Five years ago, playwright Eve Ensler started hosting performances of her The Vagina Monologues to raise money and awareness about rape, domestic abuse and genital mutilation, renaming Valentine's Day as V-Day and giving it a whole new focus. This year several colleges are continuing the tradition. Southern Methodist University presents The Vagina Monologues at 7 p.m. Friday and February 25 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center for $7 to $15, which benefits The Family Place. Call 214-443-7717. Collin County Community College's Quad C Theatre performs for V-Day at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday on the Spring Creek Parkway campus in Plano. Tickets are $5 and benefit Hope's Door Women's Shelter. Call 972-612-0550. The University of North Texas' the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance hosts performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Main Auditorium on Hickory Street near Avenue A. Tickets are $8 to $10, benefiting the Parkland Rape Crisis Center. Call 940-591-8218.
Friday, February 14
If you're like us--meaning single, bitter and defensive toward family, friends and co-workers when asked about marital status--then you must really, really, really, really hate Valentine's Day. You may deride it for being capitalistic, contrived and shallow, and protest because, if you love someone, you should let him know every day, not just when Hallmark and Hershey's tell you to. But the truth is, we don't have anyone to love and that box of assorted chocolates is just for us. But, unlike us, if you're willing to spend the night in a Homo sapien meat market trying not to end the day as you started it--alone--then you can hightail it to Ben's Half Yard House. The brew house is hosting a singles' ball with a live dating show. The audience participates either as contestants or just by providing questions for the game. Television screens will broadcast the show all over Ben's. The band OW Limited also will play. Admission is free. It's a single's oasis from Valentine's Day. You can even bring your friends Nestlé and Russell Stover. Ben's Half Yard House, 7102 Greenville Ave. Call 214-363-1114.Saturday, February 15
We bet the steamy tango scene in Frida featuring Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd performing a lingering version of the Latin American dance sent more people flocking to dance classes than any movie since Saturday Night Fever. But, unlike disco, the tango has longevity. And this weekend there's even a whole festival dedicated to it. During A Valentine Tango Festival, Tango Argentino Dallas, the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and Las Vegas Tango present daytime workshops followed by nightly dances (called milongas) Friday through Sunday. The highlight of the event is a gala Saturday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Adam's Mark Hotel downtown. The other events, including the workshops with five tango professional couples, will be held at the Dallas Opera Rehearsal Hall, 4301 S. Fitzhugh. Classes are $40 apiece, or a pass is available for all weekend for $250. The gala is $50 alone. Call Tango Argentino Dallas at 214-528-0323.
Sunday, February 16
It's hard to talk Balanchine without sounding like a character on Frasier. We're pretty certain both Niles and Frasier could do a High Fidelity-style all-time top-five list of favorite ballets by choreographer Balanchine, and there's a chance the two being performed this weekend would be on it. The Fort Worth Dallas Ballet pulls out the dual Balanchine for Three Love Songs, bookcasing Ben Stevenson's Four Last Songs between Balanchine's Donizetti Variations, a tribute to Italy's unification, and Who Cares?, which is performed to a collection of songs by Gershwin, including "I Got Rhythm" and "Embraceable You." The company performs Three Love Songs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Bass Performance Hall, 330 E. Fourth, Fort Worth. Tickets are $15 to $86. Call the box office at 817-212-4280.
Monday, February 17
War, what is it good for? Whether you answer absolutely nothing or most definitely something, a pundit will get your back during War in Iraq is Justified: For or Against at the Unity Church of Dallas. The formal debate features opposing arguments by Dr. Sterling Burnett of the National Center for Policy Analysis and Dr. Lloyd Jeff Dumas from the University of Texas at Dallas. Marla Crockett, the assistant news director at KERA radio and the host of The People's Agenda, moderates the discussion from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the church, 6525 Forest Lane. Admission is free. Call 972-233-7106. Or join the professional talking heads Sunday when Southern Methodist University's Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series hosts "War of the Words" with MSNBC's Chris Matthews of Hardball and Fox's Bill O'Reilly from The O'Reilly Factor. That discussion takes place at 8 p.m. Sunday at McFarlin Auditorium, 6400 Hillcrest. Call 214-768-8283.
Tuesday, February 18
We have some words for you: Sing-A-Long Sound of Music. It's pretty self-explanatory, but we just gotta ask. What the? We understand the attraction behind resuscitating The Rocky Horror Picture Show in midnight audience-participation screenings, and we even lent a hand to the tradition ourselves years back. But Sound of Music? A bunch of people dress up like towheaded brats, nuns, Nazis or brown paper packages tied up with string in order to sing, dance, cheer and boo along with Julie Andrews. And, like Rocky, there are even prop bags to aid in the participation. Plus there will be subtitles for singing along, so no one flubs "My Favorite Things," "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" or "So Long, Farewell." OK, so we don't get it. But we bet there's someone practicing his or her yodel right now for the crucial moment in "The Lonely Goatherd." Whatever gets you through the night. Sing-A-Long Sound of Music opens with a special Valentine's Day presentation at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a three-course candlelit dinner for two with wine for $85. It runs through February 23 with shows at 10 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $10 to $15. Lakewood Theater, 1825 Abrams Parkway. Call 214-827-5253.