This Week in New Haven (October 23 – 29)

This Week in New Haven (October 23 – 29)

F ictional frights like monsters meet factual ones like climate change, though Halloween itself is yet to come. 

Monday, October 23
“Following a century of violent anti-religious campaigns, China is now filled with new temples, churches and mosques–as well as cults, sects and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends”—and after six years of studying it, Pulitzer-winning writer Ian Johnson is coming to Yale’s Luce Hall (34 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven) to discuss this “Battle for China’s Soul.” Starting at 4:30 p.m., Johnson is set to place “special emphasis on this autumn’s reappointment of Xi Jinping to a new five-year term [as China’s president] and how his administration has sought to shape religion.” Free.

Tuesday, October 24
You might remember a remarkable news story from late 2008, when an environmental activist named Tim DeChristopher registered a series of winning bids in an attempt to stop the federal government from auctioning sensitive public land leases to oil and gas companies. The catch was that he had no intention of paying the $1.8 million he’d pledged, leading to a five-year legal battle, 21 months in prison and, on a more positive note, the government’s withdrawal of some of the leases. At 5:30 p.m. in Kroon Hall (195 Prospect St, New Haven), DeChristopher takes the mic to “offer his reflections on the current state” of global warming activism and “speak about his work in creating a disciplined, nonviolent climate justice movement.” Free.

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Joyful Learning at Cold Spring School

Wednesday, October 25
Fellowship Place, a local nonprofit whose “mission is to serve adults living with mental illness by offering a full range of therapeutic support and rehabilitation services that promote independence, wellness and a meaningful life,” is putting on a “Moon Over Paris” fundraiser at Whitneyville Cultural Commons (1253 Whitney Ave, Hamden). Featuring “food, wine, dancing and fashion”—that is, “high-end special occasion dresses offered at half their original price”—the party starts at 5:30 p.m., with tickets costing $75 a pop.

Thursday, October 26
At its Haunted Hall Crawl & Costume Ball, Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History (170 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-432-8987) invites the 18-and-over public to “dance with the dinosaurs, slither with snakes and other creepy crawlies, imbibe our special witch’s brew and experience tours of terror through our haunted halls” from 7 to 10 p.m. $27.50 per ticket (or $20 for Peabody members and Yale employees, or $10 for students) gets you food and two complimentary drink tickets. “Costumes are encouraged but not mandatory.”

Also getting into the spirit of things is RJ Julia Booksellers (768 Boston Post Rd, Madison; 203-245-3959), which has “nationally recognized spiritualist medium” Elaine Kuzmeskus discussing and signing her latest book, Séances, Levitations, and Poltergeists: Connecticut in the Golden Age of Spiritualism. Focused on the post-Civil War era, when “distraught Connecticut residents turned to spiritualism as a means of connecting with their lost loved ones,” tickets to the event cost $10, with Kuzmeskus “[providing] readings for a selected number of attendees at the end of her presentation.”

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Opera Scenes - Yale School of Music

Friday, October 27
At 4:30 p.m., LEAP, a.k.a. Leadership, Education & Athletics in Partnership, is hosting its annual Halloween Festival. The idea is to help kids enjoy the holiday by giving “parents… an environment that is both safe and fun for their children,” featuring “face painting, pumpkin painting, storytelling, a haunted house and trick-or-treating.” 31 Jefferson Street, New Haven. (203) 773-0770.

New Haven Reads’s sixth annual Halloween-time spelling bee fundraiser, in which it’s customary for the various teams to theme and costume up, happens at 7 p.m. inside the Yale School of Management (165 Whitney Ave, New Haven). Team registration is now closed, but anyone can join the audience for “a fun-filled evening of spelling, laughter and friendly competition,” with a suggested $10 donation at the door.

Directed by Luis Antonio (pictured above), what was once Escapade: An Unusual Experience returns as Escapade: Experience the Madness, a “revamped and reimagined” production with “a Halloween twist.” Featuring a dynamic vortex of drag, dance and musical performances inside the venerated Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-389-8885), organizers promise “a journey that will make you feel, question [and] wonder as you enter the world of the spectacular, the bizarre and the twisted.” With showtimes at 7:30 and 10 tonight and tomorrow—and pre-shows 30 minutes before each one—tickets cost $30, or $25 in advance.

At Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281) at 8:30, local Ramones tribute act The Hymans, “Stoner and Western / Country Psych / Southern Doom” group Pinto Graham and “dream pop” band Chaplinesque join forces for “Boo! Losing Your Rights is Scary,” a benefit for the ACLU that has a costume contest and ends with a “psych rock/new wave dance party.” $5.

Saturday, October 28
It’s a graveyard just before Halloween, but that’s no reason to be afraid of historic Grove Street Cemetery (227 Grove St, New Haven; 203-787-1443), where a free guided walking tour commences at 10 a.m. at the brick building just inside the front gate.

From noon to 6 today and tomorrow, City-Wide Open Studios culminates in Erector Square Weekend, an opportunity to become acquainted with over 100 local artists in the historic post-industrial complex—it used to be the home of the A. C. Gilbert toy company, which made Erector Sets and many other fascinations—where they work. 315 Peck Street, New Haven.

Featuring “moving sounds of shrieks and purring,” “evil cocktails,” “sexy spooky dirty disco” and “your own exquisite doom and delights”—plus “drink specials all night,” a “midnight costume contest” and candy—Ordinary’s Halloween Gathering gets gathering at 9 p.m. 990 Chapel Street, New Haven. (203) 907-0238.

Sunday, October 29
At Westville’s annual “Giant Puppet and People Making Mayhem Parade,” kids and families hoisting papier-mâché puppets join “costumed friends, neighbors and other giant puppets from around New Haven” in an 11 a.m. walkabout. Starting in the heart of the ’ville and ending nearby at the northern tip of Edgewood Park, the parade meets up with the Edgewood Farmers’ Market “for one gigantic outdoor Halloween Party.” Free.

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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