Anjelique Kidjo

This Week in New Haven (January 26 - February 1)

Get ready—it’s snow time. It’s also showtime, with a couple of plays—one a classic, the other a twist on a classic—staging downtown, plus a visit from an international music star, tales from the life of an up-and-coming comic, a speech from a top film critic, an art opening showing off a cross-section of New Haven’s talent and, of course, the Super Bowl.

Monday, January 26
All major forecasters are predicting a blizzard, starting light this afternoon and becoming heavy overnight. So the recommendation for today is to stock up on groceries, batteries and maybe a new shovel if last winter beat your old one to a pulp. Meantime, read this city-issued “snow preparedness” pamphlet, and keep an eye on the city website for updates.

Tuesday, January 27
Even love is cold today. At the University Theatre (222 York St, New Haven), the Yale School of Drama is putting on Molière’s Don Juan, following the legendary lover from one far-flung “romantic conquest” to the next. But you get the sense this production is no long walk on the beach. Over tense music, the show’s preview video, featuring interviews with cast and crew, describes Don Juan as “the ultimate charmer” but ultimately a “low and dark man” who “plows through” people and cultures “like a train,” with his exploits achieving “strange comedy.” Showtimes are 8 p.m. tonight through Saturday, with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on the final day. $20, or $15 for students.

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New Haven Symphony Orchestra Parfum de la Nuit

Wednesday, January 28
Most closely associated with June when its annual bonanza hits, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas doesn’t exactly hibernate the rest of the year. Today at noon at the Omni Hotel (155 Temple St, New Haven), IFAI is throwing a $150/ticket fundraising luncheon honoring “singer, songwriter and humanitarian”—and winner of its 5th Visionary Leadership Award—Angélique Kidjo (pictured above), followed up by a free 4 p.m. “Master’s Tea” with the honoree inside Yale’s Ezra Stiles College (the dorm complex behind the main bookstore on Broadway). Last night, Kidjo hosted a free 7 p.m. screening of documentary Mama Africa at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven), capped off by a Q&A.

Thursday, January 29
Running today through Sunday at the Shubert (247 College St, New Haven; 203-562-5666), Peter and the Starcatcher, billed as a “grownup’s prequel to Peter Pan,” tells the reimagined origin story of the boy who refused to become a grownup. Adapted from a similarly titled book that’s been kicking around Disney Studios for years—and which is slated to get turned into a feature film at some point—the musical features “a company of a dozen actors play more than a hundred unforgettable characters,” which doesn’t sound like child’s play at all. $12-97, plus fees, with 50% discounts available for “select seats.”

Friday, January 30
Comic Mike Birbiglia flies under the radar. He looks and dresses like a normal guy. His delivery style is easy and natural. And he’s not very famous despite getting laughs touring around the country for several years, and winning awards and critical praise, and dabbling in movies and TV, including appearances around the late-night network circuit. In other words, it’s a good moment to catch him tonight at SCSU’s Lyman Center (501 Crescent St, New Haven; 203-392-6167), in case he gets too big for his britches down the road. This is a stop on his “Thank God for Jokes” tour, which features personal stories about “jokes, and how they can get you in trouble.” $35, or $25 for SCSU faculty/staff and $15 for SCSU students.

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Bad Jews at Long Wharf Theatre

Saturday, January 31
If you have an academic, religious or cultural interest in Judaism, or if you enjoy thinking about the finer points of film, tonight the Jewish Community Center (360 Amity Rd, Woodbridge; 203-387-2522) is putting on its annual “A Taste of Honey” event—an “evening of community learning,” with a keynote address from longtime New York Times film critic A. O. Scott. The itinerary starts with “nosh, wine and registration” at 6:45, then moves to a short ceremony marking the end of the Sabbath, followed by various smaller breakout sessions to choose from. At 9:25 it’s Scott’s turn, with a talk titled “Between Memory and Imagination: Paradoxes of the Holocaust on Film,” followed by coffee and dessert. $18, or $12 for senior citizens.

Sunday, February 1
Creative Arts Workshop’s biannual student showcase opens today. It’s a fun moment for the students, showing off “book arts, drawing and painting, fiber, jewelry, photography, pottery, printmaking, sculpture and more.” But it’s also a fun moment on its own terms, with all skill levels represented, including work by “professional artists continuing their studies at CAW.” 2 to 4 p.m. 80 Audubon St, New Haven. (203) 562-4927.

Go SeaRiots. Kicking off at 6:30, the Seahawks play the Patriots tonight for Super Bowl 49. Accordingly, TVs will be tuned to NBC at bars around town, and a few of them are promoting special goings and doings—like Sports Haven, Anna Liffey’s and The Russian Lady.

Written by Dan Mims. Photo, depicting Anjélique Kidjo on the coast of Benin, Africa, borrowed from Kidjo’s Facebook page. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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