A performance of spicy Latin love songs, an exotic tea tasting, sensual yoga and Valentine cruises are among the local events planned this week for those struck by Cupid’s arrow or those looking to stir up some steamy romance for Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14th, and the days before.
LATIN LOVE BOLEROS — Valentine passion and drama is what “operachi” singer Juanita Ulloa intends to create with her concert performance of Latin love boleros at 7 p.m. Sunday, February 12th, at Monsoon’s, 1212 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica. Tickets are $10.
Ulloa will perform romance-heavy Latin classics such as “BÈsame Mucho” (“Kiss Me A Lot”) and “Mil Besos” (“Thousand Kisses”) as well as originals.
“I’m sort of a reversed Chicana,” says Ulloa, who was born in the United States, and then taken at age two and raised in Mexico, Panama and Spain.
Ulloa is convinced that Latin love songs are more intense than many other forms of romantic music.
“Boleros have a passion that is deeper and a mood more intense, and have a rhythmic flavor of spontaneity,” she says.
Ulloa is a classically trained opera singer who combines operatic styles of singing with traditional mariachi, in an effort to expand on the genre. She enjoys experimenting with new rhythms, sounds and ideas, she says. Her musical inspirations include Debussy, Leonard Bernstein, Augustine Lara and Maria Grever.
Ulloa says she is heavily influenced by the few Mexican women songwriters who gained popularity in the 1930s — songwriters who preceded the wave of 1960s American counterparts such as Joni Mitchell. A favorite of Ulloa’s is Consuelo Vel·squez, whose songs are included in her repertoire.
“Female composers are one of the greatest gifts given to the musical world, because of the emotional intimacy many of them are able to export through songs,” says Ulloa.
During her performance, Ulloa tells vignettes between the historical songs that she covers.
For her Santa Monica performance, she will be backed by guitarist Juan Carlos Sorez and his mariachi quartet.
Appropriately enough for Valentine’s Day, Ulloa says her songs are for people in all stages of the love game, not just for those high on the initial stages of passion.
“I have a message for people on the cusp of a relationship, for lovers who have had enough of their relationships or for people in a ‘love me or leave me’ stage who need more commitment from their lovers,” says Ulloa.
Information, (310) 576-9996.
VALENTINE TEA EVENT — A Valentine’s tea tasting event, featuring a microcosm of exotic teas and flavors, celebrating India and its culinary and cultural influence, is planned from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, February 11th, at the Center for Living Meditation, 220 Pier Ave., Santa Monica. Tickets are $20 for general admission or $15 for students, seniors and Santa Monica residents.
In addition to the teas, the event will feature henna painting, tarot readings, Bollywood films and music, communal art making, interactive performances and installations and raffle prizes. Proceeds from the event will benefit the International Humanities Center, a group that organizes efforts in peace, social justice, women’s and children’s issues and animal rights.
The charity Valentine tea event event has been held for the past five years, but this is the first year the event has been open to the general public.
Information, (310) 699-7271.
ON THE WINGS OF LOVE — For those still in the mood for love, a day-after-Valentine’s Day variety show will be served up at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, February 15th, at the Warszawa Restaurant, 1414 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica. A donation is requested.
Entertainers include Jeffrey Van Der Byl and Marie Bergenholz performing some Shakespeare; Jaime Jouy singing love songs and paying homage to the James Taylor tune, “Valentine’s Day”; Paul Arnoldi playing folk music; John E. Farrell and friends presenting love-themed art work; Danny Moynahan performing eclectic love song alterations; Eric Vollmer recounting European escapades; Carmen Vega and Richard Ross presenting “poetry music”; and Silvia Spross presenting “Are We Not Men?” a Brent Spencer story.
Information, (310) 485-0334.
SENSUAL YOGA — An open house “pamper party” based on yoga instructor Robin Downes’s class, “Yoga Flava for Sensual Healing,” is scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, February 12th, at the Oakwood Clubhouse, 4119 Via Marina, Marina del Rey. Admission is free to the open house. In addition to the open house, Downes has planned a Valentine weekend of events focused on yoga, pilates, massage, skin care, and exotic dance centered on the Karma Sutra and Tantric traditions and views on sexuality.
Open house events will be centered on 15-minute sample lessons in Pilates, “Yoga Flava” and exotic dance for women.
Reservations, (213) 963-0456.
VALENTINE CRUISES — Romantic Valentine dinner dance and brunch cruises, organized by Hornblower Cruises, depart at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 11th; 11:30 a.m. Sunday, February 12th; and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 14th, from 13755 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey.
Tickets are $135 for the Saturday and Tuesday dinner cruises and $47 for the Sunday brunch cruise.
Information, (310) 301-6000.
NO WAITING VALENTINE — Matchmaker Karalee Austin is hosting an event for singles ages 40 to 55 who don’t want to remain that way by the time Valentine’s Day roles around. A No Waiting Dating “Speed Dating” singles mixer and matchmaking event is scheduled to begin at 10:10 a.m. Saturday, February 11th, at Il Fornaio, 1551 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. Participation is $39, which includes appetizers and introductions.
Reservations required, (818) 773-8333.
VALENTINE MURDER MYSTERY — A Valentine’s Day murder mystery dinner theater show, Sock Hop Reunion, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 14th, at the Harbor House Restaurant, 4211 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey. Tickets are $69, which includes dinner, tax and tip.
The show has a “1950s jitterbug, drive-in movies and prom king and queen” theme.
Information, (310) 399-1507.