Valentine’s Day, the day for lovers, presents many different love- and relationship-themed entertainment options in the local area this year. Dances, seminars, theater performances, a fashion show and romantic dinners with live music are all on the list of local happenings over the weekend leading up to the Monday, February 14th holiday.
SINGING VALENTINES — Valentine’s Day expressions ring out loud and clear when the Santa Monica Oceanaires come knocking at your door with a repertoire of traditional love songs.
The chorus of barbershop singers will deliver personalized “singing valentines” to sweethearts, parents, families or friends on Sunday, February 13th, and Valentine’s Day Monday, February 14th.
The group’s repertoire includes barbershop classics “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “Heart of My Heart,” but occasionally there has been a need for an encore, says Oceanaires spokesman Jerry Walker.
“We were called out to a house in Santa Monica one time to sing for a 100-year-old mother,” says Walker. “Her daughters hired us. Once we were through with the two songs, the lady was so choked up, she started crying. So we had to sing a happy song or two to help her regain her composure.”
The singers have been delivering the singing valentines each year since about 1990, and the activity is the main annual fundraiser for the singing group, which has existed since 1978.
The “singing valentines” are delivered by barbershop quartets — consisting of a bass, a tenor, a lead and a baritone — that are called out to various locations, including offices, homes, college dorms, schools and restaurants, says Walker.
The Santa Monica Oceanaires are a community group with members from various singing backgrounds.
“We have members who joined with no singing background, members with a glee club or church choir background and four members with an exceptional singing background, who are members of the award-winning Masters of Harmony chorus,” says Walker.
The singing valentines can be ordered for $50.
Reservations, (310) 839-4296.
RED RED ROSE — Red Red Rose, a performance/opera hybrid that creates “a haunting journey of frail love, inspired by Oscar Wilde’s magical tale,” is scheduled to be performed on the weekend preceding Valentine’s Day, at 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, February 10th to 12th, at Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica.
Tickets are $18 Thursday and Friday, and $20 on Saturday.
The Friday performance will be followed with a cast question-and-answer session, and the Saturday performance will be followed by a valentine dance.
Red Red Rose tells the story of a bird who, learning that a maiden has promised to dance with a student if he brings her a red rose, agrees to trade its heart’s blood to win the prize. All night long the nightingale sings “of the love that is perfected by death, of the love that dies not in the tomb” with its heart pressed against the thorn of a rose tree so that its life’s blood could stain the rose red. The nightingale represents the desire to sing, write or speak beautifully, and the nightingale’s link with lovers and the night symbolizes those who would die for love, according to Highways.
The production features melodies sung by mezzo-soprano Christina Linhardt. Performance artists LF Esquerra and Christian Meoli complete the cast.
Reservations, (310) 315-1459.
PRELUDE TO ROMANCE — A jazz and R&B dinner including a trio performing live jazz and R&B, live DJs and a fashion show, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday, February 13th, at the 310 Lounge and Bistro, 3321 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Tickets are $150 per person.
The fashion show will take place during a seven-course dinner, and will feature designer David Tupaz’s latest line of couture evening wear.
Tupaz has designed for Hollywood personalities, including Cheryl Ladd, Mariel Hemingway, Kelly Le Brock, Christine Baranski, Rain Pryor, Keiko Ibi and Jane Wyatt.
There will be a silent auction, with all proceeds going to the tsunami relief fund via the Save the Children foundation.
Reservations, (310) 345-9318.
STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART — Poet and author Charlotte “Sista C” Ferrell presents “Straight From the Heart,” two workshops in celebration of Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. The first workshop is “Heart Writing,” which includes songs, poems, dance and prose readings by guests, and is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, February 12th, at the Burton Chace Park Community Room, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. A $25 donation is requested that will benefit Mustardseed Ministries International, a health and creative arts outreach ministry.
The second event is a free seminar, “Taking Your Finances to Heart,” scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, February 12th, at the Burton Chace Park Community Room.
Information, (310) 562-6889.
DINNER DANCE — A Valentine dinner/dance event sponsored by the Filipino-American Community of St. Mark and the Knights of Columbus, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, February 12th, at the St. Mark Parish Hall, 2475 Lincoln Blvd., Venice.
Admission is $15, and proceeds benefit the St. Mark Parish and School.
The dance will feature a DJ spinning salsa, swing, disco, cumbias and ballroom music.
Information, (310) 821-2828.
VALENTINE’S MURDER MYSTERY — Valentine stagings of the interactive murder mystery dinner show, Deadly Disco Cruise, directed by Bob Rumnock, are scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday and Monday, February 12th and 14th, at the Harbor House Restaurant, 4211 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey.
Tickets are $69 per person, which includes tax and tip.
Reservations, (310) 399-1507.
SHAKESPEARE SONNETS — A Valentine program featuring a sampler of sonnets and scenes from Shakespeare, directed by Robert Otey, is scheduled to be performed at 7 and 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday, February 13th and 14th, at the Ruskin Group Theatre, 3000 Airport Drive, Santa Monica. Admission is $10.
The program will feature selections from Shakespeare that celebrate the romantic and comic aspects of falling and being in love, including material from The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and “Sonnet 57.”
Reservations, (310) 397-3244.
VALENTINE READING — Catherine Daly, author of Locket, a new book of love poems based on female “love mystics,” is scheduled to do a day-before-Valentine’s-Day reading at 7 p.m. Sunday, February 13th, at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice. Poet Sarah Maclay is also scheduled to read. Admission is $7.
Information, (310) 822-3006.
PAULA ABDUL PUSHES PERSONALS — Singer/dancer/ on-screen personality Paula Abdul will host an event for Yahoo! Personals with the theme of trying to find the proverbial “needle in the haystack” when it comes to dating and matchmaking. Organizers are saying it’s a celebration of “National Call In Single Day.”
The event also includes Yahoo! Personals representatives soliciting people to sign up for their service.
Abdul is scheduled to be on-site from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Valentine’s Day Monday, February 14th, at 1416 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica. Admission is free.
Information, (213) 489-8273.
SINGLES DANCE — “Dating gurus” Renee Piane and Julie Ferman present a Valentine weekend singles dance with live music, DJ, tarot card readings and astrology, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 11th, at the Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel, 1707 Fourth St., Santa Monica. Admission is $49.
Information, (310) 656-7099.
PIER DANCE — A dance on the Santa Monica Pier with live salsa music by Johnny Polanco y su Conjunto Amistad, accompanied by salsa dancers, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, February 12th, at the Santa Monica Pier, which is at the ocean end of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. Admission is free.
Information, (310) 458-8901.