T his Labor Day weekend, New Haveners don’t have to work too hard to find ways of enjoying themselves. Friday, a four-day cultural bonanza begins; Saturday, a fan-favorite film gets us out of bed before noon; and Sunday, a pair of leisurely cruises offers a light twinge of adventure.
Monday, August 25
It’s hard to believe The Wizard of Oz is 75 years old today. Celebrating the film’s release on August 25, 1939, the New Haven Free Public Library is hosting a trio of Oz screenings catering to different audiences. For a noontime showing at the Ives main library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8835), bring a lunch and enjoy complimentary Dunkin’ Donuts munchkins, then stick around afterward for a discussion with “librarian/musician/cineaste” Sam Perduta (whose band, Elison Jackson, performs this Saturday night at Cafe Nine, by the way). At 2:30, the main library hosts a second screening, this time “for kids and families,” with “surprises in store.” At 6 p.m., the Wicked Witch of the West flies over to Westville during a final airing at the NHFPL’s Mitchell branch (37 Harrison St, New Haven; 203-946-8117), where there’ll be a sing-a-long and refreshments.
Tuesday, August 26
Following a break yesterday, the Elm Shakespeare Company embarks on its final week of Pericles tonight in Edgerton Park (75 Cliff St, New Haven). Performed nightly in-between, the closing performance is set for Sunday, August 31, so if you haven’t yet witnessed this stirring spectacle—Pericles is rarely performed and perennially underappreciated, and Elm Shakespeare’s presentation is marked by strong acting, efficient pacing and dazzling stage design—now’s the time. For each show, the curtains, in this case metaphorical, go up at 8 p.m. Free to attend.
Wednesday, August 27
With her freshly released music/comedy album That’s Not How You Do That: An Instructional Album for Adults, exasperated South Africa-to-Brooklyn transplant Jean Grae asks, “Why don’t you know how to operate in the world? What’s wrong with you?” Songs, some in the musical forms you might find on a children’s developmental album, cover consensus-building topics like restaurant manners, airplane habits and public transit etiquette, delivering uncensored admonitions with healthy doses of sarcasm and bewilderment. Today at 12:30 p.m., Grae momentarily suspends her mission to get people to be nice to waitstaff for a talk and performance at the Yale University Art Gallery (1080 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-432-0600), offering “her perspective of the relationships between art, music and politics,” coinciding with the soon-to-close exhibit Contemporary Art/South Africa.
Thursday, August 28
Ambidextrous digital/analog band Zammuto is much more WNPR than, say, KC101, a high-brow approach to the primal cause of music-making. Songs tend to build into intense, simmering grooves, adding and subtracting layers beneath leader Nick Zammuto’s smooth, effects-laden, tenor-ranged voice. Hear it live tonight at the Ballroom at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400), where Loom, a Bethel-based band proffering melancholic, “unorthodox pop music,” opens a 9 p.m. bill. $15, $12 in advance.
Friday, August 29
If thoughts of spanakopita, moussaka, souvlaki and gyros get your mouth watering, the 34th annual “ODYSSEY: A Greek Festival,” held today through Monday outside the St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Orange (480 Racebrook Rd; 203-795-1347), is for you. In addition to lots of traditional foods, organizers promise “live Greek music and dancing” (like the moment pictured above, from last year’s festival) and “Greek dance lessons,” plus “a bustling Greek marketplace, giant tag sale, cooking demonstrations, giant raffle, church presentations and tours, kids’ activities (rides, games, magic shows) and more” across ten acres. The church and grounds are open from noon to 10 p.m. except Monday, when festivities run from noon to 8. Free to attend.
Saturday, August 30
If you’re familiar with the “Movies & Mimosas”—a.k.a. “Cine Classics”—series at Criterion Cinemas (86 Temple St, New Haven; 203-498-2500), it’s not at all “Inconceivable!” that The Princess Bride would be this weekend’s featured film, given that the series defines “classics” broadly enough to include cult favorites. The movie starts at 11:30 a.m., with each ticket going for a mere $5.50. The mimosas start a little earlier.
Sunday, August 31
The 91-foot schooner Quinnipiack, New Haven’s traditionally built and rigged flagship vessel berthed at the New Haven Docks (389 Long Wharf Dr; 203-535-2016), helps us hold onto summer with a pair of afternoon cruises in the Long Island Sound today. A $40 ticket—$20 if you’re 16 or younger—gets you a two-hour ride with snack, beverage and harbor history lessons included, not to forget ocean breezes and, hopefully, sunny skies. Passengers are also invited to bring their own vittles for picnicking. 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Written by Dan Mims. Photographed by Patric Marchitto.