Y esterday, the pain of losing an hour in the morning gave way to the pleasure of a long, bright afternoon, and there’s a lot of both going around in the week to come. Events focusing on economic hardship and species extinction cause us to confront some important but painful realities about the world and ourselves early in the week, with gorgeous singing voices and a high-powered theatrical performance reinvigorating us later. For many, Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will do it the other way, starting with merrymaking and ending in nasty hangovers.
Hey, that’s life. Take the good with the bad this week in New Haven.
Monday, March 10
The exhibit currently gracing the walls of the Whitney Humanities Center gallery, At the Crossroads of Hope and Despair: America Since the Crash, offers a photographic crash course in “the harsh realities of American life during the Great Recession” and the various ways Americans responded. Captured by interdisciplinary Yale professor Matthew Frye Jacobson, the images are on public view from 3 to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, or by appointment (call 203-432-0670). Crash closes for good on Friday, March 28. 53 Wall St, New Haven.
Tuesday, March 11
The “Brain Strain” trivia event tonight at Irish pub Anna Liffey’s (17 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-773-1776) seems likely to hit a fever pitch in the run-up to St. Patrick’s Day next Monday. Though you’ll find conflicting start times if you look around online (including at the Anna Liffey’s website), the lighthearted competition has been starting at 8:30 p.m. as of March 1, according to the bar’s Facebook page. $10 per team.
Wednesday, March 12
Another American calamity is on display at Yale this week: the manmade extinction of the passenger pigeon, which, mind-bogglingly, “once made up 25-40% of North America’s birds,” and flocked in such numbers that they “blocked out the sun for hours.” Officially, the last surviving member of the species was named Martha, who, after her death, was put on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, with this heartbreaking epitaph: “Last of her species, died at 1 p.m., 1 September 1914, age 29, in the Cincinnati Zoological Garden.” Researcher Joel Greenberg takes up the topic during a free 7 p.m. talk tonight at Yale’s Kroon Hall (195 Prospect St, New Haven).
Thursday, March 13
Spencer Krug’s Moonface, hitting the stage at Spaceland Ballroom (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400) tonight, is an astoundingly far sonic cry from Wolf Parade, the band Krug fronted until 2011. Whereas Wolf Parade was a four-piece that seemed to delight in discord and cacophony and sounded like a messier Modest Mouse, Moonface is a solo act, stripped-down—just a piano expressing exquisitely restrained melodic ideas and a weathered voice singing non-linear, often inscrutable narratives. Together, these features encourage detachment from the artist’s meaning and allow listeners to wander freely within their own heads. Hartford-based duo Violent Mae begins the 8:30 p.m. bill, followed next by solo act Saltland (a.k.a. Rebecca Foon) hailing from Montreal. $15, $12 in advance.
Friday, March 14
Yale Rep’s world-premiere production of These Paper Bullets!, a “modish ripoff of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing,” opens tonight at 8 p.m. at the University Theatre (222 York St, New Haven). There’s a lot of star power behind the scenes: it was adapted by Rolin Jones (who’s written for hit TV shows Friday Night Lights and Weeds) and scored by Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day vox), and it’s being directed by Jackson Gay, a Yale MFA graduate returning to the nest. The story follows 4 musicians from Liverpool, England, who’ve headed to London to make a record in just a week. New Haveners, on the other hand, have about three weeks to catch the show: the last performances happen Saturday, April 5, at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $42, unless you’re a Yale employee ($37) or a college student ($20).
Saturday, March 15
The New Haven Symphony Orchestra Pops celebrates St. Patty’s Day this weekend with a couple of performances of The Emerald Isle, a program featuring several Gaelic and pop culture-pulled songs performed with the help of a couple of overachieving world travelers: Sarah Ioannides and Kaitlyn Lusk. Ioannides is conducting, as she’s done for orchestras around the globe, and Lusk is singing, as she’s done for more than fifty Lord of the Rings Symphony concerts, where she channels another world. (Okay, technically, Middle-earth is conceived as a past version of real Earth, but you get the idea.) The first performance is at 2:30 p.m. today at Hamden Middle School (2623 Dixwell Ave, Hamden), with the second coming tomorrow at Shelton Intermediate School (675 Constitution Blvd N, Shelton) at 3 p.m. $35-45, $10 for college students, free for those aged 6 to 17.
Sunday, March 16
Break out your best green clothing and work on your brogue because today’s the big Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade—hundreds-of-thousands big, according to organizers. New Haveners and visitors are set to pack downtown sidewalks, open spaces and, of course, bars along the parade route. This year, the parade starts at 1:30 p.m. on Edgewood at Sherman, then hangs a right on Howe, a left on Chapel, another left on Church and a right on Grove, finishing at Orange. A word of advice: don’t wait until the start time to try to claim your favored spot.
Written by Dan Mims. Photographed by Uma Ramiah. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.