It’s only the first week of February and yet theaters are already gearing up for Valentine’s date-night productions. There are sappy love stories and even a sexy, flirtatious production. Of course, for those looking to ignore the red floating hearts, there are also a few performances with just a good, original story.

The spirit of Mae West continues to fill Triad Stage for the theater’s Greensboro production of Dirty Blonde, a love story inspired by the sexy, bawdy actress, writer and comedian.

As part of Greensboro’s 13 th annual Fringe Festival at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center, the Drama Center’s Playwright’s Forum presents An Evening of Short Plays Thursday through Sunday. The event includes eight original, neverbefore-produced plays by local artists.

Twin City Stage is appealing to bookworms and love-saps alike with its production of Pride and Prejudice this Friday through Sunday, as well as next weekend.

Saturday, another original work from the Greensboro Fringe Festival will perform at Empire Books in celebration of its re-opening and ownership change. Live performances, including one by COL- LAPSS, will take place throughout the store, creating a beautiful juxtaposition of interactive performance with the written word. COLLAPSS (collective for happy sounds) is a music and dance collective.

Later this month Caldcleugh Multicultural Arts Center’s will honor Black History Month with a performance of poetry readings, both historic and modern. The readings are coupled with scenery and some acting for a more visual production.

Also opening at the end of February is the production Love Letters, which will raise money in the fight against ovarian cancer. Look in next week’s YES! for more details.

In other news, CTG’s Centerstage Performing Group won an Outstanding Overall Production award at the Junior Theatre Festival Jan. 16-18 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 30 CTG cast members ages 9-17 presented selections from Hairspray Jr. Choreographer Jose Rondon Jr. was one of seven teachers selected for the Freddie G. Fellowship, which recognizes exceptional contributions to arts education. !