This Week in New Haven (December 8 – 14)

A fter last week’s holidays-heavy itinerary, this week gets back to basics (albeit with a few seasonal moments). Bands toting riffs hot enough to melt snow ride into town for a Tuesday show; a civil rights researcher turns our gaze away from Ferguson, MO, and Staten Island, NY, and closer to home this Thursday; and a couple of beery events, on Wednesday and Saturday, give us something to buzz about.

Monday, December 8
This one’s for the young’uns, and their jammies. At 6:30 p.m. at the Ives Main Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8835), kids are invited to wear their pajamas to a reading of The Polar Express, with hot cocoa served afterward and “a special ornament craft for you to make and take home.” Free.

Tuesday, December 9
On its latest album, Memorial, proggy post-rock band Russian Circles retains its moody build-ups, energized breakdowns and tranquil sojourns but tweaks its open, echoing sound to go even further that way. Grooves are still plenty identifiable and headbangable, though, which is good for showgoers tonight at The Ballroom at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400), where the trio heads up a 9 p.m. bill. Opening the night is Mutoid Man, a fast- and hard-hitting band that finds a wildly entertaining sweet spot between punk and metal. $18, $15 in advance.

sponsored by

New Haven Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, December 10
It’s weekly trivia night at O’Tooles (157 Orange St, New Haven; 203-562-7468), where signing up is free yet first- and second-place teams still get prizes. The host starts slinging questions at 8 p.m., which is when bartenders and servers start slinging $3 domestic bottles of beer, $8 pitchers of Bud Light and a special $5 food menu.

Thursday, December 11
From 7 to 8:30 tonight, the Institute Library (847 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-562-4045) hosts author Jason Sokol for a talk and signing surrounding his book All Eyes Are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn, which carries the informative sub-subtitle, The Conflicted Soul of the Northeast. Once a reporter for the New Haven Advocate, now a history professor at the University of New Hampshire, Sokol and his book dig into the messy truth of the civil rights movement in New England, where we tend to erroneously think change on this score was/is quick and easy. Admission to the talk is free, though you can buy Sokol’s book for $24—a 25% discount—by emailing home@institutelibrary.org in advance.

Friday, December 12
Yale Cabaret’s final production of the semester sounds like a doozie, and like it starts with a doobie, or whatever. The teaser for The Zero Scenario, directed by Sara Holdren, asks whether you’ve “ever gone on a road trip because your girlfriend wanted to” and “because you love her and also you were pretty stoned and sleepy when she suggested it?” Sounds innocent enough, until the Cab starts throwing out words like “mysterious” and “scary” and “sci-fi.” Showtimes are yesterday at 8 and tonight and tomorrow at 8 and 11 p.m.; show up early—6:30 for the 8 p.m. shows and 10 for the 11s—to get dinner and drinks. Tickets run $25, or $20 for Yale faculty and staff and $14 for students. 217 Park Street, New Haven. (203) 432-1566.

sponsored by

Forever at Long Wharf Theatre

Saturday, December 13
From 9:30 this morning to 2:30 this afternoon, the Common Ground complex (358 Springside Ave, New Haven; 203-389-4333) is hosting its “Common Ground Winter Festival,” sporting two main components: an $8 wreath-making session, with materials like pine, fir and spruce branches included, from 10 to 2; and a craft fair/bake sale featuring “cookies, cupcakes, pies and cakes made by Common Ground High School students and families,” we’re told. We’re also told there’ll be free vegetarian-friendly soup and hot apple cider.

Overshores Brewing Company (250 Bradley St, East Haven; 203-909-6224), the only Belgian-style beer brewery in the state, is holding its grand opening/“holiday bash” today from noon to 4. Promising live music, food trucks, limited-edition brews, brewery tours and, of course, beer for sale in its taproom (pictured above), the event is free to attend.

Tonight, the Greater New Haven Community Chorus puts on its fall concert, War and Peace: Reflection, Honor and Hope, remembering WWI and WW2 100 and 75 years after their respective beginnings. Starting at 8 p.m. in the 140-year-old St. Mary’s Church (5 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven), the 51-year-old choir’s 100ish members, with an assist from the Connecticut Children’s Chorus, perform works by two young 21st-century composers as well as J.S. Bach, who died in the 18th. $15; $12 for seniors, or $10 for children under 10 years old.

Sunday, December 14
Last night (8 p.m.) and this afternoon (4 p.m.) at the Theatre at the Co-Op (177 College St, New Haven), the Connecticut Gay Men’s Chorus invites you to “put on your favorite holiday sweater” and attend a performance of Naughty or Nice, the latest in an annual CMGC holiday show tradition. Following on the heels of last year’s Red Suits & Kinky Boots, song and dance are high on the list and reverence is best kept in check, if not dispensed with altogether. $25, or $30 for “premium” seats.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories, helped in no small part by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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