T ake a breather from holiday gift-shopping and resolution-writing. Christmas and New Year are still weeks away. While we wish you a happy Hanukkah, enjoy the sheer variety and wintry dazzlement on tap in New Haven this week. School’s still in session, so that means student and faculty recitals by the score. Church organs are particularly popular this time of year. Small art galleries are holding art sales, while the biggest one in town–Yale University Art Gallery–celebrates its grand reopening, following two years of extensive renovations. There’s modern jazz, Rat Pack impressions, even silent films based on Victorian melodrama. An embarrassment of seasonal gifts. Let it snow!
Monday, December 10
Elihu Rubin, who made compelling documentaries about downtown New Haven in his youth and is now an Assistant Professor of Urbanism at the Yale School of Architecture, studies Boston rather than New Haven in his new book Insuring the City: The Prudential Center & The Postwar Urban Landscape. At 7 p.m., he’ll be at the Institute Library. 847 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 562-4045.
Countertenor Andreas Scholl sings works by Haydn, Schubert, Brahms and Mozart, free, at 8 p.m. Sprague Hall, 470 College St., New Haven, (203) 432-4158.
Tuesday, December 11
There’s an Organ Improv Showcase, featuring Yale students, 2 p.m. at Trinity Church on the Green, at the corner of Temple and Chapel streets, New Haven. (203) 432-5062.
Wednesday, December 12
It’s a masterpiece years in the making, and it’s at the Yale University Art Gallery. In fact, it IS the Yale University Art Gallery, emerging from well over $100 million worth of renovations. The museum begins its grand reopening celebration today with a ribbon-cutting at noon. There are special talks and tours today, Saturday and Sunday (which also features a “Grand Opening Family Program” at 1 p.m.). 1111 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-0600.
Over at the New Haven Free Public Library, John Barricelli discusses and signs his timely cookbook The Seasonal Baker at 6 p.m. 133 Elm St., New Haven. (203) 946-8835.
Thursday, December 13
At 5:30 p.m., the Etherea Vocal Ensemble performs English holiday carols old and new, from John Rutter to Benjamin Britten, a cappella in the Library Court of the Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.
At the end of last month, sweet singer-songwriter Lys Guillorn co-hosted a trawl through the treasures of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. Tonight Lys is back at Cafe Nine with her full backing band, opening for the folk outfit Them Damn Hamiltons. 8 p.m. 250 State St., New Haven; (203) 789-8281.
Friday, December 14
Firehouse 12 completes its 2012 Fall Jazz Series tonight with two sets by the extraordinary and eclectic Daniel Levin Quartet, with the prolific Levin (an accomplished sideman who has recorded eight exquisite albums on his own) on cello, Matt Moran (of the Balkan cabaret act Slavic Soul Party!) on vibes, Nate Wooley (of the Blue Collar trio) on trumpet and Peter Bitenc (aka Hunter Gatherer) on bass. The 8:30 p.m. set is $18; the 10:00 is $12.
Other new sounds arise from Neighborhood Music School (100 Audubon St., New Haven; 203-624-5189), where acclaimed local experimental composer Istvan B’Racz and the ensemble Loop 2.4.3 join up with New York performance artist T-Byrd Burnett and New Haven lighting designer Jamie Burnett for a “new multi-media adventure” tentatively titled Square’s Rhomboidal Dream—a journey in sight and sound. It’s a work in progress, working towards a New York performance a few months from now. But tonight’s is in the NMS Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. $15.
Saturday, December 15
Screenings of Christmas films based on Charles Dickens stories and made between 1901 and 1951—Scrooge; or Marley’s Ghost (excerpt from the silent film); The Chimes (a 25-minute silent short inspired by a Dickens novella); and the unbeatable Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol (pictured above)—make a dickens of a yuletide gift. 2 p.m. at the Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. Free, (203) 432-2800.
The socially conscious Dickens, who wrote of class conflict and the deplorable conditions endured by poor workers, would no doubt approve of the New Haven Free Public Library and the Greater New Haven Labor History Association choosing to screen The Uprising of ’34 today at 1:30 p.m. at 133 Elm St., New Haven. The documentary film concerns the Southern Textile Strike of 1934, in which seven striking workers were killed. (203) 946-8835.
The tribute concert series The Rat Pack is Back! generally follows the format of Frank, Dean, Sammy and Joey’s shows in sunny Las Vegas in the early ’60s. This time around, however, baby it’s cold outside, so we get special The Rat Pack is Back: The Christmas Show, with skilled singer/comedians impersonating the inimitable Messrs. Sinatra, Martin, Davis and Bishop. The casts can change in this nationally touring revue, but often the Dean Martin at the Shubert stops has been local-boy-made-good Drew Anthony, who led a big band in the area before making it big by portraying one of his idols. Two shows at the Shubert (247 College St., New Haven; 203-562-5666), tonight at 8 p.m. and tomorrow (Sunday the 16th) at 3 p.m. $15-$75.
Sunday, December 16
It’s the closing day of the Erector Square Holiday Art Show held by Giampietro Gallery Saturday Dec. 15 and today in Building 4 of the Erector Square complex, 315 Peck St., New Haven. It’s a gallery exhibit in which the diverse works on display have been “specially priced for holiday gift giving.” Artists include Clint Jukkala, Zachary Keeting, Peter Ramon, Karen Dow, Chris Joy, Elizabeth Gourlay, Emilia Dubicki, Jonathan Waters, Danny Huff, Joe Fucigna and Chris Mir. We’re used to celebrating the artists of Erector Square during City-Wide Open Studios in autumntime. Continue the celebration in the holiday season. Building 4 (next to Lori’s Cafe), Erector Square, 315 Peck St., New Haven.
Written by Christopher Arnott.