Black Joe Lewis

This Week in New Haven (September 23 - 29)

Dramatic days lie ahead. Yale’s hallowed theatrical institutions are getting into full swing with weighty shows, and a pair of soulful bands sing and play their hearts out at Spaceland Ballroom. Meanwhile, the public has a rare opportunity to get a firsthand look at a revolutionary field of applied science that used to exist only in the minds of science-fiction visionaries.

Monday, September 23
The Yale Repertory Theatre’s production of Tennessee Williams’s classic A Streetcar Named Desire opened its previews last Friday at the University Theatre (222 York St, New Haven; 203-432-1234) and continues through October 12. Directed by Mark Rucker and performed by a cast including stage super-veteran René Augesen (Blanche DuBois) and True Blood’s Joe Manganiello (Stanley Kowalski), the prickly, raging drama about class and close quarters will make you think twice about letting your in-laws stay over. Tickets range from $20-98, and performances occur on Tuesdays through Saturdays, with tonight’s being the only Monday show of the bunch.

Tuesday, September 24
Ever been inside a Masonic Temple? The “52nd Annual Meeting of The New Haven Preservation Trust” takes place in the one at 285 Whitney Ave today from 5 to 8 p.m. Highlights include a talk by Martin Ede providing a “Brief Introduction to Masonic Architecture;” a silent auction including “New Haven collectibles and curiosities,” plus goods and services donated from around the community; and refreshments from Chestnut Fine Foods. To register, call 203-562-5919 or email A $10 donation is suggested at the door but not required.

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Long Wharf Theatre presents Steve Martin's The Underpants

Wednesday, September 25
On its latest album, Electric Slave, Austin-based band Black Joe Lewis (pictured above) digs into psychedelia with trippy, distortion-heavy “Skulldiggin” and lightens up with danceable throwback “Come to My Party.” Band leader Joe Lewis seems to revel in being a little weird, and that’s freeing for audiences such as the one that’ll be at Spaceland Ballroom (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400) tonight to see him. Seattle-based “Garage R&B” group Pickwick opens at 9 p.m. $16, $14 in advance.

Thursday, September 26
Dutchman by Amiri Baraka, set in New York City in 1964 (which is also where and when it debuted), is “a brutal discussion of race, sex, and personal accountability,” as the Yale Cabaret website puts it. Nearly 50 years later, the wounds the play exposed at the height of the civil rights movement still feel raw. Katherine McGerr directs a five-show, three-day run at the Cabaret (217 Park Street, New Haven; 203-432-1566) starting tonight at 8 p.m., with 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. performances on Friday and Saturday. $20, $10 for Yale students, faculty and staff.

Friday, September 27
Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Woolsey Hall (500 College St, New Haven), Thomas C. Duffy, the current Music Director of Yale’s house bands, leads the Yale Concert Band through a free memorial concert honoring former Music Director Keith Wilson. Wilson, who ran the program from 1946 to 1972 and who passed away this year, figures heavily into the program, including in Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber, which Wilson adapted for concert band from composer Paul Hindemith’s original orchestral arrangement. Later comes “The Wilson Wail,” written by Mitch Leigh, an accomplished composer and Wilson’s former student.

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Saturday, September 28
The fact that today’s talk by Yale Professor Andre Taylor on “Nanotechnology for Energy Applications: How Small Things Make a Big Difference in Our World” is free and open to the public inspires some hope that the presentation will be accessible to laypeople. Speaking of access, attendees are afterward invited to tour the professor’s research lab and witness special demonstrations. “Nanotechnology” increasingly precedes phrases like “…is the future,” or “…is changing the world,” so it’s probably something worth knowing about. Grab a seat at Davies Auditorium in the Becton Center (15 Prospect St, New Haven) from 10 a.m. to noon.

Sunday, September 29
Born in the late 12th century, Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, more commonly known as St. Francis of Assisi, is the eponym of the new Pope. St. Francis was ahead of his time in other ways, too, credited with reviving the Catholic Church’s concern for the poor, creating the first nativity scenes that would later become Christmas mainstays in yards and stoops across the globe and, perhaps most modern of all, caring deeply about animals and the environment. Today at 4 p.m., St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church (830 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-777-7623) welcomes animals “big and small” to receive a blessing during its light-hearted “Blessing of the Animals” ceremony. There’s talk of dessert as well.

Written by Dan Mims.

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