A moment from Elm Shakespeare Company’s 2016 summer production

This Week in New Haven (August 14 - 20)

Summer fun happens by land, sea and air this week in New Haven.

Monday, August 14
“Afro-soul” singer Thabisa shares top billing with apple/pear/quince pies during the next installment of the Beecher Park Summer Concert Series and Hi-Fi Pie Fest. Held behind Mitchell Branch Library (37 Harrison St, New Haven; 203-946-8117), pie contest entrants should bring “two of the same home-baked pie (cooled and ready to slice)” by 5:45 p.m., with by-the-slice sales to spectators starting at 6 and the music starting at 6:30. Free to attend.

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G Cafe Bakery

Tuesday, August 15
Known for hosting fun but formal affairs like weddings and fundraising dinners, Amarante’s Sea Cliff (62 Cove St, New Haven; 203-467-2531) is letting its hair down at 5 p.m. with the next party in its “The Deck at Amarante’s Sea Cliff” series. Held outside and therefore subject to good weather, organizers promise a cash bar, food truck and dance floor—plus an “outstanding view” of the harbor. Free.

Wednesday, August 16
A three-day children’s storytelling workshop titled “The Paintings Speak” begins at the Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum (3011 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-582-6500). Happening from 9 to 11 a.m. each day and costing $45 total, the program begins with “viewing the evocative paintings and sculptures contained in the museum’s collection,” then challenges participants to “select one and bring that artwork to life.” It culminates with “a performance of student-created dramatic monologues” informed by what they’ve learned “about the experience of those who lived during the time of Ireland’s Great Hunger.”

Thursday, August 17
It’s opening night for Elm Shakespeare Company’s The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet, staging through September 3 in its customary location, Edgerton Park (75 Cliff St, New Haven; a scene from last year’s production, of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is pictured above). Directed by Raphael Massie, whom veteran audience members may recognize from his prominent acting work in past Elm Shakespeare productions, all of Tragedy’s performances begin at 8 p.m., while “picnics and merriment” begin as early as 6:30. Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged, though only blanket-dwellers are allowed in the area closest to the stage. Free.

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Small Mouth Sounds at Long Wharf Theatre

Friday, August 18
Aerial dance/circus school Air Temple Arts (11 Research Dr, Woodbridge; 651-214-7881) and Cirqularity, its affiliated performance troupe, present their latest collaboration: Reverie in Spirit and Shadow, in which “a sinister spirit materializes in the midst of a magical civilization,” dooming its inhabitants unless they “perform a dangerous and powerful elemental ritual.” Performances happen today and tomorrow at 8 p.m., but you might want to arrive early, when “encounters with creatures, fire spirits and refreshments” are promised.

Saturday, August 19
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the 43rd annual Milford Oyster Festival’s itinerary seems impossibly rich. Taking over downtown Milford on both sides of the harbor, there are two live music stages and, for kids, a more multi-purpose stage; 35,000 oysters in 19 varieties, with eating and shucking contests; a vast array of other festival foods plus two beer and wine gardens; canoe, kayak, paddleboard and outrigger races, along with schooner cruises; a “Big Toys” area with BMX stunt riders, bungee bounces, “big glove boxing,” mini golf, an obstacle course, a video game truck “and much more;” an arts and crafts show featuring more than 200 varied exhibitors; and a classic car show. The festival is free to attend, with organizers strongly encouraging out-of-towners to come by train.

Starting around 4:30 in the afternoon, a very different-feeling festival presides over The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400), including its Ballroom: Axefest 2017, an all-ages “summer slammer” featuring two stages and nine hours of wall-to-wall metal bands. Out of 14 announced acts, the headliner is UK-based Raven, a.k.a. “the godfathers of thrash,” with killer Connecticut act Dead By Wednesday leading the rest of the pack. $15.

Sunday, August 20
After two days of qualifiers, this year’s Connecticut Open professional women’s tennis tournament commences its main draw. Held at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale (45 Yale Ave, New Haven; 855-464-8366), today’s 11 a.m. day session tickets—evening sessions begin tomorrow—start at $27, or $12 for “juniors.” After the session, there’s a special offsite event at John Davenport’s, the restaurant atop the Omni Hotel (155 Temple St, New Haven): a $116 “VIP experience marries tennis, food, spirits and music,” with “player appearances throughout the evening.”

At 2 p.m., the New Haven Museum’s Pardee-Morris House (325 Lighthouse Rd, New Haven) hosts “master gardener and herbalist” Carole Barber, who’s discussing “The Role of Herbs in an Early American Household.” Highlighting the ways colonists cultivated and used many plants, including as “remarkably effective” medical remedies, “the free event will also include a hands-on project: creating sachets for guests to take home using lavender, marigold, hyssop, mint and other fragrant dried herbs.”

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

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