Marsh Botanical Gardens

This Week in New Haven (January 25 - 31)

Shoveled out? We hope so, because there are great things to get out and experience this week, from provocative theater to a tropical oasis.

Monday, January 25
“Sexual situations, nudity and violence”—and on a Monday, too. That’s a piece of the disclaimer attached to Yale School of Drama’s Women Beware Women, which opened on Saturday and continues through Friday. Staging inside Yale’s Iseman Theater (1156 Chapel St, New Haven), this isn’t the 1657 Thomas Middleton original but Howard Barker’s contemporary, “radical re-envisioning,” in which “sex and the human body become sources of hope—instruments of freedom to use against those who commodify passion, and love itself.” Tonight’s performance (like all the others) begins at 8 p.m., with tickets costing $25, or $15 for students.

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The Lion at Long Wharf Theatre

Tuesday, January 26
Best known as an actor, comic Michael Ian Black is also a screenwriter, for which he’s probably still better known than he is for being a writer of books. But he’s that last thing too—sometimes for children, with titles like Cock-a-Doodle-Doo-Bop! and I’m Bored, and sometimes for adults, as with You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations and Navel Gazing: True Tales of Bodies, Mostly Mine (but also my mom’s, which I know sounds weird). The latter, a memoir just released this month, is the reason for Black’s 7 p.m. visit to R.J. Julia (768 Boston Post Rd, Madison; 203-245-3959) today, where he’ll no doubt discuss the book but could easily go entertainingly off-script, considering his track record. Free.

Wednesday, January 27
The topper of tonight’s free 9:30 show at BAR (254 Crown St, New Haven) doesn’t seem like the type to rage against the dying of the night. Mothers, a quartet from the strangely effective band incubator of Athens, Georgia, strays between quiet introspection and less quiet introspection—meander-rock, let’s call it. The band’s highest highs can feel energetic and even a little mathy, though, so there’s definitely some toe-tapping to go with all the mind-mapping. Second opener Henry Flower is also one for meandering, putting out odd but appealing midtempo-and-slower “jangle-y sunshine goth music,” while first opener Witch Hair, which the show blurb describes the group as a fledgling pop effort, is otherwise the sonic equivalent of a mystery-flavor Dum Dum.

Thursday, January 28
New Haveners who are (a) interested in far-off places and (b) free during normal work hours today should hang around Yale’s Luce Hall, where two apparently uncoordinated 90-minute talks dig into exotic histories, economies, politics and religion. The first, delivered by history PhD candidate and Yalie Keri Lambert at 12:30 p.m., is titled “Planting Trees, Trapping Ghanaians: Cultivating Rubber and Nationhood in Ghana, 1957–Present.” The other, given by assistant professor of history Rohit De at 4:30, is about “Cows and Constitutionalism: Economic Rights, Religious Rites and the Politics of Beef in the Indian Republic.” Free. 34 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven.

Friday, January 29
“My death waits like a bible truth / At the funeral of my youth…” A mere 19 days after the idiosyncratic pop legend’s death, Best Video’s corralled 13 local music acts (“so far”) for a concert paying tribute to the “early years” of David Bowie’s lifelong youth. Starting at 7:30 tonight, with a $5 cover, each act is set to play one or two Bowie songs released between 1964 and 1987—like string quartet-rock mashup The Tet Offensive’s version of “My Death” (quoted above), Super Creeps’s rendition of “Andy Warhol” and Ben Erickson’s take on “Lady Stardust.” 1842 Whitney Avenue, Hamden. (203) 287-9286.

Saturday, January 30
Beginning at 9 a.m. yesterday with coffee and pastries, “ideology, broadly construed” is as specific as organizers are willing to get regarding the topics to be discussed at the two-day Ideology Conference at Yale. What we do know is that it’s free and open to the public, and that—held inside the Lecture Hall of Sterling Memorial Library (120 High St, New Haven) yesterday and the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven) today—the main program follows an admirably academic format: a series of half-hour talks by different invited scholars, with each talk followed by 15-minute commentaries from other invited scholars, which then give way to 45-minute Q&As with the audience. Mostly philosophy professors, the conference’s speakers hail from places like Princeton, MIT and, of course, Yale. The main schedule lasts from 9:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. yesterday, and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

Then, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Lotta Studio (911 Whalley Ave, New Haven), the next “Permission to Fail” offers “a community-building experience,” including “open-mic performances, vendors and live collaborative painting,” for $10. Comers also have permission to bring food and drink for a BYOB potluck.

Sunday, January 31
Speaking of permission, the folks at Marsh Botanical Gardens (265 Mansfield St, New Haven; 203-432-6320) are opening their lush greenhouses to the public today between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., inviting visitors to join them “for a walk through the tropics,” with “docent-led tours… on the hour from 11 to 2.”

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

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