8 Days a Week: MTV Criticism, Comedy Duos, and Kurosawa Classics

THURSDAY 6 EVERYTHING IS COMPLICATED | Among the many forums the world needs is one where sensible, woke-ass people can talk in person about how bizarre, amazing, and fucked up pop music videos can be. Wait, we got that. This evening, journalist Nadia Prupis and art critic Jenna Crowder (of the Maine arts journal The Chart) return with their series MTV Crits!, dissecting videos by Mykke Blanco, Grace Jones, Jenny Lewis, and Double Duchess, this…

Out to Win — MSMT's 'Guys and Dolls' Spins American Myths

The quintessential American musical Guys and Dolls, based on stories by New York writer Damon Runyon, plays like a kind of Dickensian comic book of America. It’s a New York peopled by two vying types, the gambler versus the evangelical — a standoff between those who want to be left to their vices and those who want to save you. Any of this sound familiar? Maine State Music Theatre presents a bright and snazzy production of this…

Optical Inclusion — Alia Ali's Immersive Installation at SPACE Gallery

+/-, a site-specific multimedia installation currently on view at SPACE Gallery, deploys artist Alia Ali’s unique blend of portrait photography, performance, and textiles to engage audiences in a visual conversation about identity and belonging. Ali, a Yemeni-Bosnian-American artist who has traveled to over 63 countries and lived in seven, utilized mathematical symbols for the exhibition’s title to serve the work’s larger, universal intentions: to explore how individuals define both self and other and how those…

Theater of the Transformative — TEoC's Original 'Lived Experiences' in Congress Square Park

What is it like to walk through a day in Portland as a person of color? Lived Experiences, the first original devised piece of the Theater Ensemble of Color, offers revealing insights into everyday racism and discrimination. After workshop productions this past weekend at Mayo Street Arts, TEoC will perform Lived Experiences in Congress Square Park the evenings of July 5 and 6. The first iteration of the script that became Lived Experiences began in May…

Maine's Ghostly History on YouTube: HauntME Launches 4th Season

With long, bright summer days in full swing, most of us aren’t thinking about themes typically associated with autumn, like haunted houses and spirits. But as one local team of paranormal investigators recognize, ghosts don’t take vacations. A team of young Mainers — Ash Brooks, Carol Cleveland, Tyler Gowen, and Katie Webb — recently launched Season Four of a YouTube series called Haunt ME, which has them exploring what they've identified as historically haunted sites…

8 Days a Week: Illusionist Bros, Tarantula Bros, and Slightly Stoopid Bros

THURSDAY 29 LIFT YR PALMS | In these days of dread and distrust, we cherish the occasion to spin your partner round and round. Tonight at the State Street Church, an old fashioned contra-dance can serve as a vital reminder that your neighbors are real, and their hands are just as sweaty as yours. 7 pm | FREE | United Church of Christ, 143 State St., Portland | www.portlandintowncontradance.com   Screenshot from "Reflection Unheard: Black…

Three Art Shows You Have to See This Summer

If your love of Maine art goes deeper than First Friday hangout sessions, check these compelling art shows on view while they're hot. 1. Selvedge at Able Baker Contemporary Curated by muralist and painter Tessa Greene O'Brien, Selvedge is a dynamic group exhibition of artists playing with the fundamental methods of making paintings, substituting new techniques and processes to the fundamental stapes of medium, support, and surface to create avenues that expand the history and…

8 Days A Week: Decolonization Lessons, Coal Studies, and Girl Talk

THURSDAY 22 SOLAR OBLIVION | President Trump says he loves coal miners. He’s also said, at various points along the campaign, that he loves “the Hispanics, the Evangelicals, the Mexican people, the wounded warriors, the generals, the Saudis, the Mormons, and the poorly educated.” As voting blocs go, those in coal mining country are pretty high up there, and the 24 percent increase in American coal production over last year at this time (according to…

Summer Hits The Stage

Once again, PortFringe has kicked off Portland’s summer of theater, and you have through June 24 to catch some of the crazy — check out last issue’s PF Roundup and this issue’s capsule reviews.    Summer usually proceeds with a measure of Shakespeare, but some of the usual suspects are mixing things up interestingly this year. Fenix Theatre Company is instead staging Chekhov in Deering Oaks Park: Three Sisters runs in the band shell July 13 through August 5. And while Bare Portland…

Early Highlights from the PortFringe Festival

The Fringe goes on! This year, the PF team has had the great idea to offer “first looks” at shows, written by local friends of PF and posted at http://portfringe.com/first-looks/, and here are a few of my own highlights from the first weekend: The Yellow Wallpaper (Bare Portland – Portland) + from the rib vault in the room that has become mary (New Fruit – Portland) Absolutely stunning. This jointly devised installation and performance, an abstracted riff on Charlotte Perkins…
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