C hristmas Eve was a Monday understandably bereft of going-out opportunities. When New Year’s Eve falls on a Monday, on the other hand, it’s a whole different world—one which bodes well for a busy new year of shows, concerts, lectures, exhibits and other activities in Connecticut’s cultural capital, New Haven.
Monday, December 31
There’s new art on the walls, from a still life of “Four Pears” to the foreboding “Medici Forest,” at Atticus Bookstore/Café, courtesy of painter Jackie Labelle Young, who teaches art at Hopkins School. Atticus is open Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday & Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 1082 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 776-4040.
Okay, that’s your calm moment of reflection for the day. Now it’s time to party.
For New Year’s parties, Lyric Hall gets off to an early start at 9 p.m. with its Afterlife Party & Concert, for which “heavenly attire” is recommended. Entertainment includes songstress Chrissy Gardner, dance chanteuse Abigail Zsiga, guitarist Robert Messore plus Professor John and Tim Kane. The concert runs until 11 p.m., after which attendees can party well past midnight. 827 Whalley Ave., New Haven. (203) 389-8885. $45; group discounts available.
Toad’s Place brings a grateful close to the year with a New Year’s Eve Extravaganza starring longlived Grateful Dead tribute act Shakedown plus Mushroom Cloud and the John Lennon tribute Nutopia. 9 p.m. 300 York St., New Haven. (203) 624-TOAD. Besides music, the $15 event features party favors, a balloon drop, a champagne toast at midnight and a complimentary continental breakfast.
Meanwhile, the Shubert hosts a “First Night of Funny” featuring four professional comedians—Buddy Fitzpatrick, Sherry Davey, Eric McMahon and Joe Moffa—and the promise that “you’ll be home before midnight.” 8 p.m. 247 College St., New Haven; 203-562-5666). $33, or $28 if you reserve seats before tonight.
For year-closing stand-up comedy hijinks that last all the way into next year, Philadelphian Coleman Green hosts a New Year’s Eve party at Joker’s Wild, 232 Wooster St., New Haven. (203) 773-0733, 10 p.m. In addition to admission, $25 gets you “champagne, party hats and noisemakers.”
At Cafe Nine, it’s a burlesque blizzard of striptease, vaudeville and other stage delights of bygone eras with Lipgloss Crisis’ New Year’s Eve spectacular at 10 p.m. (250 State St., New Haven; 203-789-8281). $15.
Tuesday, January 1
The Polar Plunge is a wild and wintry tradition in which warm-blooded, cold-addled residents don swimsuits or other skimpy costumes, then jump into the water at Lighthouse Point Park (2 Lighthouse Rd., New Haven). In previous years, the plunge was the center of a swirl of food, entertainment and other activities. This year, due to damage done by Hurricane Sandy to the beach’s Carousel building, it’s just the plunge, but that’s plenty. Besides a refreshing dip, it’s an important fundraising opportunity. Kids get wet first at noon, followed by grown-ups at 12:30 p.m. Observers are welcome. Cheer on your chilly pals! (203) 946-2459.
Wednesday, January 2
Keep your New Year’s resolutions, especially the fitness ones. The New Haven Free Public Library’s main Ives building (133 Elm St., New Haven; 203-946-8835) holds weekly Library Yoga sessions on Wednesdays from 1 to 2 p.m. Today at one of the other NHFPL branches, Wilson (303 Washington Ave., New Haven; 203-946-2228), there’s an Exercise to Health workshop—or rather a work-out, to fitness DVDs—from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
You can also dance the pounds away to Math the Band and Space Orphans tonight for free at BAR, starting at 9 p.m. (254 Crown St., New Haven; 203-495-1111).
Thursday, January 3
Take a mini-Grand Tour at the Yale Center for British Art, where a museum docent will lead you through the far-ranging exhibit The English Prize: The Capture of the Westmorland, an Episode of the Grand Tour. The show reunites art objects taken when a British ship returning from a voyage to Italy was captured by the French as an act of war. The tour (one of many on the YCBA schedule regarding the Westmorland exhibit) is at 11 a.m. The museum is at 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800. Free.
Friday, January 4
Toad’s Place warms up the region with a Reggae Winterfest featuring I Anbassa, The Green Line, All Good Feel Good Collective, 27 Prophets, Shots Fired and Mitigue. 8 p.m., 300 York St., New Haven. (203) 624-TOAD. $12, $8.50 in advance.
Saturday, January 5
The eclectic Tokyo pop band The Suzan (pictured above)—whose fans include such diverse and gifted musicians as Peter, Bjorn & John, Titus Andronicus and Zambri—come to Cafe Nine (250 State St., New Haven; 203-789-8281). The Mendition of the Quay opens. 9 p.m. $8.
There’s also a benefit for the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings tonight at The Outer Space, with music from Shawn Taylor & Wandering Roots and The Nameless Trio. $10. 295 Treadwell St., Hamden. (203) 288-6400.
Sunday, January 6
Support budding philharmonicists! Neighborhood Music School hails the glories of Yale’s Battell Chapel, where NMS’ auditioned Greater New Haven Youth Ensembles perform their Winter Concert. The Concert and Youth Orchestras go on at 2 p.m., the Concert Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble at 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children and seniors. The chapel is at 400 College St., New Haven. (203) 624-5189.
Written by Christopher Arnott.