Single? Jaded? Rebellious? Pink hearts and sappy love songs aren’t for everyone, and avoiding them can be difficult in the month of February. Grab a friend and try some unconventional Valentine’s outings this year.
Rockage 6.0 (2/10–2/12)
There’s no love lost when it comes to video game rivalries. Challenge friends to a retro gaming showdown while enjoying live indie music and DJs spinning 8-bit tracks at AFKgg Gamer Lounge. Maybe the princess is in another castle this year, but that’s no reason to stop questing—go ahead and indulge in some nostalgia with old friends.
Gee’s Bend (2/10–2/19)
Instead of focusing on romantic relationships this Valentine’s Day, celebrate the power of great female friendships in this play based on the true stories of the Quilters of Gee’s Bend. It is a story about faith, determination, and the resilience of the human spirit, focusing on a single family in the community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, which is now famous for the beautiful quilts created by the women that grew up there.
Surrealist Cinema Film Series (2/10–3/31)
For those frustrated with reality this Valentine’s Day, perhaps an exploration of surrealism is in order. In conjunction with the exhibition The Conjured Life: The Legacy of Surrealism, the Cantor will be screening films on Friday afternoons. In this four-part film series, discover the rich tradition of Surrealist cinema, spanning from the movement’s origins in 1920s France through the 1980s and encompassing an eclectic mix of genres and styles—including experimental narrative, found footage, essay films, animation, and collage. Featured artists include Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dali, Luis Buñuel, Maya Deren, Jean Genet, Chris Marker, Samuel Beckett, and more.
Street Requiem (2/15)
Valentine’s Day can be very indulgent, so this might be a good time to contemplate the needs of those less fortunate instead. Composed in 2014 by Kathleen McGuire, Andy Payne, and Jonathon Welch, Street Requiem helps to bring a sense of peace, remembrance, and hope to communities struggling with homelessness, poverty, war, hate crime, and street violence. The work is neither secular nor religious, but is intended to be spiritual and includes English and African lyrics, as well as traditional Latin text. While at times deeply moving, the work is optimistic and uplifting, and employs gospel, Celtic, neo-Romantic, neo-Baroque, and contemporary compositional styles and instrumentation to reflect the multicultural and multi-faith traditions of modern city living. Ten percent of ticket sales will be donated to nonprofit organizations working with the homeless in San Jose and Santa Cruz.
If Valentine’s Day feels downright depressing this year, why not grab a beer and go straight to the master of tragedy himself: Shakespeare. Nothing says “Happy Valentine’s Day” quite like an evening with Hamlet and Ophelia, and ShakesBEERience’s production brings the Bard’s words to life in a casual and accessible setting.