There’s a bit of a lull after the flurry of celebrations and activities of the holiday season, until suddenly, thoughts of Valentine’s Day begin to come into mind (or loom ahead, as the case may be).
At the Skirball we’re excited to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special edition of our popular Say the Word comedic reading series entitled Bleeding Hearts, a little twist on the typical hearts-and-flowers motif. Whether you love Valentine’s Day or dread it, there’s something for you in this show. Say the Word: Bleeding Hearts is February 8—about a week before Valentine’s Day—so you have time to find a date!
I asked our Say the Word host, resident comedy maven, and goddess of love, Beth Lapides, to share some of her insights into the holiday and the Bleeding Hearts program.
Valentine’s Day: fake holiday or important day dedicated to expressing love?
Totally fake. But also, a very important day for expressing love! So, both. And that’s what keeps us interested in Valentine’s Day or any of the other Hallmark holidays—the contradiction of the authentic urge and the repulsive fake commerciality. The trick is to find ways to satisfy the one part while making fun of the other. And Say the Word is all about combining the heartfelt and the ironic twist. So, speaking of Cupid, it’s a match made in heaven!
I have one theory about Valentine’s Day. It’s actually a manifestation of our desperate longing for red in the midst of winter bleakness. Hearts, roses, cherry chocolates. Red stands for love and blood and life and lust and all the things that are warm and gooey. First chakra things to ground us as we circle our way back around from the ethereal, seventh chakra holiday vibe of the winter solstice festivities. Maybe it’s no coincidence that the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre happened on St. Valentine’s Day!
What is it about Valentine’s Day that makes everyone so crazy?
We hate being bossed around about love. It’s like arranged marriage—it just rubs us the wrong way. We also hate to feel like suckers. Plus, the being-left-out factor. Sometimes you don’t want to go to the prom, but you don’t want to have to hear about everyone else going to the prom either. I always think about how Valentine’s Day has the same acronym as venereal disease. I don’t know what the hell that means, but it seems an important indication of why VD drives us so crazy.
“Bleeding Hearts” sounds kind of harsh. What does that mean for this program? What should we expect to hear from our guest writers/performers?
“Bleeding Hearts” may sound harsh, but it’s also a phrase that expresses the giving nature of people. A bleeding heart is someone who is generous to a fault. That’s us: writers who are generous to a fault with our lives for your amusement! You can expect what we always have at Say the Word: a broad spectrum of takes on the subject, in this case love—from open heart surgery to breakups to interspecies love affairs. As usual, a mix of the intense and the uplifting! Lots of laughs and some good ideas to snuggle up with when you get home.