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Hallmark doesn't own the patent on creative ways to say "I love you." Treat your honey to a night of sweets and storytelling with the Tell Tale Hearts Storytellers Theater's Valentine's extravaganza. "Fools for Love and Decadent Desserts" will be held at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Road. $16 includes dessert, and reservations are required. 7:30-10 p.m. Call 261-2787 or visit www.artsglenallen.com.Feb. 15-16
If a spiritual retreat would do your soul some good, there's no need to look further than your backyard. The St. James's Episcopal Church celebration of women and spirit, "WomanKind: Faith, Family & Future," explores the theme "Where in the world are we, sister?" Guest speakers include Azar Nafisi, author of "Reading Lolita in Tehran," as well as other renowned women authors, ministers and rabbis from around the country. 1205 W. Franklin St. $55 for Friday, 6-9 p.m.; $80 for Saturday from 8:15 a.m.-4 p.m.; and $100 for the whole weekend. Registration is required by Feb. 8. Call 355-1779 or visit www.
doers.org for more information. Feb. 17
If you want to spend an evening thinking and laughing at the same time, check out Chicago's infamous comedy club Second City at Richmond's hot new venue, Toad's Place, 140 Virginia St. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 on day of the all-ages show. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8:30. Call 648-TOAD or visit www.toadsplacerva.com. Feb. 27
Whether you wish to be envious or inspired, check out hip new poetry scenester Meghan O'Rourke at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' ongoing series "Poetic Principles." A regular New Yorker contributor, O'Rourke is the culture editor of online magazine Slate and the poetry co-editor of the Paris Review. Her first collection of poems, "Halflife," was published in 2007. Admission to the 6 p.m. event is $7-$9. VMFA, 200 N. Boulevard. Call 340-1405 or visit www.vmfa.state.va.us.March 5
Your mom, your sister, your aunt, your girlfriend, you and your grandma won't want to miss nonfiction's modern heroine Anne Lamott at the University of Richmond. And if you haven't yet read her latest books, "Traveling Mercies," "Plan B" or "Grace (Eventually)," you'll want to do that, too. "Faith, Writing and Life Connections: An Evening With Anne Lamott," is hosted by UR's Office of the Chaplaincy. The event is free but tickets, available Feb. 11, are required. Contact Josh Dickerson at 289-8500. March 8
After placing your bids in the silent auction, laugh your hot pants off at the Jewish Community Center's comedy night featuring Michele Balan, the New York comedienne who was one of the four finalists on NBC's 2006 "Last Comic Standing." Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. $20-$26 for individual tickets or $200 for a table of eight. 8 p.m. 5403 Monument Ave. Call 285-6500 or visit www.weinsteinjcc.org for details. March 16
A Palestinian girl who goes to any length for a birthday cake. A South African woman who grieves the death of an infant. These are just two of the compelling onscreen subjects of the Lunafest Film Festival, which screens short, independent and international films by and about women to raise money for the Breast Cancer Fund and other nonprofits that benefit women. One of more than 100 festivals nationwide, Richmond's own Lunafest, hosted by the Luna Moms Club of Richmond, will be held at 4240 Dominion Blvd. (Innsbrook. Tickets to the 6 p.m. event are $15. 888-232-2450.March 21
Unless you plan to travel outside the Earth's orbit, you may never get another chance to dance and sing with eight big, blue men. So take advantage of this rare opportunity to experience "How to Be a Megastar 2.1" with the aptly named Blue Man Group. $46-$76. 8 p.m. at the Richmond Coliseum. For tickets, call 262-8100 or visit www.ticketmaster.com. For more information about the concert, visit www.blue
At the forefront of the world-music scene, multilingual, African-born, singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo leads an energetic and rousing evening of reggae, world fusion, jazz and gospel. $32. 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Modlin Center's Camp Concert Hall, 50 Crenshaw Way. Call 289-8980 or visit www.modlin.richmond.edu.March 29
You're never too old for story time. Listen to contemporary short stories by Virginia authors performed by Virginia actors and accompanied by Virginia musicians for a rousing evening of local lore. With Mary Badham (Scout from "To Kill a Mockingbird") as this year's host, you'll be sure to enjoy the fifth annual "Virginia Arts and Letters Live" at the historic Empire Theatre at 114 W. Broad St. Call 344-8040 for tickets or visit www.barksdalerichmond.org.