Philly shows for Valentine’s Day lovers and haters

A previous year's 'Ex Files' StorySlam raconteur. (Photo by Jen Cleary.)

Maybe it feels like you just got through admiring the diamond rings of everyone who got engaged over the holidays. But Valentine’s Day is almost here, and you do have options.

‘RetroLove’

What was love like before swiping right? World Café Live wants to remind us with RetroLove, “an all-original evening of poetry, songs, stories and jazz that capture sweet and sexy reminiscences of relationships before the Internet.”

RetroLove was originally conceived and developed by poet and performer Beth Feldman Brandt, with music from Philly’s jazz-guitar star Monnette Sudler and the voice of Barrymore Award-winner Joilet Harris. It was commissioned by the Philadelphia Jazz Project and premiered in summer 2016.

The show is returning in time for Valentine’s Day 2017, with a special performance downstairs at World Café Live on Sunday, February 12 at 5pm (doors at 4pm). Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show.

Share your secrets (maybe)

Need to get something off your chest? Tongue & Groove’s Valentine’s-themed show, Secrets of the Heart: Lusted, Busted or Trusted follows the troupe's formula of improvised scenes based on prompts that the audience anonymously submits before the show. For this performance, the ensemble asks for “secrets about love, lust, heartbreak, kinkiness, longing [and] infatuation.” And don’t worry (or worry if you want) — the Tongue & Groove ensemble’s experience with “physically intimate unscripted theater” means audience members don’t need to hold back on the material.

The show welcomes anyone “celebrating Valentine’s Day, or railing against it,” as long as you’re 15 or older. It’s for couples, singles, poly folks, and people of all sexual orientations. The venue is BYOB, so wine and chocolates are encouraged. Lusted, Busted or Trusted is coming up at the Playground at the Adrienne on Friday, February 10, at 8pm. Tickets are $15 in advance online and $18 at the door, with discounts for groups and people under 25 years old (best to get your tickets for this one ASAP).

The "Ex-Files" returns

First Person Arts (FPA) has its own popular Valentine’s Day tradition: the “Ex-Files” StorySlam is coming back for its seventh year and appearing for the first time at Punch Line Philly.

Love isn’t a fairy tale, but it does make for some of the best real-world stories. “No matter where we come from, we can all relate to the tale of the awful blind date, the relationship your friends will never let you live down, or the one who got away,” says FPA executive director Jamie J. Brunson.

Performers will bring their best true-life stories about love and its aftermath — sweet, sad, funny, or bizarre — and the winning storyteller gets a $100 prize and a slot in FPA’s 2017 Grand Slam this November. Writer and veteran FPA storyteller Chris Lundy hosts.

Previous "Ex-Files" slams have proven so popular that this year, FPA is adding a show. This “Anti-Valentine’s Day” StorySlam is coming to Punch Line Philly on the big day itself, Tuesday February 14, with a show at 7pm and another at 9:30pm. Tickets are $14 ($10 for FPA members).