by STEPHANIE POWERS
Art, dance and music alternatives to traditional Hallmark holiday rituals.
Even if you’re in a relationship, Valentine’s Day can be an overrated pain-in-the-rear holiday. Expectations are high and restaurants are packed. If you’re not in a relationship, the rose-filled day makes you feel a little less than.
We got your back, boo. Here’s a list of things to do that you don’t need a date or a reservation two months in advance for. Go ahead and spend the money you would have spent on a Whitman’s sampler on a beverage for yourself instead. You deserve it.
SHAYNA LEIB: INTO THE DEEP
In this temporary exhibit at the Chihuly Collection, glass artist and underwater photographer Shayna Leib combines both of her passions. Seagrass, coral, and other underwater phenomenon come to life in her pieces which will be on display until May 12. The exhibit is included with entrance to the Chihuly Collection. Best BOGO around.
20 Central Ave, St. Petersburg; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; $19.95 for Adults; moreanartscenter.org/chihuly/
BETTY FOX’S BLUE VALENTINE JUBILEE
Betty Fox and her backing band will make your heart (broken or not) beat to a bluesy rhythm at the at Hideaway Cafe. Her talent in soul and blues makes it hard to believe she’s just a millennial. A champagne toast will be provided to ensure your night is a pleasurable one. The Hideaway offers a full menu, as well, with The Gibson steak sandwich that will make at least your stomach happy.
Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave, St. Petersburg; Doors 6 p.m., Show 7:30; $10; hideawaycafe.biz
SWING TIME’S VALENTINE’S BALL
Before the main dance party happens at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom Valentine’s Ball, there will be hour-long lessons, of both Carolina Shag and Swing style dancing. So, if nothing else, you can take this day to learn something new. Gloria West & the Gents will provide the jumpin’ music-horns and all. Go with or without a partner. Go to dance. Go to watch. No one will judge, they’ll be too busy twirling and doing the Lindy hop to give a damn.
5500 Shore Blvd S, Gulfport; 6 to 11 p.m.; $15, All ages; swingtime.info/gcsn.html
ANTI-VALENTINE’S SHOW @THE HUB
Whether you are in Pinellas, Hillsborough, or Orange County, there is only one place to that truly gets how the brokenhearted feel. The Hub. (I spent about a month there after a nasty break-up with a magician/clown. True Story.) They obviously know this and are hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Day show with St. Petersburg’s Jordan Esker & The Hundred Percent and House Of I, both kicking off a mini Florida tour, and Chicago rocker’s North By North. The crowd is encouraged to share heartbreak hilarity between sets with the best story getting a gift basket of booze and band merchandise. “We’re all gonna drown our sorrows,” says show promoter The Bolt’s Roxanne Gallo. Wear earplugs. Drink water before, after and during. And If you drink hard liquor there, take an Uber, Lyft, taxi and be careful who you go home with. Just one drink will have Al Roker looking like Idris Elba. If you didn’t know, now you do.
The Hub, 719 N, Franklin St., Tampa; Free; thehubbartampa.com
If you’re a fan of Rufus Wainwright, you are probably going. If you’re not a fan, you need to be. Wainwright is a musical master. His songs are heartbreaking, heartwarming, reminiscent, emotional, uplifting, depressing–the adjectives can go on and on. His mini tour February in Florida hits the Bay Area on a night that couldn’t be more fitting. If anything is worthy of your love on Valentine’s Day, it’s his last album, 2016’s Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets, which gives beautiful sound to beautiful words. The tour is rumored to be a best-of set list but just hope he plays his version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, for it’s swoon-worthy.
Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St, Clearwater; 8 p.m.; $35 to $49; rutheckerdhall.com/capitol-theatre