T here’s more than one “new” in New Haven this week. On Tuesday, a local musical institution-in-the-making makes its debut; Thursday, a short-run play gets its stateside premiere; Saturday, a recently renovated venue takes a funny turn; and Sunday, a fresh new exhibit shows us things very few people have ever seen.
Monday, September 22
As of yesterday, it’s Banned Books Week, calling to mind once-banned-in-America classics like Ulysses, Grapes of Wrath and Lady Chatterley’s Lover—plus, if you’ve been paying attention to the topic lately, the Captain Underpants children’s series. (According to the American Library Association, that was the most-challenged book title of both 2012 and 2013.) Whatever your literary tastes, find some time to read a good book this week, preferably one that’s ruffled some feathers.
Tuesday, September 23
Between rocking torsos, strained necks and determined/ecstatic faces, the 1992-formed Brentano String Quartet, pictured above, presents a vision of sheer commitment to accompany its sublimely cohesive playing. At 7:30 tonight in Sprague Hall (470 College St, New Haven), the group gives its first public performance as Yale School of Music’s “quartet in residence,” succeeding the Tokyo String Quartet and its 37-year tenure. $26.
Wednesday, September 24
The Stuart Hall Project, “a film about jazz, revolution and the New Left experience,” aims to chart the world’s political history since the mid-20th century “through the ideas of Stuart Hall”—a prominent cultural theorist working out of the U.K., who died earlier this year—“and heard through the sonic landscape of… Miles Davis.” This evening at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven; 203-432-0670), catch a free screening of the movie plus a panel discussion featuring the film’s director, John Akomfrah.
Thursday, September 25
Yale Cabaret (217 Park St, New Haven; 203-432-1566) opened its 47th season last week with Look Up, Speak Nicely, and Don’t Twiddle Your Fingers All the Time, “a new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice stories.” Starting tonight, the theater goes further afield, shirking the recognizable with the U.S. premiere of “contemporary South Korean dark comedy” Don’t Be Too Surprised. Covering life and death and karaoke, showtimes are 8 p.m. tonight and 8 and 11 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, with inspired dinner and late-night menus available starting at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively. Tickets are $25, or $20 for Yale faculty/staff and $14 for students.
Friday, September 26
Betty who? Betty Who. The Australian-born, blonde-shocked synth pop singer-songwriter brings dance anthems to The Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400) tonight. Before that, Brooklyn-based brother/sister “dream pop” duo Paperwhite meld the ’80s and the ’10s into a glistening, reverberating mash of smooth vocals, electronic hooks and beats that drive leisurely ahead. Before that, opening the 8:30 all-ages bill is New Haven-based singer and guitarist Ian Biggs, who builds catchy songs ranging from ’80s-style pop to R&B to rock served straight-up. $15.
Saturday, September 27
Not far from where the New Haven border cuts across Edgerton Park, the Whitneyville section of Hamden struts its stuff today during the Whitneyville Fall Festival. Along with live music (including a “barn dance” at noon), kids’ activities (like face painting and crafts) and yoga and t’ai chi demos are “more than 60 local artists, artisans and businesses offering their wares [and] services.” Centered around the corner of Whitney and Putnam Avenues, festivities last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.
Refurbished sports bar/grill and off-track betting mini-mecca Sports Haven (600 Long Wharf Dr, New Haven; 203-946-3252) wagers on a different format tonight with a big stand-up comedy event. The headliner is Gilbert Gottfried, whose very partial resumé includes being a cast member of Saturday Night Live, appearing on The Cosby Show and voicing two memorable birds: Iago in Disney’s Aladdin and, for a while, the duck in those Aflac commercials. Opening the 8 p.m. show is Peaches Rodriguez, with John Romanoff taking the baton before passing it to Gottfried. Tickets are $25, and unlike a lot of comedy shows, there’s no drink minimum.
Sunday, September 28
The Yale Center for British Art’s brand-new exhibition Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837-1901 tracks with one of the most famous space-times in history: the British Empire during the Victorian era. Yet it contains many items that are “rarely, if ever, seen by a wider public, and most have never before left the UK.” Among them are “figures and reliefs in marble, bronze, silver, and wood, as well as gems, cameos, and porcelain objects,” which together form what YCBA director Amy Meyers says is the first exhibition offering “a thorough account of Victorian sculpture” the world has ever seen. See it in particular detail today with a free docent-led tour, meeting in the gallery’s front lobby at 1 p.m. 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven. (203) 432-2800.
Written and photographed by Dan Mims.