T his week challenges us to a series of duals: two rock shows on the same night at the same address; two United States Poet Laureates speaking on the same afternoon a quarter-mile apart; two different productions of the same play with virtually all the same showtimes.
The best part? No matter where you aim, you win.
Monday, November 10
Of a pair of neighboring shows tonight, one headliner’s been together over two decades and the other’s been around for one. Sloan is the elder, a long-for-this-world rock band that channels the favored sounds of different generations—folksy guitar balladry recalling Joni Mitchell; piano-driven rock like Elton John’s; ominous, urgent drivers on the order of Billy Idol—and tweaks them just enough. Lead singer Chris Murphy’s unusual alto/tenor voice and his bandmates’ harmonizing chops ride the music in appealing, sometimes theatrical waves, coming ashore at 9 p.m. tonight inside The Ballroom at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, New Haven; 203-288-6400). $15; 21+.
The other show is across the parking lot, at The Space. The headliner for the 7:30 bill is Tera Melos, a band that appealingly deploys relaxed vocals, wailing guitars and lots of open hi-hat despite its precision-oriented math rock impulses. Fans of the genre need not worry: odd time signatures are still there to impress, and cool little unison riffs still turn songs on dimes. Preceding act Jounce’s guitar-driven rock is a solid-enough second course, and opener Roz and the Rice Cakes is a surprisingly great appetizer—mellower than the others but at least as memorable, with creative tunes that tread more lightly yet pack some wallop. $10; all-ages.
Tuesday, November 11 – Veterans Day
Today, New Haven welcomes a couple four-star generals—of poetry. In a rare alignment of the stars, two U.S. Poet Laureates are making free public appearances at Yale, starting at 4 p.m. That’s when Mark Strand, the 1990 laureate who’s won a Pulitzer Prize and too many other awards to note, gives a reading in the peaceful climes of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (121 Wall Street, New Haven; 203-432-2977). Then, at 5:30, Charles Wright, the current Poet Laureate and a fellow Pulitzer winner, reads from his work at the Yale University Art Gallery Auditorium (201 York St, New Haven). The latter event is presented by the Institute for Sacred Music; for more info, call (203) 432-5062.
Wednesday, November 12
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is famous for its legion of fans who can’t get enough of the campy musical/comedy film. The University of New Haven Theater Program and Yale Dramat put that notion to the test this week with dueling presentations of the movie’s theatrical source material, The Rocky Horror Show. Both productions—see their respective posters pictured above—start today and end Saturday; both feature 8 p.m. shows each night; both feature a $15 general admission price, with discounts for students; and both seem to be having a lot of fun with it. The UNH folks invite us to “a wacky castle of characters… led by their sex-crazed mad scientist Dr. Frank N. Furter!” while the Dramat showrunners beckon us into “the sultry world of Dr. Frank N. Furter, the mad scientist with a killer set of heels.” For the UNH show, head to Bucknall Theater in Dodds Hall (300 Post Rd, West Haven); for Yale’s, get to the University Theatre (222 York St, New Haven). The Yale show, by the way, has one extra feather in its boa: there’s stage seating available for $25 a head.
Thursday, November 13
On the heels of Veterans Day Tuesday, the New Haven-based Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, which provides legal aid to vets in need, marks its fifth birthday tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. during a fundraising gala at the New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave, New Haven). Titled “Saluting Service: Celebrating Five Years of Rebuilding Lives Together,” the CVLC promises attendees drinks courtesy of Ordinary and food prepared by Caseus, not to forget classy networking and chatting. Regular tickets cost $74 with higher-priced options available for those who wish to pitch in something extra, plus a $20 option for students.
Friday, November 14
In the midst of the Yale Bowl’s 100th anniversary football season—which is going quite well, by the way, with the Bulldogs logging seven wins and one loss—the Yale Film Study Center, as part of its “Treasures from the Yale Film Archive” series, presents the once-lost flick Hold ’Em Yale (1928). Filmed in New Haven, the romantic comedy provides rare glimpses of the city back then and offers a plot that sounds ludicrous in that lovably old-fashioned way where escapism’s the point. Telling the tale of “an Argentinian gaucho who comes to New Haven, falls in love with a professor’s daughter and fights for gridiron glory while staying one step ahead of the police,” the free screening starts at 7 p.m. at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven; 203-432-0670).
Saturday, November 15
Tonight after 7 p.m., it’s back to The Ballroom at The Outer Space for the “Forgot to Laugh: Sideshow and Animation Festival,” where live entertainment comes in thrilling forms: sword-swallowing, juggling, contorting, burlesque-ing, magicking. While that stuff’s going on, animations by 14 named artists (“and many more” unnamed ones) are screened. $15.
Sunday, November 16
Startup Weekend New Haven launched Friday evening and exits tonight. The event brings those with an entrepreneurial itch together to build entirely new companies—a “54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing and market validation,” with local business figures to help guide them. Whether a new company survives the weekend is up to its creators, who’ll enjoy plenty of other benefits from participating: making new professional contacts, soaking up knowledge, honing professional skills and getting valuable feedback about their work. The home base for the event is Evans Hall at Yale (165 Whitney Ave, New Haven), and tickets cost $99, or $49 for students.
Written by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.