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Theater sets the mood for Valentine’s Day

by Lenise Willis

 lenise@yesweekly.com

Your palms are sweaty and the butterflies in your stomach are fluttering, and though you may be nervous about the occasion, the uneasiness is also laced with a sense of joy and glee. No, you’re not going in for a job interview.

It’s Valentine’s Day and the pressure to pull off a special, thoughtful, romantic evening is on.

Whether you’ve just started dating someone, or you’ve been with your other half for decades, creating a memorable Valentine’s Day cannot only be difficult, but daunting. That’s why High Point Theatre aims to take the pressure off of couples and give them a chance to simply enjoy a romantic evening of heartening music.

“This evening will make you a romantic, even if you don’t see yourself as one,” said David Briggs, director at High Point Theatre.

The theater’s special Valentine’s Day event is a mixed concert called Best of Broadway: You Raise Me Up!, filled with the excitement of Broadway, the thrill of opera and the sweeping passion of Academy Award-winning songs.

Including such hits as “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “The Impossible Dream,” “Love Changes Everything” and “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” the crossover concert aims to fill the air with notes of loving and uplifting music.

“It will be a romantic evening of fine music,” Briggs said. “The four performers in this show, headlined by Ray Saar and Diane Ketchie — a native of Charlotte — will thrill the audience with songs from Broadway and popular music.”

The classic songs will be performed by artists whose credits include starring roles on Broadway, appearances with major symphony orchestras, solo concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, and even performances at the White House.

Three of the four performers were even featured in Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera, a small portion of which will also be performed during the concert.

Besides providing an evening of touching lyrics, High Point Theatre is also giving couples the chance to pair their musical evening with a romantic dinner catered by the local Gianno’s restaurant.

The pre-show dinner will be intimate, with seating for two, or for a larger group if desired, in the theater’s beautiful second-floor art gallery.

Couples will receive two complimentary glasses of champagne or sparkling grape juice, and each lady will receive a red rose.

The duo-plated meal includes shareable bruschetta caprese, house or Caesar salad, both a 6-ounce filet mignon and a 6-ounce Norwegian grilled salmon topped with rosé Champagne crème sauce, bacon-wrapped asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes, chocolate-dipped strawberry panna cotta or tiramisu, and coffee, tea or citrus water.

“This will be a special evening, even if they don’t have dinner with us,” Briggs said, but added that the meal will definitely be a delicious addition.”

Briggs said he came up with the idea after noticing last year how difficult it was to get a dinner reservation around Valentine’s Day, as well as the lack of romantic entertainment. It was his first year in the area.

“This is the start of a ‘new’ tradition,” Briggs said. “I already have an amazing show lined up for Valentine’s Day 2014. I hope this becomes as successful and as much of a tradition as The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol at the holiday season.”

WANNA go?

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14 in the High Point Theatre, located at 220 E. Commerce Ave. Tickets are $35 orchestra, $30 balcony. The combination dinner for two is sold separately for $60 per couple. For tickets or more information call the box office at 336.887.3001 or visit highpointtheatre.com.

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