It’s hard to believe, but summer school vacation is already halfway over. On the one hand, that hopefully means we’ve seen the last of blistering summer heat (show of hands: How many of you broke down and finally bought an air conditioner?). On the other hand, it means it’s time to get serious about marking off the items on your summer to-do list.

Fortunately, tourist season is at its peak in Vacationland, so there is no shortage of things to do both indoors and out from now until Labor Day. Here are some ideas to get you off that couch before the school buses start running and the first cold snap makes us break out our fleece jackets.

IF YOU haven’t taken in a summer theater show in a while, it’s high time you did. Unfortunately, summer theater audiences are growing grayer with each passing year, and the only plausible reason I can think of is that younger folks just don’t realize how high-quality the offerings are in Maine.

I drove south last week to catch the Ogunquit Playhouse’s production of “Young Frankenstein” (, and everything from the singing and comedic timing to the set design blew me away. I highly recommend it. The show runs through Saturday, so there’s still time to check it out.

Next up at the Playhouse is “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” starring pop star Clay Aiken. It opens Wednesday and runs through Aug. 25. You can read Bob Keyes’ interview with Aiken in the Audience section of the next Maine Sunday Telegram.

LOOKING FOR some cheap entertainment? How about free? Every day, a free outdoor concert is being presented somewhere in southern Maine. Here’s a taste of what’s happening in Portland this week:

The Other Bones and ShaShaSha serve up some roots rock from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday during the Alive at Five Concert Series in Monument Square. Check out a video of ShaShaSha performing live in the Press Herald studio at

Fans of big band music and patriotic marches won’t want to miss Chandler’s Band performing at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Friends of the Eastern Promenade Concert Series in Fort Sumner Park.

Take the kids to Deering Oaks at 12:30 p.m. Thursday for children’s songs by Sammie Haynes.

There are two shows at Post Office Park as part of the Weekday Music and Performance Series. Folk singer Elaine Colella performs at noon Friday, while the West African rhythms of Annegret Baier may be heard at noon Tuesday.

Finally, one of the most popular local bands currently in existence, Phantom Buffalo, will perform in Western Promenade Park at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday as part of the Summer Folk Series.

All the above music series will return with different performers next week, and every week throughout August. How cool is that?

TELL YOUR taste buds you love them by attending the 11th annual Greater Portland Festival of Nations in Portland’s Deering Oaks, running 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. A multitude of ethnic dishes will be accompanied by music, dancing and art in celebration of the city’s diversity. Admission to the festival is free.

THAT’S ONLY a tiny taste of the things to do in Maine this summer. As always, you’ll find the most comprehensive entertainment guides in Maine with each issue of GO, both in print and online. And, because we love you so much, we have even more leisure activities on our sister site,

So what are you waiting for? Squeeze as much out of the season as you can, because, as Jim Morrison once sang, “summer’s almost gone.”

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: RHarmonPPH

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