I f you haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet, this week is a gift. Several pop-up craft events, many featuring local artisans and unique or small-batch items, make it entirely possible to surprise the people you’re buying for this year.
New Haven sure is a crafty place.
Monday, December 9
Ideas about public schools and public school teachers are tossed around a lot in political conversations. The documentary Go Public gives some of those teachers, as well as their students and administrators, a chance to speak for themselves, and gives the rest of us a chance to gain some perspective beyond our own individual schooling experiences. The film, which follows 50 subjects in 28 school districts for a single day, screens at 7 p.m. tonight at Hill Regional Career High School (140 Legion Ave, New Haven) following a public Board of Education meeting there at 5:30. Free.
Tuesday, December 10
Local historian and man about town Colin Caplan, who writes articles for Daily Nutmeg from time to time, gives two talks this week related to his new book, Legendary Locals of New Haven. The first is at the New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-562-4183) tonight at 6 p.m. The second is this coming Thursday, December 12, at the main branch of the New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8835), starting at 6:30 p.m. The latter talk is part of the library’s opening reception for the traveling Smithsonian exhibition The Way We Worked, which depicts 130 years of American work culture in photographs and is making its Connecticut debut. The reception lasts from 5 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, December 11
The free concert in the back room at BAR (254 Crown St, New Haven; 203-495-1111) tonight features headliner Infinity Shred (pictured above). The instrumental band used to be known as Starscream, when it used custom-built and -modded 8-bit synthesizers to evoke Nintendo-era nostalgia atop dirty, trashy drums. Somewhere along the way, though, the synths got clearer and bigger, the drum sounds got crisper, the compositions matured and the band name changed. The latest result of this evolution is the futuristic new album Sanctuary. It’s too atmospheric to be reliably danceable, but that’s okay. The point isn’t so much to move your feet along the ground as it is to launch your brain into space. 2 Ton Bug, on the other hand, which uses the tag “literally-from-the-garage rock” on its Bandcamp page and is the bill’s opener at 10 p.m., just wants you to thrash around in the present.
Thursday, December 12
Creative Arts Workshop’s 45th annual Celebration of American Crafts, which brings a wide range of artisanal goods to New Haven from all over the country for the holiday gift-giving season, has been up and running since November 2, with several special events along the way. Tonight’s “Interior Style!” event is the last of them. From 5 to 7 p.m., designer Allie Bruch offers interior decorating advice and inspiring ideas using items from the Celebration itself. Free. 80 Audubon St, New Haven; (203) 562-4927.
Friday, December 13
25 hours later and a five-minute drive away, a different pop-up craft sale is having its “1st annual” iteration: the Holiday Haven Handmade & Vintage Holiday Market, from 6 to 10 p.m. in Trolley Square (1175 State St, New Haven; due to construction, take I-91 to exit 5 if driving from downtown). Enjoy “free drinks, food trucks, live music and a photo booth” while browsing nearly 20 local vendors’s wares, including vintage fashions and handmade jewelry and knits. Free to attend.
Peter Pan is getting a grown-up treatment from the Yale School of Drama. Director Dustin Wills’s new adaptation is based on “unpublished manuscripts” by original playwright J. M. Barrie, and sets the lost boys in an orphanage, where the make-believing is about escaping from a darker reality than in the iterations of the story we all know. Peter Pan opens its six-show run at the University Theatre (222 York St, New Haven) tonight at 8 p.m. $10-25.
Saturday, December 14
It’s not the 45th, and it’s not the 1st, but it is the 2nd annual Hamden Holiday Craftacular at Spaceland Ballroom (295 Treadwell St, Hamden), where 18 vendors are set to sell found-object lamps, silkscreened band tees and more from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Also happening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today is the New Haven Bioregional Group-sponsored 2013 Bioregional Holiday Bazaar, started “about ten years ago” out of the free book repository Never Ending Books. This year’s marketplace sets up at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of New Haven at 608 Whitney Avenue, offering, among other things, furniture, photography and textiles.
Last week, the colorful lights of the big Christmas tree on the New Haven Green were turned on with much ado and much to do, including goats and camels to pet. Another petting zoo will grace the Green today, part of a traditional Latin American Posada event sponsored by Knights of Columbus. “Musical entertainment, children’s activities… and piñatas,” plus food vendors and—you guessed it—craft sellers will help mark the occasion, which emphasizes the Biblical meaning of Christmas but is intended to “bring together people of many cultures.” Posada lasts from noon to 6 p.m. Free to attend.
Sunday, December 15
Last weekend, Pantochino Productions, the innovative family-oriented theater group led by Bert Bernardi and Jimmy Johansmeyer, debuted The Great Cinnamon Bear Christmas Radio Show at the Center for the Arts (40 Railroad Ave, Milford, near the Milford Metro-North stop). The show presents “a whimsical holiday tale” about a pair of siblings being led around by a teddy bear, delivered in the style of an old-fashioned radio musical. Showtimes are Saturdays at 2 and 5:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through December 29, with an additional show on Friday, December 20, at 7:30 p.m. $17.
Written by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.