Noura Mint Seymali

This Week in New Haven (March 18 - 24)

Spring begins Wednesday, but the arts are already flowering.

Monday, March 18
At Yale’s University Theatre (222 York St, New Haven; 203-432-1234), previews have begun for an afro-futurist interpretation of Twelfth Night—“Shakespeare’s most wonderful romantic comedy,” which “brims with music and dances to the heartbeat of unrequited love.” Tonight’s brimming starts at 8 p.m., and, since it’s a preview, tickets only cost $20.

Tuesday, March 19
The next Listen Here at the Institute Library (847 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-562-4045)—featuring readings of short stories selected by the editors of the New Haven Review and performed by members of the New Haven Theater Company, as well as tea and freshly baked cookies—starts at 7 p.m. $10 suggested donation.

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An Iliad at Long Wharf Theatre

Wednesday, March 20
The centerpiece of Matthew Barney: Redoubt, an exhibition that opened at the Yale University Art Gallery (1111 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-432-0601) on March 1, is of course Redoubt (2018), an art film that “loosely adapts the myth of Diana, goddess of the hunt, and Actaeon, a hunter who accidentally trespasses on her and is punished.” While it utilizes special effects and clocks in at over two hours, the film also “contains no dialogue; instead, the characters communicate through choreography that echoes and foreshadows their encounters with wildlife.” Screening periodically—but not all that frequently—throughout the exhibition’s run, the next showtime is this afternoon at 12:30. Free.

Thursday, March 21
The website of Bach in the Subways, a project that aims to present performances of works by Johann Sebastian Bach to the public in an accessible and non-commercial way, “originated in the subways of New York City” but can happen “anywhere, any time.” The next anywhere is United Church on the Green (270 Temple St, New Haven), and the next anytime is today from 3 to 7:30 p.m., with six different elements—from solo instrumental to ensemble choral performances, including one that asks the audience to provide the voices—on the program. Free.

Friday, March 22
The State House (310 State St, New Haven) hosts two culturally rich acts blending familiar and experimental sounds. The headliner is Noura Mint Seymali (pictured above), “a nationally beloved star and one of Mauritania’s foremost musical emissaries,” whose dexterous and powerful voice is the result of “a prominent of Moorish griot (West African praise singers, poets and musicians).” Just as notable is the frenetic guitar work of her husband, Jeich Ould Chighaly, who uses a “modified electric guitar” to conjure echoes of the tidinit, a traditional stringed instrument. Together with their bandmates, they fuse griot with funky grooves and come up with something that actually feels unique even in the context of 2019’s almost impossibly crowded musicscape. The night’s opener, Jamaican-born (and Manchester-based) Prince Royal, also stands out, with smooth, warmly produced roots reggae over some interesting arrangements. $20-22.

Saturday, March 23
Winter is over, but one of its well-known treats—which is actually produced from late winter to early spring—is getting a party from 10 a.m. to 1, when Common Ground (358 Springside Ave, New Haven; 203-389-4333) throws its annual Maple Syrup Festival. “See our tapped trees, taste raw sap, sample fresh maple syrup and sample our famous sap dogs (meat or vegetarian),” organizers say. “Learn about our wood-fired evaporator and warm up by a campfire in the woods.” $5 suggested individual donation, or $10 per family.

Sunday, March 24
The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, starting this week in locations spread across the country, will be commanding big attention for the next few weeks. But the women’s Frozen Four—NCAA hockey’s version of basketball’s Final Four—is already coming to its conclusion, and it’s doing so in our own backyard. Friday’s 4 and 7 p.m. semifinal matches and today’s 2:30 p.m. final happen at Quinnipiac University’s People’s United Center (305 Sherman Ave, Hamden; 203-582-3905), with tickets to individual games costing $20 apiece ($15 for youths and seniors) and “all-session” tickets going for just $35 ($25).

Written by Dan Mims. Image features Noura Mint Seymali. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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