THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25
COMEDY Brightest Young Thing’s annual Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival, curated by Tig Notaro, is hosting stand-up shows in Lincoln Theatre and various other venues around the city. A few shows are already sold out, but highlights of the remaining available include opening night with comedian/actress Phoebe Robinson of 2 Dope Queens on Thursday (Lincoln Theatre), “Off Book: The Improvised Musical Podcast” on Friday (Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage), and comics Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher of Take My Wife on Saturday (Lincoln Theatre). Jokes aside, some of the Bentzen Ball talent will participate in the Walk & 5K to End HIV on Saturday morning at Freedom Plaza and free HIV testing will be offered on site. Bentzen Ball shows: through October 28, free – $45. Walk/5K: Saturday, $15-$21.
MUSIC/ART Longstanding contemporary/classical string quartet Kronos Quartet regularly collaborates with other artists and musicians. On Thursday night at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the group will present the East Coast debut of its work Sight Machine, a collaboration with artist Trevor Paglen, whose work Sites Unseen is currently on view at the SAAM. During the performance, works by George Gershwin and Laurie Anderson, cameras will follow the musicians from every angle, analyzing movements and facial expressions using artificial intelligence (AI) and projecting the results on a screen behind the quartet. $75, 9 PM.
FILM The Washington West Film Festival brings new films to seven Virginia theatres and donates all box office net proceeds to charity. The festival kicks off with a screening of My Indiana Muse, a documentary about artist Robert Townsend, at Reston’s Bow Tie Cinemas. Other highlights include a selection of award-winning shorts from George Mason film students on Saturday;, a Q&A with actress Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls, Parenthood) on Saturday; and the Steve McQueen film Widows, featuring a Q&A with actor Robert Duvall to close the festival on Sunday. Through October 29. Events and screenings range from free to $35.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26
FOOD Sample local fare at the Taste of DC culinary festival at Audi Field. Participating restaurants include Rocklands Barbecue, Texas de Brazil, and Agora—plus sweet treats from Sprinkles Cupcakes and the Capital Candy Jar. There’s a beer garden (both days) and the “Rock the Core” cider festival (Saturday only), plus live music, an artisan market, and demonstrations on the culinary stage. Through October 27. Admission packages vary from free to $50, depending on the quantity of pre-paid “taste tokens.”
FILM AFI Silver has two different film series starting this weekend. Halloween on Screen features classic scary movies such as 1931’s Frankenstein, 1922’s Nosferatu (with a live score by Silent Orchestra), and a 4K restoration of 1979’s Zombie. AFI’s Silent Cinema Showcase kicks off on Saturday and its month-long run includes 1928’s The Passion of Joan of Arc, 1923’s Salomé (with a live score), and 1911’s Dante’s Inferno (with live musical accompaniment by Maurizio Guarini of Goblin). Halloween on Screen: October 26 – 31. Silent Cinema: October 27 – November 21. Individual tickets: Free – $20.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27
DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian this weekend. The holiday coincides with the southern migration of monarch butterflies, which the museum will celebrate with butterfly-mask making and creating an interactive mural. Throughout the event, there will be dance performances by Grupo los Tecuanes, a story interpreted by Evelyn Orantes, and a Sunday afternoon concert with Mexico’s indigenous music ensemble, Pasatono (3 PM). Through October 28. Free, 10 AM.
CRAFTS Crafty Bastards turns 15 this year and is moving from its previous venue (Nats Park) to Lot A at Yards Park, between First Street and New Jersey Avenue along M Street SE. Over 250 artists from across the US will sell their handmade crafts, ranging from the traditional (jewelry, candles, and prints) to the unusual: look for wire taxidermy by Alison Brynn Ross, chairs by Nicole Crowder Upholstery, and clothing that looks like armor by Lorica. Through October 28. Single day: $6 in advance or $8 at the gates; two-day pass: $10 in advance or $12 at the gates, 10 AM – 5 PM.
PHOTOGRAPHY The World Press Photo Exhibition is traveling to 100 cities worldwide and will make its DC stop at Dupont Underground. The exhibit showcases 2017’s best journalism with some of the most striking images from the daily news cycle. Over 70,000 photographs were submitted by photographers from 125 countries; the winners were selected by an independent jury. Through November 25. $18, 11 AM – 6 PM (closed Mondays and Thanksgiving Day).
APPLES People get so worked up about pumpkins in October that the autumnal apple is sometimes overlooked. Not so at the 4th annual Adams Morgan Apple Festival, which features a homemade apple pie baking contest ($5 for a slice). The fest will offer an heirloom apple tasting before the pies are sliced and judged. Free to attend; apple tasting: 10:30 AM; pie slices: 11 AM.
DANCE The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s resident choreographer, Dana Tai Soon Burgess, will premiere a new dance inspired by the gallery’s current exhibition, “Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now” this weekend. Burgess’ eponymous dance company will perform “Silhouettes,” juxtaposing light and dark through seven different dances, each inspired by a piece from the exhibit. Each performance will be preceded by a discussion with the exhibit’s curator. Performances on October 27 and 30. Free, 6 PM.
BONFIRE Join DC Fray for a Halloween bonfire at Butler’s Orchard in Germantown. Roast hot dogs and s’mores over the fire and play some of DC Fray’s flagship games. Dress in costume, tell scary stories by the fire, and enjoy beer and wine. $49, 8 PM.
OPERA Bring a picnic blanket and some snacks to the Washington Concert Opera’s Opera Outside event at Malcolm X Park (near the Joan of Arc statue). Tenor Joshua Blue, soprano Maria Valdes, and pianist David Hanlon will perform selections from WCO’s current season plus other musical theater favorites. Registration is not required, but those who do register in advance will be entered to win tickets to WCO’s current season. Free, 11 AM.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28
MUSIC Songwriter/guitarist Roky Erickson pioneered psychedelic rock in the 1960s with his band 13th Floor Elevators. He never quite got the recognition he deserved, though, after a paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis, bouts of electroconvulsive therapy, and years as a recluse battling the voices he heard in his head. In 2010, Erickson joined forces with fellow Austin musicians Okkervil River for the outstanding True Love Cast Out All Evil, making his first album of new material in 14 years. Erickson has re-issued a few 13th Floor Elevators albums since then, and when he performs at the Black Cat, expect to hear some of his solo material as well as 13th Floor classics like “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” $25, 7:30 PM.
MARATHON The 43rd Marine Corps Marathon kicks off on Sunday morning at 7:55 AM. While it’s too late to register for this year’s race, check out the course map to pick a spot to cheer on the 30,000 runners. And just remember that staggered road closures will last until 4 PM, so plan ahead if you’re driving somewhere.
LAST CALL: Here’s what’s closing this weekend
Jackson Pollock’s “Mural” closes 10/28 at the National Gallery of Art.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly named Steve McQueen’s film. It has been updated.