Romance isn’t dead
Oakland Cemetery's Love Stories of Oakland tour on Valentine's Day is so popular, it sells out well in advance every year. But those who like to mix a little macabre with their amour can take a self-guided stroll through the Victorian-era burial grounds and check out highlights from the tour. Start with the gravesite of Margaret Mitchell. In addition to her novel "Gone with the Wind," with its tempestuous, unrequited relationships between Rhett, Scarlett, Ashley and Melanie, Mitchell qualifies for the tour based on events from her own life. Her first love was killed in World War II, and after her unhappy first marriage ended, she wed the best man from her first marriage.
No one will ever know for sure what the relationship was between 19th-century poet Orelia Key Bell, the daughter of a prominent Atlanta family, and her friend and muse Ida Ash. What is known is that they shared a special bond, lived out their days together in Pasadena, California, and are buried side-by-side in Oakland Cemetery.
But perhaps nothing is as romantic as the marker by local sculptor Martin Dawe erected in 2006 by Gerald Fazzari in honor of his wife Deborah, who died at age 46 of breast cancer. The piece beautifully captures the couple’s nighttime ritual of Gerald combing his wife’s long hair before bed.
If you want to catch Oakland Cemetery’s official Love Stories tour, it will be offered again in May and August, too.
Oakland Cemetery, 248 Oakland Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-688-2107, oaklandcemetery.com.
Put a little spice in your Valentine's Day weekend, and some bawdy humor and music, too, by attending one of several burlesque shows taking place in Atlanta. Presented by performer Ariel Allegro, the Sweet & Sultry show brings a variety of acts including music, comedy, skits and burlesque to the Red Light Café Feb. 14. A revival of an old-fashioned form of entertainment dating back to the Victorian era, burlesque puts the tease in striptease, so there's no nudity in the show. But because of its adult nature, attendees must be 18 or older. VIP tickets guarantee seating upfront.
While you’re there, enjoy the cafe’s large selection of craft beers, ciders, sodas and coffee drinks, as well as a small supper menu of soups, salads and sandwiches.
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Consider starting your celebration early with the Syrens of the South's Tease Tuesday: Hearts & Heartbreakers show Feb. 11, also at Red Light Café. In addition to burlesque acts, expect singers, jugglers, aerialists and acrobats. Closing out the weekend will be Vixen's Valentine Vaudeville and Variety Show on Feb. 15 at Variety Playhouse. Also presented by the Syrens of the South, the show will feature performances by Annette Coquette, Bonnie Bodacious and Risky Sour, among others.
Sweet & Sultry. 9 p.m. Feb. 14. $25, VIP $45-$35. Tease Tuesday: Hearts & Heartbreakers, 9 p.m. Feb. 11. $10 advance, $15 door, $20 VIP. Both show at Red Light Café, 553-1 Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta. 404-874-7828, redlightcafe.com. Vixen’s Valentine Vaudeville and Variety Show, 8 p.m. Feb. 15. $25, $40 for two, $30 VIP. Variety Playhouse, 1105 Euclid Ave., Atlanta. 404-524-7354,variety-playhouse.com. All shows for ages 18 and up, and cash only at the door.
Love to laugh
Let's laugh about our romantic foibles instead of crying. And what better place to do that than Dad's Garage, where there are four Valentine's Day improv shows? Scheduled Feb. 13-14, both nights kick off with the "Valentine's Improv Variety Show" featuring improv games based on love stories that ended well — and not so well. At the late show on Feb. 13, speed dating gets the improv treatment in "7 Minutes in Heaven." On Feb. 14, the late show features an all-woman cast in a show called "Sweater Puppies Valentines Show." Attendees are encouraged to bring lightly used clothing and goods to donate.
“Valentine’s Improv Variety Show,” 8 p.m. Feb. 13-14. $25 and up. “7 Minutes in Heaven,” 10:30 p.m. Feb. 13. $12.50 and up. “Sweater Puppies Valentines Show,” 10:30 p.m. Feb. 14. $25.50 and up. Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, 569 Ezzard St., Atlanta. 404-523-3141, dadsgarage.com.