As much as anyone says to beware the ides of March, the ides of February bring more trepidation to more people than the midpoint of any other month, thanks to the societal expectations that come with Valentine’s Day.
Do you not have someone to love you? Better get on that, stat!
Do you have a love in your life? Best have something prepared to show that your romantic fire still burns, lest that be questioned and the night devolve into arguments, cold shoulders and slammed doors.
Or, if you’re fortunate enough, you can find friends old or new to guide you through the 14th day of the second month without your heart breaking into a million little pieces. Even here in New York City. Especially here. Whatever your situation, here are some entertainment suggestions:
‘THE BACKFATLOR’ at Union Hall (7:30 p.m.). Billed as “Last Comic Standing” meets “The Bachelor,” this live dating contest features four single stand-up comedians vying for a date with a bachelor; all expenses will be paid by the sponsor IDK Tonight. It’s all fun and games for you in the audience, but very real for the comedians Drew Anderson, Brian Bahe, Calvin Cato and Kendall Farrell, and the bachelor, Hugh McIntyre. Hosted by Emily Winter and Larry Mancini in Park Slope, Brooklyn. unionhallny.com
‘BE MINE: IMPROVISERS & THEIR REAL-LIFE VALENTINES’ at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater Hell’s Kitchen (9:30 p.m.). Nine of the UCB’s regular actors and actresses, on this night only, improvise a comedy scene with their life partners, who do not do comedy for a living. Awkward for them, but not for you. Hosted by Brian Faas (who has appeared on “Broad City” and “Best Week Ever”) with his husband, a doctor with stage fright. hellskitchen.ucbtheatre.com
MICHAEL CARBONARO at Town Hall (8 p.m.). The star of “The Carbonaro Effect” on truTV demonstrates his magic skills in front of a live audience. Open to all ages. thetownhall.org
DAYBREAKER at Public Arts (dancing from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.). This sober dance party started in New York City in 2012 and has expanded to 22 cities worldwide. Dress in red for the event, which has partnered with the online dating app Bumble to help singles mingle. Upon arrival at this Lower East Side concert hall, you’ll receive a necklace designating whether you’re looking for dates, friends or just networking. daybreaker.com/city/nyc/
[Check out our Culture Calendar here.]
LIVE @ THE APT at the Villain (8:30 p.m.). This independently produced comedy showcase usually pops up in unexpected lofts and apartments, but for this night, it’s playing it safer at this establishment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where all of the comedians will joke about sex, love and relationships to put you and whomever you’re with at ease. liveapt.tv
‘MORTIFIED: DOOMED LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL’ at Littlefield in Brooklyn (shows at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). Tragedy plus time does equal comedy in this showcase, in which comedians and writers unearth the journals, poems, home movies and more that they made in their teenage years. Angsty then. Funny now. All about unrequited romance. (Also Valentine’s Day events in Boston and Denver.) littlefieldnyc.com
OUT BY 10 at NoHo Sound (8 p.m.). Each month, the host Susan Seliger presents a nonprofit production of musicians and funny storytellers that raises money to support the artists on the bill. February’s lineup features Kevin Allison, host of “RISK!” (he’s also from the State), the comedian and rapper Carolyn Castiglia, the actor Gianmarco Soresi and music from All Types of Kinds. musae.me
THE SONS & HEIRS at the Bell House (8 p.m.). If romance seems too contrived, or you’re so emo that you’re over the idea, then we’ll know to look for you at this concert hall in Gowanus, Brooklyn, where the Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield hosts this performance by a band that pays tribute to Morrissey and The Smiths. thebellhouseny.com
‘YOUR LOVE, OUR MUSICAL’ at Caveat on the Lower East Side (7 p.m.). As raved about recently by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times, the duo of Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman take a nearly impossible premise and execute it brilliantly. They’ll interview a real couple from the audience and turn that pair’s love story into a fully improvised musical. Now that’s a Valentine’s gift. caveat.nyc