Nine things to do in the D.C. area on the weekend of Nov. 1-3

October 31, 2013

The weekend’s best in nightlife, music and art. For even more, check out Nightlife Agenda and our roundup of tonight's top Halloween events


Members of the Washington Ballet dance during dress rehearsal for "Giselle" last week. Performances of the show began Wednesday. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Through Sunday: The Washington Ballet opens its new season with "Giselle," one of the most technically challenging ballets in the classical canon. The second act of "Giselle" is what sets it apart, with intricate choreography and a white-tutu aesthetic that adds an element of delicate formality to the story, which draws inspiration from the works of Victor Hugo and Heinrich Heine. Performances at the Kennedy Center continue Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Friday-Nov. 17: It seems like just yesterday that we were sweating through our clothes under the Baldacchino tent, watching "1814! The War of 1812 Rock Opera" during the Capital Fringe Festival. But now that the weather is cooling, it's time for another dose of DIY theater. The smaller, more manageable fallFRINGE festival at Fort Fringe, features 13 shows, including "Clown Cabaret: All-Stars" with Matthew Pauli, and a return engagement of Sheldon Scott's "Shrimp & Griots." Tickets are $20; $15 with a 2013 Fringe button.

Friday:  You could be forgiven for tuning out last season after the Wizards dropped 28 of their first 32 games. From there, the team limped to finish 29-53, but the play of rookie Bradley Beal, left, and post-injury John Wall made the team interesting in that youthful, hope-for-tomorrow sense. Tomorrow is not here yet, but the addition of former Georgetown star Otto Porter is another reason to approach the 2013-14 season Washington Wizards home opener with the belief that brighter days are ahead. Tip-off against the Philadelphia 76ers is at 7 p.m. at Verizon Center.

Saturday-Nov. 10: FotoWeek, the District-born festival that showcases international photography, photojournalism, fine-art photos and even iPhone snapshots with a week-plus worth of exhibitions and panels returns this week, in a new locale: In the festival's sixth year, a partnership with National Geographic means the opening bash and FotoWeek Central exhibitions will be planted at National Geographic's Museum and its courtyard. FotoWeek Central will move outdoors this year to the courtyard  (accessible on M Street NW between 16th and 17th streets), which means the public can drop in and see the (obviously weather-proofed) photos day or night, without having to pay the admission charge that was collected at FotoWeek Central last year. Also worth checking out: a special off-site party and locally focused show, called FotoNoMa: The District Experience. Read more:  FotoWeek DC returns Nov. 1-10.

Saturday: The Smithsonian American Art Museum will give families a peek into the rituals of the Day of the Dead, with a family day filled with performances, paper cutting, skull mask decorating and other crafts. Families can also explore the temporary exhibit "Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art." Read more: Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos with food, drink and events.

Saturday: After sold-out shows at the Black Cat and a indie-kid-wooing turn at May's Sweetlife Festival, everyone's favorite hipster little sister, Solange, finds her way back to D.C., to GW Lisner Auditorium, Saturday. Fans of Solange's sister, Beyonce, won't find the same tough-girl sass in the younger Knowles's look or gleefully twee interpretation of R&B, but Solange won solid reviews for her turns on the festival circuit this summer at Los Angeles's FYF Fest and  Philadelphia's Made in America festival. Watch: Solange's "Locked in Closets."

Saturday: The Corcoran Gallery of Art marks the opening of its new exhibition of installations, "Mia Feuer: An Unkindness," with Community Day at the Corcoran, with free admission and activities including  printmaking, a chance to make a ceramic bowl to be donated to So Others Might Eat, a community art fair, gallery talks and a beer garden. The exhibit, part of the NOW series, explores the artist's experiences in oil-producing regions and its impact on the landscape; Feuer is also the first D.C. artist to produce a NOW show.

Saturday: Ever dream of slipping into one Washington's most luxurious estates for a cocktail party? Your chance arrives this weekend: Evermay in Georgetown will play host to Night Nouveau, a new event with a film-noir theme. Dress in your black-and-white cocktail finest, and play a Clue-like game in which you must solve a mystery in the house, then sip cocktails and snack on fare from area restaurants. Tickets are pricey -- $200 per person, and $350 per couple -- but the proceeds benefit Evermay's foundation for performing arts. Get tickets here.

Saturday: You know the look: sunken face, squirrel teeth marks on the edges and the odor of rot beginning to permeate the air. If your prized pumpkin has started to turn from scary to scuzzy, send it off in style at the Great Country Farms Pumpkin Chunkin' festival. Whether you choose to drop yours from 40 feet or send it down the zip line, there are plenty of ways to give your gourd a fine sendoff.

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Tim Carman · October 31, 2013