This Week in New Haven (April 1 – 7)

This Week in New Haven (April 1 – 7)

Sorry, but not one of the items listed below is an April Fool’s prank. There really is that much to do in New Haven this week. You can hear Paul Giamatti speak, watch one of the most acclaimed documentaries of the past year, and attend a talk about New Haven department stores—all for free. For just $5, you can see what happens when a classical string quartet gets together with a samba band at a video store. Parents get to go to school and there are books you can eat.

No fooling!

Monday, April 1
It’s April Fool’s Day. Nobody knew more about fools than William Shakespeare: “What fools these mortals be!,” he wrote. Paul Giamatti, who’s starring in Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Yale Repertory Theatre (saying lines such as “we fools of nature …with thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?”), takes a break from pondering slings and arrows to deliver the annual Maynard Mack Lecture this evening at 5:15 p.m. in the University Theatre at Yale (222 York Street, New Haven; 203-432-1234).

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Edwardian Opulence at the Yale Center for British Art

Tuesday, April 2
Boris Berman is playing all of Brahms’s piano quartets 8 p.m. at Yale’s Morse Recital Hall (inside Sprague Hall, 470 College Street, New Haven; 203-432-4158), accompanied by Julie Eskar on violin, Ettore Causa on viola and Clive Greensmith on cello. $12-$20; $10 students.

Wednesday, April 3
The Oscar-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague, which shows how America responded to the AIDS crisis starting in the 1980s, is screening at 4 p.m. in the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street, New Haven.

It’s opening night of the world premiere of Ride the Tiger, a new play by William Mastrosimone, at the Long Wharf Theatre. Mastrosimone, best known in the theater world for his plays Extremities and The Woolgatherer, also wrote a 1992 miniseries about Frank Sinatra. Tiger, about political skullduggery involving President John F. Kennedy and Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana, is based on stories Sinatra told Mastrosimone which were never used in the film. Yet it’s very much a play, which Mastrosimone describes as a sort of modern Greek tragedy. Directed by Long Wharf’s artistic director Gordon Edelstein, it’s on the theater’s mainstage through April 21. 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven. (203) 787-4282.

Thursday, April 4
The old department stores of New Haven—Malley’s, Grant’s, Horowitz Brothers, Macy’s, Shartenburg’s and the rest—are all gone now, but their mystique remains. Today the New Haven Museum hosts Richard Longstreth, Professor of American Studies and Director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at George Washington University, as he speaks on “The Department Store Transformed: New England 1950-1970.” (203) 562-4183. 5:30 p.m. Free.

Haven String Quartet, the up-for-anything ensemble which runs the Music Haven program, gets together with the jazz combo Sambeleza for a night of “Beautiful Brazilian Dances” at Best Video (1842 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, 203-745-9030). “The music starts at 8 p.m.” $5.

Friday, April 5
The recent tradition of On9 nights—open house events promoting the shops, eateries and other bustling businesses of Ninth Square—emerges from three months of hibernation with Spring On9, starting at 4:30 p.m. with a “Flow Freely” demonstration at Fresh Yoga (49 Orange Street, New Haven) and ending with jazz concerts of very different stripes at Cafe Nine (250 State Street, New Haven) and Firehouse 12 (45 Crown Street, New Haven). In between are sales, workshops and other special events. Besides the Artspace opening touting a beloved artist/restaurateur neighbor, there’s a tenth anniversary celebration (at Nini’s House of Tapas, 40 Orange Street, New Haven) and a grand opening (Adae Arts Academy, in the same 817 Chapel Street building where Neville Wisdom will hold a spring fashion show). There’s a dance party (at Project Storefront, 756 Chapel Street, New Haven) and a “Build a Painting” demo at Reynolds Fine Art (96 Orange Street, New Haven).

There’s an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. for the new Box Shots! exhibit at Creative Arts Workshop (80 Audubon Street, New Haven; 203-562-4927) featuring photos taken by Bart Connors Szczarba from Box 4A during the New Haven Open at Yale.

Another art opening this afternoon also features a photographic element. Celebrated painter Jan Cunningham has been using photography to inform some of her paintings in the studio, which exude focus and simplicity. The reception is from 5 to 8 p.m. at Giampietro Gallery (315 Peck Street, Erector Square, New Haven; 203-777-7760). Cunningham’s exhibit is up through April 27.

The Yale Philharmonia, led for the evening by accomplished guest conductor Peter Oundjian, performs an all-American classical concert 8 p.m. at Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, New Haven; 203-432-4158) featuring works by Christopher Rouse (“Infernal Machine”), Samuel Barber (“Adagio for Strings”), Aaron Copland (“Appalachian Spring”) and John Adams (“Dr. Atomic Symphony”). Free.

Saturday, April 6
Today may be Saturday, but it’s a school day for New Haven parents. The latest full-day Parent University event, with workshops and info about college opportunities for parents who want to stay involved in their children’s educational options, is held today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Gateway Community College (20 Church Street, New Haven).

Copeland MacClintock is at the Fair Haven branch of New Haven Free Public Library (182 Grand Ave., New Haven; 203-946-8115) to tell “The Story of a Fossil.” The fossil in question is evidence of Triassic reptile and was found right here in New Haven. After the talk, MacClintock’s leads a walk to the Fair Haven Heights area where the fossil was found. 1 to 3 p.m.; free.

Not only does Creative Arts Workshop have a new exhibit up (see Friday), this afternoon is the workshop’s annual Edible Book Tea. For a decade now the CAW has exhibited, then served, food that takes the shape of literary works (like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, pictured above) and themes. You’re invited to bring your own tasty text-themed art, or just come and enjoy the literary output of others. The “books” are dropped off and set up between 9 and 10 a.m., and the exhibit exists and eventually gets eaten from 10 a.m. to noon. Gives a whole new meaning to “Reader’s Digest.” (80 Audubon Street, New Haven; 203-562-4927). Free.

Sunday, April 7
When you see a listing for a tour by Koji, the Pennsylvanian pop activist, and the qualifier “full band” is added, that makes it very special. Koji (a.k.a. Andrew Koji Shiraki) is a real do-it-yourselfer, making and producing his own records. But he also plays well with others, and is beloved by a host of cool indie acts. Koji and crew play The Space (295 Treadwell Street, New Haven; 203-288-6400) with opening acts Slingshot Dakota, Two Humans, Milkshakes and Lana Lana. 6 p.m. $10.

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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