BY SANDY STAGGS
DRAMA CRITIC & PUBLISHER
Flowers, Chocolates, Dinner and a Show! Grab your sweetheart and make reservations at one of these wonderful Upstate performing arts venues. This round-up includes theatre, music, comedy and dance all with a Romance theme and some others we just have to recommend.
THE FANTASTICKS — The Market Theatre Company
The world’s longest-running musical about teens tricked into love by their fathers is the debut production by The Market Theatre Company in Anderson. The show runs February 11-28 at the Anderson Arts Center, 110 Federal Street in Anderson. Shows are Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, February 27. Tickets are $10. Opening night tickets are $30 and include red carpet, photo booth, drinks and a sweet and savory reception! Call (864) 729-2999 or Visit http://www.themarketanderson.org/.
LOVE LETTERS — Foothills Playhouse & Oconee Community Theatre
Love blooms in two productions of this play by A.R. Gurney about childhood friends who carry on a lifetime of correspondence through the U.S. mail.
“Love Letters” is part of the Foothills Playhouse B-Side series and runs Feb. 12-14 only. Curtain goes up Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at 201 S 5th St. in Easley. Tickets are $5. Call (864) 855-1817 or visit http://fhplayhouse.com.
Oconee Community Theatre shows are Feb. 12-14 & 19-21 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 at 8001 Utica Street Seneca, SC 29678. Call (864)-882-1910 or visit http://www.oconeetheatre.org.
SYMPHONY SWEETHEARTS ‘N’ JAZZ — Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Sarah Ioannides and the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra will be joined by Grammy award nominee Jens Lindemann, soprano Tish Oney and the Spartanburg Jazz Ensemble for exciting and romantic Valentine’s Day gala on Saturday, February 13 at 8 p.m. in Twichell Auditorium at Converse College, 580 East Main Street in Spartanburg. Tickets are $21 and up for adults; $9 and up for students. Call (864) 596-9724 or visit http://www.spartanburgphilharmonic.org.
THE RED VELVET CAKE WAR — Little Theatre of Gastonia
In this riotously funny Southern-fried comedy, written by Tarheel dramatists Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten — also known for “The Dixie Swim Club” and “Always A Bridesmaid” – the three Verdeen cousins in Sweetgum, Texas face an uphill battle as a parade of wildly eccentric Verdeens gathers on the hottest day of July for a family reunion. Shows are Feb. 11-13 at 7:30 p.m. at 238 S Clay St. in Gastonia, NC. Tickets are $12-16. Call (704) 865-0160 or visit http://www.littletheaterofgastonia.org/.
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY — Bob Jones University
The Dashwood sisters seek matrimony and true love in this stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s first novel “Sense and Sensibility” directed by Anne Nolan. Shows are Feb. 12-13 at 8 p.m. at Bob Jones University’s Rodeheaver Auditorium, 1700 Wade Hampton Blvd. in Greenville. Tickets are $6.50-$12. Visit http://bju.universitytickets.com.
KIMILEE BRYANT: LOVE MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND — Travelers Rest United Methodist Church
Spend Valentine’s Day with Broadway star Kimilee Bryant! Kimilee is a Greenville native, former Miss South Carolina and star of “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway and around the world and will sing love songs from Broadway musicals such as “Carousel,” “The Music Man,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Song and Dance,” “Nine,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and more! This concert is Sunday, February 14th at 3 p.m. at Travelers Rest United Methodist Church, 19 S Main St. in Travelers Rest. Tickets are available at www.kimileebryant.com.
ROMEO AND JULIET — Anderson University School of the Arts
William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy is set in 1930s gangster-laden America in this Anderson University School of the Arts production that premieres after Valentine’s Day. Shows are Feb. 17-20 at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Feb. 20 at Belk Theatre, 316 Boulevard in Anderson. Call the Rainey Fine Arts Center Box Office at (864) 231-2080. For info, visit http://www.andersonuniversity.edu/school-of-the-arts.
SHE LOVES ME — Clemson Players
The Clemson Players present “She Loves Me,” an enchanting musical of mistaken identity and the bloom of first love. Elegant, funny, and heartwarming, it’s the perfect Valentine confection. Shows are February 18-20 Thursday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. at the Brooks Center for Performing Arts at Clemson University, 141 Jersey Lane in Clemson. Call (864) 656-7787 or visit http://www.clemson.edu.
HEART & SOUL — Centre Stage
Soothe your hearts and souls with this high-octane journey through the music of the soul era. “Heart & Soul” was just extended through Feb. 20 due to popular demand. Read our REVIEW! Centre Stage has a special Valentine’s Day package on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 3 p.m. that includes champagne and sweet treats including LaRue Chocolates, Red Velvet Tiramisu, Chocolate Chunk Brownies, Heart Cookies, Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cups! Tickets for this special offer are $50 or just a $15 upcharge for Platinum Season Members. Regular tickets are also available for $25-35. Centre Stage is located at 501 River Street in Greenville. Call (864) 233-6733 or visit http://www.centrestage.org.
WITH LOVE, SYBIL — Clemson Little Theatre
Join the Clemson Little Theatre for a Valentine’s treat, with entertainment by singer Sybil Miller accompanied by Ron Goldstein. Elegant and sparkling refreshments complete the evening. Marvin-Joe Merck directs this extraordinary fund raising event on Sunday, February 14 at 7 p.m. at the Clemson Little Theatre-Pendleton Playhouse, 214 S Mechanic St. in Pendleton. Tickets are $20 and only $15 for Season Members. Call (864) 646-8100 for reservations.
EMILE PANDOLFI IN CONCERT — Greenville Little Theatre
Greenville Little Theatre proudly presents nationally renowned pianist Emile Pandolfi in concert on Valentine’s Day Weekend, Saturday, February 13, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 14 at 3 p.m. With thirty plus recordings in his own discography, Emile Pandolfi ranks among America’s most popular piano artists. Having spent six years as the “piano-man” at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, Emile combines his love of laughter with his passion for music. Joining Emile on stage is noted soprano, Dana Russell. Tickets are $35. GLT is located at 444 College St. in Greenville. Call (864) 233-6238 or visit http://www.greenvillelittletheatre.org.
THE RETURN — Walhalla Civic Auditorium
Spend an evening with “The Return,” recognized as one of the premier Beatles tribute bands in America as they return to the Upstate. Read our REVIEW from their performance in August, 2015 at Greenville Little Theatre. This show will feature all the great Beatles songs from “Meet the Beatles” to “Sargent Pepper’s” and beyond. The Return’s authenticity gives audiences a performance unlike any they have ever witnessed. The Return will perform Saturday, February 13 at 8 p.m. at Walhalla Civic Auditorium, 101 E North Broad St. in Walhalla. Tickets are $14-28. Call (864) 638-5277 or visit http://walhallacivic.com/.
THE MUSIC OF BARRY MANILOW — Flat Rock Playhouse
Flat Rock Playhouse regular Guy LeMonnier (“Celtic Christmas,” “Music of the Night”) returns to star in this musical celebration of one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, backed by the Flat Rock Chorus under the direction of Diane David. “The Music of Barry Manilow” runs February 11-14 at the Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown, 125 South Main Street in Hendersonville. Performances are Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call (828) 693-0731, or visit www.flatrockplayhouse.org.
STUDIO SERIES: LOVE INSPIRED — Ballet Spartanburg
Ballet Spartanburg will present its third ballet performance of the 2015-2016 season, “Studio Series: Love Inspired” on Feb. 12 and 13 in its studios at Chapman Cultural Center. Each night will offer two shows, one at 6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and champagne and another at 8 p.m. with sweets and champagne. Recommended for mature audiences. Chapman Cultural Center is located at 200 E St John St. in Spartanburg. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for students. Call (864) 583-0339 or visit BalletSpartanburg.org .
SWAMP RABBIT TALES — Café and Then Some
This show tells the story of the Swamp River Trail from its humble beginnings in prehistory up to its current wild success as a biking and hiking trail all through the eyes of a family of bunnies. “Swamp Rabbit Tales” stars Susan and Bill Smith, Maureen Abdalla, Jim Wilkins and the delightful Traysie Amick (or Lauren Wilson for some performances). Shows are Wed.-Sat. with 6:30-7:30 p.m. Dinner & Show seating, 7:30 p.m. Show-only seating and 8 p.m. Showtime. Tickets are $20 for show only. Saturday, Feb. 13 is sold-out but seating is available other nights this week. Café and Then Some is located at 101 College St. in Greenville. Call (864) 232-2287 for reservations or visit http://www.cafeats.com/ for more information.
ARSENIC AND OLD LACE — Abbeville Opera House
Meet the charming and innocent ladies who populate their cellar with the remains of socially and religiously “acceptable” roomers, the antics of their brother who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt, and the mysterious activities of the other brother in this classic American comedy by Joseph Kesselring. The Abbeville Opera House is hosting a special Valentine’s special offer on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. for $40 a couple that includes 2 tickets, chocolate and wine. Regular tickets for $10-20 are also available for this performance. “Arsenic and Old Lace” continues Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 12-13 & 19 at 8 p.m. with 3 p.m. matinees on Saturdays, Feb. 13 & 20.
LOVE IS IN THE ALE — Hub City Tap House
Join HUB-BUB and the Hub City Tap House on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 7-11 p.m. for an evening of beer, games, prizes, comedy and romance. The gang will be pulling members from the audience to participate in games based on classics like The Newlywed Game and old dating games. There’s a chance for everyone to win some great prizes! And you’ll also get to enjoy some top notch comedy from resident improv and sketch group Airbud. Tickets are only $10 and available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/love-is-in-the-ale-tickets-20863368898. The Hub City Tap House: Home of Ciclops Cyderi & Brewery is located at