This Week in New Haven (May 5 – 11)

E vents have a way of spreading out and multiplying this week in New Haven. An unusual interactive art project quintuples its presence throughout the city; a festival of new plays from up-and-comer playwrights lasts all weekend, then persists well into next week; and Westville’s famed ArtWalk event this Saturday spills generously into the night before.

Monday, May 5
Shhh. The latest from Site Projects—this year celebrating 10 years of bringing unusual art installations to the New Haven public—is an interactive exhibit called Whispering Galleries, which, after debuting at the Ives branch of the New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8835) a little over a week ago, is reportedly expanding to the other branches today. Using passages pulled from mid-19th-century “diaries of an anonymous New Haven shopkeeper,” Whispering invites visitors to use motion sensor-captured hand movements to remove some of the words from the passages, with the remainder forming standalone poems. These “erasure poems” aren’t going anywhere anytime soon—the installation’s up through August—but there’s no time like the present. Free.

Tuesday, May 6
If the act of quietly creating poems isn’t meditative enough for you, there’s always actual meditation, maybe even in the very same building. The Ives branch is hosting a free beginner’s meditation class tonight (and all other Tuesdays in May) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., with the local Shambhala Meditation Center organizing and leading the weekly sessions. Also tonight, Shambhala is hosting “Young Wisdom”—“a meditation and discussion group for people in their 20s and 30s”—from 8 to 9 p.m., with tea and cookies provided, in its home at 85 Willow Street, Building B, New Haven. (203) 503-0173.

sponsored by

New Haven Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, May 7
Balance out the mental balance you achieved yesterday with some legendary body shakes tonight, when southern rock band Drivin’ ’n’ Cryin’ pulls into Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281) for a 9 p.m. bill. Formed in 1985, lead singer Kevn [sic] Kinney’s vox sounds like a fine whiskey and has aged just as nicely, and the band’s throw-everything-in-the-pot stew of influences has evolved in an unexpectedly youthful way, with punk and garage rock becoming more prominent ingredients in recent years. Opening the show is the local trio The Ivory Bills, featuring scene stalwart James Velvet on bass guitar, not regular guitar. $16, $14 in advance.

Thursday, May 8
Caroline Ross (oboe) and Corin Lee (violin), players in the Yale Baroque Ensemble, offer a “Baroque Recital” at 5:30 this evening at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments (15 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven; 203-432-0822). The set list traverses Biber, Vivaldi and Handel, and though attendance is free, advance registration made via the Collection’s phone number is required.

Friday, May 9
The Yale School of Drama’s Carlotta Festival of New Plays, staging at the Iseman Theater (1156 Chapel St, New Haven) for eight days starting today, features “three fully-produced plays by graduating playwrights,” each given four performances. The first play to premiere, tonight at 8 p.m., is Hansol Jung’s Cardboard Piano, about a transgressive love affair in Africa at the end of the 1990s. Tomorrow at 8 p.m., it’s Mary Laws’s Bird Fire Fly’s turn, bringing to life a group of children playing “war games” in order to explore “the transformation of fear into violence, the perpetuation of oppression and the fight to be free.” On Sunday at 8 p.m., Kate Tarker’s Thunderbodies also involves war, but the play’s not as serious. Instead it’s a “comedy of no manners” where all the characters are “normible (both normal and terrible all at once).” Next week, the scheduling pace picks up, with the remaining 9 performances of the Carlotta Festival happening between Monday and Friday. Tickets are $20, or $10 for students.

sponsored by

NBC Connecticut

Saturday, May 10
Last night, the 17th Westville Village ArtWalk got started early with what its organizers referred to as “kick-off events,” but that hardly seems a big enough sum-up to describe an itinerary featuring opening receptions at DaSilva and Kehler-Liddell Galleries (6 to 8 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m., respectively), a wine tasting at Westville Wines, a fashion show by Vintanthromodern Vintage, a dance party at Delaney’s, a talk and book signing by local historian (and Daily Nutmeg contributor) Colin Caplan at Lyric Hall (6 p.m.) and an art show pop-up on Fountain Street, to name just half the happenings. And yet, today, things somehow go much bigger, with participants including 34 artisan vendors, 13 restaurants/food sellers, 40 community groups, 16 musical groups/performers and nine “public art displays,” all within a three-block span centered around Central Avenue between Whalley and Fountain. The ArtWalk website says today’s fun lasts “all day;” if the timing is the same as last year’s, then “all day” is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.

Sunday, May 11
Happy Mother’s Day, moms.

After 8 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday, Elm City Dance Collective presents the final performance of Almost Porcelain—a “dance work inspired by concepts of self-perception, beauty and identity with collaborations in visual design, film and sound”—today at 2 p.m. at Yale’s Off Broadway Theater (41 Broadway, New Haven, down the path north of Toad’s Place off of York St). Tickets to each show are $30 apiece; to purchase them in advance, scroll down the ECDC homepage until you find the gold and blue “Buy Now” button.

Written by Dan Mims. Image depicts Drivin’ ’n’ Cryin’. 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.

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