♥ KISSES AND CHAMPAGNE
Oglebay Institute will present a Valentine’s Champagne Tour of the Mansion Museum in Oglebay from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb.14. During the champagne tour, guests will learn about the lives and loves of three generations of the Oglebay family — secret engagements, tragedy, young love, second chances and more. Presented by Holly McCluskey, the program includes the rare opportunity to go inside the Mansion’s period rooms. Couples will receive champagne, chocolates, a single rose and a glass “kiss” made in the Glass Museum studio. The program appeals to local history buffs as well as those who are intrigued by stories of love and romance. $75 (OI members receive a discount); reservations required, 304-242-7272 or www.oionline.com.
♥ WINE AND DESSERT
Valentine’s Weekend Wine and Dessert Tasting is the perfect date to start the weekend off right. At the Friday, Feb. 15, Good Mansion Wines wine tasting, treat yourself and your sweetheart to a sampling of sparkling whites, rich dry reds, sweet Birbet and port, with samples of Thierry Atlan chocolates and macarons available. It’s the perfect segue to dinner in town. $15 at the door, no reservations needed. www.goodmansionwines.com
♥ THE ART OF WINE VALENTINE’S DINNER
Celebrate Valentine’s Day in grand style at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, with a wine tasting and dinner at the Stifel Fine Arts Center. Oglebay Institute’s Valentine’s Day Dinner features live music and a five-course dinner with wine pairings served in the elegant, yet intimate, atmosphere of one of Wheeling’s historic properties. Guests can also view the art exhibit currently on display. $55 ($50 OI members); Register online or call 304-242-7700.
♥ TEA FOR TWO
Join Joe and Gretchen Figaretti for a Valentine Tea Luncheon, noon, Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Eckhart House, 810 Main St., Wheeling. Guests will enjoy a three-tiered platter of turkey Waldorf triangles; herbed cucumber sandwiches; brie and pear crostini; seasonal fruit; cranberry almond scones with sweet cream and jam; red velvet crinkle cookies; cherry cheesecake tartlets; rose tea and their signature cream Earl Grey tea; $20 per person; reservations, 304-232-5439; www.EckhartHouse.com
♥ A NIGHT OUT (without the kids!)
Hosted by the Wheeling YMCA, on the heels of the successful New Year’s Eve Overnighter, is the Valentine’s sleepover. Drop off is 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, and pick-up time is 9 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17. Children in kindergarten through sixth grade are invited. Kids can play games, go swimming, make arts and crafts and more. Pizza, snacks and drinks will be provided. The program will be supervised by the Y’s well-trained staff. (All staff is certified in CPR, AED machine and first aid.) Participants must bring a swimsuit, towel, pillow and sleeping bag. Early pick-up is available if child does not want to spend the night. For information, call Brian at 304-242-8086 or click here. $30
♥ ALMOST, LOVE
The West Liberty University Hilltop Players will stage the comedy “Almost, Maine,” by John Cariani, Thursday, Feb. 14, through Sunday, Feb. 17, in its Black Box Theatre, located in the Hall of Fine Arts. Directed by John Hennen, the play consists of a variety of scenes set in the far north, on a cold, clear winter night in the fictional town of Almost, Maine. “It’s a play about love and falling in and out of it in unexpected and hilarious ways,” said Hennen, a longtime adjunct faculty member in the theater department. “The intimate setting in which we are staging the comedy will make it even more fun for our audience and actors alike,” he said. Tickets for the play are available through Brown Paper Tickets online or at the door. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14-16, and 3 p.m. Feb. 17.
♥ DUELING PIANOS DINNER SHOW
Treat your sweetheart to the Dueling Pianos Valentine’s Dinner Show hosted by Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. Enjoy the sounds of Midwest Dueling Pianos while dining on sliced sirloin with mushroom demi, chicken florentine and more. $50. Tickets at Ticketmaster or the Wheeling Island Gift Shop.
♥ YOU RUB MY BACK …
And, if you want the massage lessons along with a family-style meal after, check out Rub & Grub. There are classes at 6 p.m. Feb. 15, 16, 22 and 23. Rub & Grub offers basic massage therapy classes, each focusing on different areas of the body. At the end of class, a catered meal from a local restaurant is provided. Meals are catered by Hangover BBQ, Wheeling Brewing Co. or the Vagabond Kitchen, depending on the date. Students also receive a take-home care package that contains all of the essentials to practice their newly acquired skills. $160 per couple, includes dinner.
♥ FOR THAT SPECIAL PERSON
The Student-Special Person Dance at Woodsdale Elementary School is an opportunity for students to spend a fun evening with a special adult in his/her life. Enjoy dancing, games, cookies, punch, prizes, photos and fun from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Woodsdale Elementary School. The event is hosted by Woodsdale Elementary PTO. All students must be accompanied by an adult.
IT’S A MYSTERY
Mystery Theatre Unlimited will rock and roll with its current show, featuring live original music — entirely performed by the actors, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at River City Restaurant, Wheeling. In “Rock’em Dead,” a musical-comedy, murder-mystery, dinner-theater show, a rock band that once enjoyed great success, but dissolved in a bitter break-up, is poised to be inducted in the Rock Hall of Fame. The problem is the surviving band members must reunite, but they hate each other. For reservations, call 304-233-4555. www.MysteryTheatreUnlimited.com
3RD FRIDAY MUSIC
The Bridge + Tunnel Collective and Artworks Around Town will welcome Laura Cramblet and Brooke Deal to 3rd Friday at Artworks on Feb. 15. Cramblet, a singer/songwriter of Americana music, hails from the Ohio Valley where she performs at various venues either as a solo artist, as a duo with Brooke Deal, or with her band, the Laura Cramblet Band. Cramblet’s songs and lyrics are both poignant and heartfelt; her voice is warm and soothing while her guitar and hammered dulcimer playing are noteworthy. Deal joined Cramblet in 2017. She adds beautiful vocals and blending harmonies. She is also a member of the band Harald and the Hot Pockets from Bethany. Doors open at 7 p.m.; open mic is 7-7:30 p.m.; Cramblet and Deal to perform from 7:30-10 p.m. In the gallery, the artwork of Ed Doughty is on display, while the photography of Owens Brown is in the North Gallery. Artworks is located at 2200 Market St., Wheeling.
FREDERICK DOUGLASS IN IRELAND
At the Feb. 19 Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library, Christine Kinealy will discuss “Frederick Douglass and Ireland: In His Own Words,” the book she edited for Routledge Publishing. The event begins at noon. Douglass spent four months in Ireland at the end of 1845 that proved to be, in his own words, “transformative.” He reported that for the first time in his life he felt like a man, and not a chattel. While in residence, he became a spokesperson for the abolition movement, but by the time he left the country in early January 1846, he believed that the cause of the slave was the cause of the oppressed everywhere. Kinealy is the director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, they begin at noon on Tuesdays in the library’s auditorium. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch and complimentary beverages are provided. Call the Ohio County Public Library at 304-232-0244 or visit the library’s website at www.ohiocountylibrary.org for more information.
DOWN THE ROAD …
- In celebration of Black History Month, West Virginia Northern Community College will host a special screening of “Standing On My Sisters’ Shoulders,” a documentary of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s from the viewpoint of women who emerged as grassroots leaders. The presentation will take place at noon on Monday, Feb. 25, at the college’s Weirton Campus; Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the New Martinsville Campus and Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the Wheeling Campus. Those attending must register in advance by Monday, Feb. 18. The award-winning documentary “Standing On My Sisters’ Shoulders” is the compelling story of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement from the point of view of its remarkable and courageous women who changed the course of history. In a state where lynching of black males was the highest in the nation, a unique opportunity for women emerged to become activists in the movement. The screenings are free and open to the public and includes lunch. RSVP to Sara Wood at 304-214-8917 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 18.
- The British musical invasion hits The Capitol Theatre with Music of the Knights: The Music of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney with guest artists Scott Coulter, Kelli Rabke, John Boswell and Lorinda Lisitza, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22. The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by music director finalist Andrés Franco. Coulter, Rabke and Boswell return to Wheeling after having performed with the WSO in the 2017-18 season opener, Blockbuster Broadway. Currently in his fourth season as music director of Tulsa’s Signature Symphony and associate conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Franco returns to Wheeling after leading the WSO in November with A Night in Vienna. The Feb. 22 concert will include such hits as Memory, Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, Hey Jude, Live and Let Die, Can You Feel the Love Tonight and Crocodile Rock. At 6 p.m., patrons can enjoy a pre-show dinner buffet. ($25, reservations are required); wheelingsymphony.com, 304-232-6191, email@example.com
UP THE ROAD …
Skyflight Productions presents an evening with Jack and the Bear on Friday, Feb. 15, at the Albert S. George Youth Center, Barnesville Memorial Park, Barnesville. Jack and the Bear is a theatrical/roots act from lower east Michigan with vaudevillian tendencies. Conjured up of three siblings and close friends, their sound is often described as “dark Disney” with inspiration taken from such artists as Tom Waits, Randy Newman and Disney soundtracks. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show will begin at 8 p.m. $10. 423-276-2653 or Skyflight Productions on Facebook.
- Starring a company of women, Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of “The Tempest” runs through Sunday, Feb. 24, at the O’Reilly Theater. “The Tempest” begins in silence in a patient’s room on the surgical oncology floor of a Pittsburgh hospital. In the bed is Prospero (Tamara Tunie), who is battling late-stage breast cancer. In Shakespeare’s play, Prospero is enraged because his brother and the king stole his dukedom. In this version, the betrayal Prospero suffers is her family’s abandonment during her illness. As Prospero begins to dream, both she and the audience are transported to a magical island where Shakespeare’s story unfolds, but now with a new resonance. 412-316-1600; ppt.org
- The Phantom of the Opera returns to Pittsburgh at the Benedum Center, Feb. 20 to March 3, with reinvented staging and stunning scenic design. This new version of “Phantom” is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America. Quentin Oliver Lee will portray the man behind the mask, with Eva Tavares as Christine Daaé, Jordan Craig as Raoul, Trista Moldovan as Carlotta Giudicelli, David Benoit as Monsieur Firmin, Rob Lindley as Monsieur André, Susan Moniz as Madame Giry, Phumzile Sojola as Ubaldo Piangi and SarahGrace Mariani as Meg Giry. TrustArts.org; 412-456-4800