David Kroodsma in Tajikistan

This Week in New Haven (March 30 - April 5)

Holidays at opposite ends of the seriousness spectrum echo a calendar with major range this week. One day, a traveling duo invokes remote places through music. The next, a singular journeyman does it with photos and videos. Over the weekend, paintings and drawings and springtime fashions get their own coming-out parties, as a brain-bending play runs into a hot-ticket comedy show.

Monday, March 30
For the past several years, Scott Saul, associate professor of English at UC Berkeley, has turned his academic mind to a decorated graduate of the school of hard knocks: legendary comedian Richard Pryor. As noted in Saul’s book Becoming Richard Pryor, the entertainer’s upbringing—he was raised in his grandmother’s brothel, with a pimp for a father—and adult lifestyle—he was incredibly promiscuous and violent behind the scenes—put his brash, raunchy stage routines to shame. Find out more during “Living with Richard Pryor: A Biographer’s Tale,” Saul’s free 5 p.m. talk tonight at the Ives Main Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8835). Register here.

Tuesday, March 31
The “10” in 10 String Symphony is two times five, as in two five-string fiddles or, as the song sometimes demands, a five-string banjo in place of one of the fiddles. Left out of that equation are the four vocal cords, two per fiddler, rounding out the duo’s sublime, contemplative country sound. 10SS’s instrumental tunes conjure scenes where few people are, like hilly highlands or leafy backwoods. Its sung songs are more cross-over, deploying catchy but sophisticated melodies, mercifully non-twee. In short, this is country music a New Havener can get behind, and it’s showing up tonight at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281), where the Nashville-based band shares a 9 p.m. bill with local folk duo Tommy and Lauren. $8, or $6 in advance.

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Brownsville Song - Long Wharf Theatre

Wednesday, April 1 – April Fools’ Day
The longer we wait to address climate change in a serious way, the less distinction April Fools’ Day has from the other 364.

David Kroodsma used to research climate at Stanford. Then, in 2005, he took inspired liberty with the term “field research,” kicking off his Ride for Climate project. Bicycling all over the globe—Latin America from ’05 to ’07, the U.S. in ’07, Eastern Europe in 2012 and Asia in 2014—he’s carried a sober but urgent message about global warming for more than 30,000 miles, gathering information and insights along the way. Tonight his destination’s New Haven, specifically The Grove (760 Chapel St, New Haven), where Elm City Cycling is hosting him for “a slideshow of his best photos and videos” (like the stunning image above). With copies of his resulting book, The Bicycle Diaries, on hand, he’ll also discuss “how people across the globe are currently experiencing climate change.” 6 p.m. Free.

Thursday, April 2
The teaser for Yale Cabaret’s latest original play, Sister Sandman Please—showing at 8 p.m. today and 8 and 11 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday—demonstrates the fineness of the line between mystique and mystification. The show “takes place in a prairie of the mind,” we’re told. “Parched women chase men who roll through like tumbleweeds,” we’re told. It’s a “poetic tête-à-tête between fantasy and disaster” within “a dynamic soundscape where the self is always other and the other the self,” we’re told. And to top it off, the image that accompanies all of this is a black-and-white hand clasping a yellow stick of butter. Intrigued? Bewildered? So are we. Tickets run $25, or $20 for Yale faculty/staff and $14 for students, with optional food and drink service preceding each showtime. 217 Park St, New Haven. (203) 432-1566.

Friday, April 3
Tonight from 5 to 8, Reynolds Fine Art (96 Orange St, New Haven; 203-498-2200) hosts a free opening reception for New York-based visual abstractor Sara Abalan, whose “process of layering, mark-making and building of surfaces in her paintings and drawings is an intuitive attempt to chronicle the events, encounters and fleeting moments that punctuate her life in New York City.” The result is a body of work that makes heavy use of colorful lines—like cars and subways whizzing past, or like the various city lights the vehicles themselves whiz past for miles and miles. The opening is a part of this month’s On9 itinerary highlighting spots in the city’s Ninth Square—like Neville Wisdom’s fashion house (63 Orange St; $20 tickets), which puts on the designer’s Spring 2015 Runway Show at 7:30 p.m., and Baobab Tree Studios (71 Orange St; $4 donation for beer/wine), which hosts an audiovisual installation party starting at 8.

Saturday, April 4
He had a persistent presence on Flight of the Conchords. He’s played guest roles on Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Archer. He’s a longtime regular on Bob’s Burgers. He’s done Comedy Central stand-up specials and critically adored comedy albums. He’s a “frequent comedic co-host of Neil Degrasse Tyson’s science radio show and podcast, Star Talk Radio.” He’s even got an annual comedy festival in Brooklyn named after him. Eugene Mirman is who we’re talking about, and he’s headlining a 9:30 p.m. stand-up show in a place that seems like it can’t possibly fit all of the people who are going to want in: Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281), where Mirman’s fellow New Yorker Andrew Donnelly is opening. $20 at the door.

Sunday, April 5 – Easter
If today’s a holiday for you, you’ve probably got your own plans in the works. If not, the weather report suggests it’s going to be a (relatively) fine day for baseball. As luck would have it, over at Yale Field (252 Derby Ave, New Haven), the Bulldogs are taking on Columbia for a double-header at noon and 2, and they could use some encouragement: with six wins and eight losses on the season coming off a four-game skid, a cheering section might just turn things around. Free.

Written by Dan Mims. Photograph courtesy of David Kroodsma. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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