Film Across Borders: ‘Brazen’ at the Embassy of France: Graphic novelist Pénélope Bagieu set out to tell the stories of women who’ve changed the world, and these charming illustrations then became the basis for animated short films that aired on French television. The French Embassy will host a screening of “Brazen,” followed by a roundtable and audience Q&A. Proof of vaccination and ID will be required to enter the French Embassy, and the embassy suggests you arrive early to allow extra time for security screening. 7 p.m. Free, registration required.
Akram Khan Company at the Kennedy Center: One of Britain’s most acclaimed choreographers will make his debut at the Kennedy Center, just as he wraps up his career as a performer in a full-length work. In this swan song, see Akram Khan embody the shell shocked trauma of a colonial soldier in World War I in “Xenos,” a solo show demonstrating his trademark blend of modern dance and kathak, the classical Indian dance form. Through Saturday. $25-$99.
Pop-Up Magazine at Lincoln Theatre: Pop-Up Magazine experimented with new formats during the pandemic, such as a food-themed story in a box. In November, the live magazine will return to Lincoln Theatre for a show building on those experiences, enlisting journalists, TV writers and filmmakers to tell a good story. An added bonus: The ticket price includes a martini from sponsor the Botanist Gin if you’re of drinking age. 7:30 p.m. $29-$59.
Friday, Nov. 19
National Gallery of Art Ice Rink reopens: A cup of hot cocoa after gliding around the National Gallery of Art’s ice rink is a beloved D.C. winter activity, and it’s one we didn’t get to enjoy in 2020 because of the pandemic. But ice skating among works by Alexander Calder and Roy Lichtenstein in the NGA Sculpture Garden returns this weekend, and runs through the spring. Book a rink session — admission includes two 45-minute periods on the ice — and then order such warming drinks as hot cider, mulled wine and pumpkin spice lattes from the adjacent Pavilion Cafe. This weekend, all skaters receive a free cup of hot chocolate with admission. Open through March 6, weather permitting. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission $9-$10; skate rentals $5.
Downtown Holiday Market: Last year, to encourage social distancing during the pandemic, the organizers of the Downtown Holiday Market moved their winter shopping wonderland off the sidewalks outside the National Portrait Gallery and into the middle of F Street NW between Seventh and Ninth streets. Thankfully, the market is keeping the same spacious footprint in 2021, its 17th season, and we have to wonder, what took so long? Through Dec. 23, makers and artists sell their wares while musicians perform and vendors offer doughnuts, sausages and empanadas. (More than 70 exhibitors will set up over the course of the market, but a good number will change after Dec. 6.) Noon to 8 p.m. daily through Dec. 23. (Closed Thanksgiving and Dec. 5.) Free.
Futures Remixed at the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building: After being closed to the public for nearly two decades, the Smithsonian’s historic brick Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall reopens in November with “Futures.” The 32,000-squarefoot exhibition is a cacophony of high-tech displays exploring what the future might look like, whether that’s a deli case of lab-grown meat or a flying car. Register in advance for Futures Remixed, the opening weekend festival, which includes a concert on the evening of Nov. 20 that will put a futuristic spin on D.C.’s go-go music scene and a family day on Nov. 21 with guided activities for little “future-makers.” Exhibition open Nov. 20-July 6, 2022. Free.
Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights: Brookside Gardens’ holiday tradition returns after last year’s cancellation, once again illuminating 50 acres in Wheaton with more than 1 million LED lights. Walk through a garden lit by holiday displays depicting animals and flowers, along with added special effects such as fog bubbles. Be sure to purchase advance tickets online, because they won’t be sold at the gate this year. Through Jan. 2. (closed Nov. 22-25 and Dec. 24-25.) $10 for all visitors age 3 and older.
Ìfé at the Black Cat: Ìfé merges Afro-Latin percussion and Yoruba prayer with electronic music. Led by Otura Mun, an African American percussionist, producer and Santería priest, the New Orleans-based group made its debut in 2017, as a way for Mun to actualize his drumming and religious practice. The band’s new album, “0000+0000,” delivers a modern take on devotional music. Expanding the group’s repertoire to incorporate dance hall, trap and soul music, Mun aims to create a live experience in which everyone, regardless of spiritual practice (or lack thereof), will feel welcome. “When you’re dancing to the music that you love, you’re celebrating on a spiritual level, you can’t explain what you’re doing,” Mun says. “You look for the words, but your heart and soul feels.” 8 p.m. $20-$25.
Syleena Johnson and CeCe Peniston at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club: Syleena Johnson’s “Woman,” released during the pandemic, is as much a therapy session as it is an affirmation. On the album, the R&B vanguard astutely skewers the double-standards and discrimination women, particularly Black women, face in their daily lives. “You gotta think like a woman/But act harder than a man/Show love like a woman/But take advantage like a man,” Johnson croons on the title track. “I Deserve More” feels like a biting rebuke to that song: “I don’t deserve a man who runs a hell of bills/And every time that fifteen hits/You don’t want to pay for it.” Rounding out Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club’s two-act bill is another legend in her own right, CeCe Peniston, whose booming voice can still be heard on dance floors many decades after her most renowned hit “Finally” was released. 8 p.m. $59-$79.
Saturday, Nov. 20
Washington Spirit Viewing Parties: The Washington Spirit has returned to the NWSL title game for the first time since 2016, when they lost to the Western New York Flash on penalties. Despite the rough season on and off the pitch, supporters are ready to cheer their team on to its first championship: When the Spirit announced an official viewing party at Metrobar on Tuesday, the free tickets “sold out” in less than an hour. The team subsequently added a second event at National Harbor, where the match is being broadcast on an 18-by-32-foot LED screen on the Potomac. Other, less-official, destinations include the soccer-centric Across the Pond in Dupont, which has both indoor and outdoor seating with sound; the Wunder Garten beer garden in NoMa, which is hosting a viewing party after proving a popular spot for World Cup and European Championship viewing; and Dacha Beer Garden in Navy Yard, where fans congregated to watch the Spirit’s semifinal win over OL Reign. Wherever you go, though, reservations are recommended: The Trinity Rodman bandwagon is filling up fast. Kickoff at noon.
DC Punk Flea at St. Stephen’s Church: Jewelry that skews toward skulls, lightning bolts and witchiness. Hardcore on 7″ vinyl. Vintage dresses. Handmade scarves. New zines. The DC Punk Flea stands out from the other holiday markets around town at the moment, which is exactly the point. Come prepared to browse, and bring cans of food to donate to We Are Family, a program that supports seniors with food deliveries, check-ins and other free services. Noon to 5 p.m. Free.
Tokyo Police Club at Union Stage: “Champ” may not have been Tokyo Police Club’s magnum opus, but it showed a lighter, more-playful side to the band than previously seen. With bright, jangly guitars and crisp pop melodies, the 2010 album plays like a coming-of-age film. “Under our bed a monster lives/We fight its teeth with superglue and paper clips/Mark the end of an age/The way that your handwriting changed/You should always pretend/Well you just start and I’ll say when,” sings vocalist and bassist Dave Monks on one of the standout tracks, “Bambi.” Throughout the record, the band waxes nostalgic about childhood memories and cultural touchpoints that kids of the ’90s will recognize. And for those that want to reminisce about “Champ” itself, the band will perform the album at Union Stage in honor of its 10-year anniversary. 8 p.m. $20.
Go-Go Preservation Week at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library: D.C.'s flagship public library is the home of go-go on Saturday, thanks to the annual Go-Go Preservation Week. Take a self-guided tour of the library’s go-go exhibit (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.); watch a screening of the 2008 Go-Go Awards, which feature Chuck Brown’s induction into the Go-Go Hall of Fame (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.); and attend a panel discussion on “Go-Go’s Next Chapter,” with council member Kenyan R. McDuffie, Commission on the Arts and Humanities member Cora Masters Barry, and Grammy-nominated vocalist Kokayi discussing the future and preservation of D.C.'s official music, followed by a performance by Rare Essence (3 p.m.). 10 a.m. Free.
Holiday Makers Market at True Respite: Rockville’s True Respite Brewing offers a little bit of everything at its Holiday Makers Market: 34 local crafters and artists selling their wares; Adoptable puppies looking for forever homes from Key to Lion’s Heart Rescue; live music; brick oven pizza and crepes from food trucks; and, of course, plenty of beer, including hazy IPAs, seasonal fruited sours with cranberries and raspberries, and cask-conditioned English brown ales. To top it all off, a portion of proceeds benefit Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County. Noon to 5 p.m. Free.
St Alban’s Annual Christmas Bazaar: The annual bazaar at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Annandale, which has more than 50 years under its belt, includes stations with baked goods, household supplies, books, art and gifts galore, as well as an on-site cafe. A raffle includes Kennedy Center tickets and handmade quilts among the prizes. Purchases and donations support St. Alban’s community service programs at various schools and organizations. Masks are required while indoors. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free.
Friendsgiving at Astro Lab Brewing: If you’re gearing up for a Friendsgiving celebration next week, you’re not alone — but Astro Lab Brewing has gotten a jump on proceedings. The Silver Spring brewery has invited some stellar guests, including Wheatland Spring, Sapwood Cellars, Ocelot and Other Half, to take over its taps for the day. There’s live music from 7 to 10 p.m., and no reservations are required. Noon to 11 p.m. Free.
'Gentrification: An Oral History’ at Create Grounds DC: Journalist and Shaw resident Shilpi Malinowski, author of “Shaw, LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale in Washington, D.C.: An Oral History” discusses how gentrification has rapidly affected those neighborhoods. In the new book, Malinowski tells the story of the area through the voices of residents, from those who moved in during the 2000s to those who have lived there their entire lives. 2 to 4 p.m. Free.
‘Major League’ at Suns Cinema: Suns Cinema is focused on sports movies this month, such from the predictable (“A League of Their Own,” Nov. 27) to the esoteric (cult BMX film “Rad" this Saturday, sold out). 1989′s “Major League,” a beloved addition to the mantel of American sports movies, features memorable turns from a young Charlie Sheen and Wesley Snipes and fictionalizes the exploits of the Cleveland Indians. The plot, such as it is, concerns a former showgirl who inherits the baseball team from her deceased husband and decides to relocate the team somewhere warmer (Miami, in this case), but underestimates the abilities and drive of her scrappy team of underdogs. 9:30 p.m. $10.
Sunday, Nov. 21
We Rock! Showcase at The Pocket: The We Rock! Camp is essentially the adult version of the Girls Rock! D.C. Summer Camp, where young people learn and connect over music: Attendees learn a new instrument, join a band and write original songs. The results of their musical journey are performed in this in-person concert, open to all ages. Proceeds from the live show go to supporting Girls Rock! D.C.’s programming. Doors open at 1 p.m. for the 2 p.m. show. 1 to 3:30 p.m. $5-$20.
Monday, Nov. 22
Yasmin Williams at Union Stage: Yasmin Williams went from playing Guitar Hero 2 as a child in Woodbridge to earning critical raves for “Urban Driftwood,” her new album of inventive finger-style acoustic compositions. See Williams’s virtuoso take on guitar at Union Stage, as she strums away with a bow or simultaneously plays a kalimba. Proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of the performance is required for entry. 7:30 p.m. $20.
Friendsgiving Calligraphy Workshop at La Cosecha: Wow your Thanksgiving guests with hand-lettered table place cards, which you’ll learn to create during this introduction to modern calligraphy class at the Latin American marketplace La Cosecha. The 90-minute class will get you started on the basics of beautiful lettering, and you’ll get a kit with ink and everything you need to keep practicing at home. 6:30 to 8 p.m. $75.
Wednesday, Nov. 24
U.S. Botanic Garden Outdoor Holiday Display: The U.S. Botanic Garden’s indoor areas remain closed, along with the rest of the buildings at the U.S. Capitol, so the annual Season’s Greenings holiday display is moving outside. The gated gardens just to the west of the conservatory have been transformed into a giant open-air model train display, with locomotives chugging around various farms and agricultural settings — barns, vineyards, terraced farms, Machu Picchu — made from plant materials, as well as across overhead trestles. (Younger visitors will be thrilled to find special appearances by Thomas the Tank Engine and friends.) Window displays at the Conservatory show off highlights from the Botanic Garden’s poinsettia collection, as well as models of the Capitol and other D.C. landmarks, also made from plant parts. While the official opening date is Nov. 24, sections of the exhibit are going on display as they’re finished, so the trains began wowing visitors in early November. Trains run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 2. (Closed Christmas Day.) Free.
‘The Last Waltz’ at Boundary Stone: Since 2011, Boundary Stone has marked Thanksgiving Eve by showing “The Last Waltz,” Martin Scorsese’s documentary about the Band’s final concert, held on Thanksgiving Day in 1976. Last year, though, had a funereal atmosphere: It was the final event held at the much-loved Bloomingdale pub before closing “until further notice” in hopes of surviving the winter. This year is a different story: Boundary Stone is once again showing “The Last Waltz” in its dining room, with sound. While the restaurant scene isn’t near “back to normal,” it’s nice when some traditions are. 9 p.m. Free.
Gimme Gimme Disco: A dance party inspired by ABBA at 9:30 Club: Collectively, we can’t seem to escape ABBA. And that’s okay, because embracing the Swedish pop group’s irresistibly catchy and innocuous sound is only a matter of time. Their newest album “Voyage” dropped earlier this month, making it the group’s highest charting American album ever. If you’ve accepted your fate as an ABBA fan, 9:30 Club offers a step above that: a dance party “inspired by ABBA,” where you can sing along all night. 9 p.m. $17.