By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
There will never be a shortage of love songs, and a fundraising show at Joplin Little Theatre will feature some of the best.
"We always say we'll run out of love songs one of these days, but we won't," said Carolyn McGowan.
Some of the best love songs ever written were sung by Dean Martin, the Rat Pack crooner who dominated entertainment in the '60s and '70s, McGowan said. She is the director of "That's Amore," a fundraising show that features some of those great love songs.
The show features singing and dancing from more than 40 selections in the Dean Martin songbook. The one-night-only show features new talent and returning veterans, such as Stephanie Harter Gilmore and Melanie Holt Clevenger.
McGowan said that she, Greg Green and Matthew Holt came up with the idea to feature Martin's work. Previous fundraising shows have featured the work of Cole Porter.
Introducing legendary songs such as Martin's to younger people is important to McGowan.
"Lyrics have not been very good since 1960," she said. "When I direct shows, I usually try to select music from the '40s and '50s just to get the younger generation to hear it. Half of the cast never heard Martin's music, but now they love him."
Cecie Fritz and Holt are the show's music directors, and choreography was done by Angela Lowe, Heather Briley and Kristen Stremel, of Pinocchio School of Dance.
Other cast members include Devri Brock, Sam Burnside, Drew Fethers, Ricardo Field, Chet Fritz, Hannah Green, Lisa Olliges Green, Nicholas Gilmore, Mallory Hoskins, B.J. Huffman, Ann Grace Lile, Dyanne Lile, Jim Lile, Andrew McGowan, Clint Newby, Abby Railsback, Gina Robbins, Becky Seidl, John Wilkins and Lauren Wilkins.
The show begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the theater, located at 3009 W. First St. Tickets: $10, reservations accepted.
Dinner and a movie
Joplin Electric Theater will celebrate its first anniversary with a special dinner and classic rom-com.
"The Goodbye Girl," a Neil Simon production featuring Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason, will be shown on Valentine's Day.
"The movie is just wonderful," said owner Jennifer McKeough. "We couldn't find a good feel-good movie, so we decided to do a classic."
Dreyfuss earned his first Oscar for his role as Eliot Garfield, a struggling actor who has sublet a Manhattan apartment from a friend.
Dinner will feature lasagna, seafood chardonnay alfredo, antipasto salad, garlic bread and tiramisu catered by Pick Me Up Catering, who provided food for the first Joplin Electric Theater showing.
Reservations are required as seating is limited. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m., and the movie will be shown afterward.
Tickets: $50, $100 per couple.
Couples wanting to make more than beautiful music together can make a romantic project culled from Pinterest at Spiva Center for the Arts.
Pinterest Anonymous, held on the second Saturday of each month, will feature a special couples night in connection with Valentine's Day. Nellie Mitchell will lead couples in the creation of a clay tree stump that can be decorated with faces, flowers, leaves, hearts or anything that can be imagined.
The session will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Cost: $30.
Naughty night out
Stone's Throw Dinner Theatre will offer a special Valentine's Day show of "Nana's Naughty Knickers."
The play is about a woman illegally selling handmade underwear out of her apartment. Thursday night's show will include flowers and candy for participants.
The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m., with finger foods served at 6:30. Admission: $25.
Instant Karma will offer another one of its unique dinner parties themed around beer for Valentine's Day. Sponsored by Piney River Brewing Company, of Bucyrus, Mo., the seven-course dinner will feature gourmet, off-menu items paired with offerings from the brewery.
Menu items include caviar, duck soup, pan-seared halibut, venison filet and a blueberry puree soup for dessert.
The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. on Valentine's Day. Reservations accepted. Tickets: $75 per person.
You post your relationship status on Facebook, so why not tell the world? JB's Piano Bar will feature a stoplight party Thursday night in which participants' relationship status is indicated by the colors worn:
The colors can be worn all over or in jewelry or accessories. Wearing the corresponding color isn't necessary for entrance, either.
DJ Liam will perform. The event starts at 8 p.m. No cover charge.
Jukebox in Joplin knows that not everyone enjoys this mushy day of love. The nightclub will host a shred-your-ex party.
Participants can bring a picture of themselves and an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. When that picture is destroyed at the bar, the shredder will receive a free item.
Only one free item per person, however, so don't bring your high school memory book.
Justin Jones will perform. The event starts at 8 p.m.
Blackthorn Pizza and Pub will also offer a safe haven for V-Day haters. Anti-Valentine's Day will feature the Calamity Cubes, Filthy Still and Tater Famine.
Music starts at 10 p.m.