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Celebrating Presidents’ Day Weekend

Valentine’s Day events and more on tap

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Presidents’ Day Weekend is here, and this year it encompasses Valentine’s Day, on Sunday, February 14. The last three-day weekend until Patriots’ Day in April, the holiday weekend offers a chance to explore and have fun. We’ve compiled a list of events on and off campus—from the romantic and date-worthy to outdoor activities, dance, and theater—to help you have a fun and relaxing time. Know of other events taking place this weekend? Post them in the Comment section below.

Valentine’s Happenings

Vellumsound Presents: Love Letters at the Museum of Fine Arts

If you’re looking for something highbrow and romantic to do with your date this Valentine’s Day weekend, consider heading over to the Museum of Fine Arts for a concert by its new resident ensemble, Vellumsound, presenting a concert titled Love Letters. The quartet, which offers a contemporary, multimedia take on traditional ensemble performance, incorporates images, dance, and spoken and written word, all inspired by the museum’s extraordinary collection. The program will include selections from Antonin Dvorák’s Cypresses (Echo of Songs) for String Quartet, B. 152, Leoš Janácek’s Intimate Letters, and Carter Pann’s Love Letters.

Vellumsound Presents: Love Letters is in the Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium at the MFA, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, on Saturday, February 13, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Purchase tickets online, by phone at 1-800-440-6975, or at any MFA ticket desk. Find directions here.

The History of Vintage Valentines at the Boston Public Library

Remember when you used to exchange Valentine’s cards with your entire class? You can learn all about the history behind the tradition of exchanging cards on this holiday in a lecture at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. Visitors will also have a chance to explore the library’s extensive digital archive of beautiful vintage Valentines. Find one you like and you can email it to your beloved, friends, or family to remind them that you care.

The History of Vintage Valentines lecture is at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston, on Friday, February 12, from 11 a.m. to noon; free and open to the public. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Copley.

Friday Night Club: Valentine’s Day

Here’s a chance to give back and help others enjoy a special Valentine’s Day. Student Volunteers for Special Needs, a BU student group dedicated to promoting disability inclusion, is hosting a Valentine’s Day–themed Friday night hangout for BU students and individuals in the larger community with disabilities. The evening will include Valentine’s Day–themed games, crafts, and music.

The Valentine’s Day Friday Night Club is in the George Sherman Union Academy Room, 775 Commonwealth Ave., Friday, February 12, from 7 to 9 p.m.; free and open to the public. 

Love Sucks Oddity Market
This piece of art displaying human teeth and a prosthetic glass eye is just one of the many strange items for sale at the Love Sucks Oddity Market. Photo courtesy of Our Lady of Reclamation

This piece of art displaying human teeth and a prosthetic glass eye is just one of the many strange items for sale at the Love Sucks Oddity Market. Photo courtesy of Our Lady of Reclamation

If your beloved prefers the strange and creepy over the frilly and sentimental, you’ll want to visit the Love Sucks Oddity Market for that special Valentine’s present. Bad Moon Consignment and Our Lady of Reclamation will set up shop in Eridanos Tattoo and Gallery, in Central Square, Cambridge, to offer a variety of macabre Valentine’s Day gifts. Instead of heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and teddy bears, you’ll find mounted bones, taxidermy delights, magic runes, and more. Here’s a chance to proclaim your love in a refreshingly unusual way.

The Love Sucks Market is at Eridanos Tattoo and Gallery, 36 Prospect St., Cambridge. Hours: Saturday, February 13, from noon to 8 p.m. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley inbound to Park Street and transfer to an outbound Red Line train to Central.

Your Terrible Ex! at the Riot Theater

Not likely to be in a sweet and sappy mood this Valentine’s Day? Getting over a terrible relationship? Here’s a chance to make light of it. The top-notch improv group Naffy is once again marking Valentine’s Day with its annual Your Terrible Ex! comedy show. Naffy will take a true story of romance-gone-wrong from the audience and turn it into a hilarious 30-minute scene. Here’s a chance to see your old wounds turned into laughter. The evening is free, but be sure to order your tickets early, because this is one show that always sells out. Performances are at the Riot Theater in Jamaica Plain.

Your Terrible Ex! is at the Riot Theater, 146A South St., Jamaica Plain, on Friday, February 12, at 10 p.m. The event is free but tickets are necessary and are available here. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley inbound to Copley, walk to Back Bay station, and take an MBTA Orange Line train outbound to Forest Hills and walk.

Outdoor Events

Polartec Big Air at Fenway

Have the recent snowstorms inspired you to try some winter sports? Some people who really know how to play in the snow might inspire you even further. Head over to Fenway Park on Friday and Saturday, when the ballpark hosts the US Grand Prix snowboarding and freeskiing big air tour. Watch the nation’s top boarders and skiers show off their skills on a specially built 140-foot-high snow ramp that dwarfs the ballpark’s light towers and famed Green Monster (the left field wall). US Olympic slopestyle skiing gold medalist Joss Christensen, Olympian Ty Walker, and slopestyle snowboarding Olympic champion Sage Kotsenburg are among the competitors.

Polartec Big Air at Fenway features snowboarding on Friday, February 11, and freeskiing on Saturday, February 12, at Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way, from 6 to 10:30 p.m. both days. Purchase tickets, $30 to $100, here. Walk or take a Green Line B trolley to Kenmore.

Ice Skating in Boston

There are several ice skating venues around the city, but two stand out as go-to spots. Enjoy the seasonal splendor of the Boston Common, the nation’s oldest public park, while you twirl (or stumble, no judgment) around the Frog Pond. It’s an inexpensive way to while away an afternoon (or evening) and no worries if you don’t own a pair of skates. You can rent a pair for just $10. If you prefer to do your skating indoors and avoid the risk of chapped lips and numb hands, stop by the indoor Steriti Memorial Rink in the North End. Skating there is free unless you need to rent skates.

The Frog Pond rink is in the Boston Common, 38 Beacon St. Weekend hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Skating is free for kids 13 and under, $5 for those 14+. Skate rentals are $5 for children and $10 for adults. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street. Steriti Memorial Rink, 561 Commercial St., Boston, has weekend hours: Friday, noon to 2 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 4 to 10 p.m. Find a full schedule of public skating times here. Skating at Steriti is free and open to the public. Skate rentals are $5. Take an MBTA Green Line C trolley to North Station. 

Festivals

Chinese New Year Parade
The vibrant lion dance—a Chinese New Year tradition—is believed to drive away bad spirits and bring good luck. Photo via Flickr user Dan Dvorscak

The vibrant lion dance—a Chinese New Year tradition—is believed to drive away bad spirits and bring good luck. Photo via Flickr user Dan Dvorscak

The Chinese New Year officially began this year on February 8, welcoming the year of the red monkey, and in keeping with tradition, Boston’s Chinatown (home to the nation’s third largest Chinese community) is marking the occasion with its annual New Year Parade, featuring intricate lion dances performed by local kung fu groups and dance troupes (the costumes have three major color combinations: yellow, symbolizing wisdom, red and black, symbolizing courage, and green and black, for fierceness), drums and cymbals, and firecrackers. After the parade, stop by the Chinatown Main Street Cultural Village for lots of free art activities such as calligraphy and origami. And come hungry. The neighborhood is home to dozens of restaurants offering various Chinese cuisines.

The Chinese New Year Parade is on Sunday, February 14. The festivities kick off on Beach Street in Chinatown at 11 a.m. and run approximately two hours as the parade winds through various nearby streets. The Cultural Village runs from noon to 3 p.m. at the corner of Boylston and Washington Streets, near the China Trade building; free and open to the public. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Boylston and walk.

Educational Events

Feb Fest at the MIT Museum

Every year the MIT Museum holds a weeklong series of kid-friendly presentations and workshops called Feb Fest, to coincide with area public schools’ winter vacation. The theme this year is How to Build a City in Six Days. Kids and adults can enjoy an array of activities focused on city planning and engineering, from architecture and transportation to buildings and green living. Help build 3-D models of Cambridge or explore map-related activities, devices, and art at Saturday’s Mapapalooza, concluding the week of fun-filled learning. Workshops are led by MIT students and researchers. There is a series of workshops for middle school students only.

The MIT Museum is at 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Feb Fest runs from Monday, February 15, through Saturday, February 20. The 3-D printing event is held each day from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Mapapalooza is on Saturday, February 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. Find a full schedule here. Programs are free with museum admission, which is $10 for adults; $5 for those under 18, students, and seniors; and free for children under 5. Take an MBTA Red Line train to Kendall Square and walk.

Dance and Theater

Broadway in Boston: Pippin

Did you miss the American Repertory Theater 2012 production of the musical Pippin, which went on to Broadway and won four Tony Awards, including best musical revival? A national touring production is at Boston’s Opera House. Originally staged on Broadway in 1972, Pippin tells the story of young Prince Pippin, son of Charlemagne, the leader of the Holy Roman Empire, as he searches for meaning and his place in the world. Stephen Schwartz, composer of Wicked, wrote the music and lyrics. The show has Bob Fosse–inspired choreography and incredible acrobatics from Le 7 Doigts de la Main. This production should both excite and enchant. The Boston run ends Sunday, so tickets are selling quickly.

Pippin is at the Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., through Sunday, February 14. Find show times and purchase tickets, $40 to $150, here. Student rush tickets ($25) are available for most shows. Check for updates on student rush ticket availability here. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Boylston or an MBTA Orange Line train to Chinatown.

Back the Night at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre

Sexual assault on college campuses has become a hot-button issue across the country. Award-winning playwright Melinda Lopez (GRS’00), a College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of English, explores this highly charged topic in her new drama, Back the Night. The play follows a college student indifferent to increasing incidences of sexual assault on her campus until her best friend is attacked.

Back the Night is at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave., through Saturday, February 28. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are available here. Price: $30 for general admission, $25 for seniors, and $10 for students. Purchase discounted general admission tickets here while supplies last. 

Sondheim on Sondheim at Lyric Stage Company of Boston

Calling all Sondheim fans: the Lyric Stage Company presents Sondheim on Sondheim, an intimate look at the music and career of legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. Directed by Lyric producing artistic director Spiro Veloudos, the musical features songs from 19 Sondheim shows, spanning a 62-year period. Songs are from Company, A Little Night Music, and Sunday in the Park with George–from the widely known to the rarely heard. Interspersed between the musical numbers are video interviews with Sondheim, talking about his career and personal life.

Sondheim on Sondheim is at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon St., through March 12. Purchase tickets, $34 to $74, and find a full schedule here. Find discount tickets here. Student rush tickets are available, first-come, first-served, for $10 (cash only) 30 minutes before the show with a valid ID. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Copley. 

Shaz Raja, Jasmine Carmichael, and Carolina Sanchez star in the Huntington Theatre Company production of Kristen Greenidge’s drama Milk Like Sugar. Photo by Nile Hawver, courtesy of the Huntington Theatre Company

Shaz Raja, Jasmine Carmichael, and Carolina Sanchez star in the Huntington Theatre Company production of Kristen Greenidge’s drama Milk Like Sugar. Photo by Nile Hawver, courtesy of the Huntington Theatre Company

Huntington Theatre Company’s Milk Like Sugar at the Calderwood Pavilion

In 2008, a high school in nearby Gloucester became the subject of national headlines after it was alleged that a group of 18 female students had formed a pregnancy pact. The event inspired Kristen Greenidge, a College of Fine Arts assistant professor of playwriting and theater arts, to write Milk Like Sugar, the Huntington Theatre Company’s latest production, running through February 27 at the Calderwood Pavilion. The play, told with grit and humor, probes the fears and hopes of a group of teenage girls as they struggle to find meaning in their lives. The LA Times called it a “must-see.”

The Huntington Theatre Company production of Milk Like Sugar is at the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St., Boston, through February 27. Purchase tickets online, by phone at 617-266-0800, or in person at the BU Theatre box office, 264 Huntington Ave., or the BCA box office. Patrons 35 and younger may purchase $30 tickets (ID required), and there is a $5 discount for seniors. Military personnel can purchase tickets for $20 with promo code MILITARY, and student tickets are available for $20. Members of the BU community get $10 off (ID required). Call 617-266-0800 for more information.

DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! at the ICA
Dancers perform a choreographic work, Story And A Song by Aparna Sindhoor and Anil Natyaveda of the Navarasa Dance Theater as part of DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! at the ICA. Photo by Alphonse Roy, courtesy of the ICA

Dancers perform a choreographic work, Story and a Song by Aparna Sindhoor and Anil Natyaveda of the Navarasa Dance Theater as part of DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! at the ICA. Photo by Alphonse Roy, courtesy of the ICA

Love dance? Then you won’t want to miss the Institute of Contemporary Art’s DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! DANCE!, a showcase highlighting the diversity of dance in greater Boston and featuring four very different local modern dance companies, including Daniel McCusker Dance Projects and Navarasa Dance Theater. Each company will perform for 15 minutes, followed by a discussion by each choreographer.

DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! is at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. The show runs on Friday, February 12, and Saturday, February 13. Purchase tickets, $15 for ICA members and students and $30 for nonmembers, online or by calling the box office at 617-478-3103. Find directions here.

Concerts

ICCA Northeast Quarterfinal 

The hit movie comedy Pitch Perfect brought the world of collegiate a cappella to audiences nationwide. Now, you can catch a glimpse of the real-life world of a cappella competition at BU this Saturday, February 13. Come out and support your favorite BU a cappella groups when they perform in this year’s International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella’s Northeast Quarterfinal at the Tsai Performance Center. Four of BU’s top teams will be competing against five other New England college teams in this vocal battle, but only two can make it to the semifinals.

The ICCA Northeast Quarterfinal competition is Saturday, February 13, at the Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave. Purchase tickets, $10 for students, $20 general admission, here

Film

“Oscar-Nominated Shorts” at the Institute of Contemporary Art

This year’s Academy Awards ceremony isn’t until February 28, but you can get a head start on your Oscar ballot thanks to Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. Each year for the past decade, the museum has presented “Oscar-Nominated Shorts,” a showcase of the year’s nominated live action, documentary, and animated shorts. Among the nominated films being shown are the animated Russian short We Can’t Live Without Cosmos, about two astronaut friends trying to achieve a shared dream, and Body Team 12, a heartbreaking documentary about those hired to collect and bury the dead at the height of the Ebola outbreak and the ways their lives changed as a result.

“Oscar-Nominated Shorts” is at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. There are two screenings on Sunday, February 14: at 2 p.m., live action, and at 4:30 p.m., animation. Additional screenings will be held through February 28. Buy tickets, $5 for members and students, $10 for nonmembers, online here. Buy tickets up to two hours before most programs online or by phone at 617-478-3103. Walk-up sales begin two hours before ICA programs. Find directions here.

Celebrating the Witch! at the Brattle Theatre
The Craft, a 1996 cult favorite about Catholic prep school teens who practice witchcraft, is one of the many witch-centric movies playing at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square this weekend. Photo courtesy of the Brattle Theatre

The Craft, a 1996 cult favorite about Catholic prep school teens who practice witchcraft, is one of the many witch-centric movies playing at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square this weekend. Photo courtesy of the Brattle Theatre

Halloween is long gone, but this weekend, Harvard Square’s Brattle Theatre is hosting Celebrating the Witch! a late-night series of spooky cinematic films featuring—you guessed it—witches. The series begins with Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winning horror classic Rosemary’s Baby Friday at 10 p.m., followed by Suspiria, the 1977 thriller set at a ballet school, Saturday at midnight. The series runs through February 17 and is guaranteed to keep you up at night.

Celebrating the Witch! is at the Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge. It runs from February 12 to 17. Find a full schedule and purchase tickets, $11 for general admission, $9 for students and members, and $8 for seniors and children, here. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street and switch to an outbound Red Line train to Harvard Square.

Kylie Obermeier can be reached at kylieko@bu.edu.

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