The Weekender, Feb. 9-11: Let the games begin!

The Focus Group

In Bangor on Friday night, take your pick from another edition of “Broadway Rocks,” featuring local singing and dancing talent performing high energy showtunes, at the Bangor Arts Exchange; vinyl night with Queen City Sound System at Nocturnem Drafthaus; or the Junkyard Cats at Paddy Murphy’s. Improv troupe The Focus Group is at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, local rockers Phosphenes are at Woodman’s, and jam band Zesty is at the Boomhouse in Old Town. On Saturday, Maine folk band Goldenoak plays with Stesha Cano at the Bangor Arts Exchange, the Midnight Riders are at Paddy’s, the Dave Mello Band is at Nocturnem, Adam Babcock is at the Sea Dog, and the Tune Squad at the Downunder Club at Seasons.

In Portland on Friday, local funk band Sly-Chi plays a reunion show at Portland House of Music, Forget Forget and Electric Heart play at Bayside Bowl, rockers Dark City Agent and Metastine are at Empire, metal and experimental bands Foret Endormie, Gloomseeker, Stone Crown and Apis Malfiore play at Geno’s, and Maine legend David Mallett is at One Longfellow Square. For fans of classic rock, there’s both the Dead Sessions at Port City Music Hall, or Pink Floyd cover band the Machine upstairs at Aura. On Saturday, there’s more tribute show action, with a Rihanna vs. Beyonce dance party at Port City, and Dark Desert Eagles, an Eagles cover band, at Aura. Elsewhere, L’Especial and CJ3 are at Portland House of Music; Beards, Cam Groves, J.Spin and Shanghigh are at Empire; Classic Ruins, Black Cat Road and TJ Wheeler are at Bayside Bowl, and Inanna Sisters in Rhythm are at One Longfellow.

On the Midcoast, Rockland is definitely the place to be on Friday night. The Ale House String Band is at Rock City Coffee, New England bluegrass favorites Celia Woodsmith and Joe K. Walsh play with guests at Fog Bar, and at Rock Harbor Brewing, there’s an Un-Valentine’s Day songwriter circle, featuring not-love songs. On Saturday, there’s the annual Murder Mystery Dinner at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts ($50, includes show and dinner, 5:30 p.m.), and the Rusty Hinges play at Rock City Coffee.

Photo courtesy Some Theatre Company

In the world of theater this weekend, Some Theatre Company opens AR Gurney’s “Love Letters” this weekend at the Keith Anderson Community Center in Orono, while in Bangor, “Escanaba in da Moonlight” has its second weekend at Penobscot Theatre. The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Maine presents “HMS Pinafore” at the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth. And in Portland, Acorn Productions presents “Cursed,” a Shakespeare-inspired play written by local playwright Megan Tripaldi, at Urban Farm Fermentory Friday and Saturday evening.

Looking for something a little more thrilling to do this weekend? In Camden there’s the annual U.S. Toboggan Championships, a weekend-long celebration of going really fast down a hill, and of the Camden region. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Saturday at the Camden Snow Bowl, and runs begin at 8 and 1 p.m., depending on the size of your team. It’s as much fun to watch as it is to ride! For more information, visit the Camden Snow Bowl website. 

AP file photo of U.S. Olympic speedskater Shani Davis (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

It also happens to be opening weekend for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The U.S. has some top-notch athletes in skiing, snowboarding and speed skating, and Maine native Russell Currier competes on this year’s biathlon team. Opening ceremonies for this year’s games start at 8 p.m. Friday on NBC.

In theaters this weekend, three big-ish movies open: “Fifty Shades Freed,” the final installment in the softcore trilogy; “The 15:17 to Paris,” Clint Eastwood’s dramatization of the true story of three Americans on a French train stopping a terrorist attack; and “Peter Rabbit,” a contemporary cartoon adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s beloved tale, all three of which open at Bangor Mall Cinemas this weekend. For Oscar movies, “I, Tonya,” “The Post” and “The Shape of Water” are all at Spotlight Cinemas in Orono, “I, Tonya,” “Lady Bird,” “The Shape of Water” and “Phantom Thread” are all at Railroad Square Cinemas in Waterville, “Call Me By Your Name” is at the Strand in Rockland, and the Oscar-nominated shorts program is at Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor, alongside “I, Tonya.” “I, Tonya” — which, by the way, is truly an excellent movie — is also at the Colonial in Belfast, alongside “The Post.”

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, UMaine graduate, proud Bangorian and a writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food to all the cool things going on in the Greater Bangor area. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra. She's interested in everything that happens in Maine.