North by Northwest

This Week in New Haven (January 19 - 25)

This week’s about teamwork. On Monday, museums, then musical groups, take up a common cause for the common good. Tuesday, a local library partners up with federal organizations for a Rowling—er, rousing good time. Thursday, an event bridges two distinctive galleries and their kindred art shows. And Saturday, family members come together to create music, and musicals.

Monday, January 19 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
It’s day two of this year’s MLK Day celebration at the Peabody Museum (170 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-432-8987). Officially lasting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., dancing and drumming take over the Peabody’s Great Hall of Dinosaurs at 11, with the finale act hitting the stage at 2:30. Upstairs in the auditorium, an open mic poetry session—“pre-registration required” if you want to read—runs from 11 to noon, giving way to a poetry slam invitational highlighting environmental and social issues from 12:30 to 4. Tag-teaming the holiday is the New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-562-4183), where three storytellers embracing the holiday’s themes perform at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., respectively. Free.

Over at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (111 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-865-0141), the St. Luke’s Steel Band is joining forces with the faculty and students of Music Haven to perform an “uplifting” MLK Day concert from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free, with donations welcomed.

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Take a Parent Tour at The Foote School

Tuesday, January 20
Fans of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series surely remember the Yule Ball from the fourth book (and movie). Today there’s a YUL Ball—Yale University Library Ball—inside the Harvey Cushing/John Jay Whitney Medical Library, offering “‘cauldron cakes,’ ‘butterbeer’ and other magical treats” to mark the opening of Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance, Science, Magic, and Medicine. The exhibition, a traveling one powered not by broomsticks but by the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine, explores “Harry Potter’s world and its roots in Renaissance magic, science and medicine.” Free. 333 Cedar St, New Haven. (203) 785-5354.

Wednesday, January 21
Cafe Nine brings the folk tonight. Hailing from Hamilton, New York, “progressive folk rock” and “ravegrass” trio Rabbit in the Rye is a great before-bed treat. Its buoyant moments are checked by the format—the amps stay at a 5 or a 6, nowhere near the proverbial 11—and its wistful stretches are more calming than depressing. Even so, there are moments of blazing musicianship, like a speedy outro mixing five and six beats per measure on “Raging Glory,” and a tasty bass run 1:45 into simmering double-timer “Sumac.” Before RitR is Kindred Queer, a local “chamber folk” group whose unusual setup includes cello and six-string bass, and before that is Peradams, delivering languorous alt-folk tunes via local singer-songwriter Sam Perduta and harmony buddy Daniel Eugene. $5. 250 State St, New Haven. (203) 789-8281.

Thursday, January 22
Yale University Art Gallery (1111 Chapel St, New Haven) and Artspace (50 Orange St, New Haven) are coupled up today for a “walking tour and presentation” surrounding YUAG’s exhibit Odd Volumes and Artspace’s CT un(Bound), both of which feature eye-popping artworks made from books. The free event begins freely, with participants invited to rove through Volumes on their own before gathering in the lobby at 4 p.m. From there, Jo Yarrington, Morgan Post and Samuel Dole, co-creators of an interactive installation in (un)Bound, lead attendees on a walk-and-talk to Artspace, where a tour of that exhibit and an installation demo await. Register here.

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Bad Jews at Long Wharf Theatre

Friday, January 23
All’s fair in postmodern love and inner war and when the playwright is fearless and the topic is sex. That makes four reasons why Quartet (1980), Yale Cabaret’s first play of the spring semester, promises an unusually provocative theater-going experience. Another is that its iconic author, Heiner Müller, is known for giving maximal freedom to those who dare stage his plays. So we can only guess what direction director David Bruin will take. The show opened yesterday at 8 p.m., with performances tonight and tomorrow at 8 and 11. $25, or $20 for Yale employees and $14 for students. 217 Park St, New Haven. (203) 432-1566.

Saturday, January 24
At the other end of the theater spectrum is Neighborhood Music School’s “Magical Musicals Workshop,” held today from 10 a.m. to 12:30. Based on Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who! and intended for 5- to 12-year-olds and their families, NMS staffers “will lead families in creating original lyrics and songs,” crafting “mini-musicals” which they’ll then perform starting at noon. Also starting at noon is the school’s open house, which lasts ’til 3 p.m. and features, among other things, an “instrument petting zoo,” where beginners can try on different musical instruments for size. Free. 100 Audubon St, New Haven. (203) 624-5189.

From noon to 2, Elm City Market (777 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-624-0441) hosts a free tasting event with a title that could have graced a Dr. Seuss book. “This or That” is the name, inviting comers “to make their way through tons of samples” arranged in pairs, and to vote for whichever one they like better—“this or that.”

Sunday, January 25
The final reel of Mark Schenker’s four-part “How to Read a Film” series, focused on selected works of Alfred Hitchcock, gets rolling at Best Video today at 2 p.m. The movie under scrutiny this time is fan-favorite North by Northwest (1959), beloved for its beautiful cinematography, quirky action sequences and safety-goggles-required chemistry between stars Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. The point of Schenker’s lecture is to help us become “better ‘readers’ of film—more adept at what to look for and see in considering movies as works of art at no cost to their ability to entertain and enthrall us.” Maybe Schenker can even make sense of Northwest’s improbable crop dusting assassin scene (pictured above). $7. 1842 Whitney Ave, Hamden. (203) 287-9286.

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

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