The Best Theater and More for Valentine's Day

I don’t know you. And I don’t know your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/domestic partner/mistress/pet. But whomever you’re spending Valentine’s Day with, and presumably you know it’s this weekend, I will venture some advice: Don’t spend it at a crowded restaurant where the waiters are exhausted by the likes of you and you’re forced to listen to the lovesick cooing of your dining neighbors. And if you bury a ring in the chocolate mousse, I will find out who you are and compel you to eat it.

No, instead I recommend that if you’re going to head out on the town that you take the edge off the forced romance by going to see a show that resonates with your shared sensibilities. Here are a few options.

Murder. Yes, murder most foul in Macbeth, the perfect antidote to inane sentimentality, now playing at the Guthrie Theater. All’s well, as they say, that ends. Also at the Guthrie, the more traditionally romantic Brief Encounter. Yes, the romancers in question are currently married—you can’t make omelets without cracking a few eggs, right?—but what a romance: forbidden passion, sparked in a train station, carried on over stolen afternoons. Is it hot in here?

Or maybe you need some lessons. Yes, you. You’re a Minnesotan after all, and our idiosyncratic take on romance (accent on the idio) is much-lampooned in the great Brave New Workshop’s How to Make Love Like a Minnesotan III: The Full Montevideo.

More comedy ensues in Urban Samurai Productions’ Drama A Comedy, or Apocalypse Tuesday, performed at the Sabes JCC in St. Louis Park, about a bickering old couple whose life takes a turn when an air-conditioning repairman shows up one boiling August and disrupts their monotonous existence. The play is by the same writer, Aaron Christopher, whose work was recognized as one of the top 10 productions of 2008 by City Pages.

More Noel Coward can be found at the Jungle Theater, in Blithe Spirit, a surefire good time at the theater (think psychics, seances, glamorous 1940s dinner parties) with a rich cast including Wendy Lehr, Kate Eifrig, and more.

A small company with serious chops, Walking Shadow opens Mojo this weekend, a Laurence Olivier Award–winning play about gangsters in the London music world of the early 1960s. If you still believe the Beatles were mop-topped innocents, a) see Backbeat and b) see this play at the Red Eye Theater.