Hello lovely readers! Yes, it's that time of year again, the season of swoon, the weekend of whimsy, the holiday of "l'amore." Valentine's Day is on Sunday and Singles Awareness Day is on Monday, but there's officially a great lineup of heart-shaped happening now through the weekend, and you don't have to be attached to be a part of the festivities.
So grab your lady, your fella, or your best group of friends for a night out on the town and give these local venues some love.
• The Berkshires' own Gypsy Layne Cabaret & Company is traveling over the border to Bennington, Vt., to offer back-to-back evenings of burlesque entertainment with a Valentine's Day theme at Old Castle Theatre Company. Shows are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $22, available at brownpapertickets.com.
• Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness in Pittsfield will host several heart-centered classes. Today at 9 a.m., Robin Whitehead Seeley will host a heart opening yoga class, by stretching the muscles around your heart: in your chest, shoulders, and belly. There's a $10 drop-in fee.
On Saturday, Pittsfield singer-songwriter Mary Verdi, with guests Eileen Markland and John Marshall, will tug at your heartstrings with a performance to celebrate the release of Verdi's new album, "Flight." Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and music starts at 8. Tickets are $20 at the door, and include a beer or champagne toast.
From 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, there will be a Valentine's Day Partner Yoga & Thai Yoga Bodywork practice with chocolate meditation led by Johanna Wise. Couples of all kinds welcome, including pairs of friends and family members. No yoga or massage experience is required. Cost is $75 at the door per couple. Info: 413-770-1558 or email@example.com.
• It's Mezze Bistro's 20th anniversary in Williamstown, and it's sharing the love by hosting an anniversary dance party with DJ BFG, starting at 10 p.m., after dinner service. For dinner reservations, call 413-458-0123.
• IS183 Art School's "Arts Night Out" returns from 7 to 9 p.m. at Citizens' Hall, 13 Willard Hill Road, in Stockbridge. Through this month's age 21 and up event, learn to "Say it With Clay," guided by Jared Gelormino. You'll use basic handbuilding techniques to make either a heart-shaped or a rectangular box with a lid, and decorate them with your own designs. Absolutely no experience is required, but BYOB and snacks, and wear casual attire that you might get a little dirty in. Call to 413-298-5252, ext. 100 to register. The cost is $55, and includes instruction, materials, studio and firing fees.
• The band License to Groove is hosting a Valentine's Day Dance Party at The Tavern at The A in Pittsfield. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and music starts at 9. There's a $5 cover. The group will play the retro sounds of '70s disco, '80s new wave and a touch of funk. The lineup includes Penny Lowell on vocals, John Worth on bass with vocals, drummer John Kiernan and Garrett Lechowski on guitar, vocals and a "vast array of electronic shenanigans."
• Six Depot Roastery Cafe will host its second annual "Love Bomb Soiree" from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., in West Stockbridge. There will be a pop-up shop of goods from area vendors; a lingerie fashion show by Bra & Girl; tastings of chocolate, ice cream and libations; chair massages and dancing to music by a deejay. Admission is free.
• Notchview Nordic Ski Center in Windsor will host from 7 to 10 p.m., a "Valentine Eve Ski & Sweets" event. Put on skis, snowshoes or hiking books for a night out under the stars, then return to the warmth of the Visitor Center for a special tasting of chocolate treats and warm drinks for all ages. Ski and snowshoe rentals are available, and reservations are encouraged. Admission ranges from $10 to a maximum of $50 per family. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-684-0148.
• Pittsfield's Shire City Sanctuary (40 Melville St.), starting at 8 p.m., will host a "Fantastic February Frolic," with live performances by electronic music duo Home Body (Eric Hnatow and Haley Morgan) and DJ BFG, as part of the 10×10 Winter Arts Festival. Tickets are $11.24 at eventbrite.com.
• Get your heart racing as Yesid Valdes teaches a free New York/Miami club style salsa class for beginner through intermediate dancers, from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Funk Box Dance Studio, 137 North St., in Pittsfield. Info: facebook.com/thefunkboxstudio.
• Casey's in Pittsfield will host at 9:30 p.m., a "Love Stinks" anti-Valentine's Day bash with SHYNE. There's a $5 cover, which includes unlimited use of the pool tables and a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.
• Mission Bar + Tapas in Pittsfield will host a Valentine's Weekend concert with The Chain Letter (formerly Dreamsea), starting at 8 p.m.
• Mass MoCA will offer Valentine's themed menu items at Lickety Split prior to its 8 p.m. show with world music icon Angelique Kidjo in the Hunter Center in North Adams. Show tickets range from $30 to $49. Info: massmoca.org or 413-662-2111.
• Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield presents, "Valentine's Day Partner Yoga for the 5 Senses," from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Indulge all of your senses with your partner (or friend or family member) as you explore connecting body and breath through a moving meditation together. All of the senses will be stimulated: touch, smell (through the use of essential oils), taste (with Chocolate Springs chocolate), sound (a sound meditation), and sight with a practice for deepening the connection between participants' vision and hearts. No yoga experience required. Cost is $50 per couple and reservations should be made by contacting Johanna at 413-770-1558 or email@example.com.
• From 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., cabaret crooner Johnny Segalla and jazz pianist Mike Schiffer invite you to sip or swing to favorites from the Great American Songbook as well as the sounds of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, The Beatles and more in the lounge at the Gateways Inn & Restaurant in Lenox. There's a $15 food and beverage minimum, to help pay for the musicians.
• The Crossroads Cafe in Pittsfield is hosting a Valentine's Day Dinner and Comedy Show. The door opens at 4:30 p.m. Dinner starts at 5:15, and the show will start at 5:30. Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple, and can be purchased at the Crossroads anytime at 195 Onota St. Dinner starts with soup, salad and rolls, and includes a choice of roast beef or stuffed chicken breast; rice or roasted red potatoes; baked green beans or mixed vegetables, and dessert.
The comedic lineup includes regional talent: Colby Durant, Seth Brown, Dylan Carlino, Ryan Shea, William Hughes, Raquel Thompson, Rick Conety and Ryan Shanahan. For more information and tickets, call 413-499-2108.
• The cabaret duo of Ron Ramsay and Samantha Talora return to The Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield to present, "Love Me TENder: Songs for the Many Shades of Love," as part of the 10x10 Festival. They will be joined by woodwind musician Michael Gillespie. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and music starts at 6:30. Tickets are $20, and include Valentine's sweets. A special dinner menu, beer, wine and champagne will be available for purchase. For information or reservations call RERProMusic at 413-212-4459 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown has multiple offerings for this holiday. At 11 a.m., Chef Dan Hardy of STARR Events serves a gourmet brunch with specialty cocktails. Tickets are $45 ($40 for members) and $12 for children ages 12 and under. Taxes and gratuities not included. Reservations are required and can be made at clarkart.edu or 413-458-0524.
At 3 p.m., a special Valentine's Day tea party will be held in Café 7, featuring sweet and savory treats. Children are welcome and are encouraged to dress festively for the occasion. Tickets are $25; $12 for children ages 12 and under. Reservations are also required.
Throughout the day, there will be love song-themed performances by Williams College a cappella groups and gallery talks focused on romance in the Clark's permanent collection galleries. General museum admission is $20.
• Michael Petersen will from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Sunday lead a Valentine's Day Heart Yoga class for all levels at Yoga Great Barrington. Visit yogagb.com to register.
• Loved ones of all kinds can enjoy "Winter Wandering at the Cobble: Herbs & Potions" presented from 2 to 4 p.m., at Bartholomew's Cobble, 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield. Start with an hour-long snowshoe hike around the Cobble, then warm up in the Visitor Center with hot cider and cocoa. Finally, bend your mind and body with interesting talks and workshops by learning about the various properties of local botanicals and how they might add some extra warmth to your Valentine's Day. Admission ranges from $5 to $10, and snowshoe rentals are available. Info: 413-298-3239, ext. 3013 or email@example.com.
• The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge will at 11 a.m. present, "Politics and Romance? Norman Rockwell's Presidents and Valentines." Curator of Education Tom Daly guides guests through a look at the many political figures whom Rockwell intersected with, and his illustrations of love in its many phases. A continental brunch will be served. Admission is $20 and includes entrance to all galleries. Info: nrm.org or 413-298-4100.
• Dottie's Coffee Lounge at 7 p.m. will celebrate the 10x10 Festival by offering a three-course chocolate-themed Valentine's dinner and live music performance by Spunk 'N' Sass. The cost is $30 for dinner and music, with beer and wine for purchase. Reservations are required and can be done by calling 413-443-1792.
• Castle Street Cafe in Great Barrington will offer a three-course dinner and dancing with the Wanda Houston Band at 8:15 p.m. The event is $100 per couple. Reservations are required and can be made at 413-528-5244.
• J. Allen's Clubhouse Grille in Pittsfield will present "Who Killed Cupid?: A Valentine's Day Comedy Show" at 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 at http://comedyatjallens021416.eventbrite.com. Host Eryca Nolan will emcee the evening of acts featuring: Vincent Beedle, Thomas Attila Lewis, K'Rina Fort, Kareem Blue, Christina Thomas and headliner Artie Rob.
• Brenda & Co. will host with seatings at 10 a.m. and noon, a Valentine's Day Jazz Brunch, for $25 or $12 for children. Info: 413-997-4500.