T he holiday spirit is in the air, as shown by the many, many, seasonal events which dot the New Haven calendar like snowflakes this week. Museums hold lectures, theaters stage world premieres, trumpeters blow classical and jazz riffs, arts groups and high schools make wreathes, and, to top it all off, the Christmas tree glows on New Haven Green.
Monday, December 3
Charles Neidich (clarinet) and Robert Levin (piano) repeat the performance they gave yesterday afternoon, tonight at 8 p.m. at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, 15 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven. (203) 432-4158, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.
Get to the Point! is a new monthly storytelling series at Cafe Nine, hosted by the very guy who puts this calendar together, Chris Arnott. The idea is to explore storytelling in all its different forms, from classical Greek myths to musical story-songs to the current craze for memoir-style stories as popularized by The Moth and This American Life. “Volume One” of Get to the Point! gets vocal at 8 p.m. 250 State St., New Haven. Free. (203) 789-8281.
Tuesday, December 4
“The Manitoba Treaty of 1870: Envisioning, Negotiating and Violating an International Treaty Between the Peoples of Red River and the People of Canada” is discussed by “indigenous governance” expert Adam Gaudry of the University of Victoria, who’s currently studying at Yale. 11:30 a.m. at the Hall of Graduate Studies, 320 York St., New Haven. (203) 432-5116, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, December 5
The Yale quintet Brass blows “Sounds of the Season” 5:15 p.m. at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 121 Wall St., New Haven. Free.
More horning in, this time by a saxophone: the Saint James Jazz Band plays blues, R&B and popular jazz at Cafe Nine. The tenor sax is Herb Wilson, the piano is Joe McWilliams, the stand-up bass is Esdras Lubin, the drums are J.B. Sutherland and the Saint James is singer Kevin Saint James. 8 p.m. $5. 250 State St., New Haven (203) 789-8281. Kevin will be back at the Nine Sunday (Dec. 9) with his Legendary Cafe Nine All-Stars for a Sunday-After-Supper Jam at 7 p.m.
The first of two major regional theater openings this week (see Thursday for the other one) is the new adaptation of Frank Marcus’s ’60s standard The Killing of Sister George, reworked to be funnier with a revised script by Jeffrey Hatcher and Kathleen Turner of Body Heat fame doing double-threat duty as director and star. The Long Wharf Theatre production runs through Dec. 23 at 222 Sargent Dr., New Haven. (203) 787-4282.
Thursday, December 6
The Holiday Tree Lighting on New Haven Green takes place from 4 to 8 p.m., with performances by school choirs, local news personalities, the Mayor of New Haven and a fast-food chain clown as hosts, and a slew of rides and activities for kids, from a carousel to Santa’s mailbox. All that seasonal pandemonium calms down when the tree actually gets lit up and everyone goes “Ooooooohhhh.”
Jon E. Purmont discusses his new biography Ella Grasso: Connecticut’s Pioneering Governor at 6:30 p.m. at the New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 562-4183.
Meanwhile, Dear Elizabeth, based on the correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, opens at the Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-1234.
Friday, December 7
Shine On9 happens tonight from 6-8 p.m. in—where else?—New Haven’s Ninth Square. This month’s neighborhoody open-house festivities includes a “Holiday Cookie Crawl” where, for $15, you can get a “keepsake cookie box” and have fun filling it at participating Ninth Square businesses. (203) 401-4542.
The good folks at CT Folk round out a diverse December with a “Song Circle” led by Bridgeport-based John Redgate and New York’s Glen Roethel, leading a Beatles sing-along. 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 704 Whitney Ave., New Haven. $15.
Saturday, December 8
The Holiday mART (partially pictured above) at Project Storefronts (756 Chapel St., New Haven; 203-946-2895) has wreath-making workshops today at 2, 4 & 6 p.m. It also has handmade gifts infused with art and creativity.
You can also look at wreaths as an agricultural, rather than urban-artist, pursuit. Common Ground High School (358 Springside Ave., New Haven) hosts its own wreath-making workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. $8 includes the use of tools and materials, plus hot drinks, soup and snacks emanating from Common Ground’s organic farm.
City Gallery (994 State St., New Haven; 203-782-2489) is offering special editions of artworks by the gallery’s members, at $100 each, at its annual “Give Art” holiday exhibition. The opening reception for the show, which features 18 artists, is today from 2-6 p.m.
New Haven Ballet’s annual presentation of The Nutcracker opened last night at the Shubert with a 7 p.m. performance, has two shows today at 1 & 5:30 p.m. and ends tomorrow with a 1:00 p.m. Sunday show. That’s a lot of mouse-battling. 247 College St., New Haven; (203) 562-5666.
Sunday, December 9
It’s Family Day at the Yale Center for British Art, with film screenings from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Of course, every day can be Family Day at the YCBA: who doesn’t like paintings of dogs and horses? 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.
Two downtown churches hold special concerts this afternoon. At 4 p.m. in Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green (corner of Chapel and Temple streets, New Haven; 203-624-3101), it’s the annual Christmas Concert of the world-famous Trinity Choir of Men and Boys. At 5 p.m. members of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and the Christ Church Choir perform Handel’s Messiah at (naturally) Christ Church New Haven (84 Broadway, New Haven), a benefit for the Community Soup Kitchen; tickets are $30 and $45, or $75 if you want to be at the pre-concert reception.