Salaam Dunk

This Week in New Haven (February 23 - March 1)

There’s no February 29 this year, but there are still plenty of leaps this week. The city has us jumping, from topics like women’s basketball in Iraq and ancient musical instruments to oddball comedy and pre-1950s Italian immigrants.

Monday, February 23
“Basketball helped me to forget,” says one of the featured players in the trailer for Salaam Dunk (screen-capped above), a documentary following young Iraqi women as they commit the culturally heretical act of shooting hoops. What basketball’s helped her forget, it’s implied, are the horrors of growing up in a war zone; remove all doubt by seeing the movie tonight in Luce Hall (34 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven), where Yale’s Council on Middle East Studies is hosting a free screening. 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday February 24
Arkansas-based “instruments of antiquity” specialist Christopher Nogy crafts authentic harps, lyres, zithers and a spate of less recognizable musical instruments from centuries (and centuries) ago. Tonight at 7 p.m. inside the Institute Library (847 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-562-4045), Nogy’s the guest of honor during the latest installment of the Joshua Foer- and Jack Hitt-curated Amateur Hour series, which highlights “the passions and pursuits of America’s most inspiring fanatics, obsessives, tinkerers, and collectors.” $15, or $10 for Institute Library members.

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Beinecke Library Spring 2015 Exhibitions

Wednesday, February 25
At 4:30 p.m. today, a film screening and tour inside Yale’s spectacular Kroon Hall (195 Prospect St, New Haven) also seek to make the past present, though the timescale in play is better conceived as geologic than historic. The event’s focus is “biophilic design,” an architectural approach that tries to create optimized human environments—“hospitals where patients heal faster, schools where children’s test scores are higher, offices where workers are more productive, and communities where people know more of their neighbors and families thrive”—by incorporating lessons learned from our evolutionary history and present biological makeup. As a shining example of biophilic design, Kroon Hall is both setting and subject. Free.

Thursday, February 26
Last night was the official opening night for Bad Jews, the new production on Long Wharf Theatre’s Stage II. But the opening’s sold out, so instead we’re listing tonight’s performance, which, as of this writing, has just seven seats left, which is a lot compared to most other nights in the show’s run. The play itself is about a hot commodity, too—a prized family heirloom that, upon its owner’s death, incites two grandchildren to compete over who will inherit it. Even if there’s bitterness here, there’s also copious humor; Long Wharf says the play was “named the comedy of the year by the New York Times.” 222 Sargent Dr, New Haven; 203-787-4282. $74.50.

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Friday, February 27
With tattoos peeking out her shirtsleeve and discs stretching out her earlobes, solo singer-songwriter Natalie Tuttle looks edgier than she sounds, with mellifluous voice and mostly sunny chords and progressions. But if you stretch out your own ears a bit, there are a lot of experience-deepeners to be found in her music, like expertly restrained vocal notes and surprising guitar licks (often marked by what Tuttle calls her “percussive” stylings). Headlining an all-Connecticut, 9 p.m. bill at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281) tonight, Tuttle’s joined by “folk rock and roll and punk” band Rusty Things plus fellow New Haven-based singer-songwriter Peter J. Brail. $5.

Saturday, February 28
Actor/funnyman Craig Ferguson, host of CBS’s Celebrity Name Game and ex-host of its Late, Late Show, brings his rambling, longer-form brand of stand-up comedy to New Haven tonight. It’s a not-so-late 8 p.m. appearance at Southern Connecticut State University’s Lyman Center (501 Crescent St, New Haven; 203-392-6167), the latest stop on his “Hot and Grumpy” tour. $40-45, or $35 for faculty/staff and $20 for SCSU students.

Sunday, March 1
At 2 p.m. this afternoon at the New Haven Museum, author Anthony Riccio shares tales from Farms, Factories and Families: Italian-American Women of Connecticut, a set of oral and photographic histories he’s collected from women who emigrated from Italy in the first half of the 20th century. “Quietly heroic figures” often overlooked by popular history, Riccio says, his talk is set to recall wives and mothers who became breadwinners during the Great Depression, garment workers who “led the struggle for establishing unions” and women who “took the place of men on assembly lines” during World War II. Coinciding with one of the museum’s free “first Sundays,” admission is free. 114 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. (203) 562-4183.

Written by Dan Mims. Image depicts a screen cap from Salaam Dunk (2012).

Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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