I t’s hard to have too much holiday spirit this time of year. Though it’s a quiet week—most of Yale is on break, and hey, the city’s many events organizers need time off to prepare for the holidays, too—a few New Haven institutions help us get into that spirit over the weekend. In the meantime, visual, literary and dramatic arts keep us jolly and warm.
Monday, December 16
Still have some gift-shopping left to do? The underappreciated Elm City Artists gallery (50 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-922-2359) has a fine selection of pottery, paintings, mixed-media collages and more, and it’s open today (and the rest of the week, except Sunday) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For those on a strict budget, the most affordable items are in a side room past the main counter, but the front display area has some steals of its own.
Tuesday, December 17
“Science journalist, humorist and Vermont Public Radio commentator” Rebecca Coffey visits the main Ives branch of the New Haven Public Free Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8130) this evening for a 6 p.m. talk related to her book, Nietzsche’s Angel Food Cake: And Other “Recipes” for the Intellectually Famished. The talk seems to involve mostly the middle credential (humorist), promising “foodie humor for anyone with a good liberal arts education, no matter how vaguely they remember it.” Free.
Wednesday, December 18
“Did he fall? Or was he pushed?” That’s the tantalizing mystery at the center of Death of an Anarchist, the Yale Repertory Theatre’s last production of the 2013 calendar year. Directed by Christopher Bayes, the final lap of the disarmingly comedic show’s three-week run started with last night’s show and ends with Saturday night’s, both at 8 p.m. In between are daily shows (also at 8 p.m.) plus a Saturday matinee at 2. Regular tickets are $57-78 depending on the show date, with discounts available for seniors, Yale employees and students.
Thursday, December 19
The Yale Center for British Art (1080 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-432-2800) will come back into the mix with a special event on Saturday, but this evening we can simply enjoy its special extended hours. Usually, the closing bell rings at 5 p.m., but tonight, those who can’t swing that have until 8 p.m. to visit (or revisit) some of the YCBA’s incredible collection. This is the last in a series of “Late-Night Thursday” events, so take advantage of it while you can.
Friday, December 20
Tunes and a meal—what more can you ask for? Music Haven hosts its Winter Performance Party tonight to “celebrate the musical accomplishments of our 75 young students,” which entails performances by the kids and by the faculty, a.k.a. the Haven String Quartet. The free concert starts at 6 p.m. in Southern Connecticut State University’s Charles Garner Recital Hall (501 Crescent St, New Haven), with a community potluck afterward. Admission is free, but do try to bring a dish to share. Also bring your instrument of choice: the “festive finale” of the show invites attendees up to the stage to help perform some Christmas favorites.
Saturday, December 21
Speaking of Christmas favorites, turn your crotchety “Bah! Humbug!” into a magnanimous “God bless us, every one!” with the 1951 definitive film version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Starring a very Scrooge-y Alastair Sim, it screens this afternoon at the Yale Center for British Art at 2 p.m. Free.
Sunday, December 22
It’s the holidays, which is as good a time as any for seconds. Enjoy another generous helping of cinematic Christmas redemption, and a splash of bubbly in your O.J., with It’s a Wonderful Life (screen-capped above), showing yesterday and today on the big screen as part of the Movies & Mimosas series at Criterion Cinemas. 11:30 a.m. is the usual start time for the series, but be sure to call ahead and make sure.
Written by Dan Mims.