Mr. Gilbert’s Railroad at Eli Whitney Museum

This Week in New Haven (November 24 - 30)

Stuff happens, especially in the days to come. Two face-stuffing traditions preoccupy New Haveners in the beginning and middle of the week, with a culture beloved for its charming sort of stuffiness—that of Victorian-era England—coming on strong over the weekend.

Monday, November 24
Feeling chilly? Get chili. Inside Yale Commons (168 Grove St, New Haven) today from noon to 1:30, Yale Dining is hosting its sixth annual “Chili Throwdown,” where a $5 donation (or more, if you like) lets you taste 28 recipes contributed by locals, local restaurants and the school’s own chefs. This isn’t just an invitation to taste, it’s also an invitation to test—attendees can vote for their favorite, as will a panel of judges. Along with monies raised from an accompanying silent auction, proceeds benefit the United Way of Greater New Haven.

Tuesday, November 25
This evening between 5 and 6:30, the New Haven Free Public Library’s Wilson Branch (303 Washington Ave, New Haven; 203-946-2228) takes a classic approach to the season with a free screening of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving—which is really an unfair title, given his pal Snoopy does most of the work. The opener is a puppet show telling the tale of The Little Red Hen, a parable about the value of working hard, and whose title character actually does put in most of the effort.

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Angelique Kidjo at Yale School of Music - December 6, 2014

Wednesday, November 26
Last year, Dean Falcone’s “Thanksgiving Vomitorium” tradition at Cafe Nine got slightly less countercultural, shifting to the day before Thanksgiving instead of the holiday itself. That timing continues this year, but the gathering’s still as irreverent as you could reasonably ask for, promising to “overcook perfectly good songs and violate them,” warning that members of the crowd will be “unwillingly dragged to the stage to sing” and inviting us to “see who fills the Vomitorium buckets with holiday cheer!” Sounds like a lot of risk and reward for a show with a $5 cover. 250 State Street, New Haven. (203) 789-8281.

Thursday, November 27 – Thanksgiving
Traveling, or expecting travelers, for the holiday? Keep an eye on a sizable storm predicted to hit yesterday and linger today.

Wherever we end up, most of us probably plan to stay in for the evening. But if you’re in the area and itching to get out of the house, Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-389-8885) is hosting the last in the New Haven Cinematheque’s “Not Rocky Horror” film series, which highlights “the other rock musicals of the 1970s.” Hair is tonight’s selection, featuring a group of bohemian, NYC-dwelling hippies struggling for a more peaceful world. Tickets to a 7:30 p.m. screening are $10, with a 10 o’clock show running $8 a head.

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Friday, November 28
It’s “all aboard!” at the Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop (915 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-777-1833), whose yearly installation of American Flyer toy trains, Mr. Gilbert’s Railroad, opens today at noon. “Toy” isn’t quite fair to these antique beauties, which possess the look, scale and locomotion of actual trains, traveling about the detailed model town the museum’s set up (very partially pictured above). Kids, but also adults, have a hard time keeping their hands away from the various switches and knobs that tell those trains to move, and how fast. Visiting hours last until 5 p.m. today, then stick mostly to the weekends—10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays—until the exhibit closes on Sunday, January 18. Catering to children, there are special visiting hours over winter break: noon to 5 daily between December 24 and 30, skipping Christmas. Free.

Saturday, November 29
Yesterday through Sunday, the Shubert Theater (247 College St, New Haven; 203-562-5666), wasting no time getting into the Christmas spirit, presents a very musical version of A Christmas Carol, weaving “two dozen” 20th-century carols into Charles Dickens’s Victorian-era redemption tale. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and tonight, with 2 p.m. matinees today and tomorrow. $15-48.

Sunday, November 30
This is it—the last chance to view the Yale Center for British Art’s eye-popping exhibit Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837-1901. The show, bringing together a wild variety of objects to reveal aspects of Victorian-period England and its vast global empire, closes today, a month before the YCBA as a whole closes for a 13-month renovation project. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday (with the exception of Thanksgiving), today’s operating hours are noon to 5. Free. 1080 Chapel St, New Haven. (203) 432-2800.

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

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