Flowers are fine and candy is dandy, but why not choose an artful experience as the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift? This weekend, Vashon venues are pulling out all the stops for lovebirds of all stripes — the hopeful, the heartbroken, the cynical, and even the happily single. Take your pick, or choose a two- or three-pack of the amatory coming attractions.
“The Birdcage,” starring Robin Williams
This 1996 film, with a brilliantly comedic performance by the late, great Robin Williams, is the latest in an ongoing Queer Film Series, presented in connection with Vashon Heritage Museum’s exhibit, “In and Out: Being LGBTQ on Vashon.”
An adaptation of the French farce, “La Cage aux Folles,” the film tells the story of a meeting of two future in-laws — an ultraconservative Republican senator (Gene Hackman) and a flamboyantly gay drag club owner in Miami (Williams). If only culture wars could be so funny (and stylish) in real life, and have such happy endings. See it at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at the Senior Center on Bank Road.
Best of Seattle Comedy Competition
Admit it, love has made you do some pretty funny things. So what better way to celebrate V-day than to yuk it up at a multi-act comedy show, hosted by Seattle’s Claire Webber (hooray for hilarious women!) and headlined by Vashon audience favorite Drew Dunn, who won the Seattle International Comedy Competition in 2018.
Check out his material at drewdunncomedy.com. See the show at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb 14, at Vashon Theatre. Buy tickets $25, at vashontheatre.com.
David Armstrong’s Broadway Nation Live Presents: In The Mood for Love
Is there anything more hopelessly romantic than a Broadway love song? Absolutely not. But did you know that some of the best of them were written by women? David Armstrong, artistic director emeritus of The 5th Avenue Theatre, will share the fascinating stories and timeless musical creations of top lyricists and composers such as Dorothy Fields, Carolynn Leigh, Betty Comden, Janine Tesouri, Lucy Simon, Cindi Lauper and others. The show features special guest Albert Evans, and musical performances by stars of The 5th Avenue Theatre including Billie Wildrick, Lisa Estridge and James Rocco.
The show will bow at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 at Vashon Center for the Arts, and $35 premium tickets will get you and your date a candle-lit table on the wings of the Katherine L White Hall, complete with libations from Nashi Orchard and gourmet chocolate. Regular tickets range from $15 to $25; buy them in advance at vashoncenterforthearts.org.
Love Me or Leave Me – Letters of longing, loving and leaving
Sink into the quiet, voyeuristic pleasure of listening to the private love letters of Mark Twain, Frido Kahlo, Charles Bukowski, George Carlin, Virginia Wolf and Napoleon Bonaparte, among others, read aloud by a talented cast of actors. This evening of theater, offered up by Letters Aloud, promises revelations ranging from “the romantically sublime to the pathetically ridiculous,” with true-life celebrity missives chronicling everything from “awkward courtships to horrible breakups to loves of lifetimes and lifetimes of love.”
Vashon actors will include a bunch of local sweethearts: Bruce Morser, Anthony Winkler, Amy Broomhall, Martha Enson, Kevin Joyce, Maria Glanz, Mik Kuhlman and Darragh Kennan. The show will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Vashon Center for the Arts. Tickets range in price from $10 to $20; buy them in advance at vashoncenterforthearts.org.
The Bolshoi Ballet dances “Giselle” on the big screen
Do you know the story of this ballet? It’s amazing! It’s about Giselle, a young peasant girl who dies of a broken heart after she is betrayed by Albrecht, the man she loves. But wait, there’s more. In the afterlife, Giselle joins forces with a group of whirling, malevolent spirits who were all jilted brides back on earth. Together, they exact some pretty sweet revenge on that jerk Albrecht, condemning him to dance until he dies of exhaustion.
Best of all is the ballet’s run-time: 150 minutes, because really, who couldn’t watch the Bolshoi Ballet dancing this stuff forever? The film rolls at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, at Vashon Theatre. Tickets $14 to $15, at the door or in advance at vashontheatre.com.