This Week in New Haven (February 11 – 17)

This Week in New Haven (February 11 – 17)

T he city got clobbered with snow Friday and Saturday, which led to the cancellation of several notable events planned for the weekend. The coming week looks much more benign; nonetheless, it’s a timely reminder for readers to double-check with the venue or producer before going out when the weather is threatening.

Let’s hope this week’s events all happen because every one carries an extra winter layer of warmth and cheer. There’s theater augmented by wine and food. A full opera production, with full orchestra, from Yale students. A complete rendition of Bach’s Art of Fugue. And one of the biggest parties of the season, the New Haven Free Public Library’s Mardi Gras fundraiser.

Monday, February 11
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s winter and it’s cold. So knit yourself something. The Mitchell Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library hosts a Knitting Club every week at 6 p.m. Beginners are welcomed. You’re expected to bring your own needles and yarn. 37 Harrison Street, New Haven. (203) 946-6514.

Not inclined to pick knitting? There’s a hot rap-influenced indie band show at the all-ages youth mecca The Space, with the Cincinnati-based trio WHY?, Astronautalis (a.k.a. itinerant rapper-turned-musician Andy Bothwell and friends) and Dream Tiger (namely Liz Wolf of the aforementioned WHY?, performing solo). 7 p.m.  $16.

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Curse of the Starving Class at Long Wharf Theatre

Tuesday, February 12
Johann Sebastian Bach’s Art of the Fugue, which consists of a dozen or more fugues and at least a couple of canons (depending on which version of the possibly incomplete work you’re hearing), is played tonight by the Orion Quartet and Windscape, using a string quartet/wind quintet arrangement by Samuel Baron. $25-$35, $15 for students. 8 p.m. at Morse Recital Hall, within Yale’s Sprague Memorial Hall (470 College Street, New Haven; 203-432-4158). If you dig that, you might want to return to the same place tomorrow (Wednesday the 13th) for a free 8 p.m. “Reflections on Bach” concert which has Yale student composers and the Yale Baroque Ensemble riffing on Bach themes and influences.

The New Haven Free Public Library’s annual Mardi Gras gala is one of the feel-good social events of the year. It’s a major fundraiser for the library and an event that literally transforms the building. It’s such a big deal that the library is closed all day in order to prepare for it. Tickets run from $75 to $500. Wear a fancy costume, and prepare to bid on silent auction items. 5:30 p.m. 133 Elm St., New Haven. (203) 946-8835.

Wednesday, February 13
A poetry reading deepens Infinite Well Acupuncture (123 Court Street, New Haven; 203-537-0699). The readers are Katie Yates, who lives in New Haven and teaches at St. Johns University in Queens, New York, and another New York English professor, Robert Masterson of CUNY in Manhattan. 7:30 p.m. Free, and so is the parking at Infinite Well.

Thursday, February 14
Happy Valentine’s Day! The lovely Lipgloss Crisis offers up her third annual burlesque/cabaret Valentine’s Day Show at Cafe Nine (250 State Street, New Haven; 203-789-8281), hosted by Dot Mitzvah and featuring stripteasers, sideshow tricksters, belly dancers and music from The Blondettes, Bella’s Bartok and Bohemian Dance Punk. You’re encouraged to dress appropriately for the occasion, if such a thing is possible. 8 p.m. $10.

Friday, February 15
Ken and Flo Jacobs, now in their 70s, have been in the vanguard of experimental filmmaking since the 1960s. In a way, their Nervous Magic Lantern project, which the married image-spinners will present tonight as part of a weekend-long Yale Film Studies conference in “Expanding Cinema: Spatial Dimension of Film Exhibition, Aesthetic and Theory,” hearkens back to image-projection styles of a century and a half ago. The Nervous Magic Lantern is a box filled with a lens, a light and a spinning shutter—no film, nothing pre-recorded; the images it unleashes are enlightening in all senses of the term. 8:30 p.m. at the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street, New Haven. Open to the public: you needn’t attend the conference to see the Nervous Magic Lantern show. (203) 432-0670.

Saturday, February 16
Step in time! Step in time! The Yale Center for British Art is showing the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins (screencapped above), starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke and directed by Robert Stevenson. The screening is free; good news for children who are always getting lectured by imperious British bankers about saving their money. 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven. (203) 432-2800.

The church music trio Encore Music Creations leads choirs from Bethesda Lutheran, First and Summerfield United Methodist, St. John’s Episcopal and Spring Glen Churches in the second annual “Ev’ry Voice in Concert Ring” festival of community hymn singing. The hymn arrangements are by Encore’s saxophonist/tin whistle-blower/percussionist Scott Perkins; the band also includes pianists/organists Lars Gjerde and Brett Judson. 7:30 p.m. at Bethesda Lutheran Church, 450 Whitney Avenue (parking lot entrance), New Haven. (203) 787-2346. Donations will go to Habitat for Humanity.

Sips and Giggles! returns to Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Avenue, New Haven; 203-389-8885), a tasteful evening linking one-act plays to wine and food samplings. A full sensory experience while the Valentine spirit is still in the air. 8 p.m. $40.

Sunday, February 17
The Friends of East Rock Park are holding a “Midwinter Spring Tea Party,” and not a snowflake too soon. The charming community gathering is held from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Pardee Greenhouse at the corner of Park and Farm, just over the Hamden line along State Street. Besides friendly neighbors and potted plants, you’ll find classical music (from Music Haven) and refreshments. Free.

Yale Opera has been performing I Capuleti e i Montecchi, its student-sung production of Bellini’s unique take on Romeo and Juliet, all weekend at at the Shubert (247 College Street, New Haven; 203-562-5666). Following 8 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday, the run ends this afternoon with a 2 p.m. matinee. The stage director is Marc Verzatt, with Speranza Scappucci conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale. Today’s performance has the same cast as Friday’s: Claudia Rosenthal as Giulietta, Vivien Shotwell as Romeo, Galeano Salas as Tebaldo, Nathan Milholin as Capellio and Alex Hahn as Lorenzo. On Saturday, those roles will be respectively sung by Alison King, Aleksandra Romano, Nikhil Navkal, David Leigh and Stephen Daniel. I Capuleti e i Montecchi is performed in Italian with English supertitles. $18-$41.

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 and New Haven Theater Jerk (

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