Darlington, Wisconsin by David Ottenstein

This Week in New Haven (February 29 - March 6)

March’s weather may not be coming in like a lion—this winter’s been pretty lamb-y—but its events calendar is. Notable people with national profiles dot the first three days of the month, with hyperlocal art openings and theater shows picking things up over the weekend.

Monday, February 29
You don’t see this every year. It’s Leap Day, the quadrennial corrective to the Gregorian Calendar’s annual six-hour remainder, and you can spend this extra evening at Best Video (1842 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-287-9286), whose programming tonight is the result of a scheduling snafu of its own. A screening of drug-war thriller Sicario (2015), starring Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro and originally postponed due to snow, gets going at 7 p.m. $7.

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Tuesday, March 1
It’s March. (How’d that happen?) You can mark the occasion at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven; 203-432-0670), where the critically hailed, award-winning journalist/essayist/novelist Dinaw Mengestu is speaking about “The Politics of Aesthetics: The Danger of Writing from the ‘Margins’” at 5 p.m. Free.

Wednesday, March 2
The free 9:30 show at BAR tonight promises fuzz and grit. Lea, a Meriden-based project that’s no stranger to New Haven, starts things off with its “characteristically chaotic indie rock.” Then New Haven-based “budget rock” band Worn Leather throws out some lo-fi punk. Then headliner Jacques Le Coque, hailing from Stamford, deploys “Replacements-style garage pop” to close out the night. 254 Crown Street, New Haven.

Thursday, March 3
At 5:15 p.m., the Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel St, New Haven) puts actress Dianne Wiest—perhaps best-known for her work in Edward Scissorhands (1990) and The Birdcage (1996), or her Academy Award-winning performances in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Bullets over Broadway (1994)—in a position with which she’s very comfortable: center stage. Less than two months before she’s set to perform in Yale Rep’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, the event gives Wiest an hour to speak about a topic of her choosing. Admission is free and the talk is open to the public, which means it’s probably a good idea to show up early.

Starting at 7:30 p.m., the Shubert Theater (247 College St, New Haven; 203-562-5666) presents “An Evening with Joan Baez.” The Shubert’s description of Baez as a “musical force of nature whose influence is incalculable” sounds about right. The official bio on joanbaez.com expands on her social and political efforts, which include “marching on the front line of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King Jr.;” “inspiring Vaclav Havel in his fight for a Czech Republic;” “ to the fields with Cesar Chavez;” and “ resistance to the war in Southeast Asia.” Better grab tickets sooner than later; as of this writing, mostly balcony seats remain. $45.50-75.50.

Friday, March 4
Two art openings this evening touch the sky. Closer to where the sun rises, in East Rock, City Gallery (994 State St, New Haven; 203-782-2489) presents In The Clouds, featuring Nancy Eisenfeld’s paintings and sculptures aiming to “express the movement and shapes of the clouds,” with the reception set to last from 5 to 7 p.m. Closer to where the sun sets, in Westville, DaSilva Gallery (899 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-387-2539) embraces the night with Night, showcasing David Ottenstein’s after-hours photography during a reception from 6 to 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 5
In a two-day series of readings organized by the Yale Drama Coalition, the 2016 Yale Playwrights Festival presents “five brand-new plays by Yale undergraduate playwrights.” Starting at 2 p.m. yesterday with Crystal Liu’s No Accent: A Lesbian Fairytale with Theoretical Commentary and finishing today with Alexis Payne’s On Rayton at 7 p.m., all readings—each of which includes “a talkback moderated by the playwright’s mentors,” with “refreshments… served throughout”—take place in the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven; 203-432-0670).

Sunday, March 6
“A brash young cowboy. A girl longing for stardom. A lonely grass widow. An upright sheriff. A traveling professor and a young waitress guilty of innocence.” That’s how the New Haven Theater Company describes the cast of characters in William Inge’s Bus Stop, a bottle play the company’s been staging since Friday. “Stranded at a roadside diner in a snow storm,” as the NHTC sums it up, “this motley group of lovers and dreamers learns over the course of one long night that there might be something more for them out beyond the Kansas prairie.” All six shows—there are another three next weekend—begin at 8 p.m., with tickets running $20 apiece. 839 Chapel Street, New Haven.

Written by Dan Mims. Image, showing detail of David Ottenstein’s Darlington, Wisconsin, provided courtesy of DaSilva Gallery. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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