2/10: Sneak Cirque Preview: Banana Shpeel

Plus, Mardi Gras comes early at Virgil’s and a night devoted to old loves

Cirque du Soleil

TINY CAR, LARGE SHOES: Get a free behind-the-scenes peek at the new show from Cirque du Soleil, “Banana Shpeel!,” opening February 25 at the Beacon. (Nutshell: Badly-behaved clows crash vaudeville auditions for a new show, kind of “The Producers” + “American Idol” x the Barnum & Bailey Circus.) At tonight’s open house, see the creative process, meet some of the artists and snack on treats from local bakeries. Be among the first 100 to bring a banana, and you’ll even score free tickets to the show. 4:30-7PM.

EX FACTOR: The website (and book) Dear Old Love asks participants to pen a few words about loves gone, lost, ditched or otherwise over; the result varies from gutwrenching to bittersweet. The blog’s founder, Andy Selsberg, is joined at 92YTribeca by blogger Emily Gould and comedian Tom Shillue for an evening of reflecting on one’s exes. 6:30PM.

RIB IT: Virgil’s BBQ, that temple of smoked meat in Times Square, doesn’t stop at celebrating Fat Tuesday (on February 16) – they throw down the entire week leading up to it, with po’ boys rounding out the menu, plenty of parade tchotchkes (you needed more beads, right?) and live zydeco every single night. 6PM on.

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