This Week in New Haven (February 17 - 23)

This Week in New Haven (February 17 - 23)

This Presidents’ Day week, you can actually meet a couple of presidents.

Monday, February 17 – Presidents’ Day
Woodbridge’s live music-infused Amity Teen Center takes over the big stage at College Street Music Hall (238 College St, New Haven) for its 25th annual ATC Battle of the Bands, in which 10 or so local teen acts play their hearts out and, in the process, raise money for the Center. $15.

sponsored by

The Underground Railroad lecture at the Knights of Columbus Museum

Tuesday, February 18
At noon inside the Omni Hotel (155 Temple St, New Haven), the International Festival of Arts & Ideas’s 10th annual Visionary Leadership Award Luncheon honors “pioneering actor, social media superstar, Grammy-nominated recording artist, and New York Times bestselling author” George Takei. Best known professionally for his breakout role as Sulu on the original cast of Star Trek—spanning the initial television series, the first six movies, an animated series and some video games as well—Takei has an even stronger personal origin story, having spent years of his youth in a domestic internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. That along with his life as a gay man in a long-unwelcoming society has made his advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights and other forms of social justice “personal,” as the festival puts it. Regular tickets to the luncheon cost $150, while premiere tickets, which go for $250, include a “post-luncheon reception” with the man of the hour.

The American Civil Liberties Union’s unparalleled credibility was forged by almost a century of defending constitutional rights without regard for politics or optics. Then, a couple of years ago, leaked internal documents revealed that the organization was wavering in its sacred commitments. Longtime ACLU president Nadine Strossen, who served from 1991 to 2008, seems not to have strayed, at least, and you can likely gather some of her reasons during a noontime talk at the Quinnipiac University School of Law (370 Bassett Rd, North Haven), where she’ll be discussing her latest book, Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship (2018).

Wednesday, February 19
DJs Phony Villain, Zaidokhi, Anteo Fabris, 6Raj and Godai—members of the Modern Love Collective—promise a “techno and EDM”-fueled “RAVE” night at The State House (310 State St, New Haven) from 8 to 1. $8.

sponsored by

Mardi Gras at the New Haven Free Public Library

Thursday, February 20
From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-562-4183) hosts an opening reception for FACTORY, “a post-industrial alternative history” that “documents the underground history of the former New Haven Clock Company factory” on Hamilton Street south of Grand. Through “original and archival video and photography and artifacts, the exhibit highlights some of the people, personalities and artistic endeavors once present in the building,” which “survived urban renewal to house a variety of visual and performance artists, punk bands, skateboarders and music and adult-entertainment clubs.” Free.

At Lotta Studio (911 Whalley Ave, New Haven), tonight’s PechaKucha—a BYOB gathering in which locals share “work, ideas and inspiration” via a 20-slides-by-20-seconds presentation format—describes itself as “20×20 on 2/20/20 starting one hour before 20:00.” That’s 7 p.m., of course. Free; donations accepted.

Friday, February 21
Low noir narration and dim seedy reverb. Tumbleweed twang and sinister undertow. Clarion regret and murky rapture. Bambara is something special, and it’s coming to Space Ballroom (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-573-1600) at the top of an 8 p.m., three-act bill that costs about $20 per ticket when you factor in fees. The openers are Maxband, featuring Max Savage of Parquet Courts, and Reduction Plan, whose blend of “’80s goth, industrial, dream-pop cacophonous no-wave” promises “synth swells, hypnotic guitars, pulsing drum machines and haunting murmurs.”

Also at 8 p.m., after a preview show last night, the New Haven Theater Company opens a three-weekend production of Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story co-directed by Steve Scarpa and George Kulp. “Peter wants to read on a park bench in peace and quiet,” producers say. “Jerry wants to tell him about his trip to the zoo.” Sounds pedestrian enough. And yet, “From this ordinary encounter, two men become locked in a primal struggle, one that leaves both irrevocably changed. A suspenseful masterpiece, The Zoo Story explores what it means to be alienated from society and from ourselves.” $20.

Saturday, February 22
From 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Wooster Square Coffee (516 Chapel St, New Haven), Connecticut’s president pro tempore Martin Looney—the highest-ranking official in the state senate—and state representative Roland Lemar invite any comers to sit down and “share… questions, suggestions, and anything on your mind about issues mattering most to you.”

Mill Street, an otherwise appointment-only popup exhibition happening in a large industrial space at New Haven’s 26 Mill Street, gets an opening reception from 2 to 6 p.m. An “artist-run group show” featuring a whopping 40 artists, the overarching theme is “monumentality.” “Several works grapple with the exhibition’s unifying concept by focusing on scale,” while others “take a more theoretical approach by contemplating the history of physical monuments and their evolving meanings.” Free.

The last of three performances of A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer: Writings To Stop Violence Against Women and Girls begins at 7:30 p.m. at United Church on the Green (270 Temple St, New Haven). Proceeds from $15 tickets to the play—“a groundbreaking collection of monologues by world-renowned authors and playwrights”—benefit the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

Sunday, February 23
And it’s back to Space Ballroom (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-573-1600) for a comedy show by Emmy-winning SNL cast member Chris Redd. He’s appeared in TV shows including Will & Grace and Love and in films such as A Futile and Stupid Gesture and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. With fees, tickets cost about $28 apiece.

Written by Dan Mims. Image, featuring Nadine Strossen, provided courtesy of Quinnipiac University. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

More Stories