A work by Hui Min at Silk Road Art Gallery

This Week in New Haven (May 19 - 25)

Imaginations run wild this week along the shoreline. In Madison, a seasoned novelist presents her newest tale of intrigue. In New Haven, an acting troupe reinvents local history, while other performers leave more—or less—to the imagination. In Guilford, the line between fantasy and reality is seriously, and gleefully, blurred.

Our advice? Just go with it, this week in New Haven.

Monday, May 19
Tonight at 7 p.m., Greenwich resident and “international bestselling author of fourteen novels” M.J. Rose introduces “novel of suspense” The Collector of Dying Breaths to an audience at R.J. Julia Booksellers (768 Boston Post Rd, Madison; 203-245-3959). In addition to the book, Rose plans to “discuss the interplay between scent and seduction,” two concepts central to this book and others in her catalog. Free; registration requested.

Tuesday, May 20
This year’s iteration of Creative Arts Workshop’s annual juried show, Box Pot: The Contained Container, contends with the conceptual contours of containment. Up since May 2, the exhibition’s various takes on the theme, chosen from submissions by artists across the country, stay up Mondays through Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sundays, 9 a.m. to noon, through June 6. 80 Audubon Street, New Haven. (203) 562-4927. Free.

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John Lithgow at Long Wharf Theatre - one night only!

Wednesday, May 21
A couple of bands with tangential interest points play the free weekly show at BAR (254 Crown St, New Haven; 203-495-8924) tonight. If you were a kid in the 90s, you probably caught Danny Tamberelli as the younger Pete in Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete and Pete (and, later, as an integral piece of Nick’s ensemble variety show All That). Like the rest of us, Tamberelli grew up; unlike most of us, he’s a musician, and he’s in New Haven tonight opening a bill with bandmates Quinn Blandford and Matt DeSteno. By their powers combined they form Jounce, a band that echoes the mid- to late 90s with its optimistic-sounding, just-the-essentials (guitar, bass, drums, vox) brand of straight-ahead rock. The headliner for the show is the hockey-themed band The Zambonis, which also experienced its formative years in the 90s. The band’s style is harder to pin down than Jounce’s; with “Wild Hockey Weekend,” it’s like we’re at a 50s sock hop; with “I Got a Concussion” and “Hockey Mom,” it’s like we’ve thrown a 60s/70s television theme compilation into the 8-track; “Fight on the Ice” sits at the simpler end of 80s hair metal; “Captain” and “Goalie” bookend the 90s mainstream rock spectrum; and that decade’s about where The Zambonis finish polishing the ice. 10 p.m. 21+.

Thursday, May 22
From 5 to 7 p.m., the recently opened Silk Road Art Gallery (83 Audubon St, New Haven; 203-772-8928) opens Vivify, its latest group exhibit. It features works by eight artists (including Hui Min, whose work is pictured above) attempting to reproduce images of real things; the resulting “wild mix of watercolors, oil paintings, ink-and-wash, sculpture and even plaster/paper transfer/fiberglass” provides interesting eye candy and an acute reminder of the ways interpretation and style affect representation. Free.

Phil Shelton spent two years building the Quinnipiack, “New Haven’s flagship vessel” that’s been helping the landed explore New Haven’s coast since 1990. Tonight at 6 p.m., Shelton spends two hours detailing the near-unfathomable process of hand-constructing a 91-foot ship during “Building the Quinnipiack,” a multimedia talk hosted by the New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-562-4183). Free; $10 donation suggested.

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NBC Connecticut

Friday, May 23
Legendary local industrialist A.C. Gilbert conceived his iconic Erector Set toys in New Haven, then built a factory to produce and improve them at 315 Peck Street, a.k.a. Erector Square. Tonight, A Broken Umbrella Theatre debuts Gilbert the Great in building 5, floor 2, of Erector Square, portraying “a mismatched crew of workers” as they labor to invent a new toy line in the very halls where real A.C. Gilbert Company employees once dreamt and played. “Featuring a flash of athleticism, a dash of magic and a pinch of mania,” shows run Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m and Sundays at 4 p.m. through June 8. Tickets are $20, or $10 for kids 12 and under.

Saturday, May 24
At 8 p.m., Never Ending Books (810 State St, New Haven; 203-865-6507) hosts an 18+ event “suggested for an (im)mature audience,” to benefit the “Forgot to Laugh: Sideshow and Animation Festival” planned for next November. Performers listed on the flyer include magician The Amazing Andy, burlesque dancer Kitty Katastrophe and “strongman” Chris “Wonder” Schoeck, who, according to his website, “bends spikes with his bare hands, twists horseshoes and tears completely through decks of plastic coated cards.” $10.

Sunday, May 25
D&Ders, LARPers, Renaissance faire-goers and fantasy fanboys and -girls—also, anyone with a curious bone in body—must find a way to get to the Guilford Fairgrounds (111 Lovers La, Guilford) for the Robin Hood Springtime Festival (860-478-5954). Active from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends (and Memorial Day—Monday, May 26) between yesterday and June 8, attendees are encouraged to costume up, and different theming for each of the three weekends adds significant replay value. Making this a truly singular opportunity for adventuring are nine staging areas packed with entertainment from the likes of The Drenched Wenches (“dripping with song and bawdy humor”) and The Questless Company (“exciting sword-fighting, ridiculous stunts and nerdly humor”); 44 shops, including Tintagels Gate Weaponry for warriors (“swords, clubs, maces and shields & armor”), Shards of Yggdrasil for conjurers (“handmade wands, spirit boards and other spiritual tools”) and Auntie Arwen’s Spices for the budding healer/alchemist; food and drink vendors—15 of them; and, in keeping with the festival name, plenty of realized Robin Hood lore. Full-price general admission tickets are $16, with discounts available for the especially young or plentiful.

Written by Dan Mims. Image #1 courtesy of Silk Road Art Gallery; image #2, of Air Breath, courtesy of Del Harrow, the artist, exhibiting at Creative Arts Workshop. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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