The season of love is upon us! Even if you’re not a fan of pricey candlelit dinners (or tiny classroom valentines), there are still so many ways to explore how lovely it is to, well, love. And if you can enrich your kids artistically in the city you adore? That just makes our hearts flutter, too.
Chicago Dance’s ‘Dances from the heart’
Get your pulse racing with Chicago Dance’s annual (and international!) smorgasbord of visual delight. Its Valentine’s Day program features the best of the best and, quite literally, something for everyone in these 13 performances. Irish dance? Hip hop? Check and check. Tap, ballet and urban fusion are also well-represented, as are Mexican folkloric, musical theater and plenty more. And for a treat as sweet as the day, audience members will be given a little sugar, courtesy of Eli’s Cheesecake–the way to anyone’s heart.
8 p.m. Feb. 10; Athenaeum Main Stage, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago; dancechicago.com
‘Cosi fan tutte’ at the Lyric Opera of Chicago
When words fail you, say it with Mozart. (A good motto year-round, too!) `Cosi fan tutte,’ translated from the Italian to ™That’s what women do,∫ is considered one of Mozart’s wittiest and best operas, and concerns a wager between two soldiers and their older, more cynical friend regarding the faithfulness of their fiancées. But, since this is a comedy, there will be more than one instance of mistaken identity in this Italian production with English projections, as well as music to send your heart soaring. (Wondering how your child would do with a three-hour opera? Good readers will thrill to the supertitles above the action–as my 8-year-old did–and the Lyric’s breathtakingly beautiful space evokes a feeling of fanciness like no other.)
Feb. 17-March 16; Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago; lyricopera.org
Short Shakespeare: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
Hey parents, want all the fun of Shakespeare’s silliest play with the added benefit of kids who sit still the whole darned time? Short Shakespeare is for you! `A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is part love story, part madcap comedy, and all wonderful storytelling. When the members of a love quadrangle, a troupe of would-be actors, and a divided Fairy Court all take to the same woods with very specific goals in mind, what could possibly go wrong? (Oh, just about everything.) In Chicago Shakespeare’s family-friendly take on the love fest, the cast remains onstage after each show for a question-and-answer session that then extends out into the lobby for photos, meet-ups and sharing the love.
Feb. 3-March 10; The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago; chicagoshakes.com