Former Senator Richard Lugar

This Week in New Haven (January 13 - 19)

Yale returns to full form this week with a talk by a misunderstood former U.S. senator, plus a dystopian dramatic offering and a slate of events related to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day next week. Among other highlights, a bunch of local folk heroes are putting out an album, and a museum is using toys to challenge gender stereotypes.

The polar vortex may be gone, but this week is still an eclectic whirlwind of goings-on.

Monday, January 13
Garrison Leykam has celebrated the state’s diners on public television and via a popular podcast. Now Leykam’s conquered another medium with his book Classic Diners of Connecticut, which he’s serving up in a couple of actual diners this week: Shoreline Diner (345 Boston Post Rd, Guilford) at 7:30 tonight, and Georgie’s Diner (427 Elm St, West Haven) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Powerhouse indie bookstore R.J. Julia is running point; register for the Guilford event here and the West Haven event here.

Tuesday, January 14
In bluer-than-blue New Haven, former Republican senator from Indiana Dick Lugar (pictured above), whose 36-year congressional career was ended by a Tea Party-fueled primary challenge in 2012, might seem like a fish out of water. An examination of his record defies easy ideological definition, however: he was despised by the NRA and voted to include sexual orientation as a protected class under federal hate crimes legislation, for two surprising examples. One of his enduring legislative achievements is the Nunn-Lugar Act, which facilitates nuclear, chemical and biological disarmament globally. Today at 4:30 p.m. in Yale’s Luce Hall (34 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven), he’ll be talking about “Modern American Foreign Policy in an Uncertain World.” Free.

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Wednesday, January 15
The Tony Purrone Trio, led by guitarist Tony Purrone, has mastered the holy trinity of jazz, funk and rock known as jazz fusion, a style that’s both more accessible than jazz to general listeners and in many ways more technical, which ought to satisfy the musicians and music wonks among us. Purrone and friends fuse guitar, bass and drums tonight at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281) in a show sponsored by Jazz Haven. 8 p.m. $10.

Thursday, January 16
Including today, you’ve got 4 days to check out the digital/analog group exhibition Digital Ground, showcasing art that combines “digitally produced material…with traditional art practices,” before it closes this Sunday at the John Slade Ely House (51 Trumbull St, New Haven; 203-624-8055). The house’s hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Free.

Friday, January 17
Tonight from 6 to 8 p.m., the Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop (915 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-777-1833) invites mothers and daughters to play with a historic toy historically reserved for boys during “Hello Girls!” The special event, part of the museum’s ongoing exhibition The Erector Set at 100, offers guided exercises and discussions and Erector parts to play with. $10 per child includes a motor for each girl to take home and dessert from local caterer Small Kitchen Big Taste.

At Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281) tonight, folk septet Goodnight Blue Moon releases waves of harmonized goodness and a new EP, A Girl I Never Met. Milksop:Unsung and Oh, Cassius! open the 9 p.m. bill. $8, $6 in advance.

Saturday, January 18
Yale Cabaret (217 Park St, New Haven; 203-432-1566) raises the curtain on the second half of its 2013-14 season in this cinematic setting from the play Have I None: “The year is 2077: Memory and photographs are banished, entire cities are razed to rubble, and rumors of people jumping off bridges en masse are widespread.” It’s unclear how memory could be purged from a realistic dystopian vision of the future, but don’t you want to find out? The Jessica Holt-directed play opened with a single performance Thursday (8 p.m.), continued with two shows yesterday (8 and 11 p.m.) and finishes with another two today (also 8 and 11 p.m.). $20, or $10 with a Yale I.D.

Sunday, January 19
Yale’s Peabody Museum (170 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-432-8987) begins its annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with an emphasis on King’s lesser-known environmental justice legacy, the day before the actual holiday. Between noon and 5 p.m. today, three venues host three categories of events. The “world stage,” a.k.a. the Great Hall of Dinosaurs at the Peabody, holds music and dance performances at 1, 2, 3 and 3:45. Upstairs in the Peabody’s auditorium, a teen summit gets older youth involved from 12:30 to 3:30, with a talk, “Another Way Is Possible,” from 4 to 5 p.m. And just down the street, New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-562-4183) is the “storytelling” station, where professional storytellers do their thing.

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

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