2 p.m. Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Bizet’s scintillating Carmen, a torrid romance gone awry. Mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova plays the gypsy Carmen, for whom passion has fatal consequences. Civic Opera House. 20 North Wacker Drive. For tickets, call the box office at (312) 827-5600.
7:30 p.m. Arts Pass offers an exclusive opportunity to see playwright Marcus Gradley’s A Wonder in My Soul in its world premiere at Victory Gardens Theater. The story is an immediate one to the University: salon owners Bell and Birdie must decide either to stay in their South Side neighborhood or relocate under pressure from gentrification and crime. 2433 North Lincoln Avenue. $10 with Arts Pass.
8–11 p.m. Finally, a party you can bring home to mom: UChicago Hillel hosts the first ever Nice Jewish Ball (NJB). With perks like a drink deal, a meal catered by Wolfgang Puck dining, and a photo booth, this event isn’t one to Passover. 610 South Michigan Avenue. For tickets, Venmo @uchicagohillel $10 per ticket with your email address in the memo.
5 p.m. Senior master performer Yoko Hiraoka gives a lecture and performance centered on the biwa, a traditional Japanese lute which often accompanies narrative storytelling. *International House. Free and open to the public with online registration.
7–8 p.m. Undergraduate students Lucas Tse (baritone) and Bryan McGuiggan (piano) perform an evening of art song, including pieces by Fauré, Debussy, and Berlioz. The recital culminates with Schumann’s Dichterliebe, a cycle of 16 poems by Heinrich Heine set to music. Bond Chapel.
7:30–9:30 p.m. Off-Off Campus presents “Fast and Furious: Continental Drift,” a reprisal of their weekly sketch comedy and improv show that promises to “blow your thongs off.” The Revival. 1160 East 55th Street. $5.
7:30 p.m. “This Valentine’s Day, watch someone else’s relationship go up in flames. Literally.” Thus promises a recent Facebook post by the Lyric Opera promoting Bellini’s Norma. Spoiler: The joke here is that the leading couple throw themselves into the fire. Heartwarming. Civic Opera House. 20 North Wacker Drive. For tickets, call the box office at (312) 827-5600.
7:30–11:00 p.m. Whether you are swingle or taken, come pick up some moves at the Chicago Swing Dance Society’s Valentine’s Day Java Jive. Newbies welcome: The first hour is a beginner lesson. Jams courtesy of the Petra van Nuis Quartet. Food provided. Library Lounge, Ida Noyes. $3 students/$5 general.
7 p.m. Film and AIDS is an ongoing series that aims to explore the “diversity of aesthetic reactions to the AIDS epidemic,” supported by Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. Mike Hoolboom’s Panic Bodies (1998) is an experimental video diary in six parts, meditating on living and dying with the disease. Max Palevsky Cinema, Ida Noyes. $5.