arguably most well-known novels, Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five. In 1979, composers Howard Ashman and Alan Menken adapted the novel to be a stage musical; it opened off broadway in late 1979 and had a short run before going dark for about about 35 years; in 2016, the musical was revived in New York City, and it has now made its way up the coast to find the saucy minds of Cast Aside Productions, who debut the show on Friday for a six-night run. The plot of God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is hard to explain. It’s like a Seinfeld episode: nothing really happens, but everything happens. The titular character, a drunken war vet with what seems like a heart of gold, sets in motion a series of events that have Vonnegut’s trademark quirk, but end up exposing American’s dark views about money and the perceived human value that having it engenders — and vice versa. | Through Oct 28 | Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm | Studio Theater at Portland Ballet, 517 Forest Ave, Portland | $35 | All Ages | castasideproductions.com 

 

6.  HIPPIES USE SIDE DOOR

 

Sometimes I wish bands would think through their names a little bit more before sticking with them for the long haul because I really hate the band name ORGANICALLY GOOD TRIO. If I hadn’t stumbled upon this band through other means, I would have rolled my eyes, sighed, muttered “fucking hippies…” to myself and never thought about them again (yes, I am aware that I’m a Grateful Dead fan — what, I can’t have layers?). OGT is a Hammond organ driven instrumental group out of Boston that has an inexplicable appeal to music fans of all kinds. Founded by Slightly Stoopid keys player Paul Wolstencroft with John Brown’s Body drummer Tommy Benedetti and the Skatalites’ Van Gordon Martin on on guitar, this band is all heavyweight muscle, with not an ounce of fat. There are other organ trios out there doing classics-inspired pieces with rock, pop, reggae and funk influences, but somehow this particular team makes the whole affair into something more than the sum of its parts. Organically Good Trio’s Bayside Bowl shows are a big dance-y, sweaty, high energy mess, so wear sneakers that can handle some beer spills and carbo-load before you head out the door. | Oct 20 | Sat 8 pm | Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St, Portland | $12 | 21+ | baysidebowl.com

 

7. #SEASONALAF

 

There is nothing cuter than the kiddos around Halloween. Show me your baby dressed as a chubby little lobster in a pot. Lemme see your second grader stomp through the streets in their superhero cape. Let’s see your eighth grader’s sweet drag ensemble inspired by Trixie Mattel. Heck YASSS they can read me, how else do you expect to cultivate up-and-coming queens? Seriously, though, it’s the perfect time to do family stuff right now — the weather is crisp, orange and yellow leaves are dotting the pavement, and the autumn sun will catch your little nugget’s face in just the right way to make your instas inspire jealousy in all the other neighborhood moms. Head on down to the MAINE NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD PUMPKIN TRAIN with your littles for a ride on the train, and then treat the fam to a jaunt through the museum, grabbing some hot cider and cookies while your kids decorate a free mini pumpkin to take home. Trains leave on the hour starting at 10 am and, pro tip: you can bring your well behaved doggos too. | Through Oct 28 | Sat-Sun 9:30 am | Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum, 58 Fore St. Building 6, Portland | $10 adults, $6 kids | All Ages | mainenarrowgauge.org

         

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Mosart212

 

8. BEAT STREETS

   

As the diversity of Maine’s music scene shifts and expands, so too do the events created by locals for locals. RE;SAMPLE is one such monthly hang intended to bring up Portland’s next generation of producers, DJs, rappers and hip hop artists. Organized by Portland artist DJs and Re;Sample residents mosart212, Fyvr, 32French, Won Pound, Bruhv, Bza and Turquoise Crown, all of whom are accomplished professional artists in the greater Portland area, Re;Sample is a workshop before it is a show — ‘open aux’ goes from 7:30 to 8:30 pm, during which new talent go open mic style and workshop their beats or performance acumen with residents. Performers take the stage afterward until midnight. Re;Sample is committed to highlighting emerging national talent as well as Portland’s diversity, offering an intentionally inclusive stage for artists of color, women and LGBTQ members of our city’s music community. The seven elders of the series hope to create a sort of musical crossroads at which artists of all skill levels can reach each other, get inspired and shape the future of Portland’s electronic and sample based music community. They also want to have a little old school fun, too — from midnight to 1 am, Re;Sample turns into an all vinyl dance party. This Saturday’s installment includes Ethan Bart, Jays Audio and NOCLOUDS as well as visuals by Fyvr and sets from the residents. | Oct 20 | Sat 7:30 pm | Sun Tiki Studios, 375 Forest Ave, Portland | $5 sugg. donation | 21+ | suntikistudios.skedda.com

 

9. ROCK ON GOLD DUST WOMAN

 

Conceived by partnered British producers/DJs Alex Oxley and Roxanne Roll (Lisa Jelliffe) as a way to get the sweet, smooth sounds and live vibe of Fleetwood Mac out to the middle of the desert for Burning Man, FLEETMAC WOOD: GOLD DUST DISCO is a Fleetwood Mac remix dance party at which attendees are encouraged to dress up in that witchy, foppish style for which the fabled band is known and get as (legally) hedonistic as the band’s Rumors days, the stuff of rock legend. Fleetmac Wood pull from a back catalog that stretches back over 50 years and includes 17 studio albums from the band proper, live recordings, solo records from Stevie Nicks, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood and Lindsay Buckingham as well as that one Buckingham Nicks folk album — deep cuts for days! Oxley and Roll have fun with tracks you’ve never heard before, but they play all the hits too — they’re just all mixed up to a groovy dance beat so you can watch your sleeves flutter as you spin away into the night. And hey, parents been nagging you for a night out? Bring 'em! You know those old hippies got high for the first time listening to Tusk's A-side. | Oct 20 | Sat 9 pm | Port City Music Hall, 509 Congress St, Portland | $12 | 18+ | portcitymusichall.com

 

10. RESPECT YOUR MEAT BAG

 

Do you ever feel like your body knows something that you can’t quite figure out with your, um, mind grapes? That knot in the pit of your stomach when you’re feeling impending doom or the way that your shoulders hurt after a particularly stressful time in your life. Turns out the old meat bag often has stuff to tell us if we’d just learn to listen to it. Enter somatic writing, a physical and emotional practice in which different kinds of movements — incorporating dance or yoga, perhaps — are done before a stream of consciousness writing exercise meant to ‘catch’ all the emotional stuff stuck in your physical realm that you knocked loose while hanging out in downward dog. Berlin-based movement artist LAYTON LACHMAN guides students through their TECHNO SOMATIC WRITING practice, layering frenetic dances to electronic music and qigong movements to the mix. You don’t need to be a good dancer or a good writer to join, you just have to have an open mind and a willingness to let things happen. Bring your own notebook and wear comfy clothes for a supportive journey into your own psyche, where you mind find stuff like inner peace, happiness and/or the combination to your high school gym locker. Brains are weird. | Oct 22 | Mon 5:30 pm | Living Room Dance Collective, 408 Broadway, South Portland | $8-16 | 18+ | thelivingroomdance.com  

 

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Layton Lachman

   

 

11. 

 

POP. 1280 is a Pitchfork darling industrial noise rock band from Brooklyn whose namesake is a 1964 pulp noir crime novel by author Jim Thompson, which should give you some pretty strong clues about what Pop. 1280’s whole vibe is: they pretty much dwell in a bleak dystopian landscape where nothing can be trusted and everyone betrays everyone else. OMG so fun, right!? Sometimes entertainment is supposed to be more of a cautionary tale than a laugh riot (which probably explains why movies like Requiem for A Dream exist), though Pop. 1280 will leave you feeling more on the angry and amped up side than the deep in despair side of the aforementioned bleakness. Opening for the duo is Portland’s decidedly more lighthearted and glam rock-ish if no less noise-oriented STERLING BLACK and the punishing acid drone rock of Portland’s KØVYNS. | Oct 24 | Wed 8 pm | The Apohadion Theater, 107 Hanover St, Portland | $8 | 21+ | theapohadiontheater.com

             

12. 

 

Not everybody wants celebrate Halloween by putting on a sexy nurse costume or rubber Dagnarf Tramp mask to go gallivanting through the city streets getting drunk on cheap beer, mini Snickers and the toxic fumes that emanate from dollar store face paint. Some folx like to keep it upscale and spend the season scaring themselves in a classier, more intellectual way. Enter HAUNTING HOUR 2.0, Portland Stage’s answer to the eternal burning question, “how can I best insulate myself from the abject terror of the Old Port on a Friday night but still get the most out of my Halloween?” Six short plays either written by or adapted from the works of Maine authors are staged for a full-length production that dives headfirst into all the best spook, danger and mystery that our state’s literature has to offer. This year’s featured stories include works by Joe Hill, Monica Wood, Callie Kimball, H.W. Longfellow (of course), Ian Carlsen, and late Maine horror fiction novelist Rick Hautala. The show opens on Thursday night with a pay-what-you-can first performance and runs through November 3 (skipping October 29) as a part of Portland Stage’s Studio Series.| Through Nov 3 | Wed 7 pm | Portland Stage Studio Theater, 25A Forest Ave, Portland | $15 | All Ages | portlandstage.org

 

13. SPARE NO EX-SPENCE

 

Aw, well now this is nice. Woodhull Public house is Yarmouth’s best-kept… well, actually, poorly-kept secret, a little suburban cultural oasis tucked into a strip mall. While foodies might turn their noses up at a joint that sells tacos and pho side-by-side in earnest, for most of us, the food is better than what we can make at home and the drinks are cold and affordable — plus, the owners are warm, cheerful people who absolutely love live music. They do shows in their back room weekly, but this Thursday they up their game a little bit to give back to their community. SONGS AND STORIES fundraisers at Woodhull feature storyteller-style sets from singer/songwriters and acoustic acts, with ticket sales going to various causes that the folks at Woodhull believe in. SPENCER ALBEE does two shows at Woodhull on Thursday, a private one in the afternoon and a public one in the evening, with proceeds going to the 317 Main Community Music Center. You know Spencer! He’s that Portland-famous keys/guitar artist from Rustic Overtones and As Fast As who does a mostly solo thing these days, as well as his Beatles tribute Spencer and the Walrus. Settle in with Spencer’s tales and tunes and the charming staff of Woodhull for a night you on which you can justify getting drunk and singing along (badly) to old favorites by saying “it’s for a good cause.” | Oct 25 | Thu 8 pm | Woodhull Public House 30 Forest Falls Dr, Yarmouth | Free | 21+ | woodhullpublichouse.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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