Love is in the air in Haliburton as local theatre troupe Ctrl-ART-Del brings its A Valentine’s Cabaret variety show to the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion Feb. 16.

The two-hour production will feature eight short plays, starring a host of Highlandsbased talent, said Amy Leis, one of the theatre group’s leads. It’s a fundraiser for a pair of feature productions the Ctrl-ART-Del crew will be bringing to life later this year,

“Valentine’s Day is a special time for a lot of people. It’s going to be a wild romp of one act plays, improv and music for both the romantics and the cynics,” Leis said. “There’s a little bit of something for everyone.”

The show will open with She Came in Through the Bathroom Window, by Tira Palmquist, focusing on a teenager’s first crush.

“It’s all about understanding how to approach people, and the bravery it takes to admit your feelings for somebody. It’s quite a lovely little realistic piece,” Leis said.

Michael Saloman’s Rmeo + Julez is a modern, unique take on the Shakespearean classic, with “one heck of a twist”, according to Leis. John and Rita Jackson – familiar names to CanoeFM listeners – will star in We Interrupt This Program, written by Arthur Keyser. The short is a comedy about marriage and the end of the world.

Leis said La Mouche, by Stephen Bittrich, is, “a very, very high energy play. It’s a farce, focusing on the joke of someone finding a fly in their soup.” Then there’s F*cking Cupcakes, a workplace comedy by Judith Leora that Leis likened to the popular TV show The Office.

She said The Barely Wives Club, by Sarah Segal-Lazer, is one of her favourites.

“It tells the story of Juliet and Eurydice, who are roommates in the underworld and are forced to rewatch their story, their tragedy for all of eternity,” Leis said. “It’s definitely one of our darker pieces.”

A collection of students from Haliburton Highlands Secondary School are coming together for Slow Songs Make Me Puke. Written by Lindsay Price, the production focuses on a group of teenage girls who decide to take a stand against high school dances.

“They want to go against what they see as the absolute tyranny of ‘boy must dance with girl at high school dances’ when the reality is they’re just not getting asked to dance,” Leis said.

The cabaret will close with A Late Summer, by Liz Amberly.

“It’s two scenes happening at the same time, about a couple that reunites on the same beach they said goodbye to each other on about 50 years previously. So, we get to see their past selves and their current selves. It’s a bittersweet, genuinely loving, romantic piece to end the show,” Leis said.

Jerelyn Craden, who was to headline the show with her Maybelle Morton character, will no longer be involved, Leis confirmed. There will be several improv and sketch comedy performances in between productions.

Tickets are available online at tickets. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.