Things to Do

Things to Do in DC this Weekend (September 8-11): A Short-Film Festival, Black Cat’s Birthday, and Party at Nat Geo

GALA Hispanic Theatre opens its season on Thursday with a world premiere of Cervantes: El Último Quijote.


FILM The DC Shorts Film Festival, one of the biggest short-film festivals in the US, runs Thursday through September 18. It’ll highlight more than 100 films, including a thriller about JFK and Richard Nixon on a train, a quirky profile of “the most average man who ever lived,” and showcases about technology addiction, immigration, and LGBT issues. After the screenings, meet the filmmakers at Q&As, workshops, and parties. Tickets $15; festival passes $125, Various times and locations

BOOKS If the first season of the investigative podcast Serial has still you obsessing over the 1999 murder trial of Adnan Syed,  you’ll want to to attend Rabia Chaudry’s conversation with writer, lawyer and playwright Wajahat Ali at Sixth & I. Chaudry, a family friend of Syed’s, has spent the past decade maintaining his innocence (she’s the one who brought the story to executive producer Sarah Koenig), and recently released the book Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice after Serial. $17, 7 PM

THEATER GALA Hispanic Theatre opens its season with a world premiere of Cervantes: El Último Quijote (The Last Quixote), Catalan playwright Jordi Casanovas’s part mystery, part fictionalized biography of author Miguel de Cervantes. Directed by Helen Hayes Award-winner José Luis Arellano, it tells the tempestuous story of Don Quixote’s author and the poet Lope de Vega, who may or may not have killed him. In Spanish with English surtitles, through October 2. $30 to $40, 8 PM

MUSIC Alt-rock heroes Dinosaur Jr. play with indie band Cloud Nothings for a fun, loud show at 9:30 Club. Dinosaur Jr., who have been making acclaimed albums somewhat-consistently since 1985, are touring support of their latest, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. $30, 7 PM



DANCE Israeli-born choreographer Zvi Gotheiner recalls first reading Jack Kerouac’s On the Road soon after arriving in the United States in his early twenties. “I was definitely different after,” he says. This spring, Gotheiner and four dancers drove from New York to San Francisco, tracing the path of Sal Paradise—a trip that became the genesis of this new piece, Zvi Dance: On the Road, which explores unshackled youth and the American highway. The company is performing the work at the American Dance Institute on Friday and Saturday. $30, 8 PM

PARTY The glory of ancient Greece meets America’s right to party at Brightest Young Things and National Geographic Museum’s collab, Freaks and Greeks. Dance the night away to a live DJ set by Dan Deacon, get a little smarter with talks by ecologists and marine biologists, and even musical drag queen performances. And, of course, you’ll have the chance to check out Nat Geo’s exhibit, “The Greeks: Agamemnon to Alexander The Great,” after-hours.  $25 to $30, 8 PM

DRINK Sure, Oktoberfest doesn’t actually kick off in Munich for another week or so, but Port City Brewing Company is celebrating Christmas-for-beer-lovers a little early with their Oktoberfest Parking Lot Party this weekend. Along with tons of delicious brews, there will local food trucks and live music to keep you entertained. 2 PM


FESTIVAL We’re in the throes of tomato season, and North Bethesda Market’s Tomato Fest is the ideal way for nightshade lovers to get their fix. Highlights include the chance to taste and choose the best tomato sauce made by the area chefs, a spaghetti eating contest, and plenty of tomato-themed vendors. Free, 12 PM

FASHION Get a glimpse into how fashion for Muslim women has “reached new artistic heights in the hands of Indonesian designers” at High Fashion for Muslim Wear: New Designs from Java in the Corcoran School atrium. Before watching models strut their stuff in designs by Meeta Fauzan and Helen Dewi Kirana Darmawan, you can catch a lecture by anthropologist Carla Jones about fashion in the Muslim world. Free, 7:30 PM

MUSIC Leon Bridges’s music is a throwback to the smoke-filled studios of Motown. Some critics have accused him of lacking originality, but Rolling Stone called his de-but album “the best kind of nostalgia trip.” Hey, music critics, have your debates elsewhere—when you’re hearing Bridges’s soulful voice outdoors at Wolf Trap as the summer wanes, there are better things to do than argue. $29.50 to $55, 8 PM


MUSIC Happy anniversary to the Black Cat, which has been bringing diverse live performances to the District for 23 years. Come party with the staff for a night of free pinball, popcorn and music. Free, 7:30 PM

FOOD & DRINK Sip & Salsa combines top wines from Spain, Portugal, and Argentina with the tastiest bites in Crystal City for an afternoon of eating, drinking, learning, and dancing at 220 20th Street in Arlington. Washington Wine Academy will be on-hand with education programs, plus live Latin jazz and salsa dancing from Columbia Pike’s Salsa Room will get your body moving. $25 at the door, $20 online, and $10 designated driver, 2 PM

MUSIC Dance away the pain that comes with realizing your weekend is over. Peaches, electropunk merrymaker and Feist’s former roommate, brings her incredibly raucous live show to the 9:30 Club. $25, 7 PM