T his week in New Haven is full of familiar formats with new particulars. There’s an annual film festival with nearly 30 events scheduled; a monthly networking event picking back up again; a popular twice-a-year wine tasting; a yearly spelling bee that makes its own rules; and an annual parade giving chronic last-minute Halloween costumers a reason to plan ahead.
Monday, October 20
Tonight from 5:15 to 8:15, the United Way of Greater New Haven is uniting with The Group With No Name to put on the “Walk a Mile” experience, simulating poverty and, they hope, stimulating empathy. Organizers seem to be keeping the specifics of the occasion close to the vest, which makes sense: not knowing what to expect makes an experience like this more impactful. But we do know it’s a “participatory event” meant to “challenge your assumptions and give you a deeper awareness of the struggles many of our neighbors face on a daily basis.” Free, with dinner and a discussion to follow; registration required.
Tuesday, October 21
At 7 p.m. in the Arts Hall at the Educational Center for the Arts (55 Audubon St, New Haven), the New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema kicks off its annual whirlwind showcase of films made in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. The opening film tonight is Conducta (“Behavior”), a drama about a troubled Cuban boy forced to take care of his mother, an addict, via rather unsavory means, finding a ray of hope in the form of his schoolteacher. After the opener, the fest’s other 27 events—shorts, features and discussions—happen at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven). One of the key items is a 6 p.m. panel/screening tomorrow night centering around famed Puerto Rican actor Raúl Juliá—who died too young of a stroke in 1994—and his film The Penitent (pictured above), with the panel including his wife Merel and two of his Penitent costars. All NEFIAC events are free and registration’s not required, though it’s always smart to reserve seats in advance.
Wednesday, October 22
The Arts Council of Greater New Haven is throwing a party at the Institute Library (847 Chapel St, New Haven) tonight to launch the sophomore season of its monthly Writers’ Circle series. The plot, usually driven along by topical panel discussions, is to help wordsmiths, aspiring or otherwise, connect with good ideas relevant to the endeavor, and with each other. Marking tonight’s occasion, local novelist, playwright and poet Allan Appel—also well-known for his writings in the New Haven Independent—is giving a “live literary performance.” 5 to 7 p.m. Free to attend.
Thursday, October 23
The next Flights of Fancy, the biannual wine tasting store-hop focused around Chapel Street and Broadway downtown, gets going at 4 p.m. today. A $20 registration fee secures an emblazoned glass and a map featuring about 25 participating businesses, each offering special discounts on their wares while pouring a different wine or two furnished by The Wine Thief. (Bring an FoF glass from a previous occasion to knock $5 off the price.) Everything starts and ends at The Study at Yale Hotel (1157 Chapel St, New Haven), where prizes—plus coffee and dessert—are given away after the bottles get stoppered at 8.
Friday, October 24
Tonight’s New Haven Reads Spelling Bee is bound to be pretty raucous as far as these things go. For one thing, this bee’s spellers rise and fall in teams. For another, those teams often adopt themed names and costumes. For yet another, teams compete directly against one another, trying to spell the same word each round, which is also called a “swarm.” Though the deadline to join the competition as a speller has passed, you can still join the audience for free, or for a $5 suggested donation. Bucknall Theater, University of New Haven (300 Boston Post Road, West Haven). 7 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, October 25
Cut. It. Out! Following Gilbert Gottfried’s appearance last month, Sports Haven (600 Long Wharf Dr, New Haven; 203-946-3252) lands another well-known name in comedy with Dave Coulier—you know, Joey from Full House. Unlike former costar Bob Saget, whose character Danny was a 180 from the actor, Coulier’s about as clean a comic as Joey was. His relatively innocent brand of humor may not be everyone’s idea of gut-busting, but the dead-on impressions he tends to pepper throughout his routine are universally impressive and entertaining. The opener is Eric Tartaglione, who brings the edge tonight—his wit is more caustic and biting. The show starts at 8 p.m., with regular tickets going for $25 and a VIP option—though it’s not exactly clear what perks it provides—for $30.
Sunday, October 26
Westville’s annual “Giant Puppet and People-Making-Mayhem Parade” wants wild puppets—it’s even been holding sessions this month to help people make them—but it probably only wants mild mayhem. The parade is a family-friendly occasion, after all, involving “arts, games and snacks,” with Halloween costumes heavily encouraged. The parade starts at 11 a.m. outside Manjares (838 Whalley Ave, New Haven), then traverses a route through the neighborhood, eventually combining with the nearby CitySeed Edgewood Farmers’ Market to produce “one gigantic outdoor Halloween party.” Free to attend.
Written by Dan Mims. Image, courtesy of the New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema, depicts Raúl Juliá in The Penitent.