THURSDAY, Nov. 24
Full Body Blitz | Prep your system for a deluge of hearty holiday food by putting your body to work first! The instructors at the yoga and dance studio Hustle and Flow aim to empower you with a high-energy cardio, strength, stretch and awareness class. Have you been feeling, just off lately? This class can help by engaging and healing both your mind and body. Nothing quite eases anxieties and centers oneself like breaking a sweat and maintaining continuous, dynamic movement.
| VARIED | 8:00 am | Hustle and Flow, 155 Brackett St., Portland | http://hustleflowstudio.com/ |
FRIDAY, Nov. 25
Courtesy of Pixar Films
Animation Show of Shows | Stick figures skydiving without parachutes. Psychedelic looking watercolors. Snippets of city life exaggerated with vivid colors and inky pen strokes. Incredibly detailed CGI shore birds. Whimsical designs and captivating stop-motion. You’ll witness all these visual treats and much more during this buzzed-about screening. The 18th annual Animation Show of Shows features 16 charming short films that showcase the wildly different styles and approaches animators take with their art. These deeply resonant stories feature relevant themes and eye-popping visuals. So come experience the best the animation industry has to offer this year.
| $8 | 2:00 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq., Portland | http://www.portlandmuseum.org |
Black Friday Blowout | For the members of Pardon Me, Doug and the Maine Dead Project, Black Friday doesn’t entail waiting in line at a retail store to buy the latest batch of gadgets. It means playing four, heartwarming sets of jam music, nonstop for 5 hours. These two bands have a dazzling array of music to get through. That’s right, the entire night is dedicated to their sweet sounds, so save your energy for the auditory onslaught. Once you catch your breath, close your eyes and pretend Phish and the Grateful Dead are right there in the room with you. It almost works.
| $15 | 7:00 pm | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portcitymusichall.com/ |
Photo By: Break the Glass Photography
A Funksgiving Weekend | Before Portland’s crooning “Sasquatch of Soul,” Lyle Divinsky moves to Denver with his new band, The Motet, catch him performing alongside his old buddies in Model Airplane. These guys will provide the funkalicious ragefest you’ve come to expect (and miss) from the old Model Airplane, by assembling an all-star lineup of musicians from other bands like: Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Jaw Gems, Mingo Fishtrap and the Eric Krasno Band. They’ll be serving the hungry crowd delicious morsels of feel-good-funk with uplifting covers of the funk forefathers, Earth, Wind & Fire. The young crushers of Skosh are going to kick off this very special concert.
| $15 | 8:00 pm | Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland | www.portlandhouseofmusic.com |
SATURDAY, Nov. 26
Rally Against LePage | There’s a litany of reasons why many people in Maine are sick, tired and angry that Governor LePage is still in office. Rally with others and air your grievances towards a leader who’s proven unwelcoming to Maine’s disenfranchised communities. Given the governor’s most recent comments about wanting to pull out of the federal refugee resettlement program, it’s high time that our New Mainers and youth be given a platform to speak. Do your part as an inclusive community member and hear their words of fear and frustration and then learn what you can do about it.
| FREE | 6:00 pm | Monument Square, Portland | https://www.facebook.com/events/803196776485483/ |
The Nutcracker Ballet | Since the days right after Thanksgiving are socially acceptable to get into the Christmas spirit, I recommend you usher in the season by attending New England’s largest and most spectacular rendition of the Nutcracker tale. Thirty performers in gorgeous costumes dancing to beautifully choreographed ballet routines will bring this classical tale of sugar plum fairies, angry mice and gingerbread warriors to life. Before the real snowy wonderland hits our streets, let’s see it on stage first, while the snowflakes fall to that famous Tchaikovsky score.
| $21-51 | 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm | Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland | https://tickets.porttix.com/public/ |
Simple Songs | The St. Lawrence Arts center needs a new wheelchair lift, and you’re going to help them out. How? Just show up for an intimate concert with one of Maine’s most beloved acoustic story-tellers: Dave Gutter (of Rustic Overtones and Armies). You know better than I do that this charming dude can belt out lyrics with a wide range, is more than competent with a guitar, and has an impressive writing resume (he’s written songs for David Bowie, Imogene Heap and Aaron Neville). Support this honest and noble cause, by attending a rare show that puts the spotlight on Dave Gutter. None of his usual cronies will be there, so you’ll have him all to yourself. Embrace sadness in a beautiful way and join his cult.
| $25 | 7:00 pm | St. Lawrence Arts, 76 Congress St., Portland | http://www.stlawrencearts.org/dave-gutter.html |
The Return of Eliot Chang | A cynical, sarcastic, loud-mouthed Asian dude sporting great hair is coming to Empire to harvest your laughter. He’s a down-to-Earth comedian that’s known for honest anecdotes and a refreshing approach. His comedy has found a home on Showtime, Comedy Central and across 400 college campuses. Your heart may be next. Just don’t ask him what kind of Asian he is, if he knows any ninjas, or when the last time he crashed his car was; because according to his hilarious Youtube channel, your questions are offensive. Only he’s allowed to make fun of himself and capitalize on stereotypes.
| $8 | 7:30 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://portlandempire.com/ |
14th Annual Beatles Night | It’s time, yet again, to honor the four horsemen of rock and pop. Roll up for the mystery tour as an all-star lineup of local musicians spirit you away for 2 nights of Beatles favorites, deep cuts and solo jams complete with live orchestration. Party like it’s 1967 with Spencer Albee, Sean Morin, Dan Capaldi, Jon Roods, Jonathan Truman and Blythe Armitage. Say hello to Portland’s 14th British invasion. Special guests this year include Kenya Hall, Tony McNaboe, Griffin Sherry, Micromassé, Zach Jones, Timothy Patrick Emery, Dominic Lavoie and Charles C Gagne, as well as The Fogcutters horns and the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra. Most of these musicians have a deep love and appreciation for the Beatles, so expect their covers to be nothing short of passionate and mind-altering. Don’t snooze on buying tickets, because this much-anticipated 2-show deal will likely sell out.
| $20 | 8:00 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland | http://www.statetheatreportland.com/ |
The Power of Partying | Democrats and Republicans are pretty much just two sides of the same, patina-crusted coin. Everybody’s talking about unity, but nobody really knows what that will look like. America has never needed a strong, people-oriented party more than now. Andrew WK, a performer, motivational speaker and professional partier, wants you to rally behind him. I can’t tell if he’s serious about forming an official “Party Party,” but he does seem to have a steadfast mission of nurturing human joy. Hear his pep talk and decide for yourself. "This is not a political party rally, it's a rally about partying with the political elements set aside," insists Andrew. “This is my attempt to add something positive and unifying to the divisive atmosphere surrounding us in so many different forms. Without targeting or preaching to any one side, I want to see if we can party together in our common humanity. We will have a party about being people.”
| $23 | 8:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://www.space538.org/events |
SUNDAY, Nov. 27
Rock Bands of Yesteryear | Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown are touring through Portland, in case you wanted to re-conjure memories of passing headphones on the back of the school bus with the neighborhood “tough kids.” In my opinion, these bands have peaked, but nevertheless, the arena will likely be packed; at least 5FDP has some nostalgic value. But these hard rockers still do have a dedicated fanbase. So it’s up to you loyal readers to determine if these two blasts from the recent past still have some lyrical, emotional and musical substance. Sixx A.M. and As Lions round out this alternative heavy bill.
| $30-60 | 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | Cross Insurance Arena, 1 Civic Center Sq., Portland | http://www.waterfrontconcerts.com/events/2016/FFDP |
The Couch Comedy | If you’re interested in the fascinating art of standup, this competition would be a good way to witness its intricacies locally. Unlike any art form, comedians need an audience to sharpen, edit and improvise their material. Good jokes are only validated by a laughing audience. Only then, can a comedian grow as an artist and performer. Let’s see what these 17 comics bring to the stage, as they vie for our laughter in Round 1 of a competition, the stakes of which include $1,000 cash and a chance to open for a national act.
| $4 | 7:00 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://portlandempire.com/ |
MONDAY, Nov. 28
Think of the Future | Did you know that this day is designated as an annual, international “Day of Giving.” How do you plan on acting unselfishly? Pop over to Portland Public Schools to learn how you can do something that directly impacts your community. You can also donate money online. Their multicultural center is looking for ways to extend learning opportunities to immigrant and refugee children. Our future is, after all, with them. And more importantly, everybody deserves an opportunity to learn.
| VARIED | 12:00 pm | Portland Public Schools, 353 Cumberland Ave., Portland | http://mlc.portlandschools.org/donate |
TUESDAY, Nov. 29
A Sunrise Swim | Do you love the ocean? You probably don’t love it as much as the scientists over at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, learned fellows that dedicate big portions of their life to learning more about our ocean’s ecosystems. Lately their research and findings have been integral to understanding Maine’s role with climate change. Anyway, if any of that matters to you (and it should) join the GMRI team on Willard beach for a sunrise chat, coffee, donuts and if you’re brave enough, a cold swim in the ocean. The CEO/President Don Perkins will lead the charge.
| FREE | 7:30 am to 8:30 am | Willard Beach, South Portland | http://gmri.org/events |
The Led Zeppelin Experience | Some say that Led Zeppelin was one of the most groundbreaking and important bands to come out of the 70s. If you’re that zealous of a fanboy you’ll be happy to know that the official “Led Zeppelin Experience,” is in good hands with Jason Bonham, the son of original drummer Jon Bonham. He learned from greats and has teamed up with greats to deliver a worthy homage to his father’s energy and pioneering sounds. Get in here classic blues-rock-pop fiends.
| $30-65 | 8:00 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland |http://www.statetheatreportland.com |
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30
Fules Gold | As the festive heads there often do, Flask Lounge is throwing another free, good vibes party featuring the unpretentious reggae rock jam band Fules Gold. Other acts slated for this multi-genre show include: the Side Chick Syndicate, Tim Mercer and Bill Killcolins.
| FREE | 7:00 pm | Flask Lounge, 117 Spring St., Portland | http://flasklounge.com/ |
Courtesy of VANISH Films
Do Not Resist | Just because something isn’t riding to dizzying heights in the news-cyclone, doesn’t mean it isn’t still happening. The militarization of our police force, and the brutality innocent people experience at the hands of them is a problem that persists and must be examined. Instructors at police training seminars toss around the term “righteous violence,” which must be scary for the people at the end of their batons. The film screening of Do Not Resist (which won best documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival) offers an “urgent and powerful exploration” on this issue. It’s followed by a discussion with ACLU of Maine Executive Director Alison Beyea.
| $8 | 7:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | www.space538.org |
Americana At Its Best | With fiddles and distorted acoustic guitars, Front Country can unleash their bluegrass and crash into an intense performance like “roaring waves, rushing back and forth with swelling ferocity.” Critics describe this youthful and visionary collective of musicians as playing “American roots music that refuses to be constrained.” According to them, Front Country blends everything from high lonesome mountain music to new wave power pop, newgrass picking, old grass harmonies and just plain glorious musicality. Also on the bill, tapping into shared experiences is the vagabond troubadour John Craigie, who hails from the other Portland. This is a show to laugh, cry and chase away mid-week worries to.
| $12 | 8:00 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com |
Karaoke Night | If you’ve got the intestinal fortitude (and hopefully singing skills) to step on stage with DJ Johnny Red and perform some of the latest hits, the audience at Empire would love to have you. Memory of the lyrics won’t be the determinant over whether you shine or croak. Talent and charisma however, will.
| FREE | 9:00 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://portlandempire.com/ |
THURSDAY, Dec. 1
World AIDS Day | In honor of “World AIDS Day,” the folks at the Frannie Peabody Center invite you to a candlelit vigil in Monument Square. Afterward, continue with them to the Portland Museum of Art for a special screening of the documentary, Uncle Howard. The film weaves stories and footage from past and present, to present viewers with what The New York Times called “a must-see ode to gay New York.” Just get ready to have your heart ripped out.
| $8 | 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq., Portland | http://www.portlandmuseum.org/ |