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The Weekend: Wherefore Art Thou, Romeo?

Whether you are ready to get romantic ... or not ... here are 10 events to attend this weekend, including 'Romeo and Juliet' at MSU.

Romance is in the air as Valentine’s Day draws near. Many will celebrate over the weekend, while others will attempt to avoid the pressures of couplehood altogether. Whichever camp you are in, this weekend offers a varied assortment of entertainments to interest everyone. Read on for the Top 10 Patch Picks for our area.

Laugh, dance, eat and play all evening at Newark Symphony Hall! Learn to line dance, with Kenny showing you how to do the Cha Cha, the Electric Slide, Steppin’ and more! Dinners will be available for purchase, and raffles will be sold. Play games including Uno, Wii Sport, Spades. Music by DJ Joe Smith will keep the house rocking, and expect a special guest performance in honor of Black History Month. $5 Admission, with $5 drink specials; Friday 5 p.m. to midnight; Newark

"What light through yonder window breaks?" Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, will be performed by the Department of Theater and Dance students of . Just in time for Valentine’s Day, our star-crossed lovers weave their doomed romance across the stage of the Alexander Kasser Theater. $15; Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.; Upper Montclair

In what may prove to be a hysterical tribute to Dancing with the Stars, several prominent public figures from the Caldwells will strut their stuff on the stage at to raise funds for the Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Foundation. Scheduled to perform are Kevin Barnes, Principal of ; Teresa Akersten, Caldwells Patch Editor; Joe Cecere, West Caldwell Councilman; Dr. Gerardi, Superintendent of Schools; and many more.  $10 Adults $7 Students & Senior Citizens; Saturday at 7 p.m.; West Caldwell

What better way to celebrate romance than with a murder mystery? The will host a dinner where the audience becomes Guest Snitches and Suspects to help solve the mystery in a side-splitting evening which will keep everyone guessing until the very end! $64.95; Saturday at 7 p.m.; Bloomfield

Be among the first to see Reparation, a play by Gino DiIloio, presented by . “An African-American investment banker who has made a career by playing the race card finds himself out of options and out of friends. His last hope is an old flame with a hot real estate venture. But he soon learns that there are secrets buried beneath the land, secrets that will force him to come to terms with past transgressions, reconsider his loyalties, and determine his own legacy.” $20; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; West Orange

For a fun, outdoor, family activity, consider The Hot Chocolate Hike at the Essex County Environmental Center. Explore the forest in winter, breathe in some fresh air, spend quality time with your children, and then warm up around the campfire with hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows. $6 per Child; $8 per adult; Saturday at noon; Roseland

Friendship is tested and lives are examined in this one-act musical by . The Story of My Life tells the story of two childhood friends and how their friendship profoundly defined their lives. $24 (Gen), $20 (Srs), $15 (Students); Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Bloomfield

Black History Month will be honored at the with a “From Jazz to Soul” concert, featuring Rhonda Denét and the Silver Fox Songs Trio. From Ella Fitzgerald to Aretha Franklin, tributes to jazz greats Billie Holiday and Nancy Wilson as well as soul divas Etta James, Martha Reeves and Gladys Knight will also be featured. Free; Sunday at 2 p.m.; West Caldwell

“Mardi Gras”, translated from French, means “Fat Tuesday”—the traditional last hurrah before Lent begins the next day, on Ash Wednesday. will host an early Mardi Gras party featuring the New Orleans band Dave Rimelis and Louisiana Hot Sauce. Enjoy raffles, food and drink specials, beads, masks and more, with proceeds benefitting the Family Service League & Essex County Rape Care Center. Suggested donation is $20 for adults and $10 for children; Sunday at 4 p.m.; Montclair

Romance just oozes from Italian opera music. Experience the heartbreaking beauty of favorite operatic arias and duets by such composers as Verdi, Mozart, Puccini, Cilea, and Rossini at the Roseland Library when soprano Annamaria Stefanelli performs with tenor Rory Angelicola in “An Afternoon of Italian Opera”.  Free; Sunday 2 p.m.; Roseland


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