Film: Did the world really need another “Die Hard” movie? Either way, it now has one, as the Bruce Willis franchise’s fifth installment, “A Good Day to Die Hard,” arrives in theaters just in time for, uh, Valentine’s Day. This week’s new releases also include the supernatural love story “Beautiful Creatures” and the latest Nicholas Sparks love-fest “Safe Haven.” Find all show times and theaters here.
Music: You’ll be shaken – and maybe even a little stirred – by the music in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Classic Bond concert, with classic themes songs of James Bond films from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace. The show is at 8 p.m. tonight and on Saturday, February 16 in Kodak Hall of the Eastman Theatre (26 Gibbs St.). Visit rpo.org for tickets and more shows.
Film: Do white rappers really belong in hip-hop? Do they represent a move toward a color-blind future, or a return to the cultural theft of the past? You can tune into these questions at a screening of “Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity,” at 7 p.m. in the Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave.). The documentary explores the racial tensions and implications that arise from white participation in hip-hop music and culture. The free screening will be followed by a dialogue led by David Blackburn, director of multicultural and minority student affairs at Niagara University. thebaobab.org.
Music: Philadelphia soul sensation The Stylistics came together in 1968 after members of The Percussions and the Monarchs joined forces. With lead vocalist Russell Thomkins, Jr.’s nasally falsetto, the group let out a string of unforgettable gems including “Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart),” “You Are Everything,” and its biggest hit, “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” which went to No. 2 on the Billboard Charts in 1974. An updated version of the group comes to town as part of The Superstars of the 70's Soul Jam --- and a good excuse to sustain Valentine’s Day one more day --- with The Emotions, The Blue Notes, Blues Magic, The Main Ingredient, and Cuba Gooding Senior.The jam goes down Friday, February 15, 7 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre, 885 E. Main St. $44.50-$50. rbtl.org.
Special event: The University of Rochester’s Day of the Arts celebration is actually two days – today and Saturday, February 16 – but with so much to celebrate, who’s counting? This celebration, which spans UR’s River Campus (252 Elmwood Ave.) and the Eastman School of Music (26 Gibbs St.), has a full schedule of dance, music, theater and art shows from members of the UR community. The “day” begins at 2:30 p.m. with the inspireDANCE festival, featuring hip-hop workshops and a Club Rochester party led by Illstyle and Peace Production on the River Campus. Today’s other activities are two student plays at 5 p.m. – The Rochester Plays Part II: Escape in the River Campus’s Todd Union and Lord of the Saccharomyces in the Medical Center’s Case Method Room – and the Friends of Eastman Opera Voice Competition in Eastman’s Kilbourn Hall at 8 p.m. Tomorrow’s events include school recitals at Eastman, more inspireDANCE workshops and shows from three student theater groups. Visit Rochester.edu/arts for the weekend’s full schedule.
Theater: Still beaming from your Valentine’s Day celebration – or still resentful about your lack thereof? People in both parties will find plenty to relate to in “Happy Valentine’s Day, or Take THAT, Cupid!,” the newest play at the Black Sheep Theatre (274 N. Goodman St, Suite D-313). This ensemble production features dramatic readings, comedic monologues, and short plays about the wonders and woes of romance. It starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday, February 16. Tickets are $15. blacksheeptheatre.org.
Music: Rochester’s The Absolutes keep this town’s garage-rock tradition alive with killer stomp and rave. With a dash more pop than The Sonics and a less live mayhem than The Chesterfield Kings, this young band has mastered the sound’s relentless throb and wail. This is music to be experienced live to begin with, and the Absolutes are absolutely one of the best at producing it. Though I love the band’s original tunes, I’d love to hear them do The Invictas’ hit “The Hump.” Wouldn’t you? Sports and Green Dreams will be shakin the shack as well. Absolutes play Friday, February 15, 9 p.m. at the Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave. $7-$9. bugjar.com.
Music: Yes, there are even more Valentine’s Day celebrations continuing after the day has passed. The Cobblestone Performing Arts Center (1622 Route 332, Farmington) hosts its Valentine’s Day fundraiser concert at 7 p.m., with performances by four Cobblestone teachers and wine and chocolates served prior to the performances. Tickets are $30 for couples and $10 for seniors, and can be purchased by calling 398-0220. Registration is required.
Music: Get swooned by a Dead White Guy at “A Romantic Evening with Brahms,” a quartet performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Wilmot Recital Hall of Nazareth College (4245 East Ave.). The show is free and open to the public. nazareth.edu.
Music: How about a purely anti-Valentine’s Day party? Dark hearts will rejoice at the fire breathing, sword swallowing and freaky dance music at Tainted Love III Blood Fest, starting at 10 p.m. in Grotto (7 Lawrence St.). Call Grotto at 739-5377 for more info.
Dance: Metallic objects and exuberant movement don’t seem like they would complement each other very well. But Karl Rogers, artistic director of Red Dirt Dance, reveals the magic of metals in her new production, “The Metallic Series,” showing in the MuCCC (142 Atlantic Ave.) at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday, February 16. The show has four dances centered on metallic objects like golden army men, silver pumps, nickels, and handbag latches. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 for students, and can be purchased at muccc.org.
Music: Peter Blum will bring his collection of Himalayan singing bowls, gongs, ocarinas, and other out-of-the-ordinary instruments to Cytec Corporation Warehouse (2555 Baird Rd., Penfield) for Soundbath, a meditative “horizontal concert” where viewers are invited to lie on off-the-floor recliners while listening to the music. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m., and will be preceded by a dinner from 5:30 to 7:15 in Cytec’s Mooseberry Café with $10 entrees. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 348-9022.