By Christopher Arnott
2:55 PM EDT, June 23, 2013
Thursday was a light day, A&I-wise for your roaming correspondent. I’d seen most of the indoor ticketed stage events (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, My Friend’s Story, The Quiet Volume, L’homme Cirque, etc.) already, and was scheduled to see a non-Arts & Ideas theater event that night, the opening of Strindberg’s Miss Julie at the Yale Summer Cabaret. (My review of that show, for my own New Haven Theater Jerk blog, is here.)
But I learned that, whether or not you partake of the thing deeply every day, just walking around the Green and downtown, in the daytime and late at night, is more pleasant because the festival is in town. Even when the concerts and the pizza lunch charity events and other early afternoon gathering are well over for the day, there are folks in line for tickets and information at the A&I booth on the Green. Production workers were readying for an evening concert. Dozens more people were milling around than do on an average weekday afternoon.
Thursday night after 10 p.m., you could find concertgoers on the sidewalk outside Yale’s Sprague Hall, still talking about the Christian McBride concert which had just happened there. I’ve experienced that same leisurely daze myself at Morse Recital Hall shows—wanting to take in all that you’ve experienced, and not yet ready to head home.
There are signs of the festival throughout town. Some are literally signs—the markers that acknowledge that a show is happening in a certain venue nearby. But there are also the intangibles: the sense that there are many more people downtown in late June than there would otherwise be. That these people have gone out to get drinks or ice cream after a show. That they are smiling.
A night off from Arts & Ideas isn’t really a night off. The festival is in the air.
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