Category archives for: Ahts

Maine Psychic Surprised To Be Offered Her Own TV Show. TV Producers Surprised That She’s Surprised

psychic vicki monroe of kennebunk maineMelissa Collins was skeptical when the producers of a new true-crime TV show called “Cell Block Psychic” called her about being in the debut episode. They told her that she and her brother would be filmed meeting with the show’s star, Maine psychic Vicki Monroe, 51. They said Monroe would try to help them find out more about the circumstances surrounding their mother’s murder. “I grew up Baptist and we don’t believe in psychics. But I had some unanswered questions that I felt I needed help with,” said Collins, 32, of Wichita, Kan. “(Monroe) told us things I knew she got from my mother. She told me my mother wanted me to slow down, not to rush everywhere, which I do. I had just gotten a speeding ticket.” “Cell Block Psychic” premieres at 9 p.m. Monday on the Investigation Discovery cable channel and will run for at least three episodes. The one-hour show features Monroe delving into closed murder cases. Someone has been convicted of the crime, but Monroe tries to help family members find out more information. Family members, for instance, sometimes want to know if their loved one suffered during the crime. (keep reading at the Portland Press Herald)

Paul Reiser Brings His Unique Brand Of Ununiqueness To Bangor

Paul ReiserComedian Paul Reiser is coming to Bangor this weekend to make people laugh. Reiser, who starred in the popular NBC ’90s sitcoms “My Two Dads” and “Mad About You,” began his career as a stand-up comedian long before he started acting. Besides TV, he’s also had the opportunity to star in several movies, including “Aliens,” “Beverly Hills Cop I” and “II,” and most recently he played Matt Damon’s lawyer in the Emmy award winning HBO movie “Behind the Candelabra.”  But what most people may not realize is that Reiser is also gifted in music. He wrote the theme song “Final Frontier” for “Mad About You” and collaborated with and played piano for British singer/songwriter Julia Fordham on the album Unusual Suspects. When he wasn’t busy acting or making music he found time to become an author. Reiser has written three books so far – “Couplehood,” “Babyhood” and “Familyhood,” and he shows no signs of slowing down. I recently had the opportunity to talk with him by phone. He said he’s looking forward to visiting the Gracie Theatre and sharing some universal laughs about the absurdities of modern life. (keep reading at The Maine Edge)

Local Magician Makes Forty-Five Minutes Disappear

Local Maine magicianCiara Alonso, 8, of Lewiston acts as an assistant to The Amazing Lou, also known as Lewis Ward of Harpswell, during a magic show at the Lewiston Armory on Saturday. Ward, who has performed magic tricks for more than 20 years, ended Saturday’s show by giving children balloon animals. (see more at the Lewiston Sun Journal)

St. Patrick’s Day Gives Local Step Dancers A Rare Chance To Be The Last Thing You See Before Vomiting

PORTLAND – This is a busy weekend for Irish step dancers. Multiple shows Friday. More shows today. And a St. Patrick’s Day parade to boot. For a handful of dancers, the best is yet to come. Four girls from Maine will compete in the World Championships of Irish Dancing in Belfast at the end of March. That’s the Belfast in Northern Ireland, not the one up the coast of Maine. “I’ve been working really hard for it,” said Emma Fitzpatrick of North Yarmouth, a fifth-grader who recently turned 11. “I’m just really excited to be going. It’s a great opportunity.” This will be the first trip to the world championships for Emma, who followed her older sisters into jigs and reels and hornpipes when she was only 3. (read more at PortlandPressHerald)

Hollywood Decides To Wish That 12 Years A Slave Was A Good Movie

86th Academy AwardsLOS ANGELES — Perhaps atoning for past sins, Hollywood named the brutal, unshrinking historical drama “12 Years a Slave” best picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards. Steve McQueen’s slavery odyssey, based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir, has been hailed as a landmark corrective to the movie industry’s long omission of slavery stories, following years of whiter tales like 1940 best-picture winner “Gone With the Wind.” The British director dedicated the honor to those past sufferers of slavery and “the 21 million who still endure slavery today.” “Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live,” said McQueen, who promptly bounced into the arms of his cast. “This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup.” (read more at Portland Press Herald)

After A Bit Of A Drought, Hitler Finally Wins One

Maria Von TrappSTOWE, Vt. – Maria von Trapp, a member of the musical family whose escape from Nazi-occupied Austria was the basis for “The Sound of Music,” has died, her brother said Saturday. Von Trapp, 99, died at her home in Vermont on Tuesday, Johannes von Trapp said. “She was a lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people,” he said. “There wasn’t a mean or miserable bone in her body. I think everyone who knew her would agree with that.” Maria von Trapp was the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers made famous in “The Sound of Music.” Their story was turned into the film and Broadway musical. (keep reading at the Kennebec Journal)

Augusta Arts Community Argue Over What Sort Of Renovated Vacant Building They’d Like The Colonial Theater To Become

Augusta Colonial TheaterAUGUSTA — The ideas came fast and furious for the future role of the Colonial Theater on Water Street. The unoccupied building, which showed its last film in 1969 and then spent some two decades as a warehouse, was the subject of a visioning session Thursday at a Water Street gallery of the University of Maine at Augusta’s Gannett Building. Developer Richard Parkhurst has thrown his support behind the project, as has the Augusta Downtown Alliance, the nonprofit Colonial Theater Inc. and people who have worked for years to try to rejuvenate the building, which backs up to the Kennebec River. “We need to know what the downtown needs for a cultural center,” Parkhurst said. He offered a few ideas and talked of working with such organizations as Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville, Johnson Hall in Gardiner and the Theater at Monmouth, among others. “There’s plenty of room, and with a collaborative effort we can all thrive,” he said. The gallery’s walls held enlarged black-and-white photos of the interior and exterior of the theater in its heydey, with lights on the marquee and horses standing outside. The building appeared in danger of being razed back in 1999 and has been the subject of prior renovation efforts that stalled. The ideas for new occupancy and use included turning it into a concert or symphony hall, a wedding venue, a dinner theater, an art gallery, a planetarium, an independent film theater, an IMAX theater, a lecture hall, a conference center, an exercise class site, a gallery, a recital hall, a comedy club, a burlesque site, a site for local country and bluegrass performers, dance space, and possibly the site of a radio show that could be named “Kennebec Home Companion.” (keep reading at Morning Sentinel)

Dante Alighieri Says A Dozen Amateur Djembe Drummers From Maine In A Soup Kitchen Beats Anything He Could Come Up With

amateur Maine djembe drummersWith a suitcase packed with drumsticks, guitar strings and all the things needed to survive the West African heat, Michael Bennett of Lamoine Beach boarded a plane headed for Gambia in December 2013. That was his 12th journey to the land he has come to love, where you sleep under mosquito netting, the electricity works some of the time and white rice is always on the menu. Living with a local Mandinka family, at times for up to four months, in the village of New Jeshwang, Bennett endured the hardships of the harsh environment in order to learn the culture, history and language, but most of all Bennett wanted to absorb the rhythms of the West African tribes. “One of the things I love about West African music is it’s very cooperative and it’s so deep in the culture. Djembe music is all about working together as a group. Yes, there is a lead drummer who does most of, if not all the soloing, but it’s all about the whole, not the sum of the parts.” Bennett said. Upon his return, Bennett told a group gathered to learn West African drumming at the Common Good Soup Kitchen in Southwest Harbor that the drummers are not the stars of the show in West Africa. Instead, it’s the dancers. (read more at Bangor Daily News)

Deering High Chorus Member Pretty Excited To Be Singing Along With The Foreigners

Deering High School ChorusPORTLAND, Maine — When Deering High School music teacher Gilbert Peltola told members of his chorus they’d been chosen to perform alongside one of the top-selling rock bands of all time, they had a variety of reactions. “I don’t think anybody really believed it at first,” said Olivia Ryan, a junior at the Portland school. “We were just like, ‘Oh, Mr. Peltola is joking with us.’” But as all 26 of the chorus members were born nearly two decades after the band Foreigner released its first album, in 1977, some admitted being a little lost by the announcement. “I didn’t know the band,” admitted junior Kerry Sullivan. Now, though, Sullivan said the anthemic 1985 smash hit “I Want to Know What Love Is” — which the Deering chorus will be singing Feb. 18 on The State Theatre stage with Foreigner — is “stuck in my head every day.” “It’s really catchy,” she said. (read more at Bangor Daily News)

Proposed Midcoast Art Trail To Feature Totem Poles From The Non-Profit Tribe

bernard langlais sculptureThere is talk of a new art trail coming to Midcoast Maine this summer. Several nonprofits and businesses have been gifted [sic] wood sculptures and reliefs made by the late Cushing sculptor Bernard (Blackie) Langlais. Langlais, who died in 1997 at the age of 58, was known for his oversized, figurative, often humorous sculptures, mostly of animals, but with some lucky (or unlucky, as in the case of Richard Nixon) humans thrown in. Of note is the seven and a half foot tall lady in a pink dress reclining in the yard beside his house titled “Local Girl.” The “girl” was actually fashioned after Christina Olson of “Christina’s World” in the famous painting by Andrew Wyeth. Kohler Foundation of Wisconsin, which deals in the preservation of art and the placement of it with nonprofits, has acquired a large number of pieces from the Langlais estate. Kohler’s preservation coordinator, Susan Kelly, has been working hard to distribute and place them in nonprofits in Maine and elsewhere. Colby College has had some of Langlais’ work in its permanent collection for a number of years. (read more at Wiscasset Newspaper)

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