JOPLIN, Mo. —
By Joe Hadsall
Valentine's Day was made for weekends.
It doesn't happen often, but Feb. 14 falls on a Friday this year. That opens up bigger, more extravagant and involved plans for the annual day of love. Local entertainment venues, from restaurants to night clubs and even event centers, have a variety of ways lovers can enjoy the year's biggest date night.
Events include everything from a night of low-brow stand-up comedy to cultured explorations of opera, from mechanical bull riding to a romantic Italian meal. There's even an anti-Valentine's Day event for singles or cynical couples.
Many of these events require RSVPs or registration, so browse through and plan now.
No sugar-coating it: Opera is better with chocolate.
Heartland Opera Theatre has paired with the Minerva Candy Company for "Sweet! An Evening of Romantic Songs and Delicious Treats," a night of music and candy.
The program includes a collection of romantic music from operas and musicals, including "La Boheme," "The Barber of Seville," "Oklahoma" and "Company." It features soprano Vicki Branch Hummell in her first appearance with Heartland Opera Theatre.
Other singers include Daryl Foster, Devri Brock, Forrest Bunter and accompanist Kathy Nenadel. The show is directed by Susan Smith and emceed by Gwen and Duane Hunt.
It will be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Route 66 Events Center in Webb City. Tickets: $12 at the door.
Two one-act operas by Puccini will be presented by Pittsburg State University Opera Theatre for Valentine's Day.
"Suor Angelica" is the story of a young woman's unwavering love for her son, who she had to abandon when he was a baby. "Gianni Schicchi," Puccini's only comic opera, is about a father's love for his daughter and money. The latter features "O Mio Babbino Caro," one of the composer's most famous operas.
The program will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Tickets: $10, $5 for students and seniors, free for PSU students and faculty.