More movies. More jazz. More comedy. More classical music/theater collaborations. These are good things to have a lot of. Then there are unique New Haven events like a concert of songs drawn from the sheet music collection at the Yale Medical Library, Jack Hitt discussing 3D printing with a guy from MakeHaven and a world-premiere Athol Fugard play.
Monday, March 31
Fillmmaker/musician Aku Rodriguez hosts a screening of his 2013 documentary La gran falacia (The Great Fallacy), about dire economic realities in his native Puerto Rico, 7 p.m. at Yale’s Luce Hall Auditorium (34 Hillhouse Ave.; 203-432-3422). La gran falacia comes with English subtitles. The screening is part of the monthly New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema at Yale.
Screening the Environment
The 2014 Environmental Film Festival at Yale lasts for an entire week, with dozens of film screenings (shorts and features), as well as talks, a storytelling workshop, a dance party, a nature walk and other events—all with an environmental theme. Among the highlighted features are Marmato, a documentary about the threat of open-pit gold mining in Columbia (tonight at 7 p.m.); The Ghosts in Our Machine, about “the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world” (Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.), the world premiere of Field Biologist, about a young man who heads to Costa Rica with a passion to do some “conservation-oriented research on birds in the tropics,” and the beautifully animated The Dam Keeper. Most screenings take place at the Whitney Humanities Center auditorium (53 Wall St.); tonight’s is at Burke Auditorium (195 Prospect St.) For a full schedule, go here.
Tuesday, April 1
This month the Amateur Hour series at the Institute Library explores 3D printing. Jack Hitt conducts a live interview with Andrew Chastain of MakeHaven, the local “membership-driven organization, gathering place and workshop for makers, creators, tinkerers and dreamers.” Refreshments are served. $15, $10 for Institute Library members.
The Soldier’s Tale is a great story (based on a Russian folk tale) about a man who makes a deal with the Devil, and it’s coupled with fantastic music by Stravinsky. The Yale School of Music and the Yale School of Drama have developed a new production of this classic, featuring Broadway star Michael Cerveris (The Who’s Tommy, Titanic—The Musical, Evita), clarinetist David Shifrin, violinist Ani Kavafian and a lot of students. Liz Diamond directs her own new translation of the C.F. Ramuz libretto. This fresh take on The Soldier’s Tale will be presented at Carnegie Hall this weekend. First, though, it’s being done at 8 p.m. tonight at Sprague Hall (470 College St.; 203-432-4158).
Wednesday, April 2
A Cure for What Ails You, an unusual musical revue subtitled “Songs from the Yale Medical Library’s Sheet Music Collection” should indeed settle your nerves while you eat your bag lunch, at noon in the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library (333 Cedar St.; 203-432-1810). The songs, in a variety of styles, include the Loretta Lynn country plaint “The Pill” and the comic Irving Berlin ditty “They’ve Got Me Doing It Now.”
Tonight is opening night at the Long Wharf Theatre for the new Athol Fugard play Shadow of the Hummingbird. It’s the first play which the esteemed author of “Master Harold” ... and the Boys and Have You Seen Us? has himself performed in since the late ‘90s, and the first time he’s acted in New Haven since he appeared in his A Place With the Pigs at Yale Rep in 1987. In Hummingbird, an elderly man imparts a lifetime of things he’s learned to his 10-year-old grandson. The show is at Long Wharf (222 Sargent Dr.) through April 27. (203) 787-4282.
Thursday, April 3
Poet Fanny Howe reads 5:30 p.m. at the Yale Divinity School’s Marquand Chapel (409 Chapel St., 203-432-5062). Howe’s new collection is Film Color: A Study in Black and White, and uses film imagery to help explore issues of “art and faith.”
The Backyard Committee is an alt-country outfit led by longtime local music scene icon (and CTNow journalist) Mike Sembos, who is billed as the “editor” of this collective. The band released its second album, Festival, last year. The small, friendly front-window stage at Stella Blues (204 Crown St.; 203-752-9764) is an ideal place to hang around the Backyard.
Friday, April 4
Night of Nine
It’s the first Friday of the month, which means another concatenation of cultural happenings in the Ninth Square, under the “On9” banner. Among this month’s special events organized by Ninth Square businesses, with the general theme of “Design On9”: a mixologist competition to create “a signature cocktail” for the neighborhood, 6 p.m. in the old bank building at 45 Church St.; a 7:30 p.m. runway show by Neville Wisdom at his shop, 63 Orange St.; free samples at Elm City Market; and other excitements yet to be itemized. Most events are free; a ticket to sample cocktails and watch the mixing contest is $20.
The jazz quartet Kneebody—bassist Kaveh Rastegar, drummer Nate Wood, trumpeter Shane Endsley, keyboardist Adam Benjamin and saxophonist Ben Wendel—plays two sets, 8:30 p.m. ($18) and 10 p.m. ($12) at Firehouse 12 (45 Crown St.; 203-785-0468). The California-based band (whose latest album is The Line) tours internationally, but doesn’t come to the East Coast all that often. As if seeing anyone at the intimate, acoustically warm Firehouse wasn’t already an incentive.
The Rice Stuff
Darren Rivera, who bills himself “The Rice n Bean Joker,” begins a two-night, three-show stand at the Joker’s Wild Comedy Club (232 Wooster St., 203-773-0733). Richard Shultis opens. 8 p.m. tonight; 8 & 10:30 p.m. Saturday. $15.
Saturday, April 5
Books for Brunch
Creative Arts Workshop’s annual Edible Book Tea is a creative variation on a tea party, where the food also serves as a conversation piece. The event, now in its 11th year, is part of an International Edible Book High/Low Tea movement, which decrees that “all edible books must be ‘bookish’ through the integration of text, literary inspiration or, quite simply, the form.” Bring your own tasty texts (drop off is from 9 to 10 a.m.). The edible books are on display starting at 10 a.m., then eaten from 11 a.m. to noon. (203) 562-4927. No admission or registration fees, but you are asked to bring tea.
It’s Their Line, Anyway
Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood, the Whose Line Is It Anyway? duo, are pretty convincing. They once got Karl Rove to rap at a Washington DC fundraiser. Mostly, they just want you to laugh—and marvel at the improv skills. They amuse 8 p.m. at Southern Connecticut State University’s Lyman Center for the Performing Arts (on the SCSU’s Crescent St. campus). $35, $25 SCSU faculty/staff, $10 students; group discounts available.
Nirvana for NAMI
To mark the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, a tribute band has assembled to perform the entire MTV Nirvana Unplugged concert live. It’s a benefit for a cause that the famously depressive Cobain might have appreciated: the Elm City chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Besides the Unplugged set (which features covers of David Bowie and Huddie Ledbetter songs alongside Nirvana originals), the bands Tossing Cymbals and Scratch Happy also play. 8 p.m. Anna Liffey’s (17 Whitney Ave.). No cover charge.
Sunday, April 6
The Jazz of Art
High school and middle school jazz musicians provide “Jazz at the Gallery” in conjunction with Yale Art Gallery’s new exhibit Jazz Lives: The Photographs of Lee Friedlander and Milt Hinton. The student performance is 3 p.m. at the gallery, 1111 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-0600.
Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music presents a free enactment of Balivadham Kudiyattam, an ancient form of Sanskrit drama that takes years for its multi-disciplinary performers to master. The music/theater/costume/make-up ensemble behind this excerpt from an epic Kudiyattam comes from the Nepathya Centre for Excellence in Kudiyattam, in Kerala, India. 8 p.m. in the auditorium at Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School (177 College St., 203-432-5062).