Cheer up. Things only seem blue. There’s Artspace’s Something Blue gala. There’s a “blue house” dance performance. There’s the New Haven Symphony playing Brahms’ dour German Requiem. And there’s blue-stripey Yale, which is holding its Bulldog Days for students recently accepted to the university April 22-24, with special events throughout campus. Blue all over.
Monday, April 21
Inside the Covers
The Mondays at Beinecke lecture series continues to explore details of the Yale rare book library’s current exhibit, “Under the Covers: A Visual History of Decorated Endpapers” with a 4 p.m. talk on “Medieval French Illuminators” by Yale Humanities Program chairman Howard Bloch. 121 Wall St. (203) 432-2977.
The monthly Fistful of Jokes Comedy Series continues at Café Nine (250 State St.; 203-789-8281) with hosts Andrew & Jerry Morgan and an assortment of local jokesters. 8 p.m. $3.
Tuesday, April 22
Yale’s Council on East Asian Studies is screening a recent Chinese film, A Touch of Sin by Jia Zhangke, 7 p.m. at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St.). The film is followed by a panel discussion featuring an array of scholars: Film Studies professor Dudley Andrews, sociologist Deborah Davis, Dr. Mia Liu of East Asian Students and Prof. Jiwei Xia of Fairfield University. Free.
New Marley Revelations
Stephen “Ragga” Marley, one of the many musical offspring of Bob & Rita Marley, will release the sequel to his Grammy-winning album Revelation Pt. 1 this summer. He’s at Toad’s Place (300 York St.; 203-624-TOAD) tonight at 9 p.m., with Jo Mersa and Wayne Marshall opening.
Wednesday, April 23
Mental Illness at Yale: An Activist Performance consists of statements by Yale students regarding how the university responds to mental health issues. Some of the statements will be read publicly today on Yale’s Cross Campus at 3:45 p.m.
Six Musicians = Three Bands
Dustin Wong, Child Actor and Landing provide a one-two-three punch of a solo act (Wong, with intense live sampling), a duo (of local-boy-made-good Max Heath and Natalie Plaza, on Child Actor’s first national tour) and the prolific shoegaze-psychedelic trio Landing. 9 p.m., for free, at BAR (254 Crown St.).
Thursday, April 24
A German Requiem
New Haven Symphony Orchestra is buoyed by the voices of the New England Conservatory Concert Choir, not to mention soprano Danielle Barger and baritone Joshua Quinn, in presenting the Brahms Requiem (aka Ein deutsches Requiem, nach Worten der heiligen Schrift), which the composer began in 1865 following the death of his mother. A series of supplemental events precede the 7:30 p.m. concert in Woolsey Hall (500 College St.): a 5 p.m. “Symphony Supper” at Zinc Restaurant (964 Chapel St.; reservations required at 203-865-0831 x15); a 5:30 p.m. “Taste of New Haven Tour” (reservations and information here.); a pre-concert lecture by NHSO maestro William Boughton and Erica Washburn of the New England Conservatory, 6:30 p.m. at Room 114 of SSS Hall (1 Prospect St.); and a 6:45 p.m. showcase of student musicians in the Woolsey Hall Rotunda just before the main concert.
Brothers Are Back in Town
Tarell Alvin McCraney attended the Yale School of Drama from 2005 to 2007. The still-young playwright, who in the past year has received both a MacArthur “genius” fellowship and Yale’s Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, premiered some of the Brother/Sister plays he’s best known for as student productions at the School of Drama, and helped his friends with projects at the school’s passion-project enclave the Yale Cabaret. Everything comes around: This year’s Cabaret is doing McCraney’s The Brothers Size, about modern-day realist and ancient mythic African cultures, as the closing show of its 2013-14 school-year season. Performances are tonight at 8 p.m. and tomorrow and Saturday at both 8 & 11 p.m. $20, $10 students. 217 Park St. (203) 432-1566.
Friday, April 25
Elm City Dance Collective does a series of sidewalk performances downtown today from 5 to 9 p.m. on the Temple/Chapel corner of New Haven Green and tomorrow (Saturday the 26th) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Broadway Triangle (corner of Park and Elm streets). The interactive performances are part of a larger work, “Almost Porcelain”, which the collective has been developing and will perform indoors in May.
The local classical brass ensemble simply known as Brass performs horn-heavy Hollywood movie themes at (quiet, please!) Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Before the concert, there’s a screening of a documentary about the group, Brass: Behind the Music. Besides the current line-up, some former members of Brass will be around to share their thoughts. 4:45 p.m. 121 Wall St. (203) 432-2977. Free.
A Night at the Opera
What Mamma Mia was to ABBA, We Will Rock You is to Queen—an original musical-theater story set to chart-topping rock hits. We Will Rock You has a script by novelist and screenwriter Ben Elton (who wrote for the classic British comedy series Black Adder, The Young Ones and Mr. Bean) about the grail-like quest for an electric guitar in a future Orwellian world where live music is forbidden. The show has run for 12 years in England. Its North American tour plays the Shubert this weekend, with shows tonight at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 & 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 & 6:30 p.m. (203) 562-5666. $15-118.
Saturday, April 26
Public Art, Public Water
Four Connecticut libraries, including the main New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm St.) are sponsoring public artworks conceived by Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman. The project’s called The Wave, and libraries were chosen because of their communities’ “work to protect water.” (In New Haven, there’s the Shoreline Stabilization Project and the planned Waterfront Park in Fair Haven.) From 1 to 3 p.m. today, a group-made artwork will be strung up in the library’s main lobby, and the Mystic Aquarium will provide an “aquatic touch tank.” (203) 946-8835.
Rocks and Spokes
The Rock to Rock Earth Ride is about bicycling from West Rock to East Rock. There’s a 20-mile route, a 40-mile one, an 8-mile family one and no compulsion to take one of the measured routes at all. But it’s also about the bands that play live at stops along the way. It’s about food (lead sponsors include Elm City Market and Whole Foods), and fundraising for worthy causes (over $100,000 thus far), and a deeper appreciation of city parks and the city itself. Now, about those bands: One Way Track, Elle Sera, Shawn Taylor, Wry Bread and The Whatever Band got the gigs, playing pleasant tunes to encourage pedalers on their merry ways.
Artspace (50 Orange St.), the tireless arts-community gathering spot that has just been acknowledged again with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, has dubbed its annual fundraising gala Something Blue. One of the gallery’s neighbors, the Neville Wisdom fashion boutique has gotten into the blue spirit with a blue-themed window display for those who don’t know what to wear to such a shindig. The event itself includes two auctions (live and silent, each featuring some blue modern art that’s been on view for the past few weeks in the Artspace galleries), refreshments, an after-party and more. Tickets range from $25 for just to the afterparty to $110 for a general-admission ticket to $1500 for a VIP table for 10.
The Split Squad is a supergroup featuring two members of Parallax Project (Eddie Munoz, previously of The Plimsouls, and bassist/vocalist Michael Giblin), Keith Streng of The Fleshtones, Josh Kantor (organist at Boston Red Sox games and part of the band Jim’s Big Ego) and legendary drummer Clem Burke (best remembered as part of Blondie but who’s previously toured through Connecticut with everyone from Dramarama to Nancy Sinatra). Songs on the Split Squad’s debut album include “Sorry She’s Mine” and “Superman Says.” They play Café Nine (250 State St.; 203-789-8281) tonight at 9 p.m. Six-Pack Dutchman is also on the bill. $15.
Sunday, April 27
It’s Cherry Blossom Time
It was a long, cold winter, but here nevertheless comes the annual Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival. The 41st annual event takes place in, naturally, Wooster Square, from noon to 5 p.m. It begins with the “Procession of Italian Societies” and continues with live outdoor music performances, food vendors, information booths, raffles, tree plantings, activities for children and just as many activities for pets. (Wooster Square loves its pets.) All in the park, on Wooster Place between Greene and Chapel streets.
Today’s the second and final performance of “the blue house,” by New York’s Annie Sailer Dance Company. Sailer’s a painter as well as a choreographer, and “blue house” is inspired by some of her paintings. The show had a performance last night (Saturday) at 7:30 p.m. and has a matinee today at 3 p.m. in the Whitney Arts Center (591 Whitney Ave.). (347) 306-7660. $10 suggested donation.
Both Sides Now
The Both is a unique collaboration between two maverick indie-pop icons, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. Mann’s first hits were with the New Wave band ‘Til Tuesday while Leo came up through underground punk circles. They share an independent spirit, a passion for doing their music their own way, and gifts for melody and harmony. Writing together, they’ve created a The Both album, released last week, and are now on tour. The Both play Toad’s Place (300 York St.) tonight at 8:30 p.m., with Nick Diamond of the band Islands doing a solo opening set. $23, $20 in advance.