This Week in New Haven (February 18 - 24)

Last Monday’s column alerted readers that the major snowstorm (“Nemo,” if you insist) could impact some events in the New Haven area and indeed it did. The storm fall-out continues to affect many, since this was supposed to be a vacation week for the New Haven public schools, and now (due to all those snow days last week) it’s not. Nonetheless, the February vacation week programs at New Haven Museum (rsvp to and Yale Peabody Museum’s Dinosaur Days are still taking place for those able to attend.

There’s plenty else, of course, from Elm Shakespeare to Sam Shepard, from Langston Hughes to Loop 2.4.3., from the Masonic Temple to Firehouse 12, to lure you out of the house now that the snowdrifts have subsided.

Monday, February 18
“Standing in Our Own Light” is an eclectic concert by faculty members of the Yale School of Music, the start of a week of faculty-helmed events in Sprague Hall. Instruments include guitar (played by the school’s ace guitarist and professor Benjamin Verdery), with Yumi Korosawa on koto and Elizabeth Brown on theremin and shakuhachi. Composers range from Mozart to 17th century Japanese koto virtuoso Yatsuhashi Kengyo to Yale’s own Ezra Laderman. 8 p.m. at Sprague’s Morse Recital Hall, 470 College Street, New Haven; (203) 432-4158.

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Tuesday, February 19
The respected 1990s California post-rock trio Dada (pictured above) has regrouped for a 20th anniversary tour. The band has never completely broken up, but has taken years off between albums, started intense side projects, endured medical problems and has generally caused consternation among their many fans who’ve wondered what the future may hold for this exceptional outfit (whose best-known song may still be their first single, “Dizz Knee Land,” from 1992). It’s great to welcome Dada back to the East Coast tonight at Toad’s Place. 8:30 p.m., 300 York Street, New Haven. (203) 624-TOAD. $20.

Wednesday, February 20
It’s opening night of Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class at the Long Wharf Theatre. You might recall the Yale Repertory Theatre doing the same play a decade ago, but this searing portrait of a depressed, disenfranchised, broken-down and deliriously disillusioned American farm family never goes out of style. Directed by Gordon Edelstein and starring Judith Ivey and Kevin Tighe, the show runs on the Long Wharf mainstage through March 10. 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven; (203) 787-4282.

Thursday, February 21
Elm Shakespeare Company is best known for its spectacular summer Shakespeare productions in Edgerton Park, but the troupe doesn’t hibernate in wintertime. ElmShakes founder James Andreassi and a troupe of performers is holding a Midwinter Cabaret fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Sage American Grill (100 South Water Street, New Haven; 203-787-3466) featuring “scenes, sonnets and songs,” plus a light supper and wine & beer. Tickets are $75-$100.

Friday, February 22
Local artist Katro Storm has created a special tribute to the great African-American writer Langston Hughes, which the Arts Council of Greater New Haven is presenting at its Sumner McKnight Crosby Jr. Gallery (at the Arts Council’s offices on the second floor of 70 Audubon Street, New Haven; 203-772-2788). The event includes a performance by Anthony Thompson Adeagbo based on Hughes’ “Jesse B. Simple” stories, plus work by video artist N.J. Martin and expressionist painter Renaldo Davidson.

Saturday, February 23
The pristine soundstage of Firehouse 12 gets electronically energized with an 8:30 p.m. multi-media concert by Keith Fullerton Whitman, performing on a hybrid analog/digital modular synthesizer in quad audio, alongside video projections. Whitman will also take part in a free pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. (The concert costs $12.) 45 Crown St., New Haven. (203) 785-0468.

Lyric Hall is elegant and intimate, ideal for cabaret concerts. Tonight, New York pianist/vocalist Tony DeSare sings and plays songs made famous by Tony Bennett, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, with a spoken narration by Tom Santopietro connecting the tuneful threads. 7 and 9 p.m at 827 Whalley Avenue, New Haven. (203) 389-8885. $27.50.

Sunday, February 24
Creative Arts Workshop is holding its annual winter Open House event, and also having an opening reception for its Student Show, from 2 to 5 p.m. You can visit the art studios or just enjoy the gallery exhibits. 80 Audubon St., New Haven. (203) 562-4927.

Just a few blocks away from CAW, the New Haven Preservation Trust is hosting an “architectural tour” of the New Haven Masonic Temple at 285 Whitney Avenue, noted for its neoclassical 1920s design, its pipe organs and its elaborate murals. The temple’s not usually open to the public, so this opportunity to tour it for free from 1 to 2:30 p.m. is a genuine local historical bonanza. Pre-registration required. (203) 562-5919.

The audacious experimental art/rock band Loop 2.4.3 has found a welcoming audience in New Haven, performing at Neighborhood Music School and elsewhere. Tonight in a bill that starts at 7 p.m., the combo, led by Thomas Kozumplik and Lorne Watson, can be found at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell Ave., Hamden), unleashing their new, largely wordless song cycle American Dreamland. The Doug Bostick Trio is the opening act.

Written by Christopher Arnott.

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