Friday, Oct. 12
Portside in Old Town Festival: Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront has been central to its identity since the 18th century, and the expansion of the public park at the foot of King Street should only heighten its appeal for tourists and residents. The Portside in Old Town Festival offers a preview of the kinds of events that will regularly take place along the Potomac: tours of the Godspeed, a re-creation of a tall ship that brought settlers to Jamestown; art displays, including an LED light performance; live music and DJs; outdoor yoga and exercise classes; a pop-up Port City beer garden and Pizzeria Paradiso location; and craft projects for families. 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 7:45 p.m. Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free.
‘New Nature’ at ARTECHOUSE: Been wondering where to find the various futuristic-looking exhibitions that have been sprinkled across your Instagram feed? The answer is most likely this year-old L’Enfant Plaza museum, which will be debuting an exhibit called “New Nature.” The project comes from Polish-born digital artist Mateusz “Marpi” Marcinowski, who was inspired to create this interactive art piece from his love of the communal experience of video games. The exhibition responds to your sensory movements and virtual images of creatures, plants and other forms that react to the various visitors are projected on the walls. Through January 13. $8-$15.
Maria Bamford at the Warner Theatre: You may have recently caught on to the comedic stylings of Maria Bamford from her acclaimed Netflix series, “Lady Dynamite.” But Bamford has long been one of the pioneers of the alt-comedy scene, bursting into prominence with “The Comedians of Comedy,” which featured her and now-famous comedians Patton Oswalt and Zach Galifianakis. Bamford also had her own inventive comedy specials, including 2012’s “The Special Special Special!,” which was recorded entirely in her home and had an audience of two — her parents. 7 p.m. $32.
Molly Burch at Songbyrd: The great trick of Austin singer-songwriter Molly Burch is the initial lull of her smoky, gentle voice projecting another run-of-the-mill songstress. Take a second listen though and you’ll hear the sounds of someone torn up over heartbreak and unrequited love. Her 2017 debut, “Please Be Mine,” is a great entry point into this young talent, but her forthcoming album, “First Flower,” is already generating buzz off its lead single, “To the Boys,” which reveals more assured songwriting and outlook with its resonant line “I don’t need to scream to get my point across / I don’t need to yell to know that I’m the boss.” 7 p.m. $10-$12.
Saturday, Oct. 13
H Street Festival: The biggest and baddest street festival in the city, which was moved from its original September date because of Hurricane Florence, is expected to draw more than 150,000 people to an 11-block stretch of H Street NE this year. The closed-down pavement will be filled with music stages, fashion shows, dance and theater performances, food and clothing vendors, beer gardens, art cars and eating contests, with even more events taking place at the neighborhood’s numerous bars, restaurants and shops. Noon to 7 p.m. Free.
Snallygaster at Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Third and Sixth streets: Washington’s largest beer festival is trading Yards Park for America’s Main Street this year, shutting down Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Third and Sixth streets. Festival organizers say they’ll have at least 350 choices on tap, including a variety of breweries that are not usually available in the Washington area, such as Toppling Goliath, the Alchemist, Threes, Monkish and Equilibrium. But don’t overlook the selection of gravity-poured kegs of seasonal German brews, which are the best way to get a taste of the old country. Beyond the beer, look for food trucks, music, games and family-friendly activities. 1:30 to 7 p.m. $40.
OPUS at Merriweather Post Pavilion: If you couldn’t make it to Burning Man, the next best — and closest — alternative might be OPUS. Set in the woods of Columbia, Md., the festival marries flashy, future-forward art installations with off-kilter experimental live music from up-and-coming artists. A 75-foot-tall laser sculpture inspired by a Cedar Point roller coaster, a giant animated owl that recites prophetic quotes and a soulful performance from violinist Sudan Archives are just a few of the highlights at OPUS this year. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Free with RSVP.
Virginia Wine Festival at Gateway Park: A favorite fall festival for wine lovers is making a move this year: The 43rd annual Virginia Wine Festival will set up shop at Gateway Park in Rosslyn, overlooking Key Bridge. This is still the place to taste more than 200 Virginia wines, with unlimited tastings and a souvenir glass included in the admission price. Bounce back and forth among the tents, then hit the food trucks or the Virginia oyster pavilion when you need a snack. Through Sunday. Noon to 6 p.m. $15-$65.
Legends of Hip-Hop at DAR Constitution Hall: For hip-hop, the South has long been a bed of innovation. Such rappers as Scarface from Houston and 8 Ball & MJG from Memphis built a foundation for entire generations of Southern artists. Juvenile, whose iconic “400 Degreez” album (the one that gave us “Back That Azz Up,” later sampled by Drake) was released 20 years ago, embodied the sound of New Orleans and rap’s regionalism. Still, few artists have been reborn in the music like Project Pat, brother of Three 6 Mafia’s Juicy J. His songs have been sampled by A$AP Rocky and, most recently, Cardi B, whose “Bickenhead” annexes his “Chickenhead.” Hip-hop has done well to keep these elders alive — all of whom will perform at this all-star revue — but what luck that they can still speak for themselves? 8 p.m. $59-$125.
Sunday, Oct. 14
‘Beetlejuice’ at the National Theatre: Tim Burton’s cult classic is headed to Broadway, but the world premiere of this macabre musical comedy is happening in Washington. Following in the footsteps of last fall’s “Mean Girls,” the “Beetlejuice” show will debut at National Theatre. Like the 1988 Burton film, this story centers on a teen girl’s friendship with the ghosts and a devious demon that inhabit her new home. For those curious to know how Beetlejuice’s stripes translate to the stage: The musical carries a “parents beware” advisory. Through Nov. 18. $54-$204.
‘The Fall’ at Studio Theatre: A group of student activists campaigns to bring down a controversial statue on a university campus: It’s a story that sounds like it’s been ripped from American news headlines, but “The Fall” is based on the true-life experience of seven students from the University of Cape Town, who dramatized their efforts as part of a South African protest movement against the status quo, called “Fallism.” The play premiered in Cape Town and has made its way to Edinburgh, London, New York and now Washington. Through Nov. 18. $20-$55.
The Caribbean at Galaxy Hut: There are no lifetime achievement awards in the underground, which might be why we venerate the “lifers” — those outsider musicians who commit to their wild-styles for the long haul. But how wild are the styles? And how long is the haul? Do Michael Kentoff, Matthew Byars and Dave Jones of the Caribbean qualify yet? The band got together around the end of the previous century, and these three say they intend to keep it together for as long as they’re all alive. Down in the D.C. basement where the Caribbean rehearses, the floor is a bramble of wires connecting guitars to effects pedals, rhythm machines to amplifiers. Kentoff, the trio’s primary songwriter, says the gear comes and goes, but the band’s mission remains steady-ish: to write melody-minded rock songs that feel quite familiar, but also a bit strange. 9 p.m. $5.
Sherry Week at Himitsu: Like all good things, International Sherry Week must come to an end. But before it does, you can join D.C.'s foremost sherry expert Chantal Tseng and Himitsu co-founder Carlie Steiner for a laid-back afternoon of sherry tasting and fun at Himitsu. Expect sherry cocktails, crocheting, bingo and tea pairings, because it’s Sunday Funday and things are getting quirky. 2 to 10 p.m. Free; drinks priced individually.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Chris Richards, Stephanie Williams and Briana Younger