Love Is In the Air -- And on the Calendar
Got love on the brain this month? You're not the only one. As anyone who's been in a CVS, Target or grocery store in the last few weeks well knows, Valentine's Day is just around the corner. If a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant isn't on your agenda for the next week, we have a few other suggestions for goings-on around town.
Anyone who was lucky enough to make a trip to Ziegfeld's before the nightclub closed in 2006 probably caught a show by the talented Ella Fitzgerald. With a husky voice and sparkly attire, the dame -- a self-described "female illusionist" -- ruled the cabaret. Ella and some of her performing friends bring their theatrical stylings to the National Theatre next Monday in a revue called "Call Me Madame." The show is free, but tickets are required. They'll be distributed 30 minutes prior to each performance time. Shows are at 6 and 7:30 p.m.
Spend today's lunch hour getting in the mood for amour as three poets read love poems in the Library of Congress's Mary Pickford Theater.
The name "Private Pleasures Valentine's Party" brings to mind something quite different than what the Textile Museum has in mind for Valentine's Eve. Partygoers get a chance to tour the soon-to-close exhibition "Private Pleasures," which showcases contemporary works from local collections, with the exhibit's curator. Like last year's soiree, visitors to the cozy museum can make textile valentines and enjoy guitar music, wine and light snacks. Tickets are $12, but a portion of that fee goes to the Whitman Walker Clinic.
iPod Jukebox, a monthly BYO iPod event at Saint Ex, gets into the holiday spirit on Wednesday with a love-song themed event. Bring your iPod to Saint Ex, sign up for a 12-minute DJ slot and fill up your playlist with tunes about love -- good or bad. Full disclosure: our own Fritz Hahn is one of the organizers, and biggest fans, of this particular event.
The Day Itself
Art-loving couples and singles alike have options for Valentine's evening. In the District, stop by the Archives of American Art (housed in the Reynolds Center) to see "A Thousand Kisses," an exhibition of love letters penned (and doodled upon) by artists. The exhibit's open until 7 p.m., so after leaving, I'd head across Ninth Street to Flashpoint for the opening of "Anima Mundi," an exhibit that features work by three artists about humans and their relationship to nature.
Across the river in Old Town, the Torpedo Factory hosts Heart Art, this month's edition of the Factory's regular Second Thursday Art Night. Expect flowers, candy, live music and the usual opportunities to check out the studios and galleries. "Kinetic Image," a new media exhibition in the Torpedo Factory's Target Gallery, celebrates its opening that night. Lovebirds in Old Town can also check out a performance by folk duo Siobhan Quinn and Michael Bowers at the Athenaeum.
Also on Feb. 14, the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse screens "The Princess Bride," simply one of the cutest '80s love flicks around. Wesley and Buttercup's amorous adventure is only one part of the evening, however. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for live music by Everyone but Pete and an optional wine tasting with the Washington Wine Academy. Stand-up comedian Jon Mumma takes the stage at 7:45 and the screening starts at 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $8 and include everything except the wine tasting, which is $1 for each ounce you taste.
A Twist on Traditional Dinner
The Rock and Roll Hotel seems like one of the most unlikely spots in D.C. for a romantic meal, but the venue has cooked up a pretty good idea for Valentine's Day. As part of Broke and in Love, the Hotel's offering couples a meal with goodies like citrus glazed salmon with key lime vinaigrette and a cheese plate, a bottle of champagne and a personal fondue pot. The cost for all of these offerings? Just $40 per couple, which is definitely cheaper than most of the prix-fixe Valentine's deals around town. For mood music, DJ Chris Price will be layin' down '80s love songs. "We're talking monster ballads. We're talking the soundtrack from 'Pretty in Pink," said owner Fritz Wood.
The 8 p.m. seating is already sold out and the 10 p.m. seating only had room for six more couples as of last night. Wood says that if enough people bug him at fritz (at) rockandrollhoteldc (dot) com, he'll open up a 6 p.m. seating as well.
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