T he spookiest month of the year begins with a Wicked talk and a freaky Friday full of strange lights in the night. But New Haven isn’t descending into Halloween hysteria just yet. This week gives us countless chances to sweat off future pounds incurred from gorging on candy corn and Tootsie rolls, and a unique film festival keeps horror flick marathons at bay for a few more days.
Monday, September 30
FITWEEK has had New Haveners rolling out of beds and offices and into an array of local fitness arenas since 2011. The 2013 edition gets kicking today, offering free or discounted access to martial arts, salsa, yoga, rolfing and myriad other sessions around the area—as well as deals at some fitness-oriented retailers—for a one-time fee of $20. You’ll save about that much by taking any of the 12 free classes offered at Sarah Aldrich Pilates this week, and you’ll get it all back and more on your free climbing day at City Climb. Scrambling around the latter’s 7,000 square feet of mock-rock walls feels great, and so does the knowledge that your $20 went to fund research at the Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital.
Tuesday, October 1
It’s October, so today’s Wicked New Haven event at the New Haven Museum sounds about fright. The book’s author, Michael J. Bielawa, has pulled together a local history of “pirates, mysteries and unusual deaths,” including “grave robbers” and “hauntings.” Bielawa discusses the book at 6 p.m., with copies on hand for you to buy and for him to sign. 114 Whitney Ave, New Haven; (203) 562-4183. Free.
Wednesday, October 2
The New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema, highlighting films produced in Latin America, Spain and Portugal, commences today at 7 p.m. at the Whitney Humanities Center with The Gold Brooch, or Broche de Oro, and picks up a lot of steam on the way to its concluding events on Sunday. The festival is centered at Yale but holds a screening apiece at area colleges Southern Connecticut State and Albertus Magnus. All of the NEFIAC’s 24 events (including a showing of Everybody Has a Plan starring Viggo Mortensen, pictured above) in New Haven this week are free to attend, no badge required. But it’s still got a significant trapping of those pedigreed badged festivals: competition, with juried awards at the feature, documentary, and short film tiers.
Thursday, October 3
Tonight is opening night for the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s 2013-14 season. The name of the 7:30 p.m. show is “Tchaikovsky Triumphant,” owing to the “shocking climaxes” of the program’s final performance, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. Traveling 19-year-old virtuoso Chad Hoopes, who, according to his website, is still trying to find the time to finish high school, adds his violin to the NHSO’s steadfast ranks. $15-69. Woolsey Hall, 500 College Street, New Haven.
Friday, October 4
Dress to the nines because New Haven’s Ninth Square is almost inconceivably full of significant cultural happenings tonight. Thankfully, you can make just about everything, or at least be within earshot of it all, if you’re determined and fleet of foot.
First out of the gate is the opening party for Artspace’s 16th annual City-Wide Open Studios, a three-weekend visual arts extravaganza spanning the city and beginning in earnest on Saturday, October 12. Tonight’s party, hosted by Artspace (50 Orange Street, New Haven; 203-772-2709), lasts from 5 until 9 p.m., so you’ve got time to swing through later if that helps you fit in everything else.
Speaking of which, this month’s first Friday—“Illuminate On9,” billed as a prelude to this year’s LAMP (more on that in a second)—gets going at 6 p.m. A partial list of seeings and doings: Luminarias—paper lanterns—are set to line the streets. Three new businesses are holding ribbon-cuttings: 116 Crown-affiliated sandwich shop Meat & Co. (118 Crown St) at 6; home-style restaurant Inspired Turkey (82 Crown St) at 6:30; and a second New Haven location for Fred.Giampietro Gallery (91 Orange St)—which is simultaneously holding an opening reception for its opening exhibition, featuring works by Elizabeth Gourlay & Kevin Finklea—at 6:45. From 6 to 7:30, bistro-style tables and seating take over a closed-to-cars portion of Orange outside Bentara and Palmeira Brasil, good for breezy dinner-ing with takeout from nearby restaurants, some of which are offering specials.
Finally, LAMP (Light Artists Making Places) begins its 2013 showcase in the Ninth Square at 8 p.m. The primary themes of the event are “the return of the Phantom Shippe of 1647” and New Haven’s dodransquadricentennial (ahem, 375th birthday) this year. Enjoy a variety of wow-inducing light installations and attendant performances, including a bill at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven) that’ll knock your lights out if you’re a local music historian: Mark Mulcahy, former lead singer of Miracle Legion, preceded by The Streams, helmed by Dave Brooks, starting at 9 p.m.
Saturday, October 5
Theater company Jackdaw-Pike finished staging its first local production, The Specials, on Sunday, September 22. But New Haveners have another chance to get acquainted with the upstart company during “a night of fun, food and performance” from 7 to 10 p.m. at Luck & Levity Brew Shop (118 Crown St, 203-785-0545). The party is free to attend, but the goal is to raise awareness and build support for current fundraising efforts to help them put on future ones, as well as to accept any forthcoming donations.
Sunday, October 6
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and today from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Ballroom at the Omni Hotel (155 Temple St, New Haven; 203-772-6664), ArtBra New Haven heeds the call. About 60 one-of-a-kind bras donated by local artists and crafters will go up for live and silent auction. Along with the proceeds from ticket sales ($50 each), the money will be given to under- and uninsured breast cancer patients at Yale’s Smilow Cancer Hospital.
Written by Dan Mims.
Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.