Debbie Davies

This Week in New Haven (August 20 - 26)

Tennis and teens, tennis and teens. Those are the recurring themes of this week in New Haven. But there’s something for all ages in this final week of summer vacation, from swing dancing to swinging those rackets.

Monday, August 20
Fifty years ago, a bunch of people graduated from Yale. Then they went off and wrote books. Sterling Memorial Library celebrates these widespread literary achievements with a special exhibit, “Books by the Yale Class of 1962.” The display comes down Sept. 7 and is viewable during regular summer visiting hours in the Memorabilia Room at Sterling Library, 120 High St., New Haven. (203) 432-1810.

Tuesday, August 21
The Swing & Blues Outdoor Dance series is swinging to a close. Weather permitting, the final dance night of the summer kicks up its heels around the famed Women’s Table sculpture/fountain outside Yale’s Sterling Library (in the courtyard on High Street between Elm and Wall streets) from 8-11 p.m. “No experience, partner or shoes necessary.” Also, no admission fee.

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The Shops At Yale

Wednesday, August 2
The Open Mic event at The Space may just be returning (see Sunday), but others have kept happening all along. Tonight at 9 p.m., MegaBites Computer Café in Westville (410 Blake Street, New Haven; 203-691-6795) invites you to “bring your guitar, your poems, your stories or your comedy” to its regular weekly Open Mic. The café, known for its comfort and its tension-releasing “slowed-down” feel, serves beer and wine as well as coffee.

Thursday, August 23
The two-day New Haven Food & Wine Festival concludes today with the Vineyard Vines Ladies Day Luncheon & Fashion Show (information here) hosted by Island Time and curated by Claire’s Corner Copia, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by session eight of the tennis tournament at 1 p.m. Tables of six are $570, individual tickets $100, and each includes a box seat tennis ticket, gift bag and door prize.

Shake It Up Shakespeare is a special program at the Long Wharf Theatre where local teenagers help adapt a Shakespeare play in a manner to which they can deeply relate. They revise the text to emphasize the contemporary themes found in the play, then add rock and pop songs which underscore the youthfulness. This year, the Shakespeare of choice is the romantic forest romp A Midsummer Night’s Dream, fueled by ’50s rock & roll hits from the likes of Elvis Presley and Bill Haley. The show is directed by Annie Martino with musical direction by Carol Taubl. It plays Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m., with a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m., at Long Wharf Stage II, 222 Sargent Dr., New Haven. $10.

Friday, August 24
Blues guitarist Debbie Davies is opening her latest tour at Café Nine (250 State St., New Haven; 203-789-8281). Her new album, released last month, is called After the Fall, but we’re getting to see her live before summer’s even over. With the electrifying Ms. Davies (who is journeying into the Midwest, California and Canada before heading back east), Connecticut clubgoers get to witness her guitar mastery nearly two months before she moseys into New York City. 9 p.m. $15.

Elsewhere in clubland, Stella Blues hosts a funk band whose name, Brass Tacks, is such an atrocious pun that you have to give it up for them. Or rather, you have to “get down!”… to Brass Tacks. 9 p.m. 204 Crown St., New Haven. (203) 752-9764.

Saturday, August 25
Today are the finals—both singles and doubles—of the New Haven Open. The doors of the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale open at 11 a.m., with the doubles final coming first at 12:30 p.m. and the singles final following at 3 p.m. It’s an, ahem, final time to stroll the grounds of the center this season and luxuriate in the unique urban culture that is tennis in New Haven. (203) 776-7331.

Sunday, August 26
Parents and kids—and especially teachers—should rest up. School starts next week!

And yet, the area’s finest youth-oriented hangout outside of school, The Space (295 Treadwell St., Hamden), is reviving its popular and eclectic All Ages Open Mic Contest. Each act (whether band or solo artist) plays two songs. Whoever gets the best audience response and draws the biggest crowd will be given a chance to play a full set opening for a well-known headliner this winter. You can sign up in advance via or (203) 288-6400.

Written by Christopher Arnott.

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