This week in Vita.mn, I offer up both ideas for Valentine's flavored events and a mini gift guide.
My busy Valentine: A guide to events (via Vita.mn)
A guide to fun V-Day events - for couples and singles.
By Jahna Peloquin
These couple-friendly events this weekend should bring out the romance in you.
I [Heart] Art
Minneapolis Institute of Arts' Louvre-inspired "In Pursuit of a Masterpiece" makes for a perfect special event for artsy lovers. Watch Korean dance performances, learn about the art of monotype printing with William Blake's "Nebuchadnezzar," try your hand at refiguring Jasper Johns' "Figure 2" with charcoal, pencil and chalk, and make your own art-inspired Valentine. (11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Free. 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls. 612-870-3131.)
Valentine's Day Iron Pour
Here's an unusual idea: Franconia Sculpture Park hosts a hot metal iron pour with a romantic angle. (It's "hot," get it?) Bundle up with your sweetie and brave the cold to witness 10 nationally recognized metal sculptors cast their work in iron. We suggest bringing a thermos of cocoa -- or a flask of whiskey. (Noon-5 p.m. Sun., free. Franconia Sculpture Park.)
The closing reception for Rogue Buddha's love-themed art show "Till Death Do Us Part" doubles as a Valentine's Day party. The party is sort of like a live version of Missed Connections: Guests are encouraged to write cute messages on hearts made out of construction paper, and they'll be posted on the wall for all to see. With treats from Cake Eater Bakery, free drinks and love songs spun all night by Matt Perkins of Minnesota Public Radio. (7 p.m. Sun. Rogue Buddha Gallery.)
* "Moonshine Love: Valentine's Day Edition." Valentine's-themed specialty cocktails and drink specials. (5-11 p.m. Sun. Free. Prohibition Lounge, W Hotel.)
* Minnesota Zoo Love Tour: Offering a glimpse into the mating rituals of animals followed by dinner in Discovery Bay. (5:45-10 p.m. Sun. $175 per couple. Minnesota Zoo.)
Don't have a date for Valentine's? You just might meet someone special at these singles-friendly parties.
Punk Rock Dating Game
If your style is more "Punk Rock Love" than "Endless Love," Bedlam's Punk Rock Dating Game is the place to be. Anti-authoritarian bachelors and bachelorettes will be up for grabs, as will be live accordion music, beer, a photo booth and safe-sex supplies. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. After the game show, stick around for sets by Zombie Season and Sleeping in the Aviary. Need not be a punk to apply. (7-10 p.m. Fri. $5-$15 donation. Bedlam Theatre.)
St. Valentine's Funk 'N Fashion Show
Eat Street businesses eschew romance in favor of funk for a night of fashion, food and music. A fashion show from vintage shops the Lost and Found and B-Squad kicks off the night. DJ Rambo Salinas provides the funk soundtrack. Then head over to A25 at Azia for an after-party. (Fashion show 7 p.m. Thu. After-party 10 p.m. Thu. Free. The Lost and Found, 2524 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls. 612-886-1397.)
Sweet Hearts Staraoke Night
Arzu and crew host a special Saturday-night version of their popular karaoke night on the intimidating Triple Rock stage. Known for its comprehensive song library, Staraoke is sweetening the deal with cupcakes and other treats from Cake Eater Bakery. We're thinking power ballads and duets should be a theme. (10 p.m. Sat. $5. 21-plus. Triple Rock Social Club.)
* Valentine's: An MPLS.TV Premiere: Live music by Gospel Gossip and Elite Gymnastics; DJs Bach and Real Talk Radio; and a premiere screening of the new "MPLS.TV" episode. (8-11 p.m. Fri. $5. All ages. Suburban World Theatre.)
* Our Hearts Are Gold: A Valentine's Event: Music from electro indie-rockers Aaron & The Sea; DJs It's a Celebration, I Am the Break He Is the Beat and Plot Twist; and a dance performance by Dance Nineten. (9 p.m. Fri. Free. 1419, 1419 Washington Av. S., Mpls.)
Fashion: Go Live - Go Red (via Vita.mn)
In the first of its Go Live event series, happenin' St. Paul salon and gallery FiveTwoSix extends its usual art-meets-fashion-meets-music equation to also include charity. In nods to Valentine's Day and American Heart Month, the subject matter of the juried art show centers around matters of the heart, both romantic and anatomical. Also on display will be the winning designs from last weekend's Heart of Fashion show at the Mall of America, featuring red dresses by students from collegiate apparel design programs. The night's rounded out by live hair and makeup styling by FiveTwoSix stylists, hors d'oeuvres from Cheeky Monkey and CRAVE, wine from Solo Vino, and DJ Mike Swoop. Featured art will be for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going toward the American Heart Association. -Jahna Peloquin
(Behind the) Bohemian Scenes (via Vita.mn)
Ever wished you were alive to experience 19th-century bohemian Paris? Want to live the life of "Moulin Rouge" for a day? You'll have your wish with this event based on classic Italian opera "La Bohème." The evening includes 19th-century-inspired art from Jamie Dean, Ryan Nygard and Bethan Heemeyer; gypsy jazz from the Parisota Hot Club; and a handful of opera-inspired fashions from Blasphemina's Closet (with neo-Victorian jewelry by Bionic Unicorn). Adding an extra dose of authenticity, the stars of the Minnesota Opera's current production of "La Bohème" will be on hand for a salon-inspired Q&A. Dress up as your inner dandy, bohemian, lothario and vixen, and don't forget your absinthe flask. -Jahna Peloquin
'Hedda Gabler' at Southern Theater (via Vita.mn)
First published in 1890 by famed Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, "Hedda Gabler" has long been a standard bearer of 19th-century realism. The title protagonist is often called "the female Hamlet," and the conflicted character has been alternately portrayed as sympathetic, heroic and villainous. In this new interpretation by promising local director Genevieve Bennett, the dynamic Gabler reportedly traverses from darkly funny, to ruthlessly ambitious, to charismatic in the space of five minutes. Local favorite Annie Enneking, regularly lauded for her gritty performances, plays the lead. An opening night reception is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Red Stag Supperclub. -Jahna Peloquin
Valentine's mini gift guide (via Vita.mn)
Jewelry and other stylish accessories are a sure way to a girl's heart, especially when you shop locally.
By Jahna Peloquin
Karin Jacobson's felt heart jewelry
The local designer has launched a new mini-collection in honor of Valentine's Day. The limited-edition heart-shaped collection is made of laser-cut pink and red wool felt, making them cute and affordable. The earrings ($14 to $16) and cuff bracelets ($22) are available at www.superkarin.com.
Alexander McQueen's Lips scarf
Nothing says "I love you" like a piece by your sweetie's favorite designer. But since you probably can't afford couture, the next best thing is the all-new "Lips" scarf. The silk scarf offers a fun pop-art print to add a French twist to her wardrobe. ($315 at OPM, 3700 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-567-7399.)
Walker Gift Shop
The Walker Gift Shop is always a hit when it comes to jewelry shopping for the design-conscious. Local line silvercocoon is offering a selection of its architecturally inspired, Valentine-ready red and white plastic jewelry. Through Sunday, shoppers receive free gift packaging for in-store jewelry purchases, and members save 10 percent.
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