A still from The Cat and the Canary

This Week in New Haven (October 22-28)

Sex and God at Yale, Vicky and The Vengents at Café Nine, The Cat and the Canary at Lyric Hall, “Sonn und Schild” at Bethesda Lutheran Church. It’s the usual fun & frolic in New Haven.

Monday, October 22
Vicky and The Vengents mix multiple genres of rock & roll and rhythm & blues—’60s garage, ’70s punk, girl group vocals, surf guitar and a shimmy of soul—into a sweet and tough sound all their own. 8 p.m. Café Nine, 250 State Street, New Haven. (203) 789-8281.

Tuesday, October 23
Recent Yale graduate Nathan Harden expands upon a classic critique of the university, William F. Buckley’s God and Man at Yale, with his new book cunningly titled Sex and God at Yale. Harden came to Yale with a diverse background—he’d been homeschooled and had worked as a lounge singer and a medical relief worker—but was unprepared for some of the liberal traditions of Yale, particularly the progressive Sex Week at Yale events. Harden signs the book (which he’s subtitled “Porn, Political Correctness and a Good Education Gone Bad”) this evening at 6 p.m. in the Yale Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 77 Broadway, New Haven. (203) 777-8440.

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Wednesday, October 24
The Yale Center for British Art holds one of its charming chamber music performances today in the library court on the museum’s second floor, beneath the gigantic George Stubbs painting of a lion attacking a horse. 12:30 p.m. 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven. (203) 432-2841.

Thursday, October 25
Intriguing lecture/performance this afternoon at the Institute of Sacred Music. John D. Witvliet from Calvin College discusses and recites “The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship: Overlapping Scripts in the Unfolding Drama of Liturgical Performance.” 2 p.m. 409 Prospect Street, New Haven. (203) 432-5062.

Speaking of sacred texts, Chicago’s brainy and crazy Second City comedy troupe gave the world such supreme talents as Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Peter Boyle, George Wendt, Stephen Colbert and literally dozens of Saturday Night Live cast members. The last time Second City’s national touring company played New Haven, it included Cecily Strong, who joined the SNL cast last month. The latest Second City tour, which performs classic sketches from the institution’s illustrious history, comes to the Shubert tonight, a benefit for Christian Community Action. $23-$45. 7:30 p.m. 247 College Street, New Haven. (203) 562-5666.

Friday, October 26
The Lyric Hall Theater Orchestra is one of the defining acts of that extraordinary Westville performance space. The ensemble presents live, jazzy, creative musical arrangements to accompany screenings of classic silent films—just as used to happen on the same stage 90 or so years ago. The orchestra, anchored by sax and trumpet and tuba, blows away the silence of landmark 1927 comedy/horror film The Cat and the Canary (pictured above), directed by Paul Leni, tonight at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. ($10) and Saturday at 7 p.m. ($15, with a Halloween Masquerade Ball to follow). Call (203) 209-5369 for reservations. 827 Whalley Avenue, New Haven.

Skalapalooza 2012 is a major reunion of several of the bands which anchored the outrageous local ska music scene of New Haven in the 1990s. Members of Spring Heeled Jack are doing an acoustic set, and we can also see what the skanking veterans of Sgt. Scagnetti, The Pilfers and The Pietasters are up to these days. Toad’s Place, 300 York Street, New Haven. $20. (203) 624-TOAD.

Saturday, October 27
What are you going as? The scariest night of the year is just days away, so there’s a Halloween Mask Making Workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ranger Station in Edgewood Park. Contact Ranger Harry Coyle at hcoyle@newhavenct.net or (203) 691-3539 to register.

The Yale Center for British Art has started a film series to augment its adventurous new exhibit about treasures seized from the captured touring ship Westmorland in 1778. Today’s feature is the 1941 Napoleonic War history lesson That Hamilton Woman, directed by Alexander Korda, with Laurence Olivier as Admiral Horatio Nelson and Vivien Leigh in the title role of Lady Emma Hamilton. 2 p.m. 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven. (203) 432-2800.

Sunday, October 28
The Bethesda Choir is doing Bach’s Cantata #79, “Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild,” among other things at 4 p.m. in Bethesda Lutheran Church (parking lot entrance is at 450 Whitney Avenue, New Haven). A “freewill offering for Lutherans in Mission” is requested.

Written by Christoper Arnott.

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