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Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Feb.8-14

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Wednesday, 8

Orlando Cringe: The Valentine's Show

LITERARY

If there's one thing you can go your entire life without reopening, it's probably your all-knowing childhood diary. You know, the place where you would write down all your most intimate thoughts about whether or not your crush likes you back, or that really awkward moment in class. Those deep, dark secrets that most people would like to hide forever are back to be read out loud in a room full of strangers. It sounds like either a hysterical comedy act or someone's worst nightmare, but four brave souls have decided to step up and read their diaries in front of an audience for Orlando Cringe. Along with these personal readings, the show includes a "Newlywed Game," in which couples win prizes by answering questions about each other and completing physical challenges. So grab your partner and embrace schadenfreude; this is a date night you won't forget. – Rachel LeBar

7 p.m. | The Abbey, 101 S. Eola Drive | facebook.com/orlandocringe | $15

Wednesday, 8

The Great Gatsby

THEATER

We're assuming that Orlando Shakes wasn't trying to make an explicit point by scheduling The Great Gatsby for its 2016-2017 season. After all, the season was announced back in the halcyon days of winter 2016, back when it was clear that the presidential election would undoubtedly go to one of two Democratic senators. But the tricky Electoral College fooled us all and ushered in our current nightmare, summed up by the prescient words of John Lydon and Afrika Bambaataa, "the rich get richer / the poor are getting poorer / fascist, chauvinistic government fools." So this adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's best known work – often seen as an indictment of the selfishness and narcissism of wealthy Americans in the years just before the Great Depression – couldn't have a more timely debut. – Thaddeus McCollum

7:30 p.m. | through March 24 | Orlando Shakespeare Theater, 812 E. Rollins St. | 407-447-1700 | orlandoshakes.org | $13-$40

Thursday, 9

Popcorn Flicks in the Park: Harold and Maude

FILM

2017: The year the world fell apart. 2017: The year that Harold and Maude somehow got classified as a popcorn flick. So there's that silver lining that we've all been searching for. There was a temptation to chuckle pretentiously about the pitch-black humor of the 1971 Hal Ashby deathtrip masterpiece being considered mass-market enough for a free screening in a bucolic outdoor setting to a bunch of unsuspecting families, but we're too busy looking up helicopter charters so we can be airdropped into the front row. Because, come on, Harold and Maude is a goddamn beautiful movie. The tale of the star-crossed and, um, unconventional love (but really, what is conventional anymore?) between a 78-year-old woman and a 20-ish man who bond over a fascination with death and a realization that the world is fucked and you'd better grab any shred of happiness and human connection while you can, is just a timeless piece of filmmaking. Is it morbid? Yes, but so is the world. Does it have heart? 24-karat gold; it's one for the ages. The performances are spot-on, the surreal and absurdist humor stands up, and even the garish, oversaturated color palettes have aged incredibly well. This film even made us enjoy a Cat Stevens song. The perfect antidote to Valentine's Day treacle. – Matthew Moyer

7 p.m. | Central Park, North Park Avenue and West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park | enzian.org | free

Thursday, 9

Death Stuff

MUSIC

Atlanta's Death Stuff come down hard on the punk side of the post-punk equation. Though the bass may be appropriately dour, the guitars stabby and the vocals muddy, there's some serious muscle behind the young trio's sound. Songs like the title track to last year's Surprise Ex tape often explode into drum-punishing speed riffs that owe as much to Black Flag as they do to Christian Death. Local kindred spirits Tight Genes and Autarx join the bill to lend more punk/post-punk heft, along with rockabilly trio the Wildtones, who don't really fit the theme on paper, but yeah, we can see it. – TM

with Tight Genes, Autarx, the Wildtones | 8 p.m. | Uncle Lou's Entertainment Hall, 1016 N. Mills Ave. | 407-898-0009 | $5

Sunday, 12

Valentine's Music Festival

MUSIC

Don't listen to the haters: Valentine's Day is great – as long as you have a date on your arm. Revel in passion and romance at CFE Arena this weekend with an all-out tribute to love featuring R&B superstar Keith Sweat. Sweat (real name!) is hitting the triple-decade mark in his career, sitting comfortably on a discography that features some of the smoothest jams to grace the Quiet Storm airwaves. He's joined by fellow New Jack Swing pioneer Bobby Brown, '80s throwback El DeBarge ("Rhythm of the Night") and new-school smoothie Avant ("Makin' Good Love"). Fair warning: Babies will probably get made after this show. – TM

with Keith Sweat, Bobby Brown, El DeBarge, Avant | 7 p.m. | CFE Arena, 12777 N. Gemini Blvd. | 407-823-3070 | cfearena.com | $52.50-$125

Tuesday, 14

Jucifer

MUSIC

If you are searching for a Valentine's Day event either to (a) prove that you are a thoughtful yet edgy date for the evening or (b) drown out the incessant chatter of happy couples, fear not, Jucifer has you covered. Jucifer, the Georgian sludge-riot duo of Gazelle Amber Valentine (guitar/vocals) and Edgar Livengood (drums) headline Will's Pub on Valentine's Day, with the tenderly named event "Blow Your Load on Valentine's Day with Jucifer." And it may very well be the hot ticket tonight for non-devotees of awkward exchanges of flowers, chocolate or handcuffs. Jucifer has been a going concern since 1993, specializing in volume and sleaze, like this mad-eyed hybrid of the White Stripes and Melvins. Live, they excel at excess, cramming the equivalent of the Who's backline of amps into whatever small club unwittingly agrees to sacrifice their rooftop. Let love in. – MM

with the Ludes | 7 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | willspub.org | $8-$10

Tuesday, 14

Dionne Warwick

MUSIC

If you are searching for a Valentine's Day event that is (a) full of some of the greatest pop love songs ever written and (b) benefits a good cause ... Jesus, are you ever picky! Fear not, though, Dionne Warwick (!) has got you covered. One of the pre-eminent voices of 20th-century R&B, Warwick rolls into town to play THE HITS. And when we say the hits, we mean a whole other level of refined pop perfection; Warwick was the chosen voice for smooth heartbreak overlords Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It was Warwick who breathed vivid life into melancholy symphonies like "Walk On By," "I Say a Little Prayer for You," and "Anyone Who Had a Heart." And that was only the launching point for a stacked discography and career that continues today. All proceeds from this show go to the Port Orange-based Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3282. – MM

with Myles Savage's Motown Party Tour | 7:30 p.m. | Walt Disney Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts | 445 S. Magnolia Ave. | 844-513-2014 | drphillipscenter.org | $39.50-$140

Tuesday, 14

The Mennello Museum Invitational

ART

Nothing screams Valentine's Day like a thorough examination of life through the lens of contemporary art, and the Mennello Museum's new annual exhibition of work from local artists sounds like a perfect match. The featured artists are also donating 50 percent of their proceeds from the sale of the art to benefit the Mennello Museum. What's not to love about such giving partners? We're sure this experience won't be like the time an OkCupid conquest took us on a date to an art museum, when we found out far too late that the museum's special Valentine's event was actually a singles mixer. And the other singles had already slammed all of the event's alcohol before we arrived, leaving us way too sober while we listened to anecdotes about all of the other women our date was currently meeting through OkCupid, Tinder, Match.com, EHarmony, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and probably the goddamn Yellow Pages at that point. Needless to say, we put our foot down after that and dated him for almost three years. But times have changed, and we're not bitter! It's time to get back on that horse and give another contemporary art exhibit a chance. – Abby Stassen

5:30-7:30 p.m. | through March 3 | Mennello Museum of American Art, 900 E. Princeton St. | 407-246-4278 | mennellomuseum.com | $5

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