With the possible exceptions of New Year’s Eve and Mother’s Day brunch, no other holiday combines high expectations with the even higher probability of your best-laid plans going absolutely pear-shaped quite like Valentine’s Day. So whether you’re angsty for something other than flowers and candy or if you want to hit it out of the park with flowers, candy and the unexpected, check out our Valentine’s Day recommendations.
Why are these in the Food section? Because it’s unexpected. And, admittedly, most of these have a food or drink component.
Mortified Chicago presents Valentine Shmalentine, Mayne Stage
February 13, 6:30pm. (Doors open at 6pm.); 9:30 p.m. show sold out. Ages 18+
Chances are, you probably still have your teenage diary buried somewhere, hoping that it never sees the light of day. Mortified provides “personal redemption through public humiliation” in a forum where everyday people share their most embarrassing entries. Aloud. In front of a live audience. Mayne Stage will be offering Valentine’s Day specialty drinks with “names only a teenager could love (and only an adult could drink).” A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Night Ministry and the School of Rock Scholarship Fund. Visit Mayne Stage to purchase tickets. Mayne Stage is located at 1328 W. Morse.
My Bloody CLLAW-Entine, Logan Square Auditorium
February 13, 9:30pm. (Doors open at 9pm.)
The Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW) has everything for you this Valentine’s Day: the biggest, baddest lady-identified arm wrestlers; She’s Crafty, an all-female Beastie Boys tribute band; and a cash bar. You also have a chance at a raffle to win a date with a CLLAW wrestler, complete with ringside table, candles and dessert! Tickets are $10 in advance at www.cllaw.org or $15 at the door (cash/credit accepted at the door). All proceeds will benefit Sideshow Theatre Company and this match’s community partner The Chicago Human Rhythm Project. Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie.
Double Feature: Smut! and Will You Accept This Rose, Under the Gun Theater
February 14, 6pm. and 7:30pm.
In SMUT!, romance novel book club reviews are the inspiration for this improvised show featuring a “steamy but academic presentation” led by a SMUT! ensemble member, followed by an improvised performance by other ensemble members based on that presentation. The second-half of the double feature is Will You Accept This Rose, an improvised parody of TV’s “The Bachelor,” combining the structure of the TV show, elements of your own love life, and a special guest appearance by Ed Swiderski. (If you have to ask, you’re not a fan of “The Bachelorette.”) See both shows for $20, which includes a drink ticket. Tickets for individual shows are $12. Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport.
Cupid Has a Heart On … in Bed!, Stage 773
February 13, 8pm and 10:30pm.
The Cupid Players of Stage 773 offer a “hilarious, irreverent and raunchy good time” with Cupid Has a Heart On, the longest running musical comedy in Chicago. For those who appreciate an even more adult time, there is a special 10:30pm performance of the cast’s most risqué, sex-positive musical numbers. Tickets for the 8pm show are $30/person or $50/couple. Tickets for the 10:30pm show are $15. Included with the tickets for each show are a champagne toast and Valentine’s Day goodie bag. Visit stage773.com/Cupid for more info. Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont.
Love on the Rocks, Cave of the Mounds (Blue Mounds, Wis.)
February 13, 5 to 8pm.
Looking to get away from it all with your sweetie? Consider driving across the border to Cave of the Mounds in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, for their “Love on the Rocks” cave tour for two. Tickets include a souvenir photo, red rose, sweet treats and romantic live music along the underground trails, champagne toast in the North Cave, and an hors d’oeuvre reception at the visitor center. A cash bar is also available. Tickets are $63.30/couple. Reservations are required and can made be made online. Blue Mounds is in Dane County, near Madison.
Heart & Soul Brunch featuring Windy City Soul Club, Parts and Labor
February 14, 12 to 4pm
Join the DJ crew from Windy City Soul Club at Parts and Labor for the Heart & Soul Brunch. Whether you’re flying solo or taking your sweetie, you’ll enjoy ‘60s and ‘70s up-tempo northern soul music, drink specials (including $5 “Pom-mosas” and “PBR beer-mosas”), as well as griddle burgers, fried egg and bacon sandwiches, and Parts and Labor’s other vegetarian and vegan options. More info is available online. Parts and Labor is located at 2700 N. Milwaukee.
TILT Your Heart Out, John Hancock Building
February 1-29; 9 to 11pm. (last entry at 10:30pm)
This event takes place over the entire month of February at 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck in the John Hancock building. For $34, you’ll receive admission to 360 CHICAGO, a glass of champagne, a ride on TILT (the country’s highest moving attraction), and a commemorative photo. Purchase tickets online at 360CHICAGO.com or in-person at the observation deck. John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net