Valentine’s Day can be a strange holiday to celebrate. Even if you’ve got a significant other, there are mostly only cliché options to choose from if you’re planning a night out: go see a romantic movie, find a romantic setting for dinner, etc. Those might do the trick for a new relationship, but if you do that kind of thing too many years in a row it can get predictable and maybe even boring.
Never fear – here’s an event you’re sure to love, that won’t be the sentimental mush you might expect from the traditional Valentine’s Day fare.
“We do a variety of tunes, but mostly what we do is take contemporary tunes by Beyoncé, Rihanna, Michael Jackson, etc., and flip them into swing tunes,” said Ryan MacKenzie Lewis, EMU Music and Theatre professor and pianist for Accidentally Hip, a non-traditional swing band which will present “My Texty Valentine: Songs About Loving and Losing” at the Yellow Barn in Ann Arbor on Valentine’s Day.
Many of the band’s nine members have played with some of the Metro Detroit area’s finest jazz and swing ensembles, such as the Paul Keller orchestra, the Monroe Big Band and others. Accidentally Hip has also performed at some of the most prestigious venues in Southeast Michigan, including The Montreaux Detroit Jazz Festival and the Motor City Casino. This will be their first appearance at the Yellow Barn, but Lewis is looking forward to the atmosphere the venue is likely to create.
“The intimate space is nice to be able to connect to an audience,” he said.
“The Valentine's Day performance is a slight departure from our usual big band setup… In order to accommodate the more intimate setting, we have our usual rhythm section but only one horn player, added strings and backup singers.”
The performance on Sunday will be essentially a cabaret, but its unique Valentine’s Day twist will be interspersed with songs that will be a storyline told through text messages. And what would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate? Theatre Nova, which is putting on the event, has already made sure to include, “We’ll definitely have chocolate,” in their Facebook post about the event.
And even if you don’t have a date for Sunday night, this show will be the perfect event for you as well. Why go out to a movie or have dinner alone when you can spend the evening at a show that doesn’t subscribe to the Hallmark sappiness of Valentine’s Day? And who knows, you might meet the love of your life while sitting in the audience.
“My Texty Valentine: Songs About Loving and Losing” will start at 7 p.m. at The Yellow Barn located at 416 W. Huron St. in Ann Arbor on Sunday, Feb. 14. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance at 734-635-8450.