This Week in New Haven (November 19 – 25)

A s the most nostalgic time of year arrives, past and present repeatedly collide via vintage sounds, sights and theatrics. 

Monday, November 19
It’s Game Night at Next Door pizzeria (175 Humphrey St, New Haven; 475-234-5969), with board games (including your own, if you like), cards, emceed bingo and half-priced bottles of wine. It’s also Trivia Night at The Rough Draft (295 Treadwell Street, Hamden; 475-224-5179), where the trivia is free to play and the top three teams win prizes. Both events start at 7:30 p.m.; no cover.

sponsored by

ATLAS Middle School

Tuesday, November 20
Every year, the Ives Main Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8130) hosts a pre-Thanksgiving pie party for its ESOL students on the last day of their studies. This year, everyone’s invited. “Anyone who is interested in making people and families new to New Haven feel more welcome, anyone who may be ‘stranded’ in town over the holiday and would like to celebrate, anyone who believes and is interested in contributing to New Haven’s reputation as a city open and welcoming to all, and anyone else—is welcome!” 6 to 8 p.m. Free.

Wednesday, November 21
“You never know who is going to show up or what they’re going to play, and often we don’t either, until it happens.” That’s part of the pitch for the 22nd Dean Falcone’s Annual Thanksgiving Vomitorium, an irreverent mash of Thanksgiving traditionalism and rock ’n’ roll mayhem happening at 9 p.m. at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281). This year, when Falcone and company say they’ll be “overcook[ing] perfectly good songs and violat[ing] them,” they’re referring to “unrehearsed” tunes by Cheap Trick and The Pretenders, as well as a cornucopia of songs released in 1979. $10.

Thursday, November 22 – Thanksgiving
If you don’t have holiday plans but want to—or if you’ve got room for a little more—Agora (formerly The Grove; 760 Chapel St, New Haven) is hosting an all-welcoming Thanksgiving potluck from noon to 8. In addition to whatever else is on the menu, organizers promise vegetarian and vegan options and authentic Greek food—plus a stocked larder of board and other games courtesy of Elm City Games.

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The Knights of Columbus Museum presents Christmas in Poland

Friday, November 23
For extra Black Friday shopping encouragement, The Shops at Yale are adding dashes of excitement: roving greeters handing out “special discounts” plus “surprise giveaways for customers” carrying shopping bags from participating retailers; and an ice carving demonstration outside Wave Gallery (1046 Chapel St, New Haven) from 1 to 3 p.m.

“Thanksgiving Friday is the perfect time to visit Connecticut’s own Pilgrim-era museum,” planners for the Henry Whitfield State Museum (248 Old Whitfield St, Guilford; 203-453-2457) say, and it’s tough to argue given what’s on the docket. Between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., you can “taste 17th-century English and Native American foods, touch 17th-century English and Native American reproductions, hear hourly readings of the Pilgrim Cat storybook, write with a quill pen to ‘Make Your Marke,’ learn about the myths and origins of our Thanksgiving traditions… and take a self-guided tour of the 1639 Whitfield House.” $6, or free for children 12 and under.

Meanwhile, at noon, the annual Mr. Gilbert’s Railroad exhibition—featuring a vintage American Flyer train set, made by the A.C. Gilbert Company, that you or your kids can operate within a miniature landscape—pulls into the Eli Whitney Museum (915 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-777-1833). Pieces from the most famous Gilbert toys, the Erector Set product line, will be available for tinkering. Free.

Saturday, November 24
At 6:30 p.m., mActivity (285 Nicoll St, New Haven) hosts the next installment of its East Rock Concert Series. The headliner is Grammy-winning folk artist Dom Flemons (pictured above), who “strives to mix traditional music forms with a contemporary approach to create new sounds that will appeal to wider audiences.” The opener is the soulful, bluesy vocalist, guitarist and harmonica player Kevin “B.F.” Burt. $20.

The 39th annual Colonial Concert by Orchestra New England, held inside the United Church on the Green (270 Temple St, New Haven; $25 general admission, $40 reserved seating) at 8 p.m., aims to recreate the Revolutionary War period using “wigs, waistcoats and candlelight,” with reenactors dressed as colonial-era dignitaries and music by “Handel, Haydn, Mozart and other composers popular in the late 18th century.” Before the show, at 6 p.m., a “festive” dinner happens at the Graduate Clubhouse (155 Elm St, New Haven; $45) of the Elm City Club.

Sunday, November 25
It’s definitely Christmas season at the Shubert (247 College St, New Haven; 203-562-5666). It began Friday with 1, 4 and 7 p.m. performances of A Charlie Brown Christmas ($25-55), whose live-action performers, after they were done with the core material from the perennially airing 1965 TV special, also sang classic holiday songs. Then, yesterday at 2 and 7 p.m. and today at 2 p.m., the theater is hosting A Christmas Carol ($25-55)—a “new adaptation of Dickens’s ever-popular classic… with lush costumes, stunning sets, special effects and a timeless message of holiday joy.”

For a newer play (first performed in 2015) that also conjures the past, Long Wharf Theatre’s production of Paradise Blue began previews on Friday. Set in a midcentury, urban renewal-happy Detroit, where the Paradise jazz club and its owner, the trumpet-playing Blue, rest on the razor’s edge of change, the story is noir-ish but also contends with issues—including race and gentrification—that resonate nearly 70 years after its setting. Tickets to today’s shows, starting at 2 and 7 p.m., cost between $35.50 and $91.50.

Written by Dan Mims. Image, of Dom Flemons, photographed by Timothy Duffy. 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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