A Shakespeare company presents a cabaret. Symphony musicians play jazz, alongside a storyteller. An Elvis impersonator rocks out on his own. A producer/sampler fronts a live band.
Change is in the air this week.
Monday, February 3
Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen is beloved of collegiate thespians, because he writes articulate, emotional dramas about woman and young people breaking free and asserting themselves. He’s always a nice fit for cold, bleak months such as February. Katherine McGerr chose Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler to direct as her thesis project at the Yale School of Drama. The show, which uses a translation by current Yale faculty member Paul Walsh and stars Ashton Heyl as Hedda, opened Saturday, had no performance Sunday, and continues its run tonight through Friday at 8 p.m. $10-$25. (203) 432-1234.
Ocean’s Eleven (Years Old)
The precocious violin-wielding pop/punk act Yellowcard (from Florida) have rescored their hit 2003 album Ocean Avenue for acoustic instruments, and are performing the results on their Ocean Avenue Acoustic tour. Joining them is What’s Eating Gilbert, the fun-loving side project of New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert. At Toad’s Place tonight for an 8 p.m. show open to ages 14 and up.
Tuesday, February 4
Joshua Foer and Jack Hitt are now up to the tenth of their mind-expanding “Amateur Hour” discussions at the Institute Library. Tonight they welcome Robert J. Lang, America’s top origami artist. Lang brings a scientific background to his development of new techniques in paper folding. Join the fold 7 p.m. at the Institute Library, 847 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 562-4045.
Wednesday, February 5
The Arts Council of Greater New Haven is sponsoring a panel discussion where you can hear from some of the artists represented in the Artists at Work exhibit filling storefronts along Audubon St. for the rest of this month. The talk takes place blocks away from the artwork and from the Arts Council offices, on the second floor of The Bourse, 839 Chapel St. at 5:30 p.m. Both the exhibit and the discussion are part of a year-long statewide “conversation on work life in Connecticut” sponsored by the Connecticut Humanities Council and collectively entitled Connecticut at Work. Issues to be raised at The Bourse include the realities of artists how artists make a living, how they can be misrepresented in the workplace, and how many are seeking out “hybrid” careers. (203) 772-2788.
White Hinterland will bring a special chill to BAR this evening, when the ethereal dance pop act performs a live set. Slander, a five-piece indie pop act from Mystic, opens the free 9 p.m. show.
Thursday, February 6
Thou Art an Elm
“In what key shall a man take you, to go in the song?”
—Much Ado About Nothing, Act I Scene I.
Margie Andreassi has served as Managing Director of Elm Shakespeare Company for over half the troupe’s nearly two-decade history. Margie (who’s married to ElmShakes’ founding artistic director James Andreassi) stepped down last year from running the day-to-day and year-round operations of this well-versed Shakespeare company (best known for its annual outdoor productions in Edgerton Park). She’s being feted at this year’s Elm Shakespeare Company Midwinter Cabaret. Vocalists Mary Ann Frank, Keely Baisden Knudsen, Alice-Anne Harwood and Stephanie Steifel Williams and the a cappella group The Conn Artists will all warble. Daniel Fitzmaurice—Margie’s successor as Managing Director—will play piano. James Andreassi will host. The event’s a benefit for Elm Shakespeare, naturally. Tickets are $85 to $125 and include the performances, a buffet dinner, beer and wine. 6:30 p.m. Sage American Grill, 100 Water St. (203) 874-0801.
Friday, February 7
Artspace has an opening reception tonight from 5-8 p.m. for two new exhibits: the group show Smart Painting (featuring work by Blake Shirley, Sharon Butler, Deborah Dancy, Zachary Keating, Ben Piwowar, Jenn Dierdorf, Rob D. Campbell, Derek Leka, Clare Grill and Tatiana Berg, all “artists who respond to the institution of contemporary abstraction”) and large-scale recontextualizer Neil Matthiessen’s solo show Perceptual Data.
Looking Like a Million Bucks
Eddie Clendening, who played Elvis in the New York production of the historical rock revue Million Dollar Quartet, returns to Café Nine (250 State St.) tonight for some honky-tonking with his longtime band The Blue Ribbon Boys. Bloodshot Bill opens. $10. (203) 789-8281.
Saturday, February 8
The New Haven Symphony Orchestra Jazz Quartet joins with storyteller Tom Lee for a 2 p.m. program of “Tales and Tunes” at Davis Street School (35 Davis St.). The NHSO’s hands-on Instrument Discovery Zone will be set up, NHSO “Passports to Music” will be stamped, and each child will be given a free book courtesy of New Haven Reads. A $15 ticket gains admission for an adult plus a child; each additional child is $5.
The Windows Into Heaven exhibit of Russian religious icons is still up at the Knights of Columbus Museum (1 State St.). This afternoon at 2 p.m. in the museum, Yale history prof Paul Bushkovitch speaks on “Orthodox Christianity in Early Russia: the Formation of a Tradition.”
El Super, a great Spanish-language, made-in-the-USA film from 1979, about Cuban exiles in New York, screens 2 p.m. at Fair Haven Branch Library, 182 Grand Ave. (203) 946-8115.
Sunday, February 9
Emancipator Ensemble formed just last fall, and is on its first U.S. tour, but the man the band is named for, Oregon-based producer/composer/sampler/multi-instrumentalist Emancipator, is a known quantity. Emancipator (aka Doug Appling) has expanded his vision with a four-piece live band and a video show, which you can experience tonight at 9 p.m .at Toad’s Place (300 York St.). Odesza and Real Magic are also on the bill. $20, $15 in advance.