Join the Jeté Society, the Washington Ballet’s young-professional group, for its first happy hour of the season Thursday at J&G Steakhouse. Twenty percent of your tab goes to the society’s scholarship fund—and with $5 Heineken Lights and Lagunitas, who can say no to that? 6 to 8; no cover.
The Footloose remake may be tied up in Hollywood casting hell (Starring Zac Efron? Chace Crawford? Who cares anymore?), but no one can top Kevin Bacon as the rebel dancer Ren McCormack. Catch the classic Thursday when the Pix on the Plaza (Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 13th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., NW) series comes to a close. If you can’t get enough of the ’80s nostalgia, try out your best Kenny Loggins impersonation at the pre-film karaoke session. Karaoke starts at 6; the free film begins at 8.
Jonathan Franzen, whose hotly anticipated novel Freedom was released last month, will make a Politics and Prose-sponsored appearance at GWU’s Lisner Auditorium Friday. Franzen will lecture and give a reading, then answer questions and sign copies of his books. Doors open at 6; the talk begins at 7. Get there early to guarantee a seat. Free.
The Cincinnati “cowpunk” band 500 Miles to Memphis stops by the Red & the Black Friday at 9. Country fans and alternative scenesters in harmony? That alone might be worth the price: $8.
Get to know your city a little better this weekend, when the Cultural Landscape Foundation hosts What’s Out There Weekend. Guided tours of 25 Washington locales (including the Mall, Rock Creek Park, and Roosevelt Island) run all day Saturday. Click here for times and locations of each tour. Free.
For a book lover, this Saturday is a dream come true: The tenth annual National Book Festival is here, packing the Mall with literary stars such as Jonathan Safran Foer, Diana Gabaldon, and David Remnick. 10 to 5:30. Click here to see when authors are speaking and signing books. Free.
Clarendon Day is Saturday, and this year the festival is focusing on health and well-being. In addition to the usual offerings of food, live music, and art vendors, the celebration features free health screenings, martial-arts demonstrations, and yoga lessons. Across from Clarendon Metro from 11 to 5; free.
Hip-hop is often a boys’ club, with men dominating most aspects of the industry. The new documentary All the Ladies Say, which premieres in DC Saturday, turns our attention to a group of six female breakdancers. A discussion follows the screening at Busboys and Poets at 14th and V streets, Northwest. 5 PM. A $5 donation is suggested.
If loving ’80s and ’90s music is wrong, we don’t want to be right. If you agree, come to Cause for a Dance Party at Darlington House, where old-school tunes are playing all night long. Even better? From 9 to 9:30, dance instructor John Chu will teach partygoers how to replicate the late Michael Jackson’s moves from his “Beat It” video—a pretty sweet party trick. The event benefits the Reading Connection, a nonprofit that gives books to children in housing crisis. Click here to RSVP. Doors open at 8; $5.
The DC-based band Twins of a Gazelle, a self-described “indie rock orchestra,” is playing at DC9 Saturday night. Also playing are the local outfit BearShark and the Brooklyn-based Great Elk. The show starts at 9:30; $8