By Karis Rogerson
If roses, chocolates and sipping champagne do not sound like your idea of how to spend Valentine’s Day, Q.E.D. in Astoria wants you to know there are plenty of other ways to spend Sunday, Feb. 14.
The performance space/café located on 23rd Avenue has a full day of what could be called anti-Valentine’s Day events on tap.
Astoria resident Marie Carter, who works as a guide for Boroughs of the Dead — a company that specializes in tours highlighting the supernatural — will present a lecture titled “Thwarted Loves of New York City History.”
“I would say [the show] is about tragic and romantic love stories from New York’s history that have been forgotten,” Carter said.
Carter, 37, grew up in Scotland but moved to New York City when she was 22. Her area of expertise is Astoria.
“My father was a tour guide in Edinburgh and I’ve always had this passion and interest in history,” Carter said.
After moving to the city, Carter worked in the Woolworth Building and was inspired by how beautiful it was.
“I started working on a book that had New York City history in it, a fictional book,” she said. “I started falling in love with the city and its rich history and last year I got my tour guide license. I love it.”
Carter’s lecture will highlight various love stories throughout the city’s history.
“The one I’m most excited about telling will be the opening one,” she said. “I used to study trapeze and I’m very passionate about the circus art and I will be telling a story about the two greatest aerialists from history and their tragic love story.”
But she is not just looking forward to the first story.
“There is one story that I’m going to end with that I think is one of the most beautiful, romantic stories in history,” Carter said. “I have a soft spot for old love and I love telling that story.”
And if sweet, romantic stories contrasted with other creepy ones aren’t enough to get people through Valentine’s Day, comedians Laura Lane and Angela Spera will take to the stage later that day for “This is Why You’re Single: Valentine’s Day Edition.”
The two women have been putting on shows on the topic of “Why You’re Single” for several years, they said.
“We realized that modern dating changes fast and if you’re out of the game for a month, you’re gonna be clueless about what’s going on,” Lane said. “So much humor and comedy can come from that.”
Lane and Spera’s show will be a combination book reading — they will read four chapters from their December release, “This is Why You’re Single,” — as well as a sketch show.
Spera wants to make sure audiences know what they are getting into if they attend the show.
“We never make single women the butt of our show,” she said.
The two manage to find the humor in the situations surrounding modern dating, not the people involved.
Although it is a sketch they perform often, Lane and Spera said they are looking forward to their Valentine’s Day show especially.
“[Valentine’s Day] is such a ridiculous holiday to begin with, so if you take it too seriously it’s strange and weird,” Lane said. “The QED show will be the last show that week. It’s almost like the finale of the show.”
The sketches are performed by the two women and three male actors, who portray their various romantic counterparts. Various ones include “Bro’s Wedding” and “The Wingman,” and they involve an offbeat, quirky look at different aspects of dating.
“But when it comes down to it, the heart of the message is about learning to compromise in relationships,” Lane said of “Bros’ Wedding. “I had a lot of fun with that one.”
And that’s the heart of the event — fun. Both women are hoping spectators will find a way to have fun on a potentially awkward day.
“If you take Valentine’s Day seriously, it’s so cheesy,” Lane said. “Hopefully, a lot of single people or people in couples come to our show. Whether you’re in a relationship or single there’s so much to laugh about.”
If You Go
“Thwarted Loves of New York City History”
When: Feb. 14, at 3 pm
“This is Why You’re Single”
When: Feb. 14, at 7:30 pm
Where: Q.E.D., 27-16 23rd Ave., Astoria
Contact: (347) 451-3873