Celebrating Valentine’s Day, presidents, and the art and music of Puerto Rico in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

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Eddie Levert, of the O'Jays, greets fans on the Congo Square Stage during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans, Sunday, April 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Sophia Germer)

Eddie Levert, of the O'Jays, greets fans on the Congo Square Stage during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans, Sunday, April 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Sophia Germer)

Celebrating Valentine’s Day, American presidents, and the art and music of Puerto Rico in this week’s “Things To Do”

Black Joy and Resistance, featuring Adreinne Waheed & Rhea Combs
African American Museum in Philadelphia
701 Arch St.
Thursday, Feb. 13; 6:30 p.m.
Free
Philadelphia’s varied offerings for Black History Month continue this week with a conversation between artist Adreinne Waheed and Smithsonian curator Rhea L. Combs. Waheed’s coffee-table photography book “Black Joy and Resistance” was published in 2018. Along with photos curated around the theme, there is commentary from a diverse collection of artists, including singer N’Dea Davenport, writer and cultural critic Karen Good Marable, fashion maven Emil Wilbekin, and essayist and author Kevin Powell. Books will be available for purchase. And if you come early, you can see AAMP’s latest exhibition, “In Conversation: Visual Meditations on Black Masculinity.”

Solidarity with Puerto Rico: A Night of Art & Music
Johnny Brenda’s
1201 N. Frankford Ave.
Thursday, Feb. 13; 8 p.m.
$10
Voces Del Barrio hosts a night of celebration that is also a chance to support the people of Puerto Rico. The island is still struggling to return to normality after another earthquake – of 6.4 magnitude – hit last month. All proceeds from the event go to Vive Boriken a community organization that assists underserved communities in Puerto Rico. Music will be performed by Guerilla Republik (MAC Rebel & Blackjust 302), Gabriel Muñoz ,and Murayama. Live painting and artwork for sale are also part of the event.

Awkward Sex and the City’s Valentine Bad Romance Special
Punch Line Philly
33 E. Laurel St.
Thursday, Feb. 13; 8 p.m.
$25-$35
If you consider Valentine’s Day more an occasion to endure than to celebrate, comedy might be the antidote. Five comedians (four women and one man) come together to explore dating, sex and relationships with humor and a different perspective. If “awkward” is the description of your love life, or you just need a laugh, this could be the  event you were looking for. There are also some sexy giveaways involved, so it sounds like a win-win whatever your take on love’s biggest holiday.

The Bed Show
Venue announced to ticket holders only
Friday, Feb. 14; 7 p.m., 9 p.m.
$15
Hosts Sean Pollock and Nuria Hunter will cover bed culture (who knew there was such a thing?),  including the history of beds, sleep, sex, intimacy, what they describe as “bed horror stories,” the mattress industry, and all things related to the place we sleep, dream, have sex, write, relax or watch TV. The show, which was first produced in New York City in 2018, is indeed performed in a bed in a private apartment, to create an intimate experience. “The Bed Show” is intended to be interactive and invites audience participation through immersive storytelling and various games.

Rehoboth Beach Film Society’s Third Annual African American Film Festival
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Rd.
Lewes, Del.
Friday, Feb. 14 – Sunday, Feb. 16; various times
$10 per screening
The Rehoboth Beach Film Society sponsors several film festivals throughout the year, including the upcoming Jewish Film Festival and the Independent Film Festival. In honor of Black History Month, the African American Film Festival, now in its third year, offers a weekend of screenings and discussions of films made by African-American filmmakers. This year, four films will be screened including “Black Ballerina” and “Una Great Movie.” A related film discussion hosted by members of the festival’s selection committee follows each screening.

Jon Dore
Helium Comedy Club
2031 Sansom St.
Thursday, Feb. 13 – Sunday, Feb. 16; various times
$18 and up
Canadian comedian Jon Dore comes to Helium over the Valentine’s weekend to either confirm your dating choices (do they have the same comedic sensibilities you do?) or to soothe your romantic woes for a Galentine’s or Palentine’s humorous night out. The Ottawa-born comedian and three-time Canadian Comedy Award winner has amassed a number of credits over the last 17 years, appearing on TV shows like “ How I Met Your Mother” “Inside Amy Schumer,” and “Hart of Dixie;” hosting “The Jon Dore Comedy Show,” and getting his own standup show, “Big Answers, Huge Questions with Jon Dore,” on Comedy Central in 2018.

Winterfest Live! 2020
Xfinity Live
1100 Pattison Ave.
Sat, Feb. 15; 2 p.m.
$35-$70
You and your valentine — or BFF, or sibling, cousin, or high school chum — can all enjoy the Presidents Day weekend craft beer extravaganza Winterfest Live! As if you needed any more excuses for day drinking, the long weekend means you have the time to sober up before the workweek comes around again. Live bands and DJ’s, unlimited samplings, 150-plus beers from more than 75 breweries, and a custom stein are what you’ll get for the price of entry. Games and giveaways, along with a fire pit and both hard cider and gluten-free beer options, are on tap as well.

Valentines at the Vineyard
Willow Creek Farm & Winery
160-168 Stevens St.,
West Cape May, N.J.
Saturday, Feb. 15; 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
$90
Wine, food and love have always coexisted. So when a vineyard offers a five-course Valentine’s Weekend dinner, you should probably take that offer. Master chef Brian Parker promises an “aphrodisiac menu” including lobster stuffed shrimp, Thai-style sautéed crab cakes ,and seared New York strip steak with curated wine pairings. Dinner, as it should be, is by candlelight, and to turn the romantic ambience up even more, the winery has a fireplace. Bittersweet Duo will perform, so you can dance off the calories  after dinner.

Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 20th Anniversary Tour
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Event Center
1 Borgata Way
Atlantic City, N.J.
Saturday, Feb. 15; 8 p.m.
$70-$130
In 2000, a young woman from North Philadelphia posed the question “Who Is Jill Scott?” on her debut album. After the hits “A Long Walk,” “The Way,” and “He Loves Me (Lyzel In E Flat),” the answer was clear – an incandescent talent. Scott’s powerhouse vocals, coupled with heartfelt love songs and authentic musicianship, has made her one of neo-soul’s most enduring artists, earning her three Grammy Awards along the way.  Now established as an actress as well, she’s currently starring on streaming network BET +’s adaptation of “First Wives Club.” Her most recent album, “Woman,” was released in 2015. Note: This show is sold out via the Borgata, but you may be able to find tickets through authorized resellers like Stubhub.com.

Eddie Levert: Songs & Stories of the O’Jays
Keswick Theatre
291 N. Keswick Ave.
Glenside, Pa.
Sunday, Feb. 16; 8 p.m.
$39-$84
Though Eddie Levert originally hails from Canton, Ohio, his career with the O’Jays began in Philadelphia through the iconic songs of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Their classic songs, coupled with Levert’s resonant vocals, were the linchpin of classic O’Jays hits like “For The Love Of Money,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “I Love Music,” and more. The fruitful collaboration put both the O’Jays and Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International Records on the map. Though the O’Jays were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, the group never won a Grammy Award. That may be one of the topics Levert will touch upon in his first one-man show,. “Songs and Stories of the O’Jays.” The special performances mark the first time  the 77-year-old will be performing solo.

Oscars Film Series: And the Award Goes To … `Harold and Maude
Bryn Mawr Film Institute
824 W. Lancaster Ave.
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Monday, Feb. 17; 7:15 p.m.
$12.50
As you can see as recently as this year, the choices of Oscar voters can be controversial. It takes years to determine if the voters have truly elected a classic or a film that in time becomes anachronistic, or worse, completely irrelevant. That was also almost the case with the historic Seville Theater, repurposed in the last decade to become the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, one of the area’s cultural institutions for film education. Now restored and renovated,  it hosts special screenings and film programs throughout the year. The 1971 Hal Ashby film “Harold and Maude” was unsuccessful commercially and critically at the time of its release but became a cult classic over the years. The film’s themes of life and death and its evolution from dud to classic will be referenced by Paul Wright, instructor of the BMFI course “Oscar Zeitgeist: Best Picture as Cultural Barometer,” who will introduce the film.

Presidents Day 2020
National Constitution Center
525 Arch St.
Monday, Feb. 17, 9:30 a.m.
Free
It would stand to reason that the National Constitution Center would offer some special programming for Presidents Day. A Kids Town Hall allows children to get their questions answered by presidential re-enactors, who will sign autographs and provide photo ops. The kids can also come dressed as one of their favorite presidents and participate in the presidential costume contest. And there’s a Presidential Portrait Challenge and a voting booth that gives kids the opportunity to “vote” for their favorite president. Other activities include exhibitions centered on Black History Month and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment, which meant that voting could no longer be denied by race (although it would take the 19th Amendment to grant women that same right).

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