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Thursday, October 22: The Bentzen Ball, a four-day comedy festival orchestrated by comedian Tig Notaro and the local social Web site Brightest Young Things, kicks off today with an opening standup show at the Lincoln Theatre. The performers include Patton Oswalt, Tig Notaro, Kyle Kinane, and Ian Edwards. Tickets ($30) can be purchased here. For more information about the Bentzen Ball, click here.
It’s here! It’s here! It seems like a decade ago that we were already salivating over the opening of the double-decker restaurant and beer haven Birch & Barley and ChurchKey in Logan Circle. So they were delayed for what seemed like a decade—big deal! They’re opening for real tonight. Go have a beer and report back on your experience.
Grab a pack of Pall Malls and get ready for the 6:30 showing of The Insider, the fourth installment of the Whistleblower Film Series at the Rayburn House Office Building (Room 2247). The movie, starring Russell Crowe and Al Pacino, tells the true story of Jeffrey Wigand, a former tobacco executive who blew the lid on the industry in a 60 Minutes exposé. Wigand will speak following the screening.
Friday, October 23: Saturday-night tickets for Boo at the Zoo are sold out, but you can still go tonight or Sunday to this trick-or-treat among the animals at the National Zoo. There’ll be treats galore plus festive decorations, haunted trails, zookeeper talks, and animal encounters. $25; get tickets and more info here.
Friday is the final round of the ongoing Funniest Fed standup-comedy competition at the Arlington Cinema ’n’ Drafthouse. Hosted by comedian Will Durst, this championship pits federal employees, members of the military, and all manner of bureaucrats against one another to find out who can get the most laughs after quitting time. The finals begin at 8; tickets are $15.
Start raiding your closet for the perfect outfit for Soiree Seduction at the Darlington House lounge (1610 20th St., NW; 202-332-3722). Fashionistas should prepare for a night of glamour, dance music, and just the right amount of French accents at this party thrown by the fashion-event crew at Planete Chic. To get on the guest list, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Cover is $10, although ladies get in free until 11:30. The event starts at 10.
The evocative art of Indian dance is on display at the Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company’s Fall Festival of Indian Arts this weekend. Tonight at 7:30, Alarmel Valli, whose dancing has won her two of India’s highest civilian awards, will perform the classical Tamil dance form Bharatanatyam. Madhai Mudgal will dance on Saturday at 2, demonstrating the ancient Odissi form that she teaches at Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in New Delhi. Leela Samson, director of Kalakshetra, one of the oldest dance-and-theater academies in India, will close out the festival Saturday night at 7:30, dancing Bharatanatyam. Tickets ($22.50 to $62.50) can be found here. Each performance will be held at the Lincoln Theater.
Saturday, October 24: Check out the third annual Fall Festival at Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm. There’ll be local musicians, a petting zoo, and a barbecue-centric menu (beef brisket, grilled-pork-loin sandwiches, hot dogs, bratwurst, and grilled chicken). Dessert is pumpkin cheesecake and candied and caramel apples. Demonstrations include watching 1789 pastry chef Travis Olson whip up some apple butter. Attendance at the festival is free; dishes range from $3 to $5. Call 571-209-1200 for more information. Today and Sunday noon to 5.
After a long hard week, you need a solid rock-out session. Get what you’re looking for at the Rock & Roll Hotel when the Delaware indie rockers Spinto Band join forces with lyrical poet and songstress Pepi Ginsberg and New Orleans duo Generationals. Doors open at 8:30; the show starts at 9:30. Tickets are $12.
Tonight is the Corcoran Gallery’s Fall Fête: A Nautical Affair, presented by the 1869 Society. The black-tie event will feature a cocktail buffet, tasty treats, and an open bar as well as music courtesy of DJ Neekola and a private viewing of the gallery’s exhibit “Sargent and the Sea.” Tickets are $100 for general admission and $200 for Captain tickets, which also include invites to the pre- and post-parties and a swag bag. RSVP is requested. 8 to midnight.
Get to know your favorite local artists by visiting them in the flats, studios, and converted dining rooms where they work. Saturday and Sunday mark the free fall Mid City Artists’ Open Studios weekend, when nearly 20 artists open their doors to promote their work. Click here for a downloadable map, a list of artists, and schedules.
Sunday, October 25: It’s the last day of the Washington International Horse Show. Celebrating its 51st year, this indoor show features 500 horses and riders competing for championship titles and $400,000 in prize money. It’s held at the Verizon Center, with events throughout the day starting at 7. Get tickets here.
What better way to work off that Saturday-night hangover than by watching some of the world’s fittest athletes run 26.2 miles early Sunday morning in the Marine Corps Marathon? At 8 AM, 30,000 runners will tear through Rosslyn, into Georgetown, past the Capitol, and on to the finish line at the Marine Corps War Memorial. A variety of bands and entertainers will line the route. For a full list, check here.
We’ve said it before, but fans of the kind of comedy that flouts political correctness should head to the 9:30 Club, where Sarah Silverman and others from the cast of The Sarah Silverman Program will perform standup along with Sarah’s sister Laura Silverman, Tig Notaro, Steve Agee, and Chelsea Peretti. The show wraps up the weekendlong Bentzen Ball, which is bringing dozens of big-name comedians to the city. The show starts at 8; tickets are $30. Get them here. Check out our interview with Sarah Silverman about the festival.