Recently Salon.Huffington/Slate-Gawker.Jezebel ran a piece claiming that the average Valentine’s day celebration costs upwards of $400 dollars. (XoJane was too busy live blogging a pill-popper’s death rattle, out fat-accepting Nomi Lamm and posting dispatches from asexuals who promote egregious footnote abuse to weigh in.)
To me such extravagance feels smarmy and overwhelming although I did just start Netflixing Gossip Girl for the first time and watching Blake Lively flit around the upper east side being hoarse and vaguely Grecian is enough to make Gandhi sneak out to buy a pair of Tori Burch flats. And I’m no Gandhi. (God, I say that all the time!)
Really though, the point of Valentines Day is not profligacy, the holiday’s purpose is much more exceptional, far more significant: Valentine’s Day’s sacred function is to allow me to buy as much glittery pink heart adorned clothing and jewelry as possible. Also to provide me with a blog topic and here we go.
Sure it’s Valentine’s Day but that doesn’t mean you have to go the expected route, reserving a table at Blackbird and burying your significant other under mounds of Margie’s Candies. Instead I’ve made you a list of personalized alternatives.
Valentine’s Day Roundup (Off the Beaten Path Edition)
1. If you grew up wanting to star in (insert one) The Red Shoes/Save the Last Dance/Saturday Night Fever: This weekend River North Dance Chicago’s Harris Theater engagement offers two world premieres, "The Good Goodbyes" featuring choreography by RNDC Artistic Director Frank Chaves as well as the first U.S. commission by Italian choreographer and Artistic Director for Spellbound Dance Company, Mauro Astolfi, entitled "Contact-Me."
River North Dance Company member Lauren Kias says this weekend’s premieres are “based around love and passion.” Specifically, “Good Goodbyes” she says “is a warm and cheerful piece celebrating relationships we have with very special people in our lives. Sultry and romantic pieces by Sidra Bell and Frank Chaves, a comedic scat driven solo by Robert Battle and a intense suite of tangos choreographed by Ruben and Sabrina Veliz round out the six piece Valentines day performance.”
Visit rivernorthchicago.com to learn more.
Photo by Nathan Fry
2. If you’re Joel Grey: On February 14th Letters/X presents a perfect (anti-)Valentine’s Day treat! The cabaret-style show is packed with monologues and songs developed from actual letters, emails, text messages, Facebook posts, Tweets sent by real people (as opposed to robots or leprechauns I’m guessing.) The show’s creator/composer Anthony Roberts says “there are many ways a submission can lead to a song for the show. Often, there's a particular emotional phrase that resonates or leads in a rhythmic or melodic direction. This year's show has a song that starts off with the line, "I don't really want to be your friend on Facebook," based on a story from an audience member about an ex-girlfriend who "poked" him on Facebook.”
Visit lettersx.com for tickets.
3. If you love only yourself: David Barton Gym is offering Chicagoans “Crush,” a complimentary workout open to members and non-members on February 14th. Indulge in Valentine's Day chocolates and decadent dinner dates without the guilt – or weight gain – and show off your newly toned body in your latest lingerie. (I'm talking to you, Rahm Emanuell!) An hour-long workout class designed to target all your muscle groups with heavy weights and multiple sets, the class also includes active recovery segments.
Learn more at davidbartongym.com
4. If you’re way classier than I am: The Chicago Showcase Series presents A Night at the Met Part 2 featuring operatic love duets and arias. The show starts at 7 p.m. on February 14th and features Victoria Holland, soprano, William Bennett, tenor and Saori Chiba & Paul Dykstra, pianists. If you’re not only refined but cheap, you’ll be glad to know the event, held at Chestnut Square at The Glen (2601 Chestnut Ave. Glenview, IL 60026) is free!
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for a number of web sites and print publications. Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," (Soft Skull press) is available for pre-order here. She is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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