Week of October 28
Perhaps the cream of the crop of USM’s “Politics Then and Now” series, former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank speaks on the subject at USM’s Abromson Center. No doubt Frank, 73 and retired from politics, will have more material you can sink your teeth into than Angus King, who’s still in the thick of it. 4 pm on October 31.
Week of November 4
Last winter, a small assembly of local actors and directors recognized a hole in the theater scene and filled it with the Crowbait Club, a monthly gathering where aspiring playwrights draft and workshop bite-sized scenes using volunteer actors in front of a live audience. Sure, the results can be messy and awkward, but such is life. Attend one of their monthly gatherings, the first Wednesdays of the month at 7 pm at Mayo Street Arts, and you might just be pulled in to read a thing or two; and that might just change your life.
Week of November 11
The artist Anna Hepler has been one of the most revered and fascinating to observe in Portland for some time. She makes drawings and hand-crafted, materially specific sculptures that replicate simple patterns on a massive scale — at least, that’s what she did before she spent the last year-plus working in isolation in far downeast Maine. There’s no telling what she’s done since, though the best way to find out is attending her artist talk November 14 at USM–Gorham’s Robie Andrews Hall at noon.
Some may say there’s a bit of an age concern, but if you can find your way to the glorious karaoke session going down at Slainte on Tuesdays, you may be facing the time of your life. DJ Ponyfarm approaches the form with just the right ironic distance — you’ll know what I mean — and positions his singers on a literal soapbox in the corner of the dark club. A weird, sweaty, applause-drenched night. 9 pm every Tuesday at Slainte, 24 Preble St.
Week of November 18
In its 14th annual soiree, the USM Royal Majesty Drag Competition and Show is the largest campus show of its kind. The public is more than welcome, and so is the invitation to step out of boring, un-fab American society. Incidentally, the large, cavernous banquet hall is one of the best places to meet strangers you absolutely must know. Not free, but you’ve saved for months! $10, $5 for students on November 22, 7 pm at 88 Spring St.