Out There is a sporadically recurring list of recommended arts events that may not otherwise be on our readers’ radar. Enjoy.
Does somebody love you? Congratulations. Do you love somebody? Lucky you. Do you love yourself? Salud. Regardless, Valentine’s Week is upon us, and unless you’re enticed by the typical Lady-and-Tramp spaghetti-strand-sharing scenario the holiday promotes, you’re going to have to make other, more adventurous plans. Here’s a list of possibilities (with links included) to tickle various fancies. Take your pick.
Pwrhaus Visual Album Release
If you’re looking for some tantric, transcendental foreplay, you may want to catch a Pwrhaus concert. Even the names of bands you could compare their sound to—Flaming Lips, Love and Rockets—are already enough to kindle some lust. What’s more, their newest release of slow, whispery, synth-rich love songs is paired with a set of epic videos wherein an interplanetary wanderer encounters strange species of wild women.*
Cabaret Boris & Natasha
Iconic contemporary dancer Linda Austin of PerformanceWorks Northwest has an at-least-15-year annual tradition of presenting “some of the most inventive performing artists from the region” under playful branding borrowed from Rocky and Bullwinkle villains. While you never know exactly what to expect, one perennial favorite act is The Boris & Natasha Dancers, an “ever-revolving gang of untrained male dancers.” Meow! Or maybe, rather, ruff.
Oh F-ck, Oh Sh-t, It’s Love
Some Valentines make you want to swear undying devotion. Others just make you want to swear. This pared-down remount of a raucous musical rom-com written and directed by Sam “Spectravagasm” Dinkowitz dispenses with all the “pesky exposition” of the original and just lays into the songbook, with sleeper hits like “First Date,” “Platonic,” and the oh-so-subtle “P in the V.” Not recommended for virgin ears. Highly recommended for bawdy guffaws.
Readers Theatre Repertory’s Missed Connections and Other Love Stories
Pondering the one that got, or almost got, away? RTR invites “hopeless romantics and jaded cynics” alike to a night of three love stories: Sure Thing by David Ives, Sex with a Mathematician by Peter Barry, and Defusion by Brooke Berman.“Valentine’s Day is a polarizing holiday,” says director Wendy Wilcox. “It comes with tons of baggage and expectations. That’s what I enjoy about these three plays: all the characters walk into their courtships having created an idealized happy ending; they’ve planned out the romance before it’s even happened. But then there’s the carpet pull, when expectations and reality collide. That’s where the real fun begins.” Or where the drama begins, anyway.
Miz Kitty’s Parlour: February Fling
Whether or not you’re feeling amoré, this show should stoke your general joie de vivre. Back in The Mission Theater for the first time in a while, and kicking off an impressive 15th season, vaudeville hostess Lisa Marsicek, aka Miz Kitty, will shake her signature tailfeathers to house band Weimar Dive Bar and likely play a few rounds of her favorite game, audience dress-up. Other attractions include retro jazz combo Trashcan Joe, music/animation duo The Crankie Show, blues singer Lauren Sheehan , singer/songwriter Malachi Graham, and self-effacing-yet-crowd-wowing juggler Charlie Brown.
Wanderlust Circus and Papermoon Cabaret Present: Love Letters
In Wanderlust’s impossibly suave and showy world, even poignant love stories must be punctuated with circus and/or burlesque performances. Here, the through-line is a wistful love letter collector and blogger, played by Layne Fawkes, who wonders,”Is love the sublime force that holds the universe together, or are we just fooling ourselves?” To the music of old-timey trio The Libertine Belles, a cavalcade of lithe acrobats and flirtatious mavens will each answer that question in their own way.
Take the night off. Preen, prowl, stretch, shave, scheme, dream, break up, beg, or eagerly anticipate.
Pulp Love Stories
While the average couple are sitting around clinking their wineglasses and exchanging clichéd compliments, why not enjoy some juicier fare? The Pulp Stage presents a set of…vignettes? …or readings? written by Alex Dremann, Robin Pond, Isaac Rathbone, Shane Halbach and Matt Haynes and performed by a small cast of actors. Pulp’s specialties are sci-fi, fantasy and suspense, but in honor of the holiday, they’ll throw some “sexy, silly, and sweet” bits into the mix.
*Full disclosure: The author assisted on one of the featured Pwrhaus video shoots. However, the author believes this project earns a mention on its own merits.