Some enchanted evening

Romance is in the stars: Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute hosts an evening of love stories associated with the night sky. Photo courtesy of PARI

All events take place on Friday, Feb. 14, and are in Asheville unless otherwise noted. Find more Valentine’s Day happenings in Clubland and Calendar.

Three times makes it annual, so congratulations to the officially annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight. For those of you needing proof that love hurts, stop by Pritchard Park at 5:30 p.m. Helpful hints: “Remember, no feather pillows! Also, take your glasses off before the fight, or they'll get knocked off your head.”

Celebrate your love of good books by finding like-minded readers (and possible romance) at Literary Speed Dating. The hourlong, fast-paced matchmaking session takes place at Malaprop’s at 7 p.m. Email or to fill out a short questionnaire and register.

No star-crossed love here: The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) holds a special Valentine’s day event including a trip to the PARI Exhibit Gallery, an observing session and an evening of love stories associated with the night sky. The romantic tales, according to a press release, “all deal with shenanigans so memorable that they are remembered using the sky. The stories come from around the world and are sure to provide an unforgettable Valentine’s Day experience.” Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. The event begins at 7 p.m. with reservations taken until 3 p.m. the day of. $20/$15/$10. 862-5554 or

What better day of the year to get theatrical? Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre holds its Hearts for SART fundraiser, with actors Jon Menick and Mary McGahren presenting selections from Pulitzer-finalist Love Letters. Held at The Masonic Temple at 7 p.m. There were also be desserts, a silent auction and raffles. $15.

There's a lot to love about love. There's also a lot about love to laugh at. During two Valentine's Day comedy shows, Andy Woodhull will "poke fun at dating and relationships, online dating, what it would be like to date a vampire, and pen pals with a significant other." Woodhull has performed on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham and at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. "He won the Best of the Midwest Competition at Gilda’s Laugh Fest in 2010," according to a press release, and "his 2012 album release, Lucy, was named a top 10 comedy album of the year by" Woodhull performs at The Millroom at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Atlanta-based standup comic Gilbert Lawand is the special guest. $10/$12.

“Isn’t it Romatic?” is the theme of White Horse Black Mountain’s jazz cabaret dinner concert. The Valentine’s Day show features vocalist Wendy Jones, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens and Rich Wiley on trumpet. 7 p.m., $15. Black Mountain Bistro serves dinner before the show, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. for $20 per person.

Good things come in threes, like world/Americana trio The Billy Sea. The local group, with Billy Cardine on slide guitar, River Guerguerian on percussion and Jake Wolf on bass, performs a show “celebrating the day of love” at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall. Mary Lucey of The Biscuit Burners (who is Cardine's wife) makes a guest appearance. 8:30 p.m., $12 advance/$15 at the door. The restaurant will be open for dinner, reservations at

The Bywater holds its second Valentine’s Prom, which includes a danceoff with “American Idol”-style judging and a cash prize. 9 p.m., $5.

We're going to be focused on hot love songs on this cold night,” says band leader Jeff Thompson. He, Michael Hynes and James Kylen make up a trio at Trailhead in Black Mountain, where they’ll “perform an entire show dedicated to this most lovely, enigmatic and maddening of human emotions.” 9 p.m.

Heating things up on a wintery chilly night, The Mothlight hosts the Be Mine Burlesque Show. Local performer Deb Au Nare is joined by fellow burlesque artists Memphis Moonshine, Anita Powers and Ariel Vanator. Each brings two acts to the stage. Lucky Rigel 7 emcees. For ages 21 and older, at 10 p.m. $15.

“HEART Music Instead” is the suggestion/show name of Headway’s Valentine’s(ish) event at Broadway’s. Atlanta dream-pop outfit Spirits and the Melchizedek Children perform. And not only does the band sound grittily romantic, it’s made up of half a dozen beardy, tattooed, unsuitable bachelors*. 10:30 p.m., $5.
*Xpress can not confirm bachelorhood.

Originally all based in Charlottesville, Va., Americana collective The Hackensaw Boys are now spread out across Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and California. But on Valentine’s Day they’ll all be together, and they’ll all be at Pisgah Brewing. The show takes place inside the taproom at 9 p.m. Richardo’s Salvadorian Papusas is the food vendor. $10 advance/$15 day of show.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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