This Week in New Haven (December 5 – 11)

W e haven’t spiked the egg nog yet, yet we’re starting to see double: two daughters of 20th-century icons, two celebrated guitarists from Africa and two city centers of heightened holiday activity.

Monday, December 5
Drawing on five years of interviews started in 1986, “the raw, candid, unvarnished memoir of an American icon” is the promise of The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man, a.k.a. Connecticut movie star-turned-philanthropist Paul Newman. At 7 p.m., Newman’s daughter Clea Newman Soderlund and the book’s editor, David Rosenthal, convene at Madison’s RJ Julia to discuss.

A liederabend—German for “evening of songs”—brings the full-throated singers of Yale Opera to Morse Recital Hall at 7:30. But the songs they’ll be singing are Russian, composed by the likes of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov and Rubinstein.

sponsored by

Hopkins School

Wednesday, December 7
Assemblage, featuring painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking and multimedia work by mostly local artists, opens at Wábi Gallery downtown from 4 to 7 p.m., offering “light snacks and wine” to go with the visual feast.

Thursday, December 8
Two days before a jazz show/toy and coat drive and three days before an ice sculpting competition/a cappella concert, The Shops at Yale host a Chapel Street Open House event from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Expect “complimentary food and wine tastings, trunk shows, opportunities to meet business owners and their local vendors/suppliers, and more” at various Chapel Street businesses downtown.

At 7 p.m. in Yale’s Humanities Quadrangle, Paul McCartney’s daughter Mary McCartney presents and discusses her upcoming documentary If These Walls Could Sing, about a legendary creative space her dad helped sanctify (and vice versa): Abbey Road Studios.

sponsored by

New Haven Symphony Orchestra

Friday, December 9
From 5:30 to 10 a.m. at Jordan’s Furniture, the public is invited to attend a live broadcast by local radio personalities Chaz and AJ—joined by a parade of “comedians, local politicians, TV personalities, and show regulars” as well as the band NRBQ—during the Chevrolet & Lexus of New Haven Toy Drive.

At the other end of the day, from 6 to 9 p.m., Musical Intervention, “an inclusive, sober space for creativity, songwriting and performance,” celebrates its grand reopening with tours, remarks and guest appearances.

Saturday, December 10
A big Saturday in Westville features an Anti-Mall Shop Small popup holiday market at Lotta Studio from noon to 6; open studios next door at West River Arts from noon to 5; an art sale down the street at Kehler Liddell Gallery from noon to 6 (where an improv comedy show kicked things off last night); and, at 6 p.m., a communal tree lighting on the neighborhood’s Central Patio.

Led by guitarist Mamady Kouyate, the Mandingo Ambassadors, “an African jazz band with beats to make chairs obsolete and melodies to put your mind at ease,” fill Best Video in Hamden with sounds you can hear first here at 7 p.m.

At 8 p.m. in SCSU’s Lyman Center, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/guitarist Jonathan Butler, “the first non-white artist to be played on South African radio and appear on national television,” presents a night of song that sounds like it could get Christmassy. He’ll be joined by high-flying, award-winning saxophonist Grace Kelly.

Sunday, December 11
At 3 p.m., the very happily local writer Lary Bloom throws a book party at mActivity Fitness Center, where he’ll read from I’ll Take New Haven, his “new collection of essays about the virtues of the Elm City,” while listeners sip free beer from East Rock Brewing.

At 4 p.m., the 10th Annual Beehive Holiday Blowout at Cafe Nine promises “a super-festive… holiday show” for “Soul and R&B lovers” starring longtime SNL vocalist and one-time NHV localist Christine Ohlman, a.k.a. the “Beehive Queen.”

Next Week
Daily Nutmeg is throwing a holiday party—and you’re invited! On Thursday, December 15, from 5 to 7 p.m., join us at Old Heidelberg in the Graduate New Haven hotel, where we’ll be celebrating the season with drink specials, great prizes (to be announced in coming days) and more, including a free drink ticket for the first 50 guests to arrive. Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP.

Written by Dan Mims. Image 1, photographed by Dan Mims, features a moment during a past Westville tree lighting. Image 2 features Jonathan Butler. Image 3, photographed by Steve Freihon, features the bar at Old Heidelberg. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations, prices and other details 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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