THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9
BOOKS Journalist and former news anchor Dan Rather will speak about his new book What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism at Lisner Auditorium. Since retiring as a news anchor, Rather started the production company (and Facebook news feed) News and Guts, where he continues to reflect on the state of the nation. At Lisner, Rather will be in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart. There will be no book signing; the first 200 attendees will receive a pre-signed book. $24, 7 PM.
FILM We may never calculate the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow. Re-watch the classic 1975 Monty Python & the Holy Grail at the Warner Theatre, with star John Cleese on hand to answer questions. $55.75 to $95.75, 7:30 PM.
LAUNCH The new dockless bikes seem to be everywhere, peppering our sidewalks with splashes of orange, yellow, and green. Jump, the electric bikeshare, is celebrating its arrival in DC with a launch party at the WeWork Wonder Bread Factory. Learn about the bikes and hear from a few surprise speakers—plus enjoy food and beverages. Free (with RSVP), 6:30 PM.
AWARDS Celebrate local businesses and entrepreneurs at the first annual Local First awards at the Blind Whino. Awards will be presented in seven categories: Maker, Ripple Effect, High Road, Green Thumb, Builder, Pioneer, and Community Champion; after the awards ceremony, join other attendees in a dance party featuring a Made In DC Market and local craft brews. $49 to $149, 6:30 PM.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10
THEATRE Part of the series “Transformational Journeys: Inspired Singular Explorations,” Mosaic Theatre’s production of The Real Americans is inspired by 100 days traveling in a van through small-town America. Writer/actor/journalist Dan Hoyle re-enacts his experiences seeing our country’s economic struggles and polarized politics at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. $25 to $65, through December 22.
FESTIVAL Inspired by the ten principles of Burning Man, Catharsis on the Mall is billed as “A Vigil for Healing.” The event seeks to provide a space for arts, culture, and activism to come together on the Mall and features workshops, music, community art, and unstructured spaces. This is the first and only event permitted to burn a structure on the National Mall (the “Temple Burn” on Saturday night) and to feature 24 hours of amplified music. Through Sunday.
MUSEUMS Artechouse’s new exhibit Kingdom of Colors is an immersive experience from French filmmaker Thomas Blanchard and artist Oilhack. Featuring 270-degree wall projections, these films highlight Blanchard’s experiments with colorful liquids, which he showcased in an iPhone X commercial. Through November 26. $15.
PHOTOGRAPHY The tenth annual FotoWeekDC festival kicks off officially on Saturday, but the opening party is on Friday night at 2801 16th Street NW. Opening night features photography exhibitions, photobooths, and music; the festival itself features numerous exhibits at spaces across DC. FotoWeekDC runs through November 19. $55, 7:30 PM (opening night).
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11
MUSIC Brooklyn instrumental group Sannhet’s third album So Numb is a collection of gorgeously heavy post-rock songs. The trio’s music is most similar to epic bands like Neurosis and has garnered highly positive reviews on Pitchfork. Sannhet plays a rare DC show with locals Tone and Cavern at the Rock & Roll Hotel. $12, 8 PM.
SHOPPING City Paper’s quirky craft show Crafty Bastards returns for its fourteenth year. This year, the fair has moved to a new home at Nationals Park. The exhibition features handmade goods from independent artists, ranging from jewelry and original art to punk-rock baby clothes and locally-produced food. Through Sunday. $8 per day or $12 for a two-day pass. 10 AM to 5 PM.
FESTIVAL The businesses in Old Town Alexandria on King Street between Patrick and Payne are hosting their first annual Uptown Block Party. In addition to activities and specials inside the businesses, there will also be live music, face painting, and balloon animals. Free to attend, 11 AM to 5 PM.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12
BOOKS Local comedian, writer, and scientist Adam Ruben is celebrating the release of his newest book Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball at the Black Cat’s Backstage. Ruben celebrates the game of pinball; while writing the book, he visited pinball museums, gaming conventions, and pinball factories to try to get to the bottom of this cult game and its recent resurgence in popularity. Free, 7 PM.
COMEDY The Upright Citizens Brigade’s Touring Company performs its engaging improv comedy at Sixth & I. The group has launched careers of such actors as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz; expect lots of audience interaction when the group’s new crop of future stars takes the stage. $20 in advance or $25 day-of, 7 PM.