This Week in New Haven (January 21 – 27)

This Week in New Haven (January 21 – 27)

I t’s a week of peace, community, religious thought, great journeys and social concerns befitting the legacy of the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That includes everything from the “Religion and Film” series at Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center to a trip halfway around the world (as presented by the Yale Philharmonia). King isn’t the only ’60s icon around, either; there’s a Marilyn Monroe film screening at the New Haven Free Public Library and the Grateful Dead-headstrong Shakedown at Toad’s Place.

Monday, January 21
It’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and you can honor the great peacemaker’s memory by attending an afternoon concert by Music Haven’s Haven String Quartet, St. Luke’s Steel Band, spoken word artist Aaron Jafferis and Alderwoman Angela Russell. 4:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 111 Whalley Ave., New Haven. (203) 745-9030.

Don’t forget that the 17th Annual “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice” event, a two-day affair which began Sunday, continues today from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Yale Peabody Museum (170 Whitney Ave., New Haven, 203-432-5050). Admission to the museum is free on this special day, when you can partake of performances, activities and information booths and community organizations.

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January Joiner at the Long Wharf Theatre

Tuesday, January 22
The Tokyo String Quartet has been a fixture of the Yale School of Music for over 35 years. After this season, the ensemble is entering retirement; tonight is their final performance at Morse Recital Hall, so catch them while you can. Selections include Haydn’s Quartet in G Minor (also known as “The Rider”), Bartók’s Fourth String Quartet and Mendelssohn’s Quartet No. 4 in E Minor. 8 p.m. at Yale’s Morse Recital Hall, Sprague Hall, 470 College St., New Haven. (203) 432-4158. $30-$40, $20 for students.

Wednesday, January 23
The sketch comedy duo Two Fun Men amuses Southern Connecticut State University tonight at 8 p.m. for $10 (or free, with a student ID) in the school’s Lyman Hall, on the 501 Crescent St. campus. (203) 392-6154.

Thursday, January 24
The Irish fiddler Marie Reilly performs at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum on the Quinnipiac University campus (3011 Whitney Ave., Hamden. 203-582-6500). Reilly’s latest album, The Anvil, preserves tunes and playing styles from the Country Longford region where she grew up.

The Whitney Humanities Center’s “Religion & Film” series screens Lars Von Trier’s provocative, apocalyptic family drama Melancholia (starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Alexander Skarsgard), then discusses it afterwards. 7 p.m. 53 Wall St., New Haven. Free.

Friday, January 25
The Yale Philharmonia travels through works “from Rome to Russia,” which is to say from Respighi (The Pines of Rome) to Tchaikovsky (Symphony No. 4 in F Minor). Shinik Hahm conducts. 8 p.m., Woolsey Hall, 500 College Street, New Haven. Free.

The Grateful Dead tribute act Shakedown closed out 2012 with a New Year’s Eve show at Toad’s Place, and they’re already back for more. Playing “The Dead and beyond,” Shakedown is joined by Full Spectrum for an 8:30 p.m. $12 show ($8.50 in advance) at Toad’s, 300 York St., New Haven. (203) 624-TOAD.

Saturday, January 26
It’s billed as part of a film series on economic policy, but it’s all in good fun: Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable feature as gold-diggers and furniture-brokers in the comedy How to Marry a Millionaire, showing at 2:30 p.m. at the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St., New Haven. (203) 946-8835.

The annual Valentine Chocolate Festival’s motto is “Celebrating Children and Chocolate.” On the chocolate side of things, the event involves a competition for the best chocolately confections (with awards given in both amateur and professional categories, based on such criteria as texture, appearance and creativity). “Celebrating children” means that proceeds from the event benefit the Montessori School on Edgewood run by the Greater Dwight Development Corporation. There’s also a silent auction where you can bid on a weeklong safari vacation in South Africa and other items. 1 to 4:30 p.m. at Yale’s Thomas Golden Jr. Student Center (adjacent to the university’s Saint Thomas More Chapel), 268 Park St., New Haven. Admission is $15 at the door, $10 in advance, which gets you chocolate samples and the privilege of voting in the competitions.

Berfest is a multi-night, multi-location East Coast live rock music community event that grew out of casual jams in a Boston apartment eight years ago. The Connecticut contribution to the tri-state festivities features homegrown acts Deadwives, Native Mode, Proud Flesh and The Selkie. 8 p.m. Cafe Nine (250 State St., New Haven; 203-789-8281). $5.

Sunday, January 27
New Haven Museum is helping budding young historians learn the ropes, with a special workshop on how to gather primary source materials in historical research projects. The workshop, for kids in grades 6-12, is geared to the National History Day contest in which students across the country create historical projects around a specific theme. (This year it’s “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.”) It’s led by Gretchen Gurr, who teaches at Hillhouse High School and was named Connecticut’s National History Day Teacher of the Year in 2012. Admission is free; donations welcomed. 1 p.m. 114 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 562-4183 x11.

It’s a history mix of another kind 4 p.m. at Cafe Nine (250 State St., New Haven; 203-789-8281), where dobro master Stacy Phillips leads a three-hour Bluegrass Jam. All electrified instruments will be eschewed in favor of acoustic axes such as banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and stand-up bass. At 8 p.m. (following a 7 p.m. sign-up hour) things get louder and wilder with the latest Sunday-After-Supper Jam, with Dom Zullo of the band Scrapyard leading the Cafe Nine All-Stars. It’s a well-managed jam with PA system, amps and drums provided.

Written by Christopher Arnott.

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Christopher Arnott has written about arts and culture in Connecticut for over 25 years. His journalism has won local, regional and national awards, and he has been honored with an Arts Award from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. He posts daily at his own sites www.scribblers.us and New Haven Theater Jerk (www.scribblers.us/nhtj).

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