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Valentine's Day One Woman Shows and Then Some--Comedy, Broadway

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The Valentine’s Day 2014 count down is on with less than a week to go so here are some entertaining ideas and escapes, mostly with women in solo shows with a sense of humor of one kind or another. Choose from the true story 'The Pornographer’s Daughter' with Liberty Mitchell to Marga Gomez' 'Lovebirds'. Gomez presents herself as a Puerto Rican lesbian who grew up in the 70s. Check out wacky improvisationists with romantic farces or riffs on true stories. That would be in BATS 'A Romantic Comedy Farce' or at 'How We Met' at Marines Memorial Theater; or pick up tickets to an elegant Chita Rivera for one night only on Nob Hill in the Venetian Room.

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Whether you are spending the day with a buddy, have loved and lost or just have the good fortune of exchanging a token of affection, there is a place just for you on Valentine’s Day. Tickets range from $15-$35 sliding scale to $48 and shows take place at a variety of venues all over the City including Fort Mason, Union Square, Nob Hill, the Potrero and the Mission.

How We First Met

Friday, February 14, 2014 at 8 pm

Marines Memorial Theater

609 Sutter Street

Second Floor

San Francisco, California 94102

Box Office: (415) 392-4400
Tickets: $40 - 55

How We First Met takes real couples from the audience and finds the humor in their story. The cast of experienced improvisors promise uplifting takes and probable brilliance. The prosepective couples who will join the cast on stage at the Marines Memorial Theater in 2014 have posted their stories on the website for the public to vote on, click here. HWFM creator Jill Bourque has also posted last year’s show on the site and a video of how the show works.

The cast is expanding this year with the addition of Bay Area Theatresports’ veteran Barbara Scott, among others. This is in an upscale location between Union Square and Nob Hill in a cushy theater that feels like old San Francisco. Accessible by cable car or on foot from Powell Street BART/Muni station. The show plays in numerous locations around the world and new this year, Norway.

Valentine’s Romantic Farce

Friday, February 14, 2014 at 8 pm

Bay Area Theatresports

Bayfront Theater

Fort Mason

San Francisco, California

Tickets $17 in advance/$20 at the door

A Valentine’s Romantic Farce gets direction from Rafe Chase, who also performs with the BATS Improv cast in a twisted if not zany nay brilliant romantic farce which should be full of surprises. The audience usually throws out creative ideas for the cast so what happens depends on the chemistry and energy in the room. The little theater hosts a small café with beer and wine but the location at Fort Mason puts visitors at the marina; a bus ride from the Fillmore on the 22 Fillmore muni; Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. Join the gifted artists including Lisa Rowland and Regina Saisi along with Rafe Chase’s partner in Three for All, Tim Orr. Bike racks available.

The Pornographer’s Daughter

at Z Below in the Potrero near KQED/PBS

470 Florida Street

San Francisco, California 94110

Review, photos and video here

Nine shows remain, running through Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014

Tickets $32. Phone orders, call OVATIONTIX at 866 811-.4111. $2 service fee

The Pornographer’s Daughter makes it’s world premiere in the Potrero District, near where the pornography studio on Townsend was at the time San Francisco’s Artie Mitchell and his brother Jim went into business. Liberty or Lib Bradford Mitchell tells her raucous life story and days of reckoning from the time her parents met in the 1960s at the summer of love. Lib tells it like it is, with a sardonic and wry sense of humor and great power of observation and honesty that's legitimizing and powerful.

Lib now in her 40s with her USC degree in musical theater, her children, a husband and a minivan in Southern California has fought for every moment of her sanity and peace of mind. Underneath all the counter culture and turmoil; the pain and suffering and just plain feeling like a dork; the $60,000 investment that turned into 50 million in the 1960s; AIDS; the invention of Beta tape and the internet; and violent death there’s a story of girl power. Don’t miss this classic San Francisco true story.

Marga Gomez’ Lovebirds

The Marsh San Francisco

1062 Valencia Street at 22nd

The Mission District

San Francisco, California

Plays through March 15, 2014; Thursday and Fridays at 8:00/Saturdays 8:30 pm

No show Feb. 21

Tickets $15-$30 sliding scale; $50 reserved seating

Tix by phone have service fees, 415 282-3055

Marga Gomez’ Lovebirds is the 50 year old New Yorker’s one woman show about lesbian dance clubs in Greenich Village, women’s studies in the 70s, behind the scenes at a Spanish restaurant and ultimately with Gomez emerging as herself in contemporary San Francisco on a date of her own. Gomez does so after acting out each character male or female, from established butch to emerging feminist, from talentless singer to her bigoted old husband the dreary professor who can't even make himself pay attention to what he's saying, as seen through the eyes of Polaroid Phillie. Polaroid Phillie used to take shots and try to sell them, only to be left with towers of shoe boxes full of roids and the stories that go with them. It's kind of an intimate, one on one tone.

More, it's an earthy story with an honest, open, non-judgmental tone and a steady pace. It will make you laugh perhaps at your own romantic and intellectual inquiries particularly if you remember the 70s and the sociological jargon of the era. No? How about some bad dancing then.

David Schweizer directs this spicy bite of street fare which tickle the taste buds with originality and risk taking. Those who find romance more tantalizing may feel it’s a tad bland but Gomez’ peppery delivery and plating, her funny, sad, poignant and satirical character studies, engage. It’s more about the carrot on the stick, chasing after love, the fruitless search and awkwardness. In the end it’s a good natured, good hearted and endearing one-woman show.

Chita Rivera

Bay Area Cabaret

The Venetian Room

The Fairmont Hotel, Nob Hill

San Francisco, California

Sunday, February 23, 2014, 3:00 and 7:30 pm

Tickets $48.

Special buffet dinners at Laurel Court for $40/Free parking with dinner. Dine before or after.

Chita Rivera’s legend includes becoming the first Hispanic woman to receive a Kennedy Center Honor. She’s a two-time winner and nine-time Tony Award nominee, winning for Bye Bye Birdie and Chicago. She’s noted for the Broadway version of West Side Story and her more recent Mystery of Edwin Drood. It’s the last story by Charles Dickens and the murder mystery, involving a pair of orphan lovers and a pair of orphan twins, remains unsolved technically. Rivera played a dreary looking opium den in London, Princess Puffer.

Related: Chris Botti played with SF Symphony

CBS SF: Best Holiday Celebrations in the North Bay 2013

Bay Area Cabaret in the Venetian Room, Fairmont Hotel with Jim Brickman

For more stories by this writer check out CBS San Francisco's website under Eye on the Bay, San Francisco arts & culture "Best Of"; and San Francisco Arts & Culture on Subscribe by hitting the SUBSCRIBE button at the top of this article. (America's Cup SF photos and links)


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