Theater options range from high school cheerleaders to office relationships to futuristic social commentary. Music choices include a world-class flute/piano duo at Yale and a double-bill of Ethiopian jazz-pop and classical grunge at Café Nine. Book-signings cover a year in the life of a football team and a career spent as a local labor organizer. And the celebration of the life and works of Martin Luther King Jr. starts a day before the holiday that bears his name.
Monday, Jan. 13
Creative Arts, Fresh Starts
You can go out and find art, or you can make it yourself. Creative Arts Workshop’s winter session of visual arts classes begins today. Name an arts medium and CAW instructs in it: from fiber to photos to book arts to prints to sculpture to those old standbys sketching and painting and drawing. See what openings are available. (203) 562-4927.
Snails and Snacks
The fast-paced snail adventure flick Turbo just got turned into a TV series, airing on Netflix. See the original film (featuring New Haven native Paul Giamatti as the voice of Chet), with added refreshments and kiddie camaraderie, 4 p.m. today at the clearly titled “Movies and Snacks” series in the Fair Haven branch library (182 Grand Ave.; 203-946-8115)
Tuesday, Jan. 14: Hadero Here and Now
Meklit Hadero is an Ethiopian-born singer/songwriter/activist who spent her childhood in Iowa, New York and Florida, studied political science at Yale and found her artistic epiphany in San Francisco. Her style blends poetry, jazz, folk, pop and Ethiopian sounds. Her 2010 album On a Day Like This garnered international acclaim, but Hadero already had an international profile from being a 2009 TED Global Fellow and founding the Arba Minch Collective, which does cultural outreach to artists in the diaspora. Tonight’s 9 p.m. Meklit Hadero concert at Café Nine (250 State St.; 203-789-8281; $12-$15) has an opening act you won’t want to miss: Tet Offensive, the classical rock ensemble fronted by Brian Robinson, a composer and grown-up punk rocker whose day job is Managing Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra (from the ranks of which the Tet Offensive string players are drawn.)
Wednesday, Jan. 15
Open for Consultation
It’s opening night of the world premiere production of the modern workplace comedy The Consultant, which has been in previews for a week at Long Wharf Theatre (222 Sargent Dr.; 203-787-4282). Playwright Heidi Shreck has worked as an actress (including in the Long Wharf’s 2011 American premiere of Simon Gray’s The Old Masters), but more to the point for this endeavor, she used to coach business execs on how to give speeches. The Consultant of the play’s title has been enlisted to help a troubled advertising man with his presentations. What begins as strictly business becomes a relationship drama. The Consultant is directed by Kip Fagan (who happens to be Heidi Schreck’s real-life husband); the cast includes Clare Barron, Cassie Beck, Darren Goldstein, Nelson Lee and Lynne McCollough.
(Update: This event has been canceled.) World-renowned flutist Ransom Wilson (who led the outdoor songbirdsongs event at last summer’s International Festival of Arts & Ideas) and pianist Melvin Chen team up for a Yale School of Music Faculty Artists Series concert, blowing through works by Haydn, Schumann, Debussy, Jolivet, Rivier, Gaubert and Halle. Like so many extraordinary music shows at Yale, it’s free of charge. 8 p.m. Sprague Memorial Hall (inside Morse Recital Hall, 470 College St.; 203-432-4158.
Thursday, Jan. 16
Here Come the Jets
New Haven-raised New York Times Magazine writer Nicholas Dawidoff had unprecedented journalistic access to the New York Jets when working on his book Collision Low Crosses—A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football. He was allowed into team meetings, draft-pick discussions, practices and the coach’s box at games. Dawidoff discusses his gridiron travails 6 p.m. at the main (Ives) New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm St.; 203-946-8835).
The Crowd Cheers—and So Does the Cast
While the everyday grind of professional football is being discussed at the public library this evening, the Shubert is bringing in Bring It On, about the hardships of being a cheerleader. The stage musical (co-written Wesleyan grad Lin-Manuel Miranda of In the Heights fame, Avenue Q scribe Jeff Whitty, Next to Normal composer Tom Kitt and singer/songwriter Amanda Green) is based on the popular film series. The high-kickin’ show’s in town for four performances: tonight at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 & 8 p.m. It’s the first stop on a brand new Bring It On national tour. 247 College St. $15-$100.
Friday, Jan. 17
The Past is Prologue
The Yale Cabaret, the indispensible underground theater run by Yale School of Drama students, opens its spring semester with the U.S. premiere of one of British playwright Edward Bond’s three so-called “Chair Plays,” Have I None. The political drama is set in 2077 and literally explores that old saying “Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it,” by showing us a world where all personal papers and documents have been abolished. Four performances remain: tonight and Saturday at both 8 & 11 p.m. Come early for drinks and food service. Tickets are $20, $10 for students, or you can get a nine-ticket “Flex Pass” for just $90. 217 Park St. (203) 432-1566.
Treasured local folk/jam ensemble Goodnight Blue Moon has a new album out, A Girl I Never Met, and is celebrating with a release party at Café Nine. Two kindred alternafolk acts, Oh, Cassius (the duo of Meredith DiMenna and John Torres) and the bluegrass collective Milksop: Unsung open the 9 p.m. show. $8, $6 in advance. (203) 789-8281.
Saturday, Jan. 18
Yale Aut Gallery
The Yale Art Gallery (1080 Chapel St.) has a special free program from 10:30 a.m. to noon for “families with children between the ages of five and twelve who are on the autism spectrum.” The event is cleverly titled “Exploring Artism,” and registration is required. (203) 432-2800.
Today brings another book discussion at New Haven Free Public Library, but this time the author is long deceased. Saul Kreas was born Russian when it was still led by a Czar, witnessed the revolution there and, upon moving to New Haven, became active in the U.S. labor movement. Joelle Fishman, who edited and helped publish the book in 1977, discusses Kreas’ memoir My Life and Struggle for a Better World: A World Without Exploitation of Man by Man. 2 p.m. 133 Elm St.; 203-946-8835.
Sunday, Jan. 19
Another View of the Mountaintop
The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is tomorrow, but the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History always goes all-out at this time of year, devoting both Sunday and Monday to myriad events in honor of Rev. King’s “legacy of environmental and social justice.” Today’s events run from noon to 4:30 p.m. and include: performances by the Neighborhood Music School Premier Jazz Ensemble (1 p.m.), the African Arawak Connection (2 p.m.), Hamden Academy of Dance & Music (3 p.m.) and Kouffin Kanecke Company (3:45 p.m.); talks on “Teen Involvement in Food Justice” (12:30 p.m.) and “Forging a Path to Preserving a Sustainable Planet” (4 p.m.); storytelling with Karen Johnson (12:45 p.m.), Joy Donaldson (1:45 p.m.) and Waltrina Kirkland Mullins (2:45 p.m.); and numerous info tables and special activities. The museum waives its admission fee on these special days. 170 Whitney Ave.