I t’s a hefty mix of art and history in New Haven this week. Some of the late greats being feted include Thelonius Monk, Marie Antoinette, Amistad hero Cinque and local music legend Andy Gray. Several of the city’s grandest institutions are hosting noteworthy events, with New Haven Free Public Library touting itself as a resource for small business development and Creative Arts Workshop holding a fashion show amid its annual Celebration of American Crafts. Then there’s celebrated pianist Boris Berman playing popular classical hits of a century ago. Everything old is new again in New Haven.
Monday, November 5
Devin Johnston and Anna Moschovakis read their poetry 4 p.m. at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (121 Wall Street, New Haven). It’s part of the Yale Collection of American Literature Reading Series. Free.
Tuesday, November 6
A number of local rockers celebrate birthdays in November: Bret Logan of Jellyshirts, Bill Beckett of The Streams, punk ukulele player (and author of this column) Chris Arnott… Another is Andy Gray passed away a couple of years ago, but he’s remembered with a Birthday Tribute at his old haunt Café Nine (250 State Street, New Haven; 203-789-8281). Gary Heriot, Leila Crockett, sisters Donna and Kriss Santala, Lonesome Billy, Travis Moody and others will celebrate the life and talent of New Haven’s own British pub rocker. 7 p.m.
Wednesday, November 7
The latest episode in the powerful “Heroes & Villains” series at New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Avenue, New Haven; 203-562-4183) tackles one of the greatest adventures in New Haven history, the Amistad Rebellion, from the perspective of the enslaved Africans aboard the ship. Marcus Redliker reads discusses his new book The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom. 6:30 p.m. Free.
What were the cool cats listening to a century ago? Pianist Boris Berman performs progressive compositions from “A Hundred Years Back: Music from 1912-13.” That means Debussy (“The Toy Box”), Scriabin (sonatas 7 and 9), and a piece by Prokofiev entitled “Sarcasms.” 8 p.m. $12-$22, $6-$9 for students. Morse Recital Hall, inside Sprague Memorial Hall, 470 College Street, New Haven. (203) 432-4158.
Thursday, November 8
The recent Library Project theater show at the New Haven Free Public Library demonstrated how many diverse and creative voices emanate from a single building. Today the library holds a talk on how it stimulates the economy too. Marilyn Johnson leads a 7 p.m. discussion on “Your Public Library: Small Business Headquarters,” explaining how to use library resources to found, sustain and grow your own business. 133 Elm St., New Haven.
Marie Antoinette continues her reign at the Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street, New Haven; 203-432-1234) through November 17, is the second Yale Rep collaboration between playwright David Adjmi and director Rebecca Taichman, who did the disturbing tongue-tied social satire The Evildoers four seasons ago. Tonight’s 8 p.m. performance includes a post-show conversation about the show, where you might ask about all the French Philosophy references and modern political allegories in Adjmi’s colorful yet shadowy play.
Friday, November 9
Two new shows open at Artspace today: “Large Scale Work” by Alyse Rosner in the space’s Gallery 1, and the four-artist concept show “Instructions Not Included,” an exhibit described as “objects which blur the lines between functional constructs and sculpture, often with a political or sustainable foundation.” Examples? “Shoes, cookies, furniture…” 50 Orange Street, New Haven. (203) 772-2709.
The surname Monk isn’t just a big deal in jazz history. It’s an important name in New Haven, where generations of relatives of the great Thelonius Monk have grown up. The Neighborhood Music School faculty concert “The Music of Monk” should have special local appeal, therefore. Rex Cadwallader’s at the piano, with Tiffany Jackson singing, Jesse Hameen II on drums and Mike Asetta on bass. Free. 7:30 p.m. 100 Audubon Street, New Haven. (203) 624-5189.
Saturday, November 10
The 24-voice Yale Schola Cantorum sings three Bach cantatas (“Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich,” “Gottes Zeit is die allerbeste Zeit” and “Lass, Fürstin, lass noch einen Strahl”), with the assistance of conductor Masaaki Suzuki and the Yale Baroque Ensemble, 5 p.m. at Christ Church Episcopal (84 Broadway, New Haven; 203-436-5062).
A funkier voice emerges from Southern Connecticut State University’s Lyman Center (on the school’s Crescent St. campus, New Haven). George Duke has recorded dozens of his own albums, and backed everyone from Michael Jackson to Miles Davis to Flora Purim and Joe Sample over a stellar four-decade career. 8 p.m. $32.
Sunday, November 11
Creative Arts Workshop’s annual Celebration of American Crafts—one of the best places in Connecticut to find creative gifts for the holiday season, and where the above photo was taken—is open seven days a week through Christmas Eve. Today offers a special event within the crafts fair: a “Celebrate Style” fashion show and champagne reception from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with New Haven arts scene celebrities such as Bitsie Clark and Michael Morand serving as models. 80 Audubon Street, New Haven. (203) 562-4927.