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When Canadian author Yann Martel brought us on a maritime voyage with teenaged Pi and his passenger, Richard Parker—the fearsome Bengal tiger that became an unexpectedly comforting companion—he introduced himself as a writer capable of crafting fantastical adventures interlaced with philosophical explorations of human relations and meditations on faith. Martel’s latest novel, The High Mountains of Portugal, features similarly solitary characters on literal and figurative quests. The result is a layered story, with Martel weaving together three narratives and guiding us on a meandering journey through 20th century Portugal. Read more >>> Yann Martel reads at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. politics-prose.com. (Victoria Gaffney)
Buffalo & Bergen in Union Market is offering a “Lover’s Delight, Cocktails at Night” special through Sunday to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The menu starts at $40 for four cocktails and includes “A Soulful Kiss,” which features whiskey, homemade amaro, and bittered salt, as well as the “What Came First,” a mezcal-based drink with candied grapefruit and “pink love.” Buffalo & Bergen, 1309 5th St. NE. (202) 543-2549. buffalobergendc.com. (Quinn Myers)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: The Washington National Opera begins performances of Lost in the Stars, Kurt Weill‘s tragic musical based on the Alan Paton‘s novel Cry, the Beloved Country, at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. 7:30 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $79–$265.
Friday: Seattle-based pop act Hey Marseilles takes the stage at U Street Music Hall with indie-pop duo Bad Bad Hats. 7 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $15.
Friday: R&B artist Amel Larrieux sets the mood for Valentine’s Day weekend with a sensual show at the Howard Theatre. 7:30 p.m. at 620 T St. NW. $37.50–$75.
Saturday: If you don’t think America has a race problem, you might live in a fallout shelter. Seriously: Look no further than last weekend’s Super Bowl halftime show, with Beyoncé’s exhilarating, powerful performance—literally the only reason to watch the program—and how it was received by Right Wing America. But Beyoncé is hardly the first artist to use music as a platform to call out race and social issues. Since 2010, Brooklyn’s Aye Nako has written songs about race, gender, and the misrepresentation of identity, especially in the media. In 2016, a group with a message as urgent as Aye Nako’s has never been so necessary. Read more >>> Aye Nako performs with Governess, didi, and Chimp Suit at 7 p.m. at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1525 Newton St. NW. Free. positiveforcedc.com. (Matt Cohen)
Saturday: Comedian Adam Devine, seen on Workaholics and in Pitch Perfect, brings his lively standup act to George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. 8 p.m. at 730 21st St. NW. $35.
Saturday: Local storytellers share their favorite tales of love—-real, imagined, good, and bad—-at Story District’s “Sucker for Love” show at the Lincoln Theatre. 6 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $25.
Sunday: There aren’t many things that will bring D.C. residents out to Fairfax on any day, much less Valentine’s Day. But if there is, the Virginia Opera is betting that it’s Romeo and Juliet. No, not the play, but the 1867 opera by Charles Gounod. As opera adaptations go, it can be uneven. Librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre took some lines directly from the Bard of Avon but also took some liberties with a few minor plot points (like, oh, the ending). But Gounod’s music is a pleasantly melodic and sufficiently tragic, Romantic take on the original, if you can overlook the peculiarity of an English play about Italian characters being sung in French. Read more >>> The opera runs Feb. 13 to Feb. 14 at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. $48–$98. (866) 673-7282. vaopera.org. (Mike Paarlberg)
Sunday: Local rock quartet The Milestones performs an intimate show at DC9 with The Humble and YUM. 8:30 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. $8.
Sunday: Detroit-based rock band Protomartyr joins local acts Priests and Protect-U for a lively and noisy Valentine’s night show at The Black Cat. Read more in our Spring Arts Guide. 7:30 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $15.
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