Ava Mendoza

This Week in New Haven (January 28 - February 3)

Whatever the critter’s verdict, New Haven does Groundhog Day right this year.

Monday, January 28
It’s the next Manic Monday at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281), where Brooklyn guitarist and singer Ava Mendoza (pictured above during a past New Haven performance), who unassumingly “tread a wobbly line between melodicism, atonality and sonic abstraction,” heads up the 8 p.m. bill. Opening are Headroom, a.k.a. New Havener Kryssi Battalene, who pulls “dizzyingly creative experimentalism” out of her guitar, and T-Wreck, a New London foursome whose music has “been described as Rage Against the Machine/Beastie Boys on acid.” Free in advance or $5 at the door.

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Bibliomania at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Tuesday, January 29
Two Roads Brewing Co. (1700 Stratford Ave, Stratford; 203-335-2010) hosts Trivia for Toilets—a trivia contest to benefit Engineers Without Borders USA, which envisions “a world in which every community has the capacity to sustainably meet their basic human needs.” A $22 registration gets you “one drink voucher, all-you-can-eat pizza, admittance to trivia and one raffle ticket.”

Wednesday, January 30
The Gallery at the Whitney—the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven), that is—holds a 5 p.m. opening reception for Places We’ve Been, an exhibition of work by local sculptor Susan Clinard, who’s made a name for herself by conjuring magically human forms and feelings out of hard materials often emphasized as such. The inspirations for this work, she says, come “from our shared human narrative,” from “the recent Californian fires” to “voices of women protesting” to “last week’s bedroom whispers.” Free.

Thursday, January 31
From 6 to 9 p.m., Ordinary (990 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-907-0238) is celebrating the opening of New Haven Cocktail Museum, an exhibit curated by local historian Colin Caplan in the tavern’s front foyer display space. “Participants will travel through the history of the cocktail inception in New Haven and around the world” while enjoying a “Wild Turkey Bourbon tasting and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.” Free to attend.

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Tiny Beautiful Things at Long Wharf Theatre

Friday, February 1
“Alt-folk-psych-rock troubadour, songwriter, bandleader and multi-instrumentalist” Lys Guillorn and her band lead a Midwinter Freak Out at 8 p.m. in Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-389-8885). Also freaking out are quirky local alt-pop duo (and married couple) The Sawtelles and rock/folk leaners A Pallet for the Shoal. $12.

Promising “glitter, glam and a gorgeous drag extravaganza,” the sixth annual drag weekend at the Yale Cabaret (217 Park St, New Haven; 203-432-1566), called Yale Dragaret since last year, boasts two different shows getting two performances apiece. Tonight’s , at 9 and 11 p.m., feature 10 local queens led by host Kiki Lucia, while tomorrow’s, at 8 and 11 p.m., feature the “Yale School of Drag.” $35 to stand, or $50 to sit, with discounts for the Yale-affiliated.

Saturday, February 2 – Groundhog Day
Think of them as very large groundhogs. From 10 to 11 a.m. at Meigs Point Nature Center (1288 Boston Post Rd, Madison; 203-245-8743), Richard Taylor, master wildlife conservationist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, “will present a program on Connecticut’s black bears” covering natural history as well as “habitat, diet, life cycle and advice on living with bears.” Free.

The Regicides, an improv troupe under the umbrella of A Broken Umbrella Theatre, invites you to “come out of your hole” (like a groundhog) and enjoy a night of unscripted comedy starting at 9 p.m. at Lotta Studio (911 Whalley Ave, New Haven). $20 tickets get you “snacks and beverages (that’s both adult beverages and soft drinks)” in addition to the laughs.

At The State House (310 State St, New Haven), it’s definitely six more weeks of winter as local progressive death metal band Xenosis presents A Very Brutal Groundhog Day. Xenosis alone would bring an impressive blizzard of guttural vocals, odd time signatures, howling guitars and aggressive double kick action, but there are also openers: the “uncontrollably brutal” Incontinence, whose blistering blast beats are in fact amazingly controlled, and Solium Fatalis, whose “blackened death metal” is wonderfully theatrical and thrashable. 9 p.m. $10.

Sunday, February 3
Firing the starter’s pistol at 10 a.m. and proceeding shortly thereafter to a party featuring “food from refugee chefs from around the globe and some of New Haven’s best restaurants”—as well as live music, vendors and an awards ceremony—Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, a.k.a. IRIS, presents its annual Run for Refugees. The 5K course begins and ends at Wilbur Cross High School (181 Mitchell Dr, New Haven), with registration costing $32 for adults and $22 for students.

From 1 to 2 p.m., the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Coastal Center at Milford Point (1 Milford Point Rd, Milford; 203-878-7440) belatedly celebrates Groundhog Day with a family-friendly program recommended for children ages 5 and up. Focusing on “this ‘super sleeper’ and other hibernators that live in the Northeast,” the program tackles questions like “How do these animals stay warm all winter long?” and includes hands-on activities. $8 per person, or $5 for members.

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

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