This Week in New Haven (March 11 – 17)

This Week in New Haven (March 11 – 17)

I n with the new! The only dinosaurs this week are at Yale’s Peabody Museum, where they ought to be. Elsewhere, all is fresh and forward-thinking. Young singers, progressive jazzmen and socially conscious artists and visionaries lead the charge. Even the reunion of the Rodgers brothers as Mighty Purple (one of the most popular New Haven-area bands of the 1990s) is in service of the future, not the past—Steve & Jonny are inaugurating a whole new section of the Space nightclub empire in Hamden.

Space—the final frontier! These are the voyages.

Monday, March 11
Darian Cunning is a Bridgeport-based “alternative/indie/soul” artist who’s earned praise for his expressive, soulful yet also folk-friendly vocal style. He’s at Stella Blues (204 Crown Street, New Haven. 203-752-9764), 9:30 p.m.

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Ride the Tiger at Long Wharf Theatre

Tuesday, March 12
The rock/soul caravan continues with Anna Rose’s appearance tonight at Cafe Nine (250 State Street, New Haven; 203-789-8281). One of her songs is “Electric Child,” and in fact Anna Rose is the daughter of musical theater mastermind Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Newsies). Becky Kessler & Floyd Kellogg and Jason James are also on the bill. 8 p.m. $6.

Wednesday, March 13
“Celebrate Connecticut Women—Then & Now!” at a special 6 p.m. talk organized by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame in conjunction with an art exhibit at New Haven Free Public Library (Ives branch, 133 Elm St., New Haven; 203-387-4933). The hall of fame was founded in the mid-1990s. This year’s inductees include U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Barbara Hackman Franklin, Yale Vice President Linda Koch Lorimer and 19th century journalist and union activist Augusta Lewis Troup. At the library, CWHF Executive Director Katherine Wiltshire will discuss these and the dozens of other women who’ve earned a place in this pantheon.

Thursday, March 14
The subject of the latest “Heroes and Villains” lecture at New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave., New Haven) is Prudence Crandall, and she’s one of the former. Crandall created an integrated classroom in Canterbury, Connecticut, in 1831, and in her time was vilified for enrolling African-American girls into her Canterbury Female Boarding School. The school later became internationally known as a school exclusively for African-American girls. In 1995 she was made an official Connecticut State Heroine. (Yes, she’s also in the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.) Carolyn Ivanoff’s talk on Prudence Crandall is entitled “Dare to Teach.” 6:30 p.m. (203) 562-4183.

Friday, March 15
Two jazz shows tonight, of very different moods. At 8 p.m. in Southern Connecticut State University’s Lyman Hall (on the school’s 501 Crescent Street campus in New Haven), saxophonist Gerald Albright and guitarist Norman Brown indulge in some sultry soul-jazz sounds. Tickets are $34, with discounts for students and SCSU faculty/staff.

Firehouse 12, the intimate and cool recording studio/performance space/bar at 45 Crown Street, New Haven, opens its 2013 Spring Jazz concert series with a blast of trumpet from Stephen Haynes (pictured above), leading his new ensemble Pomegranate through a tribute to his longtime collaborator, composer Bill Dixon. Haynes and his bandmates—Ben Stapp on tuba, Joe Morris on guitar, Warren Smith on percussion and William Parker on bass—play two sets, at 8:30 p.m. ($18) and 10 p.m. ($12).

But the biggest, mightiest local music tonight will likely emanate from Mighty Purple. This brotherly band rarely gets together anymore—guitarist Jonny Rodgers lives on the West Coast, while his frontman sibling Steve is busy running The Space and Outer Space clubs. A new space in the Space empire, in fact, is the impetus for this reunion. Mighty Purple, performing as an acoustic duo rather than their full electric band of yore, christens the grand new Spaceland Ballroom 9 p.m. tonight. 295 Treadwell Street, Hamden. (203) 288-6400. $15, $12 in advance.

Saturday, March 16
There’s an opening reception 6 p.m. at the DaSilva Gallery for a show of “works on paper” by the accomplished local artist Fethi Meghell, whose art frequently ruminates on themes of war, peace and community. The exhibit’s on view through April 6th. 899 Whalley Avenue, New Haven. (203) 387-2539.

“A Night at the Peabody Museum” is in the spirit of those Night at the Museum movies—without the staying-overnight and historic-figures-coming-to-life parts. The event occurs after the Peabody’s usual closing time, and features scavenger hunts, rock-polishing and arrowhead-necklace crafts, a live menagerie of “Curious Creatures,” a Dinosaur Mural photo booth and many other activities. You can appreciate the Peabody from a different perspective: evening. 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. (203) 432-5050. Tickets must be bought in advance and are $18 or $12 for members and Yale employees.

Sunday, March 17
The Kehler Liddell Gallery in Westville (873 Whalley Ave., New Haven; 203-389-9555) holds a reception from 3 to 6 p.m. this afternoon for the two-artist exhibit it opened Thursday. The show concerns transformative visions: Linda Hess Hesselgrave’s paintings here are collectively titled “Into the Wild” and explores memory and fantasy. Marjorie G. Wolfe’s “Ephemerals” are photographs revealing intriguing relationships and juxtapositions.

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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