Thursday, November 19: La Maison Française is hosting a Beaujolais celebration from 6:30 to 9:30. The menu includes a buffet and French pastries along with other French wines. Francophiles might want to check out the silent auction and raffle—the grand prize is a trip to Paris. Tickets, $60 per person, can be ordered here.
Mon Ami Gabi is partying this year. Tonight there’s a Beaujolais Nouveau Kick-Off Party, with glasses of the new wine, live music, and French-inspired hors d’oeuvres—think miniature croque-monsieurs, warm brie with honey, and profiteroles with hot fudge. Door prizes include dinner for four and a Las Vegas trip for two. The event is being held at both the Reston (11950 Democracy Dr.; 703-707-0233) and Bethesda (7239 Woodmont Ave.; 301-654-1234) locations. It starts at 6:30 and is $35 per person plus tax and gratuity; call to reserve a spot.
Two millennia ago, thousands of life-size clay figures were buried in the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, to accompany him into the afterlife. Starting today, the National Geographic Museum is hosting the “Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor” exhibit at the National Geographic Society. You’ll get the chance to see 15 of these figures and other artifacts from the tomb. $12. Get more info on the exhibit in our preview.
Go ahead, mess with Texas tonight. Head to the Clarendon Ballroom for the annual Terlingua Two-Step dance hosted by the Texas State Society. In case you don’t know how to two-step, lessons will be offered at 7:30 PM. There’ll be appetizers, a cash bar, and the music of Garry P. Nunn and Bonnie Bishop. $35; get tickets here.
It’s the third Thursday of the month—that means it’s time to shop in MidCity at the monthly Third Thursdays event. Boutiques up and down U Street, NW and 14th Street, NW will be staying open late and offering special discounts. Friday, November 20: They’re often referred to as the unluckiest band in indie rock (they were plagued by label problems for years, continue to work their day jobs in New Jersey, and take years to put out records), but let’s not forget that The Wrens also put on one of the best live shows out there. The band will hit the Black Cat mainstage to play their fuzzy, emotional guitar rock tonight. Doors at 9 PM, $15.
Still haven’t gotten enough of the Beaujolais Nouveau? Head to the wine and cheese party at the Alliance Francaise tonight for more. You can listen to retro French tunes and, of course, sample lots of French food and drink. $35 for nonmembers, $25 for members; 6:30 PM. Reserve your tickets here.
The European Union Film Showcase ,which goes through the 30th at AFI, features some of the best new films from across the Atlantic. Check out the full schedule of European films here. Saturday, November 21: It’s a massive holiday shopportunity: Aisles and aisles of jewelry, toys, clothes, maps, travel gear, home and garden accessories, and much more will be offered at National Geographic’s warehouse sale this weekend at the DC Armory (2001 East Capital St., SE). From Friday through Sunday, 9 AM to 5 PM, you can shop your heart out. Admission is free.
Fast, loud, and, well, schizophrenic, Robin Williams’s impression-heavy comedy routine is less a standup act than a one-man band—but it’s been making people laugh for 30 years. Now on his Weapons of Self Destruction tour, he’ll appear at DAR Constitution Hall on Friday and Saturday, November 20-21; the show starts at 8 both nights. Tickets, $63.50-$93.50, can be purchased here.
Ready for Christmas? More than 2,000,000 lights and a 60-foot glass Christmas tree are on display at Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor. The holiday celebration features choir performances, ice sculptures, ice skating, scavenger hunts, indoor snow, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tickets range from $13 to $24.50 depending on age and when you go; kids under four are free. Military and group discounts are available. Purchase tickets here.
Want to meet a real-life undercover spy? Head to the International Spy Museum on Saturday between 1 and 3 to meet the museum’s founding director and former CIA operations officer Peter Earnest as he discusses his new book, The Real Spy’s Guide to Becoming a Spy. Earnest will be available to sign copies and answer questions following the lecture.
Sunday, November 22: Watch the former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier construct a five-by-two-foot gingerbread replica of George Washington’s Mount Vernon mansion. Mesnier will build his gingerbread masterpiece over 12 days, culminating on Tuesday, November 24. Spectators can catch Sunday’s action from 10 to 3 at Mount Vernon in the Vaughan Lobby before the replica is transported to the mansion as part of the estate’s Christmas decorations. For more information, call 703-780-2000.
What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than at a vintage murder thriller at the National Gallery of Art? Joseph Losey’s M is a 1951 remake of Fritz Lang’s 1931 German drama about a murderer of children who’s being pursued by police and the criminal underworld. Losey’s version is set in Los Angeles, but he was blacklisted as a Communist not long after the film’s release and left the United States. The screening is part of the American Abroad series presented by the British Film Institute with the Harvard Film Archive, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Library of Congress. The show starts at 4:30 in the East Building Auditorium. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 4.
As part of the Fuego Flamenco Festival at the Gala Hispanic Theatre, Casa Patas, the renowned Madrid flamenco center, will be offering flamenco showcases. At 3 PM today head to the theater to see the Casa Patas dancers. $30, get your tickets here.