AMerican Flyer trains

This Week in New Haven (November 25 - December 1)

With event organizers laying relatively low this Thanksgiving week, museums and galleries have really stepped up to give us plenty to do and think about. Meanwhile, seasonal music and theatre performances get us into the holiday spirit.

Monday, November 25
Howe and “Y”: An Urban Art Exploration is the next exhibition at the New Haven Art Connection, a new gallery at the site of the old YMCA (52 Howe St, New Haven), featuring contributions by several local arts and culture scenesters—Paul Duda, Rob Greenberg, Jon Keefer and Chris Randall, “who, through photography, painting and artifact, reveal our city’s ever-changing landscape.” The opening’s today from 2 to 5 p.m., and the show is up through December 20. Free.

Tuesday, November 26
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (170 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-432-8987) has a new exhibit that’s out of this world: From Mercury to Earth? A Meteorite Like No Other, featuring the largest fragment of the “first-known meteorite from Mercury”—or from any of our solar system’s planets except for Mars. The “lustrous olive-green” meteorite’s name is NWA 7325, and this is the first public viewing it’s ever gotten. From Mercury to Earth opened Friday, so you’ve made a wise choice to wait until this week, when you can probably get some alone time with the extraterrestrial rock. Admission to the museum is $9 for adults, $5 for kids and non-Yale college students and free for Yalies.

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Wednesday, November 27
Get out your candles and menorah if you have ’em. Hannukah starts at sundown.

Towards the other end of the reverence spectrum is Dean Falcone’s annual “Thanksgiving Vomitorium,” a mirthful stew of music and stage hijinks enjoying its 17th installment tonight at 8pm at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281). Unlike past years, the event’s not happening on the holiday itself, ostensibly because, as Cafe Nine’s website puts it, “even the rock and rollers need to spend some quality holiday time with the family.” $6-8.

Thursday, November 28
Thank goodness it’s Thanksgiving. The good stuff is happening at home, in dining room tables and on living room couches, so today’s recommendation is to relax and enjoy yourself. Just try not to snack before the big meal.

Friday, November 29
It’s Black Friday, and we’re thinking about toys, like the vintage American Flyer train set depicted above. The long-gone New Haven-based toymaker A. C. Gilbert Company was premised on some pretty radical ideas, among them that science and engineering topics could be fun, and that playthings could be serious. Countless youngsters over several decades acted older than their ages with the company’s products, from microscopes and telescopes to chemistry sets, train sets and, of course, Gilbert’s world-famous Erector Sets. Concurrent with its annual American Flyer trains exhibit titled Mr. Gilbert’s Railroad, the Eli Whitney Museum (915 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-777-1833) is celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the Erector Set’s commercial debut with a special exhibition, The Erector Set at 100: What to Make of It? Both exhibits open today at noon, with weekend hours thereafter until January 26, 2014. Free.

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Saturday, November 30
The Shubert Theater (247 College St, New Haven; 203-562-5666) is wasting no time placing Christmas center-stage. Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol enjoys a four-show run this weekend, with the first performance happening yesterday at 7:30 p.m., followed by 2 and 7:30 p.m. shows today and a 1 p.m. performance tomorrow. The production goes all out with stage design and special effects, “most notably Scrooge’s bed, which literally takes flight!” $15-48.

Sunday, December 1
The Yale University Art Gallery (1111 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-432-0600) is an endless source of divertive riches. Some of its current treasures belong to a long-running exhibit called Still Life: 1970s Photorealism. The collection’s paintings are liable to cause you to get in close and make sure they’re really paintings, not blown-up photos. The YUAG website says these works, as well as some similarly double-take-inducing sculptures attending them, “make a compelling argument that Photorealists captured life in the 1970s with a grittier honesty than has previously been acknowledged.” The exhibition’s up until March 9, 2014. Free.

Written by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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