William Boughton nodded to members of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, raised his baton, and began to expand his wingspan. He sat up a little straighter in his chair. Cued the reeds with a gentle swish of his left hand. Brought the strings in, their sound immediately swelling around the stage.
And like clockwork, steady strains of Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90 drifted over the first empty rows of Woolsey Hall, and began to fill every corner of the space.
Earlier this year, as Donald Trump’s steamroller victories in the primaries were gathering an unstoppable head of steam, New Haven Theater Company actor J. Kevin Smith happened to catch a televised version of one of the canon’s most famous plays about the paralyzing fear and inaction that can result from a perceived all-encompassing political powerlessness.
Nairobi, Kenya — New Haven-born poet and hip-hop MC Akua Naru surveyed the large and hyped up crowd at The Alchemist Bar here for the final show of a five-country African tour. Flashing a sly grin, she confided in them, “You know, there are one or two Kenyas in my family, truth be told.”
The 1,000 people who attended this past weekend’s 13th annual St. Basil’s Church Greek Orthodox Cultural Fair were celebrating not just a rich tradition, but a commitment to continue building that tradition in New Haven.