P oets, pandas, and punk puppets! Oh, my! This week in New Haven takes on mythic proportions—an urban farmer who’s won a MacArthur Grant, a rat that cooks French cuisine, and the dis-tressed classical grandeur of Samson and Delilah. Rising above them all are a raucous college theater rendition of the Rocky Horror Show and the awesome, exhausting, visual arts extravaganza known as City-Wide Open Studios. Only a city such as ours could contain it all.
Monday, October 8
Yale’s Peabody Museum always makes a special effort on school holidays. For Columbus Day, the Peabody’s found an appropriate film to accompany its eye-opening Big Food exhibit about healthy eating: Ratatouille, the Pixar classic about a gourmet rodent chef. The film plays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the museum, 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. Admission is $9, $5 for children. (203) 432-5050.
Tuesday, October 9
What did the United States have to do with the War of 1812? Historian Fred Calabretta brings the conflict close to home, explaining Connecticut’s place in it. The free talk, “Heroes & Villains: Connecticut and the War of 1812,” happens at 6:30 p.m. in the New Haven Museum (a.k.a. the New Haven Historical Society), 114 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. (203) 562-4183.
Wednesday, October 10
The Chicago duo The White Panda releases new mash-up recordings almost weekly. They’ve released four albums and are ubiquitous on internet new-music sites. Their live show tonight at Toad’s Place allows you to sample their singular style up close. 2AM Club and Kinetics and One Love are also on the bill. 300 York Street, New Haven. $25, $22 in advance. (203) 624-TOAD.
Thursday, October 11
Poet Peter Cole is the guest speaker for the Yale Institute of Sacred Music’s Literature & Spirituality Series, delivering the Lan Schwebel Memorial Lecture in Religion & Literature, 5:15 p.m. at Marquand Chapel, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven. The author of the poetry collection Things on Which I’ve Stumbled, the anthology The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition and (with Adina Hoffman) the non-fiction book Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza, Cole is speaking on “The Poetry of Kabbalah, the Kabbalah of Poetry.” (203) 432-5180.
Friday, October 12
Will Allen grew tall as a child (he played professional basketball), he grew food as a grown-up (following in the footsteps of his sharecropper dad) and he grew an urban agricultural revolution as the founder and CEO of the Milwaukee-based community farming institution Growing Power Inc. A legend among modern farmers, Allen’s giving the keynote speech at a celebration marking the 30th anniversary of the New Haven Land Trust. That 6 p.m. event at 186 Grove Street, New Haven—which includes a dinner of local, sustainable foods, live music, a silent auction and an award presentation—costs $125 a ticket. While Allen’s in town, he’ll also take part in Friday’s daylong New Haven Food Summit at New Haven City Hall organized by the New Haven Food Policy Council. Allen is also taking part in “The Big Stink,” a free bus tour of community gardens including garlic planting on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.—email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Halloween comes early this year—or perhaps it’s just a time warp. Southern Connecticut State University’s Crescent Players are rocking The Rocky Horror Show. Richard O’Brien’s camp tribute to old horror movies and ’70s glam culture is directed by Larry Nye. It opens tonight, runs next weekend as well and even has a midnight performance tomorrow night, October 13th. $10, $5 students and SCSU faculty. At Lyman Hall, on the SCSU campus, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven. (203) 392-6154.
Saturday, October 13
The second weekend of City-Wide Open Studios (for which hundreds of artists get a chance to exhibit their works publicly and demonstrate what a large and vibrant arts community New Haven has) centers around the studios and galleries of the Erector Square complex at 315 Peck Street, New Haven.
David Liebe Hart is a California street performer and artist who gained a national audience through the Cartoon Network series Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show, Great Job! The David Liebe Hart Band is a punk rock band with a positive vibe, an ideal medium for an eclectic talent who began his career as a Christian puppeteer. 9 p.m. at Cafe Nine, 250 State Street, New Haven. $8. (203) 789-8281.
Sunday, October 14
The oratorio Samson was Handel’s follow-up to his Messiah. It’s a poetic adaptation of the famous haircutting cautionary tale, based as much on a John Milton play as on the original biblical episode. The free Yale Schola Cantorum concert features Scott Mello in the title role, Megan Chartrand as Delilah and guest conductor Nicholas McGegan. 5 p.m. at Woolsey Hall, 500 College Street, New Haven. (203) 432-5180.