Making boring words interesting since 2005.

Journalism

I was a freelance journalist for 10 years. Mostly about the arts, music, culture and architecture. Outlets included LA Times, Globe & Mail, Economist, FT, Guardian, Deutsche Welle and Time Out New York.

6 Valentine's Day Dates

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Valentine's Day: a symbol of the eros-industrial complex created by a cabal of rose growers, chocolatiers, jewelers and calligraphers or the perfect time for true romantics to show the rest of us how it is done?Culture Monster has analyzed the situation and determined that because music has been getting people busy since long before St. Valentine came on the scene, taking your love to a concert is foolproof no matter what your V-Day philosophy.To make it even easier, we've matched relationship types to an ideally suited showWith the fire of a thousand sunsYour connection is so intense, language alone cannot truly capture the essence of your beloved. The words of the great poets illustrate the impossibility of the task with their inadequacy. Byron and Shakespeare don't know the half of it. Handily, Cafe Sevilla in Long Beach has the answer: a flamenco dinner show. There's food, live music and some very intense tap dancing. (6:30 p.m. Saturdays, Cafe Sevilla, Long Beach cafesevilla.com)I hate you. Don't leave meOne minute you're convinced you'll be together forever, the next it seems even one more second in the presence of your darling is a fate worse than death. For you two, lifetime riders on that most addicting of roller coasters, the choice is clear: "Jekyll & Hyde" the musical. Because nothing says I love you like epic mood swings and late Victorian power ballads. (Through March 3, Pantages Theater, Hollywood, broadwayla.org)Hello? Is it me you're looking for?Your thing is new and you don't want to crush that delicate flower with something super sappy. On the other hand, ignoring the day will probably result in an express ticket back to Singletown. Play it cool with Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley and all sorts of delovely cabaret in their show "He Said/She Said." And who knows, after a tour of classic songs, sweethearts might just find themselves in love with their joy delirious. (7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, Samueli Theater, Costa Mesa, scfta.orgI will hug him and squeeze him and call him GeorgeThe idea of spending two hours separated from your adored one by a seat divider is simply inconceivable. This makes going to the theater, opera, ballet or symphony difficult. In public, at least. The Berliner Philharmoniker is an orchestra sensitive to your smooching needs. Dial up a live concert on the orchestra's Digital Concert Hall, put the lights on low and enjoy some of the greatest playing in the world for just $12. The best part? If you find yourself needing a post-codal cigarette before the recapitulation, there's no one around to give you a withering stare. (Any time. Anywhere. DigitalConcertHall.com)All by yourselfYour love life is a barren desert with a tumbleweed the only activity. How about a little schadenfreude? The main character in "The Flying Dutchman" is the ghost of a sea captain cursed to wander the seas until he gets married, but can come ashore to find a girl only once every seven years. Spoiler alert: It turns out some girls are into ghosts (or have dads willing to trade them for the ghost's treasure). So if that guy can get the girl, there's hope for you yet. ("The Flying Dutchman" March 9 to 30, Los Angeles Opera, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, laopera.com)When I'm 64You've done the Valentine's thing enough times to know that sometimes understated is better. Rather than arranging for a skywriter, why not take your honey to hear the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra play Bach. The music is calm, absolute and surprisingly charming. Everything you need and not a note more. Bach isn't terribly romantic, you say? Hogwash. Eighteen children don't make themselves. (7 p.m. Thursday, Zipper Hall, Colburn School, downtown L.A., laco.org)First published in the Los Angeles Times.