It’s a Valentine’s Day Saturday night/weekend. and there’s no shortage of events to help you defy the ordinary with your loved one(s). Downtown Tampa will be the hub of this weekend's best V-Day events. On Franklin Street you'll find both the immersive, deluxe multi-genre event Much Ado at the Rialto Theatre Feb. 13-14 and Heartbreak Hotel feat. Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman at Tampa Theatre on Feb 14.
The Bay Area Renaissance Festival will kick of some good olde times with its Wine and Chocolate Weekend and much more (detailed below with assistance from CL staff writers, Megan Voeller and interns Amanda Riehm, Seth Peterson and Emma Sims).
So don’t just default to being herded to and fro at the noisy Knight Parade in Ybor or the State Fair. There are better ways to celebrate love than to be elbowed in the face by a drunken passerby or, worse yet, puked on.
Art Strolls How fortunate for us that Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend when monthly events tailor-made for romantic strolling are taking place. Visit Central Avenue and the Warehouse Arts District’s trolley tour in St. Pete, the 2nd Friday Wine/Art Walk in Dunedin or Gulfport’s outdoor bazaar on Beach Boulevard. Visit artsstpete.org, 2ndfridaydunedin.com and gulfportma.com for more information.
Black Lives Matter 2 A very special and prominent Valentine's Day ArtWalk Exhibit will prompt you to take an in depth look into the eyes and events of those people who pioneered the efforts in St. Petersburg to show that Black Lives Matter, as seen through the lens of the acclaimed photographer Rossi Newson. The historical and moving pieces will be accompanied by Dynamic Musical sounds of Ms Deneen Wyman, and enamored by the Spoken Poetic Lyrics of Wally B Jennings and Phil Scott. Celebrating Valentine's Day in a profound way, the night will be a joyous recognition of arts, love and culture. Feb 14, 5 p.m. Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S., St. Petersburg. woodsonmuseum.org.
The Black Heart Valentine Show An evening packed with “songs of murder, wanton lust and revenge” as staged by a few Tallahassee outfits – folk-blues purveyors Sarah Mac Band and cheeky Americana rocker Grant Peeples and the Peeples Republik – and joined by special guest multi-instrumentalist Gurf Morlix. Sat., Feb. 14, The Hideaway Cafe and Recording Studio, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-644-7895.
Femmes & Follies: Valentine's Blues A burlesque odyssey of love and lust. Sun., Feb. 15, 7 p.m., 1507 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City; $10; seated general admission is $20; VIP tables available; click here for Facebook page.
ARTicles Art Gallery The Edge District gallery presents the exhibition Wading In: painterly realism by Robert J. Simone in conjunction with its 10th Anniversary Celebration and St Petersburg’s monthly 2nd Saturday ArtWalk Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. A highly skilled representational painter, Simone’s paintings are imbued with an appreciation of the extraordinary beauty of nature. He has an artistic vision all his own, referring to his style as “painterly realism”. 1445 Central Ave., St Pete, 727-898-6061, articlesstpete.com.
Le Cirque De L'Amour Experience an intimate and exotic night out at NOVA 535 in downtown St. Pete . Described as a "decadent evening of high class adult (18 and older) variety entertainment," the soiree offers fancy desserts and provocative circus and Vaudeville arts. Talent includes burlesque maven/hostess Franki Markstone (pictured); Mayven Missbehavin', a "fiery and feisty songstress"; magician Gypsy Allure; Aaron Bonk, the master of whips and all things dangerous;
Miss Margie and Sir Rick, an acrobatic dance duo; Jenna Beth, burlesque performer, and The Lady Satine, pole artist. 8 p.m.-midnight, Fri., Feb. 13, $25 in advance, $35 at the door. 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr St. N., St. Petersburg. Purchase tickets here.
Comedy Night with Ward Smith and Catherine Maloney The comics entertain lovebirds and lonely hearts on Valentine’s Day at this free show. Expect plenty of adult premises and naughty jokes from these experienced comedians. Sat., Feb. 14, 9-10:30 p.m. Finley’s Irish Pub, 13477 Belcher Road S., Largo. 727-535-7858. finelysirishpub.com.
The Florida Orchestra: The Nat King Cole Songbook Nothing says romance like the velvety croon of the late-great Nat King Cole. Jeff Tyzik conducts, leading jazz vocalist Denzal Sinclaire (pictured, left) in a vocals and piano reworking of Cole’s songbook. Expect to hear “Mona Lisa,” “When I Fall in Love,” “Smile,” “Route 66” and several other gems. Sat., Feb. 14, at 2 and 8 p.m., at the Mahaffey; Sat., Feb. 14; Sun., Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Ruth Eckerd Hall. floridaorchestra.org.
Make Your Own Folk Art Valentine Lecture and Workshop with Missionary Mary Proctor Tallahassee-area folk artist Missionary Mary Proctor (missionarymary.com) is widely known and beloved for her handcrafted paintings and sculptures, which transform everyday cast-offs such as bottle caps, paint brushes and old records into inspirational signs of faith and feeling. For $45 apiece, participants can create their own mixed media artwork from found materials under Proctor’s tutelage. Her distinctive aesthetic has landed her in collections including the Smithsonian and St. Pete’s MFA. The event is part of a series celebrating the 20th anniversary of Creative Clay, which seeks to make art accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities, people in healthcare environments, veterans and children. The gallery will also be showing Buffalo Soldiers at the Feb. 14 Artwalk from 5 to 9 p.m. Sat., Feb. 14, 2-4 p.m., tickets: $45 (advance registration required at creativeclay.org/shop/missionary-mary-valentine-workshop), 1114 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, 727-825-0515, creativeclay.org. (Text by Megan Voeller)
The Muse: 7th Annual Living Breathing Canvas Art & Body Art Exhibition The Artpool Gallery will once again celebrate love, sex, and the the body with a runway show and Valentine-inspired artwork showcase. See male and female models painted head to toe in exotic designs. As an additional teaser, Artpool boasts many “special surprises” to take place on the main stage at 10 p.m. No matter what, it’s sure to be a sexy show. Feb 14, 8 p.m.-midnight. ArtPool, 2030 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-324-3878. artpoolrules.com.
Over the Top: Glass Blowing Exhibit and Demo Seattle glass artists Nancy Callan and Jason Christian will be performing a live glassblowing demonstration at the Duncan McClellan Gallery this Valentine's Day, sure to wow any audience as well as shed light on the process to create such pieces as the beautiful "Aurora Cloud", pictured right. The demo and the exhibit will make you melt with wonder. Feb 14, 5 p.m., Duncan McClellan Gallery, 550 24th St. S., St. Petersburg. dmglass.com.
Romantic Pas De Deux Tampa Ballet Theatre will be showcasing its first ever Romantic Pas De Deux performance this Valentine's Day to celebrate some of the best love stories in ballet, such as Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote and Swan Lake. Chocolate fondue, hors d'oeuvres and a romantic setting will sweep Valentines off their feet while classical performances set hearts a'swoon. Feb. 15, 3 p.m. 2720 Dupont Circle, Tampa. tampaballettheatre.wordpress.com.
Speak equaLOVE Following the final performance of Much Ado on Valentine’s Day (see Do This for more info), Avant Guardian is partnering with EquaLove to host a reception celebrating marriage equality finally reaching Florida. Admission is $10 (benefiting EquaLove) or free with a ticket to Much Ado. While there, enjoy choreography by Jason Herrington, visual art curated by Laura Spencer and George Retkes, and photography and cinematography by Rion Sabean and Rusty Gillespie. Una Voce, the Florida Men’s Chorale, will also perform. Participating artists include Chad Mize, John Suarez, Zulu Painter, Carrie Jadus, Thomas Ris, Rion Sabean, Laura Spencer, John Taormina and several others. 9:30 p.m., Feb. 14, Rialto Theatre, downtown Tampa. avant-guardian.org.
SteamPunk Valentine’s Day Party Live sculpture and festivities offer a strikingly different Valentine’s experience. Feb. 14, 7-11 p.m. Wandering Eye Art Gallery, 1600 E. Eight Ave. E109, Tampa. 813-922-8278. facebook.com/wanderingeyegallery.
A Sweet Surprise of Lance Rodgers Fine Art It’s one thing to get chocolates, roses, and heart-shaped boxes on Cupid’s holiday, but fine art is a gift that lasts forever. Start your collection or add to an existing one with Lance Rodgers’ candy-themed originals. Available at ARTicles Art Gallery and Custom Framing during their 10 year anniversary party this Sat., Feb. 14, from 6-9 p.m. during the art walk. Pictured “Study In Cherries” available as an 8-by-6-inch print. articlesstpete.com.
Too Smooth Presents: My Gospel Valentine Attend a Christian comedy show and concert for the whole family. Starring the world-renowned entertainer and singer Shirley Murdock, performing her hit songs live. $20, $25, $30. Sun., Feb. 15, 7 p.m. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. 727-822-3590. mypalladium.org.
Valentines Day Pop-Up Market at the Independent St. Pete vendors invade a favorite Tampa mainstay, offering handmade and nifty items for last-minute gift-buyers. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 14. Independent Bar & Cafe, 5016 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, independentbartampa.com.
The [email protected] Presents Love Letters A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, A.R. Gurney’s uniquely love-themed memory piece will be presented in celebration of Valentine’s Day by ArtsFusion. It stars two superb theater vets: Michael DuMouchel and Midge Mamatas (pictured); directed by Anna Brennen. $15. Sat., Feb. 14, 7-8:45 p.m.; Mon., Feb. 16, 7-8:45 p.m. The [email protected], 620 First Ave. S., St Petersburg. 727.895.6620. studio620.org.
Sunset Fest on West Corey Join the community of St. Pete Beach for its first monthly Sunset Fest on Feb. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Sunset Park Enjoy what should be a beautiful sunset, live music and some of the best food on the beach. 73rd Ave and Sunset Way, St. Pete Beach, spbrec.com .
Valen-tails Open House Friends of Strays Animal Shelter plays owner-pet cupid on Saturday with a photo booth for shots of you and your pet (which you’re welcome to bring from home), $20 discounted adoption fee for select cats, vet techs answering questions and cute furry ones galore ready for a new home. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Feb. 14. 2911 47th Ave. N, St. Petersburg, friendsofstrays.com.
Valentine's Day Massacre Speakeasy Don your best vintage attire and join Southern Brewing for another backroom Speakeasy this Valentine's Day. Once again the back room will be transformed into a speakeasy with dancing and live gypsy/vintage jazz from Fil Pate. The brewery will be releasing an assortment of Moonraker treatments at the back bar. 1930s attire strongly encouraged; 18 and older admitted. Sat., Feb. 14, 6-11 p.m. Southern Brewing & Winemaking, 4500 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa. southernbrewingwinemaking.com.
Valentines at the Sugar Shack with Damon Fowler The tension between his measured, laid-back vocal delivery and the hallmark intensity of his guitar virtuosity has never been keener, and the stories told in his songwriting — sometimes in collaboration with long-time writing partner Ed Wright and Benoit — exhibit a combination of depth, grace and humor very few of his contemporaries can match. (Text provided by Leilani Polk) Fri., Feb. 13, 8 p.m. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N., 727-822-3590, 15 advance, $20 day of show, $30 reserved seating. mypalladium.org.