Valentine's Day: The face-suckin' holiday may be celebrated publicly in a variety of ways around the Valley without getting arrested. For the nostalgically amorous, Tommy James; Blood, Sweat & Tears; the Association; and Mary Wilson are set to perform a Valentine Oldies Show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 14, at America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson. Tickets are $30, $24 and $18. For the politically minded romantic, there's a rally at the State Capitol at 1 p.m. Saturday, sponsored by the Gentle Shepherd Metropolitan Community Church, in protest of our state's laws against gay and lesbian marriage; it's followed by a Valentine's Day dance at 8 p.m. in the ballroom of the Quality Hotel and Resort at the intersection of Second Avenue and Osborn. Admission to the dance is $5. Theater lovers can enjoy Lawrence Pressman and Mariette Hartley in Love Letters, A.R. Gurney's play about a 50-year relationship between a husband and wife. The expressive words from a trail of love letters are the uniquely chosen format as the two actors read their scripts while seated at a table. The veteran Pressman, recently seen as a judge on Ally McBeal, is best known as the title character's boss on Doogie Howser, M.D.; Hartley's numerous film, TV and stage roles have been overshadowed by her work opposite James Garner in Polaroid commercials. The show is performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, February 14, at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue. Tickets are $14, $22 and $24. Those whose relationship could use a little work might want to head north for a Mars/Venus Workshop, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, February 14, at the Sedona Real Inn, located at the intersection of Arroyo Pinon Drive and Highway 89-A in Sedona. The workshops, run by local "facilitators" trained by the puckish love guru John Gray, cost $150 per couple, and special room rates at the inn are available. And those with a frustrated love jones may wish to visit the Valentine's Chocolate Bar, a buffet--yes, you heard right, a buffet--of chocolate desserts which runs from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, February 14, at the Arizona Biltmore Main Lobby. It costs $21.75 per person, but it's--get this--all you can eat. Don't blame us if you hate yourself in the morning. America West: 379-7800; Dillard's: 503-5555; Gentle Shepherd: 285-9020; Chandler: 786-2680; Mars/Venus: 588-0233; Chocolate Bar: 954-2507.
VNSA Charity Used-Book Sale: Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association, Inc., sponsors this 41st annual biblio-worm's delight. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 14; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, February 15, in and around the Exhibit Building at Arizona State Fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell. The prices on most items are reduced by 50 percent on Sunday. Admission is free; proceeds benefit various Arizona charities. There is a fee for fairgrounds parking. 265-6805.
Salt River Brass: When you think of love, don't you think "brass band"? Those who can't celebrate Valentine's Day until the day after can enjoy the ringing tones of this 27-member ensemble, which presents an "Affair of the Heart" at 3 p.m. Sunday, February 15, at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue. The concert features such faves as "Jeannie With the Light Brown Hair" and "The Yellow Rose of Texas" as well as selections from South Pacific, Gershwin, and that ol' romantic John Philip Sousa, plus the world premiere of a brass-band arrangement of Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet. If that doesn't set the mood for amour, you should be worried. The Brass gives a second performance, appropriately benefiting the Arizona Heart Institute Foundation, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 16, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors for the Chandler show; $15, $12 for seniors at the Orpheum. 262-7272 (Phoenix Civic Plaza), 503-5555 (Dillard's), 786-2680 (Chandler).
Dannion Brinkley: The "beyond and back" guru and hospice advocate speaks in Scottsdale. See the story on page 61.
CineMuse: The same newfangled technology that produces high-definition TV is employed by this movie process, which receives a four-evening preview beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 17, at Mesa Southwest Museum, 53 North Macdonald, with films called Clearwater: Celebrating the Hudson River and Train Ride to the Sky: The Copper Canyon. Screenings continue with Talking Pictures and A Passage to Vietnam at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 19; Anansi and Koi and the Kola Nuts at 9 a.m. Saturday, February 21; and Rhythm and Blues in the Classic Style and Testify at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, February 22. It is claimed that CineMuse "surpasses most film, and it provides detail and color five times greater than conventional video." Decide for yourself. Single tickets, available at the museum or by phone, are $4, $2 for kids under 12. 644-3159, 644-2230.
Bruce Hamblin Blues Benefit: Candye Kane, who dedicated "It Should Be Raining" on her album Diva La Grand to Hamblin, the rockabilly/roots-country bassist who died last year, headlines this show to raise money to place a headstone at his grave. Also on the bill are Candye's husband Tom Yearsley, Mario Moreno, Kenny Love and the Rockerfellas, Chico Chism, and many others. The bash starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 17, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The suggested donation is $6. 265-4842.
Ballet Du Capitole de Toulouse: Though comparatively little-known in the U.S., this company, which offers works from both the classical and contemporary repertoire, is regarded as one of France's best. Southwest Dance presents an evening with the troupe at 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 18, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Tickets, available at Dillard's, are $24, $28 and $32. 503-5555 (Dillard's).