Side Yards , Nov. 2

Things you associate with Yards Park: A giant fountain for kids to splash around; family-friendly outdoor movie screenings; summer concerts with cover bands. Things you might not associate with Yards Park: Sword swallowers, daredevils juggling flaming torches, and contortionists who can fit their bodies in the most unlikely spaces. Unless, that is, you’ve been to Side Yards, the annual tribute to vintage circus sideshows. The free festival features performers on multiple stages, including magicians and aerialists, along with carnival games, tarot readings and activities for children. Local restaurants and bars offer food and drink. 5 to 9 p.m. at Yards Park. Free.  — Fritz Hahn

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Think of Novemberfest as the low-key alternative to Snallygaster. While the sold-out Snallygaster was dedicated to bringing the country’s best beers to D.C., Novemberfest, held behind Rustico in Alexandria, limits its scope to 30 breweries and cideries from the Old Dominion, including the Veil, Pen Druid, Black Narrows and Blue Bee, as well as wines from Barboursville. There’s live music, a menu of barbecue and chili, and games for the kids. Just note that while Snallygaster went to unlimited samples this year, Novemberfest still requires food and drink tickets, and you’ll save a few bucks if you buy tickets in advance. Noon to 5 p.m. at Rustico Alexandria. $10-$27. — Fritz Hahn

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Amadeus,’ Nov. 5- Dec. 22

In Peter Shaffer’s classic play “Amadeus,” court composer Antonio Salieri is driven to the brink with jealousy by the musical genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his everyday boorishness. Both the set — and soundtrack — of Folger Theatre’s production of “Amadeus” are bound to be sumptuous, as scenic designer Tony Cisek re-creates the salons and opera houses of 18th-century Vienna. Director Richard Clifford will bring this historically suspect yet highly entertaining tale of musical rivalry to life. Various times at Folger Theatre. $27-$85. — Adele Chapin

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Julia Child’s kitchen will have some great company during this event, which brings star chefs and food entrepreneurs from across the country to the National Museum of American History. This year’s theme is “Power Through Food: Women Entrepreneurs Saving Communities.” Free events include lectures, book signings and cooking demos, such as a lesson on how to prepare a signature Eritrean dish and a presentation from Bad Saint restaurant co-owner Genevieve Villamora. Culinary heavy-hitters Jacques Pépin, Rick Bayless, Danny Meyer, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger also will speak at a panel moderated by Carla Hall. There is a ticketed $45 after-hours event focused on brewing history, complete with beer tastings. Various times at National Museum of American History. Free (registration required for some events). — Adele Chapin

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If your only exposure to the work of Marcel Duchamp is his upended urinal, then the Hirshhorn is ready to open a window into one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. The modern art museum’s latest exhibition, courtesy of D.C. collectors Barbara and Aaron Levine, is one part of a year-long showcase of the French artist who rejected the idea that art needs to be visually appealing. Duchamp’s crude urinal, “Fountain,” was one of a series of pieces of readymades he created which were everyday articles of life reinterpreted as art. A selection of those objects will be on view including “Hat Rack,” which suspends the household fixture on wire from the ceiling, and “Comb,” a simple steel comb dated to the hour of its creation.
Through Oct. 12 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Free. — Hau Chu

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Nate Bargatze , Nov. 7 and 10

Tennessee native Nate Bargatze is the kind of comedian who found fame through word of mouth. Lauded by such comedy luminaries as Jim Gaffigan, Jimmy Fallon and Marc Maron, Bargatze’s career didn’t really take off until his 2017 half-hour special for Netflix’s “The Standups,” which happened to be the first episode of the series. Buoyed, no doubt, by the streaming service’s autoplay feature, Bargatze’s laid-back, PG-rated storytelling style connected with audiences. Earlier this year, he followed that special with the hour-long “The Tennessee Kid.” And after playing DC Improv last winter, Bargatze is staging his biggest D.C. shows yet: a pair of (nearly sold-out) sets at the Warner Theatre. 8 p.m. on Nov. 7, 7 p.m. on Nov. 10 at the Warner Theatre. $33-$83. — Rudi Greenberg

International holiday bazaars, Nov. 9 and 23

November is usually when some of us start thinking about shopping for holiday gifts. But forget Black Friday: D.C.’s international community has you covered with holiday markets and bazaars. The Embassy of the Czech Republic opens its doors Nov. 9 so shoppers can browse handblown glass ornaments and Bohemian jewelry while sipping mulled wine and listening to carols. That same Saturday features the Danish Club of Washington’s annual Christmas Bazaar at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Rockville, which is sponsored by the Danish Embassy; the Icelandic Association of Washington’s Christmas Bazaar at American Legion Post 177 in Fairfax; and the Norwegian Christmas Bazaar at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Bethesda. Books, knitwear, holiday decorations and baked goods are common, but each country puts its own spin on the festivities: Iceland will serve lamb hot dogs at its cafe, and the Danish Club has a Lego area where kids can play while parents shop. Another date to circle on the calendar is Nov. 23, when Finnish Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi opens the Finnish Christmas Bazaar at River Road Unitarian Church in Bethesda, and the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine of the Holy Family opens its doors for a two-day bazaar in Brookland. — Fritz Hahn

Bye Bye, Bei Bei , Nov. 11-18

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Everyone knew that Bei Bei would eventually leave the National Zoo to join a Chinese panda-breeding program, following in the paw-steps of older siblings Tai Shan and Bao Bao, but that doesn’t make it any easier to say farewell to the 4-year-old cub. The National Zoo is planning a week of special events to mark Bei Bei’s departure, including Q&A sessions with panda keepers; a station for writing postcards that will accompany Bei Bei to China; the chance to make a “friendship and luck” bracelet; and daily treats for Bei Bei to eat and play with. If you can’t make it to the zoo in person, tune in to Panda Cam for wall-to-wall Bei Bei coverage. Various times at National Zoo. Free. — Fritz Hahn

Comedian Scott Aukerman was at the forefront of the podcast boom when he started “Comedy Bang! Bang!” (originally called “Comedy Death-Ray”) in 2009 — first as a radio show, then as a podcast. The weekly improv show on Aukerman’s Earwolf network has been both a breeding ground for improv comedy talent (such as Nick Kroll, John Mulaney and Andy Daly) to test out outlandish characters and a place for established stars to get extra silly (including Jon Hamm, Sarah Silverman and Patton Oswalt). Aukerman, who recently directed Zach Galifianakis in Netflix’s “Between Two Ferns” movie, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of “Comedy Bang! Bang!” with a live tour that features two of his most frequent (and most versatile) guests: Lauren Lapkus and Paul F. Tompkins. 7:30 p.m. at Warner Theatre. $35-$45.
— Rudi Greenberg

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What could be more timely, in an age when the traditional qualities of leadership have been upended, than an art exhibition that reaffirms what those qualities are? Drawn from the permanent collection of the National Museum of African Art, this group show means to do just that, with works that illustrate the principles of justice, integrity, generosity and empathy, as embodied in the history of Africa and the diaspora. Among the artworks on view will be the late Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow’s “Toussaint Louverture and the elderly slave,” a raw and powerful portrait of the Haitian revolutionary leader, made of mud, glue, straw and other mixed media. At National Museum of African Art. Free. — Michael O’Sullivan

Rootstock , Nov. 16

Washington’s three hard-cider producers recently teamed up for a month-long series of cider events, including a passport program with buy-one, get-one-free deals. The culmination of their work is Rootstock, a festival showcasing 50 ciders from 25 Mid-Atlantic cider makers. (New York’s Graft and Pennsylvania’s Arsenal Cider House are among the producers coming to Park View’s Hook Hall, where festivities will be held indoors in case of rain or cold.) Tickets include unlimited sampling, live music and access to food trucks; VIP tickets allow early admission and a festival T-shirt. Noon to 4 p.m. at Hook Hall.
$39-$69.— Fritz Hahn

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The Washington Nationals’ World Series run kept their ballpark open later than ever this year, but the lights will come back on in late November and stay on through December with a little extra holiday cheer. Enchant — an events company that will have similar setups in baseball stadiums in Seattle and St. Petersburg, Fla. — will construct a sprawling Christmas lights maze where your goal is find one of Santa’s reindeers. This labyrinth will be centered on a 100-foot pine tree on the field of Nationals Park. In and around the maze will be a market featuring food and gifts from local and international vendors, as well as an ice skating trail to glide through the park. Various times at Nationals Park. $14.99-$33.99 general admission; $54.99-$88.99 season passes. — Hau Chu

Hokusai: Mad About Painting,’ opens Nov. 23

Best known for a single image, “Great Wave Off the Coast of Kanagawa,” a 19th-century woodblock print of an aquatic swell so iconic it has been reproduced on everything from T-shirts to shower curtains — even inspiring a contemporary version with Godzilla emerging from the water — the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) was no one-hit wonder. That should be obvious when the Freer Gallery celebrates the centennial of its namesake’s death with this year-long look at Hokusai’s output. Drawn from the world’s largest collection of the artist’s paintings, drawings and sketches, the exhibition includes folding screens, hanging scrolls and examples of Hokusai’s manga — humorous scenes from everyday life. Through November 2020 at
Freer Gallery of Art. Free.— Michael O’Sullivan

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100 gecs , Nov. 25

When someone tells you that “you’ve never heard anything like this before,” it might be to shower praise on a mind-bending artist. In the case of 100 gecs, it’s probably just a statement of fact. But what’s most striking about the music of Dylan Brady and Laura Les is that you’ve heard the fragments of what comprises their caustic headrush of melodies. The music website Stereogum described listening to the duo’s debut “1000 gecs” as “snorting crushed computer chips.” Brady and Les have synthesized the booming — and sometimes assaulting — sounds from the past decade of living and listening to every new wave of online subgenre and the droning of endless YouTube playlists. 8 p.m. at the Anthem. $40-$75.— Hau Chu

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