B etween a classic film featuring a leading man in his prime, a play staged in a park under the night sky and a professional tennis tournament boasting major talent, we’re seeing stars this week in New Haven.
Monday, August 11
In 1985, on the heels of a string of iconic roles including Han Solo, Indiana Jones and Rick Deckard (Blade Runner), Harrison Ford pulled off yet another as John Book, the sardonic but incorruptible Philadelphia cop protecting a young Amish boy in Witness. The film fascinated the public with its portrayal of the anachronistic Pennsylvania Dutch Country folk, who shirk even aging technologies like cars and phones, and Best Video (1842 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-287-9286), pictured above, does us one better tonight. Following a 7 p.m. screening of the movie, researcher Judy Stavisky, who’s “spent the past 18 months interviewing 20 Old Order Amish women in Lancaster County,” leads a discussion on what the Amish are really like. $5.
Tuesday, August 12
Tonight at 7 p.m. outside the Neighborhood Music School (100 Audubon St, New Haven; 203-624-5189), NMS puts on its final “Twilight Tuesdays” concert of the summer. The featured act is Roosevelt Dime, a quartet professing musical influences gleaned from Appalachia, Memphis, New Orleans, the west coast and Brooklyn, where the group is based. Somehow it does seem to pull that hodgepodge together with lo-fi drums, plucky upright bass, twangy banjo, rounded electric guitar, bluesy harmonica, soulful horns and vocals suffused with good-natured attitude. Tickets are $25 ($20 in advance) or $5 for kids aged 12 and under. Dinner is available for purchase as well, starting at 6:30.
Wednesday, August 13
The dream of the ’90s is alive in Milford native Frank Viele. Some of the decade’s pop-rock hallmarks echo in his thick, raspy voice and straightforward, guitar-hooked song arrangements. Listen for them on the New Haven Green today during the latest “Blues, Berries and Jam” event from noon to 1:30, jibing with the CitySeed downtown farmers’ market from 11 a.m. to 2. Free to attend.
Thursday, August 14
Pericles, about a Phoenician prince who flees the wrath of a petty king, saves a city from famine and wins a jousting tournament before a different king—and that’s barely getting into Act II—is one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays, perhaps because its authorship isn’t entirely certain, with most experts agreeing that Shakespeare only wrote part of it. Even so, the play is believed to have been The Bard’s most popular among audiences of his day, which must have been a little vexing for him. Starting tonight at 8 p.m. and recurring most nights through August 31, modern-day audiences can see how much they like Pericles during Elm Shakespeare Company’s 19th Shakespeare in the Park presentation, in Edgerton Park (75 Cliff St, New Haven). Free.
Friday, August 15
Expect some yips at tonight’s Yappy Hour inside Claire’s Corner Copia (1000 Chapel St, New Haven). It’s a fundraiser for the Friends of the New Haven Animal Shelter, where $30—the price of admission for you and your dog—gets you “one martini (or smoothie), a generous plateful of Claire’s yummy appetizers and a slice of Claire’s famous bone-shaped cake,” plus “a water bowl, a bandana and organic doggie biscuits” for you-know-who. 6 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, August 16
Yesterday marked the start of Jazz Haven’s “Jazz Week 2014”—which is a modest way of putting it, seeing as it lasts longer than a week. Through next Sunday, August 24, 27 performances entertain patrons at 17 venues around town, from Cafe Nine to the Owl Shop to Geronimo, along with two big Saturday shows outside on the green. The first of those happens this evening, headlined by the Nat Reeves Quartet at 8 p.m., with the High School in the Community Jazz Band opening at 4:30 and two more acts between. Most Jazz Week shows are cover charge-free; check the schedule for specifics.
Sunday, August 17
After qualifiers Friday and Saturday, the Connecticut Open WTA tennis tournament, formerly known as the New Haven Open at Yale, opens its first round of play today at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale (45 Yale Ave, New Haven). If you saw defending champion Simona Halep in action during last year’s tourney, you witnessed the emergence of a star: after winning here with crushing serves and relentless volleys, she cracked the world’s top 20 for the first time. Now ranked #2, she’ll face stiff competition this year, perhaps none more challenging than Petra Kvitova, the 2014 Wimbledon champion, now ranked #4 overall, who Halep faced in last year’s final. Tickets are available in packages and by the day, with daily ticket prices rising as the field narrows.
Written and photographed by Dan Mims.