The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The best things to do in the D.C. area the week of Nov. 4-10

The outdoor ice rink at Reston Town Center reopens for the 2021-22 season on Friday. (Photo courtesy of Boston Properties)
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Editor’s note: While mask requirements vary across the Washington region, a number of bars, restaurants and performing arts venues in D.C. require audience members to show proof of vaccination as a condition of entry. Check websites or social media before making plans.

Thursday, Nov. 4

Carmen Canedo at the Pocket at 7 Drum City: Singer-songwriter Carmen Canedo, a senior at American University, has already released two albums in two years. Her steady and intimate guitar strumming and unassuming vocals are the perfect canvas for her poignant lyrics. On her 2018 album “Wheels are Turning,” songs like “Next Time Around,” lean into folk traditions, with her guitar taking center stage as she sings the promise, “Spin your records, I’ll leave in the morning, spin your records tonight.” On her 2020 project, “Know it All,” Canedo’s writing is even stronger. The haunting opening track, “Morrow,” has her lament, “waving, waving from the roof, the roof/I cannot escape this feeling of youth,” describing the overwhelming instability of being in your early 20s. The unsteadiness of youth is a theme throughout the album, including on the song “Vectors,” where Canedo comes to a conclusion about it: She sings, “I am no greater than the air I breathe … took a while to see, but I see.” It’s exciting to think about how her insights on life will continue to mature, along with her talent. Proof of vaccination or negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours is required for admittance to this show. 8 p.m. $12-$15.

Friday, Nov. 5

Shallou at the 9:30 Club: Shallou specializes in making electronic music feel nearly brain-numbingly smooth, the opposite effect of many of his party-heavy peers. His most recent album, “Magical Thinking,” is a continuation of his cerebral approach to house music. Though his sound could easily fall into an easy listening playlist, Shallou — Rockville native Joe Boston — continually takes interesting risks, such as incorporating samples of nature sounds. Shallou creates these textures like he’s out at sea, surrounded only by water and his own thoughts. It’s a sharp departure from many people’s definition of electronic music. But Shallou, as he wrote in a Reddit Ask Me Anything two years ago, is drawn to “claps rather than snares, soft transient kicks over big house kicks and sparkly sounding things.” Proof of vaccination is required for admittance to this show. 6 p.m. $20.

Hump! Film Festival at the Black Cat: Dan Savage has been writing his no-holds-barred sex advice column “Savage Love” for 30 years, which has now been spun off into a book and a film festival. Savage curated a collection of sex-positive and bodypositive erotic shorts, which the Black Cat will screen on its main stage. (Please note that the Thursday night screenings have been cancelled, but Friday is happening as scheduled.) The festival is for ages 18 and older. 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. $25.

‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Olney Theatre Center: Olney Theatre Center’s familyfriendly holiday musical this season is Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Tony-nominated director Marcia Milgrom Dodge will reinvent this tale as old as time as a “thoroughly inclusive, 2021 ‘Happily Ever After.’” Helen Hayes-nominated actress Jade Jones stars as Belle, and tap dancer Evan Ruggiero, whose right leg was amputated while being treated for a rare bone cancer, will co-star as the Beast. Proof of vaccination is required for entry; children under 12 must be masked and accompanied by a vaccinated adult. Through Jan. 2. $37- $90.

Ice skating at Reston Town Center: This week’s blast of cold air served as a reminder that winter is coming, along with outdoor ice skating. The popular rink at the heart of Reston Town Center makes its seasonal debut this weekend. Advance reservations, which cover a 90-minute session on the ice, are recommended. Open at 11:30 a.m. daily. Admission $9-$10; skate rentals $7.

Saturday, Nov. 6

Redeye Night Market: The night markets of East and Southeast Asia inspired Pennsylvania Avenue NW’s newest street festival, hosted by No Kings Collective, the local arts group known for their eye-catching murals. More than 50 local vendors — including such acclaimed restaurants as Incheon, Maketto and Thip Khao — will stay up until midnight at the Redeye Night Market, selling snacks including Filipino pastries, bao, Korean fried chicken and Taiwanese shaved ice. Entertainment comes from DJs, dance troupes, kung fu associations and hip-hop artists Year of the Ox. All attendees must show proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours of the event. 4 p.m. to midnight. Free with RSVP.

The Great Walls Ride at Dupont Circle Fountain: D.C. Bike Party presents a special afternoon bike ride that provides a glimpse into the artistic and cultural contributions Asian American Pacific Islanders have made in the city, from murals to music. The ride starts at the Dupont Circle foundation, ending at the open-air Redeye Night Market. (See above.) 3 p.m. Free.

‘The Wall/El Muro: What is a Border Wall?’ at the National Building Museum: A new exhibition at the National Building Museum tackles one of the thorniest issues of our times: The border between the U.S. and Mexico, by looking at its architecture and design. “What is happening on our border matters and it was important to me to be able to start telling this story,” curator Sarah A. Leavitt says in a press release. “This is what museums should be for — leading this type of conversation.” The immersive exhibit includes a full-size section of fence once deployed in California, soundscapes of the border, landscape photographs and models, belongings left behind in the desert, and a teeter-totter which allowed children on opposite sides of the border to play together. Museum tickets are available for two sessions — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. — Friday to Monday. $7-$10.

Baltimore Craft Beer Festival: There’s a beer festival at Nationals Park this Saturday with a mix of local and national offerings. There’s also another festival, with a much more interesting lineup, an easy MARC or Amtrak ride from D.C. Fifty craft brewers from across the Free State are heading to the Baltimore Craft Beer Festival, organized by the Brewers Association of Maryland, at Canton’s Waterfront Park. Beyond big names, such as Union, Heavy Seas and Brewer’s Art, make sure to visit smaller brewers and brewpubs, such as Steinhardt (Frederick), Crooked Crab (Odenton), Nepenthe and Checkerspot (both Baltimore). In the past, many brewers have brought three or four beers, making it simple to browse. The team behind Del McCoury’s DelFest curates the music stage, headlined by Big Thicket, while food trucks provide lunch. Of note: The VIP/"Beer Geek" passes, which cost $60, allow access at noon instead of the general 1:30 p.m. opening time, and designated driver tickets are available. Noon to 5 p.m. $45-$60.

Andy Cohen at Sixth and I: Andy Cohen’s book talk at Sixth & I is bound to be dishy, since the host of Bravo’s late night show “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” has a way of getting celebrities to drop the PR talking points and say what they really think. Cohen will chat about “Glitter Every Day,” his new book with 365 quotes from the women who inspire him, with Washington Post media reporter (and stand-up comic) Elahe Izadi. Originally slated to be a virtual event, Cohen will now appear in person (virtual tickets are still being offered). Proof of vaccination is required for entry. 7 p.m. $20-$35 for in-person; $32 for virtual (includes a signed book).

Holiday shopping begins: You’ve probably heard warnings that “the supply chain meltdown will make holiday shopping messy,” and you need to shop as early as possible to find the perfect gift for your loved ones. What better way to support the local economy by picking up presents from an artisan at a D.C. area holiday market? This week’s events include the kickoff of the 14th annual Annmarie Ornament Show and Sale at Annmarie Gardens, where visitors browse trees covered with ornaments handmade by 25 regional artists. (Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and through Jan. 1) and the First Sunday Holiday Festival in Annapolis, which brings 130 artists — photographers, jewelers, potters, etc. — to the middle of West Street near Church Circle (Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Sunday, Nov. 7

JP Saxe at the Lincoln Theatre: JP Saxe’s “If the World was Ending” slunk into our psyches with its catchy hook imploring an anonymous loved one to stay with us, please. The irresistible song has been used as the backdrop to heart wrenching TikTok videos, from dogs reuniting with their human partners to discussions about mental health, its emotional plea universal and wide-reaching (not to mention he’s accompanied on the track by his real life partner, Julia Michaels). Saxe specializes in this kind of feel good, remarkably cheesy but always sincere pop music. On the singer-songwriter’s debut album, “Dangerous Levels of Introspection,” he sings about how he loves, how he thinks, every feeling dotted with honesty. With country music singer Maren Morris on “Line By Line,” the pair sing what they can’t always say: “Love too big for a love song, if I tried to sum it up, I know I’d get it wrong. … So I just take you line by line.” In an interview with People magazine, Saxe said his goal is to make music that feels like a “best friend telling you about some really personal part of your life.” So when Saxe begs us to come over if the world is ending, how could we say no? Proof of vaccination is required for admittance to this show. 8 p.m. $26.

Monday, Nov. 8

Spill Tab at Union Stage: Claire Chicha and David Marinelli are the pair behind Spill Tab, with Chicha as the taking charge with her soothing, rounded vocals and Marinelli steering the production. Spill Tab is more than your run-of-the-mill bedroom pop act, though: Chicha’s quiet voice slices through dreamy, electro-dance ready introspections. Fusing R&B sounds with electro-pop production throws songs into a softer focus, and her vocals are often layered over the thrum of a steady bass or drum as she whispers about the inner dimensions and complexity of love and adolescence. Songs are often sung in French (Chicha is French Korean) and if you don’t know the language, the effect is otherworldly, almost cinematic. On “Calvaire,” Chicha sings, “T’es ma misère, c’est le monde a l’envers, t’es mon enfer, ’vec tes commentaires,” which translates to “You’re my misery, my world inverted, you’re my hell with your observations.” Spill Tab is unmatched in serving up satisfyingly sweet songs with a razor at its center. Proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours is required for admittance to this show. 7:30 p.m. $16-$30.

Spotlight on Spanish Theater at Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain: Spain’s practice and performance of theater is long and storied. This collaboration between the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain, Estreno Contemporary Spanish Plays and AENY (Spanish Artists in New York) offers a deep introspective into contemporary Spanish theater. This is the third edition of the series, and features a stage reading, in English, of Lucia Carballal’s “An American Life,” centered on a Spanish family living in a van, promised a better life by an American man who left them years ago. 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Free.

LN2 pop-up at Service Bar: Thought frozen cocktails were just for summer? Think again. A fun pop-up party at U Street’s Service Bar features bartenders Michael Frattatouille and Joseph Kocjan whipping up new, ice-cold versions of the Bees Knees, Penicillin and other classics using liquid nitrogen. (Think of it as the cool version of those chemistry experiments you marvelled at in school.) There’s no need to make reservations or buy tickets -- just drop in during the event. 7 p.m. to midnight. Admission free; cocktails priced individually.

Tuesday, Nov. 9

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration: On Nov. 11, 1921, the body of an unidentified American soldier, killed during World War I, was interred at Arlington National Cemetery. As part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetery is giving the public the rare chance to walk on the plaza in front of the tomb and lay flowers at the grave on the two days before Veterans Day. Participants are encouraged to bring their own flowers, though roses, daisies and sunflowers will be available at the cemetery. Talks will be given throughout the day at the Memorial Amphitheater, and exhibits about the tomb will be on display at the amphitheater and the cemetery’s Welcome Center. (The presidential wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb on Veterans Day is invitation only, but the public can watch a special full-honors procession and joint services flyover.) Laying flowers is free, but advance registration is required. Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

Sarah Hughes at Rhizome: After exploring her own voice across two contemplative albums as a bandleader — 2018’s “Coy Fish” and 2019’s “The Drag” — Maryland saxophonist Sarah Hughes sounds invigorated by the idea of getting outside of herself as a soloist. “I think I’m probably going to challenge myself by trying to keep it in a very highly energetic place, almost like I’m running a marathon,” she says of her upcoming show at Rhizome. “I’m so used to the energy sitting in a calmer, serene place, but that’s not where I’m at in my life. I want to be able to express where I actually am.” 6 p.m. $5-$20.

Sarah Hughes is getting inside her sound by getting outside herself

French Essentials film selection at the Embassy of France: Supreme Count Justice Stephen G. Breyer curated the French Embassy’s “French Essentials" mini-film festival, which is not a sentence you read every day. The final screening in the series is “Jules and Jim,” François Truffaut’s 1962 drama and about a tragic love triangle between two friends and a woman they meet, who resembles a statue they have long been enchanted with. Proof of vaccination, a mask and picture ID are required to enter the Embassy’s La Maison Francaise. 7 p.m. Free.

Wednesday, Nov. 10

’The Great Leap’ at Round House Theatre: The University of San Francisco basketball team is set to travel to China for a “friendship” matchup with Beijing University in 1989 in Lauren Yee’s play about crosscultural connections. Round House’s show marks a regional premiere for “The Great Leap,” which was inspired by the playwright’s father’s own basketball career. Proof of vaccination is required for entry. Through Dec. 5. $41-$78.