Jennifer's Top Five - Jan. 31

Is it too soon to think about the weekend? Arts Council Marketing Director Jennifer Gelband offers her top five arts picks for this week, going into next. These come from our member organizations and are also featured in The Arts Council's weekly newsletter. To subscribe to that, click here.  

XOXO: A Sale of Valentines | Feb. 1-14 | Creative Arts Workshop | 80 Audubon St, New Haven

This Valentine’s Day, Hallmark’s got nothing on Creative Arts Workshop! Shop for one-of-a-kind cards, books, boxes, pottery, and small prints handmade by local binders, potters, and printmakers. All proceeds benefit Creative Arts Workshop.

New Haven Theater Company Presents The Dumb Waiter, Feb. 1-3 & 8-10, 8 p.m., NHTC Stage in EBM Vintage on Chapel Street | 839 Chapel St, New Haven

It was supposed to be a routine hit. But as hired gunmen Gus and Ben wait in a windowless basement for their orders, strange messages appear in the rickety old dumbwaiter, confounding Gus and feeding Ben's dangerous frustration... Where are they exactly, and just who is it who's giving the orders? 

NHTC presents Harold Pinter’s sharp and suspenseful dark comedy The Dumb Waiter, directed by John Watson, running February 1-3 and 8-10. All performances are at 8 p.m. at the NHTC Stage in EBM Vintage. The cast includes company members Erich Greene (Gus) and Trevor Williams (Ben).

Tickets: $20; $15 for students, available at

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Miss Lottie's Cafe: A Tribute to Josephine Baker by Sharece M. Sellem, Feb. 2, 8 p.m., Donald L. Oat Theater, Norwich Arts Center | 60 Broadway, Norwich

Josephine Baker was a sexy and flamboyant singer-dancer — this tribute to her with be performed by multi-talented entertainer Sharece Sellem of New Haven.

With this show coinciding with the beginning of Black History Month, please note that Josephine Baker was the first person of color to become a world-famous entertainer and to star in a major motion picture, the 1934 Marc Allégret film Zouzou.

Tickets: $20; $18 seniors, military & students; $17 NAC members. More info: (860) 887-2789 or

The Price of Freedom: Screening of Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes | Feb. 5, 5:30 p.m. | New Haven Museum | 114 Whitney Ave, New Haven

What began simply as a 5th-grade project on family roots became a 15-year, cross-country saga for Regina Mason, and, ultimately, an award-winning film. The New Haven Museum will host Mason for a special screening of her documentary, “Gina's Journey: The Search for William Grimes,” based on research of her ancestor, a former slave who escaped to freedom, lived in New Haven, and penned the first fugitive-slave narrative in U.S. history. He later was buried in the Elm City’s historic Grove Street Cemetery. Mason, and filmmaker and producer Sean Durant, will appear. The free event will be presented in partnership with the Amistad Committee Inc. and Friends of Grove Street Cemetery, and followed by a Q&A and a book signing.

More info: or (203) 562-4183.

Actor And Activist Danny Glover, Feb. 6 | 7 p.m. | Quinnipiac University, New Haven


Acclaimed actor and leading social justice activist Danny Glover will be the Black History Month keynote speaker at Quinnipiac. “From Abolition to #BLM: A Conversation with Danny Glover” is free and open to the public.

In a fireside chat-style program with Khalilah Brown-Dean, associate professor of political science, Glover will explore the similarities of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and its early abolitionist roots –– particularly Frederick Douglass –– to build connections, increase dialogue and end racism. Quinnipiac is marking the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ birth with a series of events to honor his life and his many achievements. More info: