Top-five things to do

Film, Lifestyle
A roundup of Seacoast entertainment for the weekend of Oct. 14

We’re unveiling our top-five weekend events a day early this week, as the 16th annual New Hampshire Film Festival gets underway tonight in Portsmouth. We’ve also got local options for theater, art, music, food, and beer. Lots of beer.

Film fest turns sweet 16
Alysia Reiser

photo by Brad Calcaterra

Yes, the New Hampshire Film Festival begins tonight, Oct. 13, with a reception at 6:30 p.m. in the lobby of The Music Hall in Portsmouth. The opening night is devoted to New Hampshire films and awards, while the three days and nights that follow will be filled with films from around the world, along with panels, workshops, celebrity appearances, and more. One of the festival’s recently announced highlights is a Q&A with actor and producer Alysia Reiner (above), best known for her role in “Orange Is the New Black.” Following a screening of her film “Equity” on Saturday night, Reiner will engage in a Q&A and accept the inaugural Pioneer Filmmaking Award. To read about other celebrity guests, click here. To read an interview with New Hampshire native Justin Connor about his film “The Golden Age,” click here. For more on the New Hampshire Film Festival, including a full schedule, click here.

It’s beer season
New Hampshire Brewfest

photo courtesy of WHEB

October is a month recognized around the world as a time to celebrate good beer. And New Hampshire will celebrate heartily this weekend. On Saturday afternoon, Oct. 15, the Red Hook Brewery in Portsmouth hosts the eighth annual New Hampshire Brewfest, a fundraiser for the Prescott Park Arts Festival. The event features upwards of 150 brews from more than 50 brewers, plus live music and entertainment. For more info, click here. On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 16, Smuttynose Brewing in Hampton hosts Smuttoberfest, featuring beer, food, games, and live music from the Soggy Po’ Boys. For more, click here.

Harvest the arts
TEAM Harvest Fest

photo courtesy of Lorenzo Vigil

The second annual TEAM Harvest Fest takes place at the Bungalow Grove in Exeter on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 12-5 p.m. A celebration of local music, food, and art, the festival features live performances from Groove Lounge and Rockspring, with food and drinks from 3 Brothers Marketplace, Laney & Lu Café, Blue Moon Evolution, and D Squared Java. There will also be kids’ activities, art vendors, lawn games, and a raffle, all to benefit the TEAM (Town Exeter Arts Music) initiative to cultivate and promote local art and music in the community. Learn more here.

Being Billy Butler
Bitter Pill: The Songs of Billy Butler as Conceptualized by the Mad Men of Oopsy Daisy

photo courtesy of The Mad Men of Oopsy Daisy Inc.

Anyone familiar with the Seacoast music or theater scene knows actor, musician, and playwright Billy Butler. The creator of “Gay Bride of Frankenstein,” “Missing: Wynter,” and numerous albums, Butler is a staple of the creative community. His new show, “Bitter Pill: The Songs of Billy Butler as Conceptualized by the Mad Men of Oopsy Daisy Inc.,” opens tomorrow, Oct. 14, at The Players’ Ring in Portsmouth. It’s a musical revue of Butler’s original songs, accompanied by dancing, cirque, burlesque, puppetry, and more. It promises to be a truly unique pre-Halloween performance. To read an interview with Butler and the Mad Men, click here. For tickets and show times, click here.

All about birds
For the Birds

photo by Frank Clarkson

A group of local musicians and writers will “sing the birds off on their fall migrations” this weekend, says Kimberly Green, producer of the “For the Birds” concert. The show takes place at South Church in Portsmouth on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m., with proceeds benefiting the church’s capital campaign to fund improvements to the historic property. Green and musical director Agnes Charlesworth are preparing a program of jazz, folk, gospel, and pop songs, accompanied by original poems and prose about the lives and fall journeys of birds. Tickets are $20, available at South Church and RiverRun Bookstore. For more information, call 603-436-4762 or click here.