Odyssey: A Greek Festival

This Week in New Haven (August 31 - September 6)

Labor Day weekend, synonymous with kicking back and enjoying yourself, is nigh. Accordingly, things get progressively celebratory this week in New Haven, with tradition and cosmopolitanism—concepts that might clash elsewhere—keeping the party going.

Monday, August 31
The 50-artist, 150-artwork showcase at the heart of the Arts Council’s annual “Somewhat Off the Wall” party on September 12—wherein premium ticket-holders, who’ve paid $100 for one of 100 such tickets, get to take home a piece of fine art, from photography to painting to sculpture to jewelry—can be viewed by the non-ticket-holding public starting today. The exhibition space is the Gallery at EleMar (99-107 Shelton Ave, New Haven; 203-927-3228), an extracurricular project of construction-grade stone retailer EleMar New England, with visiting hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Tuesday, September 1
Tonight, the Yale Film Colloquim kicks off a semester-long film series themed around “Bad Girls,” i.e. “witches, bitches and bad-ass dames.” The horror classic Suspiria—directed by Italian auteur Dario Argento, chillingly scored by the Italian prog-rock band Goblin and containing female characters falling into all three of the aforementioned categories—is the series opener, screening at 7 p.m. inside the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven). Free.

sponsored by

Creative Arts Workshop - Enroll now for Fall 2015

Wednesday, September 2
It’s Wednesday night, which means there’s a free 9:30 show at BAR featuring bands curated by Manic Productions. Boston-based electronic/rock act Off & On says its “mission is to party,” which means it shares a north star with bill-mate Hey Anna, whose music is at least as upbeat and danceable. Opening the bill is Golden Bloom, set to warm things up with a mix of up- and downtempo pop. 254 Crown St, New Haven. (203) 495-8924.

Thursday, September 3
By now, Elm Shakespeare Company’s under-the-stars presentation of Twelfth Night is in its twilight, with only four performances left. So think of tonight’s pre-show gala, “A Night at the Alhambra,” as the rager against the dying of the light, raising funds to keep Elm Shakespeare going after this year’s final curtain call. Starting at 5 p.m. in Edgerton Park (75 Cliff St, New Haven), the soiree boasts buffet-style food and bottomless cocktails from local eateries/drinkeries like L’Orcio, Caseus and Geronimo, plus a silent auction. Then stick around for the play, which begins at 8 p.m. Tickets to the gala start at $125, with a $75 option if you have a “friend who has never been,” while admission to the post-gala performance is, as always, free of charge.

Friday, September 4
St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church (480 Racebrook Rd, Orange; 203-795-1347) grabs the party baton today and runs with it ’til Monday night. It’s the church’s annual Odyssey: A Greek Festival—four days of traditional costuming, dancing and most of all eating. The menu includes moussaka, spanakopita and baklava to go with lots of other items you’re less likely to have encountered before. There’s an agora (“marketplace”) with jewelry, religious icons and “gourmet Greek” groceries, plus a “giant tag sale.” Live Greek music spurs “nightly” dance parties, with a couple of evening-time dance lessons to improve technique. A kids’ section has “rides, games and magic shows.” Tours of the church and presentations on Greek culture might just interest the adults, as might a very mature wad of $10,000 cash that tops the raffle prize list. Admission is free, with festival hours running from noon to 10 p.m. today through Sunday and noon to 8 p.m. Monday.

Saturday, September 5
A different day, a different party. This one’s an opening reception for an iPad art show of works by Raheem Nelson and Amie Ziner at the Mitchell Branch Library (37 Harrison St, New Haven; 203-946-8117). Nelson, a trained cartoonist who now works exclusively on iPad, seems to focus mostly on portraits, urban landscapes and pop art, while Ziner, who describes herself as “primarily an oil painter working on themes of sexual expression, repression and marginalization,” uses her iPad to explore “many subjects and styles… with special interest in animals, plants, portraiture and fantasy,” according to the library. 3 to 5 p.m. Free.

Sunday, September 6
This afternoon from 1 to 3:30, Orchard Street Shul (232 Orchard St, New Haven; 203-776-1468) helps the faithful brush up on Jewish cooking and the inquisitive learn traditional recipes from Turkey, Persia and Syria. “A culinary adventure… with a bonus intro to round challah making!” is what it is, says shul vice president Judi Janette. Timed in advance of Rosh Hashanah, a.k.a. the Jewish new year, next weekend, attendance is limited to just 10 people, paying $18 apiece, who’ll “prepare and enjoy delicious (vegetarian) Rosh Hashanah dishes… using traditional and symbolic ingredients.”

Written by Dan Mims. Photograph provided courtesy of the organizers of Odyssey: A Greek Festival. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

More Stories