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State Theatre Opens This Weekend, Portland Music Foundation Open House on Sunday

lauren wayne at the new state theatre, portland, maine, photo by bryan bruchman, hillytown

"Viva la State." That's how Lauren Wayne ends her auto-reply email apologizing for not returning messages right away because... she's got a theater to open! The landmark State Theatre, vacant for four years and now thoroughly renovated (see photo gallery from HillyTown), will open its doors again Friday for a sold-out performance by My Morning Jacket. Wayne is a pivotal figure in the Portland music scene, a nexus for national and local bands, with the experience to tell the good from the great. She will manage about 80 shows a year at the State and continue to book acts for Port City Music Hall. The State, at around 1,500 seats, fits a niche between the larger, more formal Merrill Auditorium and smaller venues like Port City, Empire Dine and Dance and SPACE Gallery, and will attract bands that might otherwise skip Portland. Some examples from this Fall's lineup are Josh Ritter, Goo Goo Dolls and Michael Franti & Spearhead. The centrally located theater will also be another anchor for the arts district and an important showcase for the Portland Music Foundation, which is holding a free open house this Sunday (October 17) from 1 to 9 pm. There will be performances by local bands Darien Brahms, Jacob and the House of Fire, Brenda, Sidecar Radio, Atomik and Grand Hotel: "The open house will also serve as the annual launch event and membership drive for your favorite neighborhood local non-profit organization, the Portland Music Foundation, which, as you know, aims to educate, inspire, and incite musicians and music professionals throughout the Portland area and help the entire local music industry grow and prosper." In keeping with it's history, there will also be big screen entertainment at the State. On Saturday, October 30th, there will be a participatory showing of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show guided by The Dirty Dishes Burlesque Review, and Friday, December 3rd, will be 1930s Night, featuring Depression-level ticket prices ($5), a special screening of the The Wizard of Oz and a pre-show performance by local vaudevillians Over A Cardboard Sea. So good luck Lauren, break a leg and Viva la State!

new state theatre interior, portland, maine, photo by bryan bruchman, hillytown

photos by Bryan Bruchman, HillyTown

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