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Valentine's Day brings an assortment of options

Weary of roses and candlelit dinners for Valentine's Day?

Ready to think outside the cellophane-wrapped candy box and go for something new?

Consider:

• Tickets to The Book of Mormon musical.

• An exhibition of sensual and romantic artwork topped off with a meet the artist reception.

• A street party with classic cars, food and music.

• A love tour.

Four delightful ways to spend time with someone special, have fun and make some memories along the way. And after all, isn't that what this holiday is all about?

The Book of Mormon

(Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater)

This religious satire musical by the creators of South Park is hardly romantic, but it will tickle your funny bone.

When two young missionaries sent to Uganda learn their prospective converts to Mormonism are more concerned with things like AIDS, poverty and dysentery than learning the gospel, well, comedy happens.

"It's charmingly shocking in a funny way," said Bobby Rossi, Ruth Eckerd Hall's executive vice president of entertainment.

You might want to leave the kids at home.

The Book of Mormon, which nabbed nine Tony awards included Best Musical, is edgy, irreverent, profane, filled with offbeat humor and taboo subject matter — and best suited for mature audiences.

Anticipating sellout crowds, the venue booked the national tour for a whopping eight runs, starting Tuesday and ending Feb. 21.

Should a sellout occur, don't fret.

Ruth Eckerd Hall will hold a lottery for a limited number of front- row tickets at each performance. Patrons register daily at the box office and pay $25 per ticket if their name is chosen.

"We want the crazy die-hard fans down front," Rossi said.

Tickets range from $38 to $98. Call the box office at (727) 791-7400 or visit rutheckerdhall.com. Preshow dining is also available.

Jurgen Gorg

(Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass, 247 Main St., Safety Harbor)

If passionate, sensual art is your style, head to the Syd Entel Galleries on Saturday to meet internationally acclaimed German artist Jurgen Gorg during a special reception.

"His artwork is very sexy and I have to tell you, he is too," gallery manager Linda Gagliostro said. "The ladies love him."

Gorg's favorite subject is the human body and he embraces it with contemporary interpretations and classical lines. His flowing figures — young lovers, dancers, musicians and such — are set in soft, muted tones.

Gorg will do some painting today and Saturday in the gallery (no set time), letting onlookers see how he creates his amorous paintings with graphite pencil and oils.

His original oils, etchings and lithographs will be on display through March 5 at Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass, 247 Main St. in Safety Harbor. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The artist reception is Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. Call (727) 725-1808 to RSVP. Visit sydentelgalleries.com for information.

Cruisin' at the Capitol street party

(300 and 400 blocks of Cleveland Street in downtown Clearwater)

If classical music and cars make your heart thump, head to Clearwater's downtown district for the third annual Cruisin' at the Capitol street party on Sunday, Valentine's Day, from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Nancy Dietrich, director of special events for Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Capitol Theatre, said Jay Leno's 2014 appearance at the grand opening of the newly renovated Cap started it all.

"He loves classic cars and the event was so popular we decided to make it an annual one," she said.

Organizers expect more than 250 vintage and classic cars on display, stretching from downtown Cleveland Street all the way to Clearwater Harbor.

And the Black Honkeys, a Tampa Bay favorite known for retro soul, funk, and rhythm and blues music, will perform a free concert.

As for the band's name, manager and founder Phil Esposito (not the hockey Hall of Famer and Lightning franchise founder), explains it was a moniker given to him as a kid.

"I grew up in Clearwater in a mixed-race neighborhood and was the only white kid in the group," he said.

The racially diverse nine-piece band will play a mix of cover songs from the mid-'60s to the mid-'80s as well as some band originals. Shevonne Philidor, a former American Idol contestant, will help open the show.

Swoon over the lobster rolls, wood-fired pizza, tamales and other fare offered by food trucks.

There will be prize giveaways and a drawing for a two-night stay plus breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa.

Voice: If Music Be the Food of Love 2016 Tour

(Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St.)

Hear the love as Voice, the celebrated a cappella vocal ensemble from Oxford, England, brings its 2016 tour to Tarpon Springs. The songs explore the beauty, heartache and humor of love. The concert includes Shakespearean song (this year marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death), medieval folk music, folk song arrangements from the United Kingdom and Ireland, and contemporary repertoire.

The concert is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22, or $18 for members and students. Visit tarponarts.org or call (727) 942-5605.

Reach Terri Bryce Reeves at treeves@tampabay.rr.com.

Valentine's Day brings an assortment of options 02/10/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 6:19pm]
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