10 things to do in the D.C. area on the weekend of Sept. 19-22

September 19, 2013

The weekend’s best in nightlife, music and art. For even more, check out Nightlife Agenda.


The Red Bull Flugtag, held last year in in San Francisco. (Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool)

Through Sept. 29:  Brevity is everything in our short-attention-span culture, so consider the DC Shorts Film Festival a tribute to stories that can be told quickly. Many important tales are told among the 153 films from 23 nations represented at this year's festival. Most films clock in under 20 minutes, some as short as two minutes. The films are divided into 17 different 90-minute showcases (tickets run $12-$15 per showcase) at venues across the D.C. area, including Landmark's E Street Cinema  and the Angelika Mosaic. Read:  What to see at the D.C. Shorts Film Festival.

Friday: Chicago jazz singer Sachal Vasandani has spent the past two years scooping up accolades for his unique vocal style, which seems to pull from a dozen genres at once. Hints of Bon Iver, Frank Sinatra, Sade -- and, curiously, the pronounced clarity of a Broadway belter --  can be heard in the young crooner's work; jazz fans haven't hesitated to dub him one of the best vocalists in the business. His quartet, which veers toward modern, spare musical choices, is just as compelling. He performs two shows at the Music Center at Strathmore.

Friday: Every parent who has ever whispered ‘Hush!’ in vain understands the lengths children will go to in order to put off bedtime. And one of the surest ways to get a tyke to sleep is "Goodnight Moon," the classic book by Margaret Wise Brown. Friday, Adventure Theatre MTC kicks off a run of its for-kids stage show, which follows a bunny who goes all out in his quest to avoid slumber.

Saturday:  If you think it's hard getting a balsa wood model airplane to fly, it's probably smart that you didn't enter the Red Bull Flugtag competition. Thirty teams from along the East Coast will bring their goofy homemade flying vehicles to National Harbor for the competition, which begins at 2 p.m. Saturday. (The Flugtag is also taking place in a handful of other cities the very same day.) The goal: Launch the aircraft from a 30-foot platform and see how long the pilot can keep it airborne before making a water landing.  Shuttle service is available from the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station; get tickets ($15) here.

Saturday: There are no, none, nada, absolutely zero tickets left for Virgin Mobile FreeFest, set for Saturday at Merriweather Post Pavilion with a bill that includes Vampire Weekend, Robin Thicke and Icona Pop, and 17 other acts. But if you were lucky enough to snag a free pair in that nailbiter of a giveaway, you'll want to check out our primer on some of the more obscure offerings, and details on parking, food and, of course, the best way to get seats in the pavilion. Read: Virgin Mobile FreeFest set times, songs to know and more.

Saturday-Sunday: Writers, poets and journalists from across the country turn the Mall into a living bestsellers' table at the National Book Festival. Scheduled to speak and sign copies of their books during the two-day event: Margaret Atwood, Khaled Hosseini, Brad Meltzer, Joyce Carol Oates, Katherine Paterson and Natasha Trethewey, plus about a hundred others. The festival runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5:30 p.m. Visit www.loc.gov/bookfest for a complete schedule.

Saturday: The H Street Festival's profile has grown in step with development along the Northeast Washington commercial corridor. Neighborhood visitors travel by bus and bike (and someday, streetcar) to mingle with locals and take in the festival's mix of bands, performance art, street vendors and eating contests. Expect plenty of beer, funnel cake and a lively atmosphere at nearly every local business - including a few that haven't even opened yet - from noon to 7 p.m. H Street between Eighth and 14th streets NE.  Read: What to eat, see, drink and do at the H Street Festival.

Saturday: As many as 96 wiener dogs will attempt to outpace all the others in a mad dash for cash at Woodrow Wilson Plaza on Saturday in the Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash. If watching a bunch of dogs compete on a 50-foot astroturf course isn't entertaining enough -- but really, it should be -- beer and food will be available during the Oktoberfest-inspired event, which lasts from 1 to 4 p.m.

Saturday: It's harvest time at local wineries, so many are hosting events to celebrate the busy season (and who knows, perhaps you can even get a peek at some turning colors). One known for its food is Narmada Winery, which has carved out a niche serving Indian food such as samosas, naan and biryani to pair with its light-bodied wines. Saturday, experience the fare outdoors when the Amissville winery hosts a luncheon with chicken malai and tandoori lamb chops  served on the estate. Get tickets here.

 

Through Oct. 9: AFI's Latin American Film Festival, now in its 24th year, will feature films from Latin America as well as Brazil, Spain and Portugal. The lineup at the AFI Silver Theatre includes Uruguay's animated family film "Anina," about a girl who is suspended from school; "Dust" (Guatemala) about a couple filming a documentary; "Viramundo" about legendary Brazilian musician turned politician Gilberto Gil; and on opening night, "Viola," an Argentine adaptation of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night."

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Alex Baldinger | September 19, 2013