The weekend’s best in nightlife, music and art. For even more, check out Nightlife Agenda.
Through Saturday: The Dance Theatre of Harlem was founded more than four decades ago in New York to showcase African American dancers performing classical ballet; among its original corps was Virginia Johnson, a Washington native who has helped to revive the company. After a nine-year hiatus, the company returns to Washington for a performance of "Gloria" by Robert Garland and works by George Balanchine, Donald Byrd and others at the Sidney Harman Hall. Read: A Q&A with the Dance Theatre of Harlem's director, Virginia Johnson.
Friday: Trent Reznor's four-year hiatus from industrial music act Nine Inch Nails may be the reason Reznor is even able to conjure the old black magic that made the group one of the most affecting of the 1990s without feeling like a tribute act. After winning an Academy Award for the soundtrack to "The Social Network," Reznor is back performing with NIN, including material from August's "Hesitation Marks." Grab your Docs, then grab tickets for Friday's Verizon Center show soon. A few excellent seats can still be had.
Friday-Sunday: After a few sold-out screenings, and one very fun outdoor show as part of the U Street Movie Series, the AFI Silver Theatre this weekend is offering several more chances to see "The Legend of Cool Disco Dan," the documentary that flits between telling the incredibly rich story of the District in the 1980s, and the story of one of the city's most memorable artistic scofflaws of the era, the graffiti writer known as Cool Disco Dan. The movie will screen a handful of times each night, but you can meet Cool Disco Dan every night after the 5:15 p.m. screenings, when he'll be signing DVDs and posters made for the film.
Saturday: If you love good German beer, or just beer in general, this well-organized festival in Union Market's parking lot is one of fall's best events. Greg Engert, the beer expert behind ChurchKey, Rustico and the forthcoming Bluejacket, selected about 200 beers for Snallygaster, including 16 gravity-poured casks of kellerbier from Franconia, smoky rauchbiers and sour Berliner Weisse, in addition to thirst-quenching Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers. The festival runs from 1 to 6 p.m. at Union Market; get tickets in advance for $30 to $50 to line up your food and drink tickets early.
Saturday: If you thought al fresco theater was strictly the purview of summer, think again: The Dupont Festival is welcoming Keegan Theatre to Dupont Circle Park for an autumn afternoon of musical theater, called Music in the Circle. Expect to hear selections from "The Full Monty," "Spamalot," "Hair," "Spring Awakening," "Cabaret" and "The Producers" when the performances begin at 1:30 p.m. Dupont Circle Park, Connecticut Avenue and Q Street NW (Metro: Dupont Circle).
Saturday: The Hindu festival Diwali isn't till next month, but Indique Heights gets an early start with a night of Indian food, entertainment and drinks at its own, small-scale (fireworks-free, sadly) Diwali Mela. For those curious about the Festival of Lights, is there a better-sounding way to celebrate?
Saturday-Sunday: It's tough to find parking in downtown Bethesda; it's much easier to find a memorable piece of art at the Bethesda Row Arts Festival. Nearly 200 artists will exhibit ceramics, drawings, jewelry, paintings, pastels, photography and more Saturday and Sunday along Woodmont Avenue, and it's a fine time to pick up early holiday gifts.
Saturday-Sunday: After this weekend, there will be no more chances to party like it's 1520. So if you're dying to nosh on turkey legs, wear tights and chase after wenches, be sure to hit the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville this weekend, when the monthlong fair hosts its last joust, its last court celebration, its last everything for this season.
Sunday: San Diego's Crocodiles deliver the kind of fuzzy anthemic numbers that can get a crowd into a lather. If you're looking for rock and roll a little bit more uplifting than say, Nine Inch Nails, head to DC9 on Sunday, when the band, which you might have seen opening for the Dum Dum Girls (singer Brandon Welchez is married to the Dum Dums' Dee Dee), headlines the bill.