Taylor Mac, photographed by Ves Pitts

This Week in New Haven (June 8 - 14)

Arts and ideas and Arts & Ideas uplift New Haven this week, as summer tickles the tips of our tongues.

Monday, June 8
A free 2 p.m. talk today at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven), titled “Before the Beginning and Beyond Eternity,” pulls in physics, geometry and architecture, plus philosophy of science. So does the long C.V. of the speaker, Sir Roger Penrose, whose work ranges from advancing our understanding of black holes and singularities to helping create the Penrose Triangle, an illusory geometrical form that can’t exist in the real world—comparable to some of the reality-bending objects you might see in an M.C. Escher drawing, or those dreamworld staircases in the movie Inception (2010). Laura Clarke, executive director of Site Projects, which is co-organizing the event, calls it a “rare—once-in-a-lifetime—opportunity to hear some almost incomprehensible and beautiful ideas.” Seat reservations can be made by emailing info@siteprojects.org.

Jacob Bricca’s father, Kit, was a cipher to his own son, and probably many others besides. A progressive activist cavorting with Joan Baez and Cesar Chavez in the 1960s and ’70s, Kit would become a “high-flying commodities broker” in the ’80s, then a “shamanic healer named Tatanka” in the ’90s. After the 2008 economic crash threw Kit’s “finances… into disarray, Jacob searching for answers by following his father on a series of quixotic adventures,” and the end result is Finding Tatanka (2014). After showing at festivals all over the place, the documentary screens tonight at Best Video (1842 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-287-9286), where Jacob himself—an ex-New Havener with a long, impressive reel who’s now a film professor at U. of Arizona—will present and discuss the film. 7 p.m. $5.

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Creative Arts Workshop - 2015 Summer Classes

Tuesday, June 9
Universal Arts Chapel Haven (335 Washington Ave, North Haven; 203-297-1714 x198), a non-profit that helps adults with developmental and social disabilities engage with the visual arts, is hosting a summer open house this evening from 5 to 7. Showcasing and putting the resulting artwork up for sale, organizers seem particularly keen on some bold “hand-painted silk ties” in advance of Father’s Day next week. Other attractions include refreshments, “painting and weaving demonstrations by the artisans” and a mysterious “special treat.”

Wednesday, June 10
Escape New Haven—which puts cerebral fun-seekers into a themed room, then gives them 60 minutes to escape by solving a series of puzzles—is throwing a launch party for its latest scenario, called “Escape the Space Station.” Fittingly, the party’s happening under the stars on the rooftop at Briq (266 College St, New Haven), where there’ll be “space-themed cocktails” and “free drink tickets for the first 50 guests,” plus “wacky board games to play” and a spacey costume contest. Free. 8 p.m.

Thursday, June 11
Today at 5 p.m., St. Anthony’s Church (70 Washington Ave, New Haven; 203-624-1418), located in The Hill neighborhood just south of downtown, commences the “outdoor festival” portion of its annual St. Anthony’s Feast, which began with a “manicotti dinner” last Sunday and special prayer sessions between Monday and Wednesday. Held, we’re told, for the past 111 years running, entertainment for the outdoor festival includes Italian musical acts and a menu spanning “Italian, American, Filipino and Latino” cuisine. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. today through Saturday and 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday, with a “High Mass followed by Procession of Saint Anthony” getting things going at 11 a.m. that day. Free to attend.

Friday, June 12
It’s here. The 2015 International Festival of Arts & Ideas starts chipping away at its deep two-week calendar tonight with “irreverent, playful, fabulous” Taylor Mac (pictured above) and the world premiere of his IFAI-commissioned tribute to the 1990s, The 1990s. Known for wearing heavy makeup and splashy getups, Mac (pictured above) “will perform as a bedazzled creature, accompanied by a live band, to present a performative ritual featuring music popular in the 1990s…” Staging inside the University Theatre (222 York St, New Haven) tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m., regular tickets cost $45 in advance or $50 day of, with “premium” seats—basically, center-orchestra—going for $65/70.

Saturday, June 13
Today is Hindinger Farm’s annual Strawberry Festival, heralding summer with tractor rides, games, live music and foods like strawberry shortcake, strawberry ice cream and, you know, strawberries. The fest lasts from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free to attend. 835 Dunbar Hill Rd, Hamden. (203) 288-0700.

Starting at 7 p.m., Grammy-winner (and featured subject of the Oscar-winning film 20 Feet from Stardom) Darlene Love delivers the first of a whopping six outdoor concerts—seven if you count tomorrow’s “Family Day” show—on the New Haven Green during this year’s IFAI. Unlike much of her career, when she was getting the short end of devious label deals or singing memorable back-up for the likes of Dionne Warwick, The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher and U2, Love’s the star tonight. You can stake out a spot on the green for free, with lawn chair rentals available for $10 a pop. Or you can pay $125 for a premium section seat (and hospitality tent access), or $10 for one of a limited number of bleacher seats.

Sunday, June 14
At 4 p.m., the choirs of Bethesda Lutheran Church (450 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-787-2346) and Emanuel Lutheran Church in Manchester come together for a rare warm-weather performance of selections from Handel’s Messiah. Joined by a handful of instrumentalists, the non-Christmas timing, they say, allows “rich parts of Messiah that are heard less often” to come to the fore. Attendance is free and open to the public, with a “free-will offering taken to support the next season of the Bethesda Music Series.”

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

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