W ith Valentine’s Day looming, love is in the air. Drifting alongside it are riveting stories and sparkling cocktail conversation, plus a soundtrack to fit the moment.
Monday, February 8
It’s probably not so common to go from the Ivy League to the Marine Corps—even the public affairs division—but that’s the path Phil Klay took after graduating from Dartmouth. Discharged in 2008 following a little over a year in Iraq, he returned stateside to get his MFA and write Redeployment, a collection of fictional short stories centered around the war. That book won him a 2014 National Book Award, among many others, and makes clear that his 6 p.m. reading today inside Yale’s Linsley-Chittenden Hall (63 High St, New Haven) is going to be an interesting one for budding writers and enjoyers of good stories alike. Free.
Tuesday, February 9
It’s time to break out that one party mask you have somewhere in the back of your closet. From 5:30 to 9:30 tonight, the New Haven Free Public Library’s annual “Mardi Gras: Masquerade Madness” soiree turns the Ives Main Library’s normally quiet and reserved atmosphere into a carnivalesque but classy scene, boasting food and drink (including specialty cocktails), a high-concept photo booth, a DJed dance floor and even a parade. Tickets cost $75 and up, with proceeds going straight to the library. 133 Elm St, New Haven. (203) 946-8130.
Wednesday, February 10
Still need to get a Valentine’s Day card? Creative Arts Workshop’s yearly “XOXO: A Sale of Valentines,” open weekdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and this Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., offers “one-of-a-kind cards, books, boxes, pottery and small prints” fashioned by the school’s talented artists. 80 Audubon Street, New Haven. (203) 562-4927.
Or you can make your own with help from the Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop, where an adult-oriented session dubbed “Mixed Media Valentines with Meg Birmingham” promises participants all the supplies and guidance they might need to craft worthy valentines with envelopes to match. “There is no limit to what you can do with a myriad of materials and a head full of ideas,” EWMW’s description says. $30, or $25 for members. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 11
The fact that “pop-punk, all-chick” band Hunter Valentine is beginning its pre-hiatus “Farewell for Now” tour tonight, just three days shy of Valentine’s Day, makes sense for a couple of reasons. First, there’s the of-the-moment-ness of the band’s name this time of year. Second, it gives the hard-edged quartet an excuse to avoid the usual schmaltzy stuff: “I don’t want no sweet Valentine. I want a shot of Jack to forget this time,” full-throated frontwoman Kiyomi McClosky sings on “Jimmy Dean.” The fact that the tour is starting at Cafe Nine makes sense, too: the band has a Connecticut connection in bassist Leanne Bowes, who grew up in Danbury. The show, opened by the hard-working local indie/new wave act Glamour Assassins, starts at 9 p.m. $10.
Friday, February 12
It’s hard to say from the stage-setting—“Anibal and two-years pregnant Celestina live in a Los Angeles facing ongoing natural disasters, including The Big One, an apocalyptic storm that wipes the city of its present identity, forcing it to rebuild.”—whether Yale Cabaret’s presentation of Cloud Tectonics, which began its three-night, five-show run last night at 8, is mid- or post-apocalyptic. Either way, it sounds pretty epic, as does the week’s food menu, which offers Valentine’s-friendly desserts including Vanilla Crème Brûlée and Molten Chocolate Cake. Tonight’s showtimes are 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. with tickets costing $20, or $15 for Yale faculty/staff or $12 for students. 217 Park Street, New Haven. (203) 432-1566.
Saturday, February 13
Lyric Hall, home of the chandelier pictured above, is celebrating V-Day a day early with “Valentine’s Eve: Love. On. The. Edge.” From 5 to 8 p.m., there’s an art show, featuring several artists. From 8 to 10, there’s a show show, featuring several performers. And from 10 to midnight, it’s a dance party, featuring DJed “Motown/80s/90s Hip Hop.” $12.
Sunday, February 14 – Valentine’s Day
If a nice dinner for two isn’t the end of your night (or isn’t in the cards at all), Cafe Nine has you covered for a $10 cover starting at 8 p.m. “Valentine’s Day Love Lounge,” hosted by local burlesque queens Lipgloss Crisis and Dot Mitzvah, promises “motown and cabaret standards,” a.k.a. “songs for lovers and the brokenhearted alike.” Putting on their singing caps are Crisis, Mitzvah and Chelsea Raccio,with rockabilly/country cover band Dukes of Hamden performing, too. “Bring your lover, or a group of friends, sing along to your favorites and enjoy some Valentine’s themed drinks!” organizers say. 250 State Street, New Haven. (203) 789-8281.
Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.