I t’s a wild west week in New Haven, starting with Willie Nelson & Family at the Shubert on Monday, continuing with Kinky Friedman (pictured above, who once wrote a mystery novel about Willie Nelson) hawking his new tequila at Café Nine on Tuesday and contemporary San Francisco composer Aaron Novik at InterCambio on Thursday.
Special Note: The 2012 International Festival of Arts & Ideas is in full swing so we’re providing highlight coverage by Christopher Arnott in the lower left events corner of DN emails for the next two weeks. (View the complete Arts & Ideas schedule here and see our Festival article from last week.) Meanwhile, today’s article is devoted to all the other great things happening in New Haven this week.
Monday, June 18
Willie Nelson, that crazy, stardusted red-headed stranger with sweet memories of Georgia on his mind and who’s perpetually on the road again, pulls into the luxurious Shubert tonight for a 7:30 p.m. concert with his accustomed “& Family” ensemble and opening act These United States. $58-$78 ($100 for special “Gold Circle” seats). 247 College St., New Haven.
Tuesday, June 19
Kinky Friedman, the songwriter, raconteur, mystery novelist, political satirist and self-styled “Texas Jewboy” brings his occasionally tasteful but always thought-provoking and laughter-inducing self to Café Nine for an intimate stop on his “Bi-Polar Tour.” He’ll be doing readings, but this ain’t a book signing. It’s a bottle-signing of Kinky’s new Man in Black brand tequila. 8 p.m. 250 State St., New Haven. (203) 789-8281.
Wednesday, June 20
The Yale Summer Cabaret began several decades ago as a more commercial, more mainstream offshoot of the edgier school-year Yale Cabaret. That’s changed—the Summer Cabaret hasn’t played it safe in years. This year the theme for the whole eight-week summer season is “50 Nights: A Festival of Stories.” All three shows in the season begin this week and will alternate performances through August 19. First up, tonight, is The K of D, written by Laura Schellhardt and directed by Tanya Dean. Friday June 22 marks the premiere of Of Ogres Retold, directed and conceived by Adam Rigg. Saturday, June 23 for The Secret in the Wings, written by Mary Zimmerman and directed by Margot Bordelon. The shows use methods as varied as contemporary urban legend-spreading, Asian puppetry and fairy to “explore and celebrate the art of storytelling.” See here for performance schedule and details. Tickets run $25-$40 ($10-$25 for students), with a three-show subscription package only $70 ($29 students).
Thursday, June 21
On his colorful, upbeat website, San Francisco-based avant-garde composer Aaron Novik says, “I use music to convey ideas beyond merely collecting a group of sounds together. I compose music that addresses thoughts and emotions and abstractions.” Amazingly, it’s not the International Festival of Arts & Ideas which brought Aaron Novik to town this week. It’s the InterCambio arts collective that operates out of the Project Storefronts headquarters at 756 Chapel Street near the corner of State Street. 8 p.m.
Other cultural investigations are afoot at the latest lecture sponsored by the Yale Sherlock Holmes Society. Forensic scientist Henry Lee will discuss “The Application of Sherlock Holmes Logic in Solving Homicide,” followed by a screening of Brian DePalma’s Hitchcockian thriller Dressed to Kill, starring Angie Dickinson and Michael Caine. 7 p.m. at Davies Auditorium inside Yale’s Becton Engineering and Applied Science Center, 15 Prospect St., New Haven. Free.
Friday, June 22
If you think the Yale Summer Cabaret creates some mindbending student collaborations, watch out for the Dwight/Edgewood Project. For 17 years now, Yale School of Drama students have worked closely with New Haven public school youngsters—this year it’s a group of eight sixth- and seventh-graders from Troup School on Edgewood Avenue—to create original plays. Scripts are written by the grade-schoolers. Then the plays are rehearsed, designed, directed and performed by the Yalies, with constant input from the young writers. The eight short works are getting their sole performances this weekend in two separate programs: June 22 and June 23 at 7 p.m. in the Off Broadway Theater (41 Broadway, New Haven, down the path behind Toad’s Place on York Street.) Free; get there early to compete with all the proud parents jostling for the best seats.
Saturday, June 23
Channel 1 has moved its Hip-Hop style and skateboard emporium to the other end of State Street. It’s now in the big warehouse building at 220 State St., quite a ways from its original Ninth Square location at 1175 State. But Channel 1 hasn’t forsaken the old hood. It’s holding its sixth annual Block Party on New Haven Green today from noon to 6 p.m., continuing the festivities tomorrow from 3-6 p.m. You can draw on the sidewalks, mark up graffiti walls, practice your break dancing and be entertained by MCs and DJs.
Sunday, June 24
Beth Patella teaches at Neighborhood Music School, and that’s where she’ll be playing songs from her forthcoming CD Dreaming Away, at a “pre-release concert” this afternoon at 4 p.m. The singer/songwriter/guitarist/piano, who writes in a variety of musical styles, will be accompanied by Gary Maus on guitars, Pete Magnoti on drums and Peter Boccarreli on bass. The show is free. 100 Audubon St., New Haven. (203) 624-5189 x54, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Christopher Arnott.