10 Things to Do Around LA This Weekend: February 14-16, 2014

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PHILADANCO's "James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, A Celebration in Dance" will get your heart racing.

PHILADANCO's "James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, A Celebration in Dance" will get your heart racing.

I really dislike the commercialism of Valentine’s Day. That being said, I do love thoughtful gestures and spending time with those you love (friends or romantic partners) any day of the year. How about you forgo the flowers, box of chocolates and usual prix-fixe dinner out and spoil your Valentine by taking them someplace unexpected from the list below and/or shower your closest pals with affection by taking them out to one as well. They may not be your typical VD options, but smiles are guaranteed to abound.

Friday, February 14


An Evening with Bill Cosby @ The Pasadena Civic (Pasadena)

Ask anyone about their ideal traits in a mate, and sense of humor is probably high up on their list. Cry laughing with your beloved, basking in the greatness of this comedy legend. Long before he rocked the sweater vests on “The Cosby Show,” Bill Cosby had people dying over his stand-up routines and best-selling comedy albums, of which I have several. Take a stroll or grab a bite at Old Town or Paseo Colorado before the show, and make a night of it.


“Salon de Rouge” @ Ebanos Crossing (Downtown)

If you’re in the mood for something a little more risqué, then slip into the “Velvet Underworld” of the Lucent Dossier Experience’s intimate event at a Prohibition-era style venue in the heart of Downtown. “Salon de Rouge” promises choreographed vignette dancing, Lucent Sensual Stations, roaming interactive characters, specialty acts and much more throughout the evening that encourages you to let your passions run free. Your ticket comes with a complimentary drink, just in case you need some liquid courage to approach that cutie across the room or confess your secret desires to your Valentine’s date.


“James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, A Celebration in Dance” @ Ahmanson Theatre (Downtown)

There aren’t many things more sensual than soul music. Add marvelously toned professional dancers performing brilliant choreography on stage, and you have an absolutely wonderful way to spend Valentine’s. Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center unveils a new show (running through Sunday) with original routines from choreographers hailing from Burkina Faso, Vietnam, the United States and the United Kingdom set to music from the Godfather of Soul, as well as contemporary compositions. The pieces, performed by the Philadelphia Dance Company, also celebrate the rich history of the Apollo Theater.


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind @ The Cinefamily (Mid-City West)

Cap your Valentine’s Day off with a midnight screening of one of my favorite movies of all time. Have you ever had a relationship that cause you so much anguish that you wish you could just erase it entirely from your mind? Michel Gondry’s beautiful film, which combines science-fiction, romance and psychologically thriller, explores this notion. With an Academy Award-winning screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and fabulous performances from Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Wood, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is just… beyond words. Celebrate the film’s 10th anniversary with someone you love (and hopefully don’t want to ever forget).

Saturday, February 15


Create:Fixate’s I Art You @ Lot 613 (Downtown)

Spend the night surrounded by stunning art from over 40 emerging artists, designers, DJs and musicians at Create: Fixate’s Valentine’s-themed event. There is an “I Art You” letter writing station where you can write a some heartfelt words to ones you love. Just remember to bring their addresses because Create:Fixate is providing the stamps. If you’re in the market to meet someone special, Matching Up is sponsoring a Singles Mixer from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with several fun activities planned. There are plenty of works for you and your new friend to admire, including pieces from Cary Sullivan, Patrick Haemmerlein, Shana Koenig and Liz Huston, while KCRW’s Mario Cotto sets aural atmosphere.


Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán @ City National Grove of Anaheim (Anaheim)

The sounds of mariachi music can be incredibly comforting to anyone who grew up surrounded by Mexican culture in Southern California. But you don’t have to be a huge Mexican folk music fan to be awed by the violins, trumpets, guitar, guitarrón, vihuela and harp of the 13 members of Vargas de Tecalitlán. The group, created in 1897 by Gaspar Vargas, has been led by classical violinist, composer and former performer with the troupe Rubén Fuentes for over 60 years. Needless to say, the band of musicians takes any notion you might have of your average mariachi ensemble performing at a Mexican restaurant’s Sunday brunch up about a thousand levels.


“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” @ Mark Taper Forum (Downtown)

Tickle your sweetie’s funny bone at this 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Play, directed by “Frasier”‘s David Hyde Pierce. Written by Christopher Durang, the play centers around three siblings – all named after characters from Anton Chekhov plays – and a 20-something wannabe actor named Spike. With a stellar cast, including two members of the New York cast who were both nominated for Tonys (Kristine Nielsen and Shalita Grant), Christine Ebersole, Mark Blum and David Hull, the production is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.

Sunday, February 16


Beats Bistro L.A. Soul @ The Troubadour (West Hollywood)

Oh, how I love it when good music and food are combined in one event. Henry Lawrence Presents Beats Bistro is a new way to explore the different cultures of Los Angeles through live performances and great food. This installment has a soul theme with food from Chef Alisa Reynolds of My Two Cents and music from Rozzi Crane (who is signed to Adam Levine’s 222 Records), Medusa and Anderson .Paak.


Finger Lickin’ @ Shrine Expo Hall (South Los Angeles)

Perhaps you’ve consumed one too many chocolates over the past couple of days, or maybe you just need to blow off some steam on the dance floor. Whatever the case, LED and Goldenvoice’s new party provides the perfect way to work up a sweat on the dancefloor. Dirty Dutch pioneer Chuckie, the brothers of Showtek, punk-dance heroes Pegboard Nerds, San Diego’s Beatport chart topper TJR and Turkish tech-trance pioneer Ummet Ozcan are going to be busting out the beats for you all night long.


The Harlem Globetrotters @ Staples Center (Downtown)

Wrap up the weekend of love with a heart-pumping Harlem Globetrotters experience. Marvel at their gravity-defying dunks, crazy ball-handling skills and hilarious antics and interactions with the crowd. There is a show at 12:30 p.m. and another at 5:45 p.m., so you have two chances to participate in the fun with these gifted athletes and performers from all across the nation. Just be on your toes the entire time, because you never know when a ball could be thrown your way.

Yuri Shimoda is a Staff Reporter for lol-la.com, covering entertainment, culture and lifestyle.
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