This week is when the New Haven cultural world gets divided between which events are a part of Arts & Ideas and which are, well, apart. So much to do, and so much time to do it in.
Monday, June 16
Music Haven is all over the place this week, riding their singular String Quartet truck to perform concerts in neighborhoods around the city, then heading back downtown Saturday to lead a “Play-In” on New Haven Green (see Sunday). The flatbed truck makes three stops today: 12:30 p.m. on Cedar Street between Congress and York; 2 p.m. at the corner of York and Chapel; and 3:30 p.m. in Scantlebury Park (on Ashmun Street between Webster and Bristol). There are multiple stops on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well.
The main (Ives) building of New Haven Free Public Library held its Children’s Summer Reading Kick-Off Party over a week ago. Today from 6 to 8 p.m., a similar bash is being held at one of the branch libraries—the Mitchell Branch in Westville (37 Harrison St.; 203-946-8117). Intended for ages 5 through 12, entertainments includes a demonstration by the Science Genie. Another branch, Fair Haven (182 Grand Ave.), holds its Summer Reading Kick-Off Party on Thursday, also from 6 to 8 p.m.
Living is No Laughing Matter, a documentary about the Turkish poet Nazin Hikmet, is being screened at 6 p.m. tonight at the main (Ives) New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm St.; 203-946-8835. The film’s title comes from the opening lines of Hikmet’s famous anti-war poem “On Living.” The screening is co-sponsored by the New Haven Peace Commission, Greater New Haven Peace Council and Promoting Enduring Peace.
Tuesday, June 17
Arts & Ideas
The festival’s “Noon to Night” series, anchored by local bands and held on the main Elm Street Stage on New Haven Green, begins today with a noon concert by the Asberry Boys (aka the harmonic guitar-and-violin-plucking Taubl Brothers) and a 6 p.m. show by the estimable jazz/rhythm/Latin soul ensemble Mikata. Mikata also tells “Drum Tales” on the Green’s smaller Family Stage at 1:15 p.m. All those shows are free. The big ticketed event tonight is Regina Carter with her Southern Comfort concert, continuing her multi-album exploration of influential Southern U.S. folk and gospel songs, filtered through her intense jazz fiddling. Carter speaks about the project 5:30 p.m. at the Yale Center for British Art (a free lecture as part of the Ideas series), then performs (for $35/$55 a ticket) at 8 p.m. in Yale’s Morse Recital Hall (470 College St.).
Split Knuckle Theatre, now a Connecticut-based concern, has devised Endurance, a theater piece that connects the U.S. economic downturn of a few years ago with the Antarctic explorations of Ernest Shackleton nearly a century back. A prevailing theme, clearly, is survival. Endurance opens tonight at Long Wharf Theatre Stage II (222 Sargent Dr.), part of the Long Wharf’s 2014 summer season. Endure it Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Wednesdays at 2 & 7 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 & 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through June 29. $59.50.
Wednesday, June 18
Arts & Ideas
The free bands offered by Arts & Ideas on the Green today are Roosevelt Dime (at noon on the Elm Street Stage) and Tangolando (at 1:15 p.m. on the Family Stage and 6 p.m. on the Elm Street Stage). Indoors tonight (for a ticket price of $35 or $55), Reggie Wilson’s Fist & Heel Performance Group begins four nights of performances of its multi-style modern dance piece Moses(es) inspired by Zora Neale Hurston’s Moses, Man of the Mountain (which in turn was inspired by the Bible). Moses(es) plays tonight through Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. in the Yale University Theatre (222 York St.). Tonight is also the opening night of Arguendo, a legal drama which the New York-based Elevator Repair Service company created out of real-life court transcripts from a groundbreaking freedom-of-speech trial. Arguendo (which costs $35 or $65 to see) runs tonight through Saturday at 8 p.m., with weekend matinees Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. There are post-show discussion after every performance and a big-deal panel discussion with Supreme Court scholars following the Saturday matinee.
The third “Twilight Concert” at the historic Pardee-Morris House (325 Lighthouse Rd.) features The Asberry Boys—yes, the same pop/folk sibling act you could have seen on New Haven Green yesterday.
Linked Through Thin Lizzy
Black Star Riders is an all-star hard rock band made up of guys who’ve variously played with Alice Cooper, Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, The Almighty, Brother Cane, White Snake, White Lion, Blue Murder, and 21 Guns. You may not recognize all their names—guitarists Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson, bassist Marco Mendoza, drummer Jimmy DeGrasso and vocalist Ricky Warwick—but their riffs should ring a bell. All but Warwick are Americans, and all but DeGrasso were in Thin Lizzy, Gorham being a member of that hallowed Irish rock act since the mid-1970s. Black Star Riders was formed so that the band could write new songs on their own, not in the shadow of the late Thin Lizzy leader Phil Lynott. Black Star Riders released its debut album, All Hell Breaks Loose, in 2013 and plays Toad’s Place (300 York St.) tonight for $20 ($15 advance). NightBitch and Vengeance open the 9 p.m. show.
Thursday, June 19
Arts & Ideas
The traditional A&I charity-based Pizza Fest starts today from noon to 1:30 p.m. on New Haven Green. Different pizzerias vie for your appetite, and proceeds benefit the Connection Fund. The free band shows are Asylum Quartet at noon and Novela Sin Tiempo at 6 p.m., both on the Green’s big Elm Street stage, with Kahuna Hula playing the Family Stage at 1:15 p.m. The Irish folk band The Gloaming has an indoor ticketed ($35/$55) concert at 8 p.m. in Morse Recital Hall.
The final meeting for the season of The Writers’ Circle with T.R. Perri is tonight, and if you want to meet people who can write sentences that are less clunky than this one, you should attend. It’s a networking opportunity where writers chat about their work, support each other, and share their struggles. Noon at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven (70 Audubon St., 203-772-2788). Free.
A Walk in the Woods
The second Yale Summer Cabaret show of 2014 is the New England premiere of Map of Virtue by Eric Courtney. This forest romance with supernatural qualities is directed by the SumCab’s co-Artistic Director Luke Harlan. It runs tonight through June 29 at 217 York St., with performances Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m.
Friday, June 20
Arts & Ideas
Bands on the Green for free at the festival today are Kaleidos at noon on the Elm Street Stage, drummer Bob Bloom 1:15 p.m. on the Family Stage and Benyoro 6 p.m. on the Elm Street Stage. At 8 p.m. in the Church of St. Mary (5 Hillhouse Ave.) for $35 or $55 the Yale Choral Artists perform vocal works by a range of classical and contemporary composers: J.S. Bach, Sven-David Sandström, Thomas Tallis, Ted Hearne, Josquin Des Prez and Hannah Lash.
The Yale School of Drama’s Dwight/Edgewood Project has changed formats a few times in the 20—yes, 20!—years it’s been around. But its mission has not wavered: to expose grade-schoolers from some of the less prosperous areas of New Haven to the cultural wonders of theater. Not going to theater, mind you, but making it. Students from the Yale School of Drama help the kids (who this year come from Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School) conceive, write, design and stage their own original one-act dramas. Those fresh dramatic works (including Life in The Candy Shop by Alexandria Campbell-Ferguson, Finding Home by Ellie Ginnow, Enemies to Friends: A Button and a Hat Story by Savannah Gray, and S.T.R. by Marlon Quincey Myers) can be seen tonight and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Yale’s Off-Broadway Theater (41 Broadway, but the entrance is actually from York Street between Broadway and Grove, down the alley behind Toad’s Place). Free. (203) 432-2174.
Saturday, June 21
Arts & Ideas
On the second of the festival‘s three Saturdays, Music Haven (and its in-house ensemble the Haven String Quartet) are leading a harmonious “Play-In on the Green” 6 p.m. on (where else?) New Haven Green, just before the 7 p.m. Dianne Reeves/New Haven Symphony Orchestra concert. Bring your own instrument and play along—sheet music is available at http://artidea.org/event/2014/1765. Selections include Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” Pachelbel’s Canon and airs by Bach and Grieg. Earlier in the day there are multiple acts on the Green’s Family Stage from 4:30 to 6 p.m. (aka The Weekend Showcase) and four hours of “Crafts and Live Music for Kids” 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the parking island in the Broadway shopping district (Broadway near York).
Not Bland Live
A diverse multi-band bill at Café Nine features the grandiose theatrical rock band Not Blood Paint, from Brooklyn, alongside Connecticut acts Loom, Branchwater and Zanders. For a city where Saturday nights tend to be given over to dance parties and jam bands, thank goodness for intimate locally anchored live-rock revues like this. 9 p.m. 250 State St. (203) 789-8281. $5.
Sunday, June 22
Arts & Ideas
More Weekend Showcase shows at Arts & Ideas, 3-4:30 p.m. on the New Haven Green Family Stage. The big Green concert at 7 p.m. is country star Brandy Clark with opening act Bronze Radio Return. Oh yeah, and at 4 p.m. the flagpole on the Green will be encircled with dozens (hundreds?) of creatively decorated bras, to pay tribute to breast cancer survivors. The display has been organized by Art Bra New Haven.
Tegan It to Heat
Canadian indie pop sisterly sensations Tegan and Sara pop into Toad’s Place (300 York St.; 203-624-TOAD) on their “Let’s Make Things Physical” tour. My Midnight Heart and The Courtneys are also on the bill. The show starts early—7:45 p.m.—and costs $35.