This Week in New Haven (March 9 – 15)

S pring break at Yale means things are much quieter downtown this week… until they aren’t. Come Sunday afternoon, the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade creates its major annual hullaballoo, more than making up for the quietude in the lead-up. Meantime, talks, music and movies—including an obscure local indie from 27 years ago—keep us engaged and entertained.

Monday, March 9
Gran Torino (2008) is a movie about a guy with a Gran Torino coupe and too much baggage for the trunk space. Set in the shadow of Detroit, Clint Eastwood directs and stars as Walt Kowalski, a jaded, aging war vet who finds himself taking on the unlikely role of protector for his Hmong American neighbors, presenting a challenge to his long-simmering racial prejudices. For $5, catch the movie tonight at Best Video (1842 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-287-9286), bookended by “a short, context-setting introduction” and “an optional discussion.” 7 p.m.

sponsored by

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

Tuesday, March 10
According to “psychobiographer” Fred Biamonte’s talk tonight at the Blackstone Library (758 Main St, Branford; 203-488-1441), Norman Rockwell wasn’t as cheerful as his work makes him out to be. Instead he was a “chronic depressive” who “painted rather than lived his happiness.” The lecture, which lasts from 7 to 8 p.m., examines the ways Rockwell handled the tension between his “inner world of depression” and the “external world of his pictures.” Free.

Wednesday, March 11
Covering the Hartford Courant’s UConn women’s basketball beat from ’01 to ’06, writer Jeff Goldberg had a press box seat for the “most iconic matchup in women’s sports:” UConn versus Tennessee. In a different way, so did much of Connecticut. We may not have been in the arena each time the Lady Vols came to town, but one way or another we tuned in; after all, UConn basketball is arguably the only elite sports program we have. Today at R.J. Julia (768 Boston Post Rd, Madison; 203-245-3959), Goldberg introduces us to his just-released book, Unrivaled: UConn, Tennessee and the Twelve Years that Transcended Women’s Basketball, which purports to “uncover the on-court and behind-the-scenes story of this intensely personal rivalry between coaches, players and the two most passionate fan bases women’s sports has ever known.” 7 p.m. Free.

Thursday, March 12
At 7:30 tonight at the Shubert Theater (247 College St, New Haven; 203-562-5666), audio and visual collide during the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of “Ansel Adams, Bernstein and Brubeck.” Among works by Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington and composer/tromboner Chris Brubeck, the symphony’s current artist-in-residence, is the capper: Ansel Adams: America—a piece Brubeck wrote with his father, the legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck—joined by “100 of Ansel Adams’s majestic images projected above the orchestra.” $15-74 or $10 for students.

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Brownsville Song - Long Wharf Theatre
Friday, March 13
“In the future there is no justice, only insurance,” begins the trailer for the small-budget “sci-fi western” Death Collector (1988), set in a down-the-road dystopia but filmed right here in New Haven. Heading into tonight’s 8 p.m. screening at Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-389-8885), which hails the movie as a “genuine slice of awesome,” expect plenty of overwrought acting and self-serious camp, but also ’80s-tastic haircuts, denim and leathery miniskirts, boxy tan suits over turtlenecks, a quirky but sinister main villain and at least one thug with nunchucks. Afterward, there’s a “Q&A with the director, Tom Garrett, and some very special guests including producers, crew members, some cast members and musicians Sound X.” $10.

Saturday, March 14
The Big Room, an alternative arts space in Erector Square (315 Peck St, New Haven), puts on one of its infrequent showcases tonight at 7 p.m. Isabelle Duthoit (vox, clarinet) and Franz Hautzinger (trumpet) are set to perform their intensely creative, haunting, boundary-pushing “abstract music.” Masters of Ceremony, comprised of dancers/choreographers Rachel Bernsen and Melanie Maar with Taylor Ho Bynum (brass instruments) and Abraham Gomez-Delgado (percussion, electronics), performs “spontaneous composition and choreography.” Carl Testa, meanwhile, is charged with “creating an interactive tapestry of lighting and electronic sound, responsive to the actions of the musicians and dancers.” $10 at the door; cash only.

Sunday, March 15
St. Patrick’s Day’s on Tuesday, but New Haven’s massive St. Patrick’s Day Parade, billed by organizers as “the largest single-day spectator event in the state,” happens today. Well before the 1:30 p.m. start time, thousands of people from around Connecticut and beyond begin gathering along the official route to watch sash-wearing grand marshalls, kilt-clad bagpipers, feather-hatted marching bands and other civic contingents travel east up Chapel Street from Sherman Avenue, then north on Church and east on Grove ’til Orange. Towards the end of the route, a trio of Irish pubs—Trinity (157 Orange St), Christy’s (261 Orange St) and Anna Liffey’s (17 Whitney Ave)—beckons seas of green merrymakers, as does nearly every other bar downtown.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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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 very much by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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