A mid celebrity appearances and other notable cultural events this week, the zombie elephant in the room is Halloween, which inspires a gutsy retail experiment in a tight space, a “spooky” reading session among old books, a raging party in a normally buttoned-up place and a more wholesome affair in an old abandoned military institution.
Monday, October 27
Starting today, a weeklong “Halloween Mini Shop” crops up at PopUp 55, Project Storefronts’s pint-sized retail/gallery space in a former ATM vestibule at 55 Church Street. The shop’s collaborators Valley Vintage and Jillian Lyons Designs say they’ll have “vintage Halloween accessories, masks and costumes” for sale, as well as handmade pieces, jewelry and photography hewing to the ghastly holiday theme. Open noon to 7 p.m. through November 3, organizers say the tiny temporary store’s inventory “will be changing constantly,” so it might be worth more than one look.
Tuesday, October 28
Paramount Records, active from 1917 to 1932, was a tiny on-the-cheap record label, a side business for a chair manufacturing company based in Port Washington, Wisconsin. But its embrace of black musicians at the height of Jim Crow allowed it to gather a legendary roster “spanning early jazz titans (Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller), blues masters (Charley Patton, Skip James), American divas (Ma Rainey, Ethel Waters)” and many others besides. Tonight, the memory of Paramount Records gathers another impressive roster, including artist Jack White (yes, that Jack White, pictured above) and seminal music writer Greil Marcus, to Battell Chapel (400 College St, New Haven) for a special roundtable/listening party, titled “Exploring the Rise and Fall of Paramount Records.” 7 p.m. Free.
Wednesday, October 29
At 7 p.m. tonight at the Institute Library (847 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-562-4045), the New Haven Review and New Haven Theater Company are reviving Listen Here, a reading series featuring works chosen by members of the former and performed by members of the latter. Honoring the season, tonight’s event is called “Spooky Little World,” highlighting presumably skin-crawling works by Nancy Holder and Edgar Allen Poe. Refreshments including coffee and “snacks” are promised, as is a discussion after the reading’s complete. Free; donations accepted.
Starting at the same time over at R.J. Julia Booksellers (768 Boston Post Rd, Madison; 203-245-3959), author Jake Halpern discusses his new book about some truly frightful topics: debt, and its collectors. The book, Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld, tells the tale of “a former banking executive and a former armed robber” who go into the collections business together, along the way revealing the shady dynamics of “the world of consumer debt collection” in America. Free; register here.
Thursday, October 30
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (170 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-432-8987) is used to housing the dead, just not like this. Tonight’s adults-only (18+) “Haunted Hall Crawl & Costume Ball” turns the museum into a “shadowland of ghouls, zombies and mad scientists” and invites you to “embrace your wicked ways” with “costume contests, Halloween-themed drinks and dancing.” Advance tickets cost $15, with discounts available for Yale ID holders, PULSE members and Yale students. Tickets are also available at the door, for $20. 7 to 10 p.m.
Friday, October 31 – Halloween
Creative Arts Workshop’s annual Celebration of American Crafts, a curated shopping event bringing together the work of more than 300 American artists traversing “glass, ceramics, jewelry, wearable and decorative fiber, handcrafted furniture and much more,” officially starts tomorrow. But it begins in earnest this evening between 5 and 8, during a free-to-attend “preview reception” offering a blanket 10% discount, which lasts through the weekend. 80 Audubon St, New Haven; (203) 562-4927.
Fresh off a successful turn hosting the first weekend of this year’s City-Wide Open Studios a few weeks ago, the Goffe Street Armory (290 Goffe St, New Haven) is playing host again—this time to a two-day, city-sponsored, family-friendly “Halloween Extravaganza.” Running yesterday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and this evening from 6 to 9, attractions include a DJ, games, crafting, a costume contest, a photo booth and themed gift bags while supplies last. Tonight’s event also has a screening of Tim Burton’s kiddishly macabre stop-motion feature Frankenweenie. To get in, bring a non-perishable food item to donate.
Saturday, November 1
Even two Halloweens after the show reached its conclusion, you might very well see some Breaking Bad-inspired costumes around town this week. Tonight, you can see one of the show’s actual cast members in the flesh: Lavell Crawford, a.k.a. Huell, the corpulent, dimwitted henchman to lawyer Saul Goodman. At 8 p.m., Crawford’s bringing his fast-talking stand-up act to SCSU’s Lyman Center for the Performing Arts (501 Crescent St, New Haven; 203-392-6167), where he’ll no doubt reveal a much more animated side than he did on the show. $35; discounts available for SCSU faculty, staff and students.
Sunday, November 2
Yesterday at 7:30 p.m and today at 2, members of Yale Opera are donning costumes and wielding epic voices, filling Morse Recital Hall (470 College St, New Haven; 203-432-4158) with sounds excerpted from a different slate of operas each day. If you ever wanted a quick, efficient primer on the art form, this is it: yesterday’s scenes touched on work by Mozart and Puccini, among others, while today’s ping Mozart again, as well as Offenbach and Rachmaninoff. Depending on the seat, regular-price tickets run between $10 and $20, with students getting a discount.
Today also marks the beginning of the next semiannual installment of New Haven Restaurant Week. Prix fixe three-course menus—$18 for lunch, $32 for dinner—at more than 30 of the city’s favorite restaurants lure out economical diners looking to get a better sense of New Haven’s finer dining scene, from established spots like Miya’s, Caseus and 116 Crown to newer kids on the block like Olea and Taste of China.
Written by Dan Mims. Image depicts the cover art of Jack White’s 2012 solo album Blunderbuss.