This Week in New Haven (December 7 – 13)

C hanukah, a.k.a. the Jewish Festival of Lights, is underway, marked by the progress of the bulbs topping the big blue-lit menorah on the Green (pictured above). Another menorah lighting happens across town at week’s end, after a string of in-betweeners, some Christmassy, have had their time to shine.

Monday, December 7
Reporter Dean Starkman is the increasingly rare journalist who’s actually journalistic. His book The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism—about business reporters’ failures in the run-up to the 2008 economic meltdown—was published in 2014; 20 years before that, he was a member of the Providence Journal team that won a Pulitzer for uncovering “pervasive corruption within the Rhode Island court system.” You can see and hear the man behind the bylines today at 4 p.m., when he’s set to discuss “Journalism’s Crisis—and the Public’s” inside Yale’s Jonathan Edwards College (68 High St, New Haven). Free.

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Holiday Market at Union Station

Tuesday, December 8
Opening tonight at 7 p.m. and running through Sunday, December 20, Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold is this year’s installment of the improv-y “Late Nite Catechism” tradition at Long Wharf Theater (222 Sargent Dr, New Haven; 203-787-4282), wherein an actor plays a humorously authoritarian nun and the audience plays a “recalcitrant class” of catechism students, as LWT communications director Steve Scarpa puts it. This year, two elements make the show a special treat: first, Nonie Newton Riley, reportedly a favorite of New Haven crowds, is playing Sister; and second, the show’s happening when it carries the most impact, at Christmastime, which hasn’t always been possible in past years. $35.

Wednesday, December 9
Another week, another holiday pop-up shop. This one’s called the Holiday Market, and it’s happening in the airy atmosphere of Union Station (50 Union Ave, New Haven). Promising “a delightful range of gift-giving opportunities spanning apparel, accessories, bath and skin care products, home decor, art prints and more” from Connecticut-based vendors, the Project Storefronts-organized event runs today, tomorrow and Friday from 4 to 8 p.m., then repeats the same schedule next week.

Thursday, December 10
The Yale School of Music’s holding a ton of student recitals this week and next. The most comprehensive, although it isn’t quite billed as a recital, is tonight’s “New Music for Orchestra” concert in Woolsey Hall (500 College St, New Haven), which has the Yale Philharmonia performing fresh works—with titles like One Choice, aeolian dust and Oblivion—by seven of the school’s composing students. Regular tickets cost $7 or $10 depending on where you sit, with discounts for students and Yale staff/faculty. 7:30 p.m.

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Measure for Measure at Long Wharf Theatre

Friday, December 11
Speaking of young high achievers, Yale Repertory Theatre’s in the midst of the world-premiere run of Peerless, a play centered around twin-sister high schoolers M and L, who are “competitive with everyone—except each other.” That’s why, “when the failsafe combination of perfect academics, killer extracurriculars and calculated self-identification fails to impress The College’s early decision admissions board,” they’re willing to work together to “hatch a sinister Plan B to secure their future.” Written by Jiehae Park and directed by Margot Bordelon, tonight’s show starts at 8 p.m., with regular tickets running $89 and price breaks available for the usual suspects.

Saturday, December 12
This weekend in the Mainstage Theater at Co-Op High School (177 College St, New Haven), the funny, irreverent Connecticut Gay Men’s Chorus performs its annual holiday show, this time with an extra twist to go with the usual extra twists. Called Babes in Boyland, babes run both male and female for this one, as five talented women from the area—including former Broadway-er Marissa Perry, of Waterbury—join the 24-member choir as guest stars. Showtimes are 8 p.m. today and 4 p.m. tomorrow, with regular seats going for $25 and “premium” ones go for $30.

Also at 8 p.m. tonight, the Greater New Haven Community Chorus fills Battell Chapel (400 College St, New Haven) with sounds of the season—Vivaldi’s Gloria and Handel’s The King Shall Rejoice, plus The Twelve Days of Christmas and others—during its annual end-of-year show. Titled “Holiday Collage,” tickets cost $15, or $10 for the 10-and-under crowd.

Sunday, December 13
Outside St. John’s Episcopal Church of North Guilford (129 Ledge Hill Rd; 203-457-1094), the church’s yearly, family-friendly “Living Nativity,” wherein “parishioners and local residents use their acting skills to play those present at the birth of Jesus Christ,” happens this evening at 5 p.m. The event, which also stars “llamas, sheep, chickens, dogs and cats,” involves luminaria, hymns and, during a reception to follow, cookies and hot chocolate. Free, with an option to bring canned food bound for the Guilford Food Bank.

Likewise starting at 5 p.m., Chabad of Westville leads its ninth annual “Chanukah in Westville Village” in the Blake-Whalley lot near the heart of Westville. Featuring “latkes, cider and treats for adults and children,” there’s also a “grand Humanorah photo shoot,” whose specifics are provocatively unclear.

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

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Turning down a dream editing job right out of college, Dan instead went into marketing and media sales to better cover the rent. Stints at Spin Magazine and Yahoo! followed. But he kept scratching that writing-and-editing itch—first on the side, then at a couple of startups. Dan is now scratching it as Daily Nutmeg's editor.

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