Here are this weekend's best bets in nightlife, festivals, art, sports and music, as well as many other events around the Washington area.
Thursday-Saturday: More than 20 dance companies, including Step Afrika! and Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and such individual artists as Mat Elder and Katie Sopoci Drake, are participating in the VelocityDC Dance Festival at Sidney Harman Hall. The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s seventh annual dance festival, which has sold out in previous years, includes free daily “Ramp!” series events at 6:15 p.m. Shows start Thursday at Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and tickets are $18 for regular events.
Thursday: The newest luxury movie theater opens near 9:30 Club, as Landmark Theatres pulls back the curtain on its Atlantic Plumbing Cinema. You'll find the bar before you see a ticket counter, and the six auditoriums have reserved seats and between 44 and 60 plush seats. The first show, "Steve Jobs," is at 8 p.m., and the film shows throughout the weekend. Tickets are $10-$13.
Friday: People's Champs, a difficult-to-categorize New York-based band, is having an album release party at Tropicalia with Amber Mimz and Tara Trinity. The funk-Afrobeat-jazz band's first full-length record, "American Dreamers," comes out next weekend.The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $12.
Friday-Sunday: The Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds will bring in more than 200 artists, giving visitors another chance to get a jump on holiday shopping. And these aren't just any potential gifts: This juried show features works of jewelry, furniture, photography, sculpture and wood, leather and metal creations. There also will be food available for purchase and music performances. The show opens at 10 a.m. each day and runs until 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $8 in advance and $10 at the door, with children younger than 12 getting in free.
Friday-Sunday: Though he’ll forever be known for his music, John Lennon, who would have turned 75 last weekend, started focusing more on his drawing around the time the Beatles broke up. At "The Art of John Lennon" at Tysons Corner Center, his art and limited edition prints of his work, managed by the Bag One Arts program, will be on display and available for purchase at this Tysons Corner exhibition. The Road Show Company pop-up show is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, and admission is free.
Saturday: Washington loves its punk rock past — so much so that, because of an overwhelming initial response, what was billed as the “Downtown Walking Tour of the D.C. Punk Underground” has become a virtual tour conducted indoors, with slideshows and clips from “Punk the Capital,” one of the recent documentaries about the movement. Tour guide Cynthia Connolly also will sign new editions of her book, “Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes of the D.C. Punk Underground,” as part of this celebration of the first anniversary of the D.C. Punk Archive. The event at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library runs from 2 to 3:30 p.m., and it's free, although registration is required.
Saturday: "The New American Garden" opens at National Building Museum, showcasing the work and ideas of landscape architects Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden. The exhibition features photos of their projects as well as paintings that inspired their designs, which went heavy on ornamental grasses and perennials instead of the big green manicured lawns. The exhibition runs through May 1, and museum admission is $7-$10.
Saturday: The Best of Brookland festival, near the corner of Monroe and Seventh streets, pulls together a lot of things that we love about the Northeast D.C. neighborhood: A beer garden from Brookland Pint and food from Smith Public Trust, Brookland's Finest, Menomale and many others. There also will be music from South Rail and the Low Counts. The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m., and admission is free.
Saturday: “We’ve been doing this longer than you’ve been alive,” Rhett Miller sings with a sneer at the beginning of the latest Old 97’s album, “Most Messed Up.” That sentiment doesn’t quite apply to the up-and-comer playing the early show at the 9:30 Club — piano man Tobias Jesso Jr., below, was born in 1985, and the Old 97’s started lighting up bars in 1993. But it may apply to many fans of Jesso, who has written songs for Adele and counts Haim and Taylor Swift as fans. Doors for Jesso open at 6 p.m. and doors for the Old 97’s open at 10 p.m.; tickets are $20 for Jesso, $25 for the Old 97’s.
Saturday: Someone set Ovie's alarm for him, as the Washington Capitals face the Carolina Hurricanes at Verizon Center in their fourth home game of the season. (High expectations or not, Tuesday's 5-goal loss to San Jose shows the Caps can't afford to have Ovechkin sleeping in too often this season.) The puck drops at 7 p.m., and tickets are $34-$295.
Saturday-Sunday: The ninth annual NoVa Fall BrewFest is at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, featuring at least 50 regional breweries, including such locals as Adroit Theory, Ocelot, Mad Fox and Port City, among others. There also will be food, merchandise and arts and crafts available for purchase. The festival runs each day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the gate for six samples. (Additional tickets are $2 each.)
Saturday-Sunday: The American Field Pop-Up at Georgetown Park is a big market featuring quality and, in the case of the clothing and jewelry, stylish goods — you guessed it — made in America. Look for such Made in the USA brands as General Knot, Ball and Buck, Shockoe Denim, Narragansett and more. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, and it's free to attend.
Sunday: Oyster season has arrived, which means it’s time for festivals celebrating our favorite local bivalves. There are two on Sunday, one in D.C. and another in southern Anne Arundel County. Rappahannock Oyster Bar brings its D.C. Oyster Fest to Union Market’s Dock 5 event space from noon to 5 p.m. The event also features regional breweries, distilleries and food from other restaurants. The $35 admission includes six oysters and a drink, with additional food and beverages available for purchase. Meanwhile in Maryland, the annual Oyster Festival is held at the Victorian-era home of waterman Salem Avery in southern Anne Arundel County from 12:30 to 5 p.m. It features fried oysters, oyster shooters and oyster stew prepared by local restaurants. There’s also live bluegrass, country and jazz, as well as a children’s area with crab races, games and crafts. Admission is $6, $2 for children 12 and younger.
Sunday: Just a few days ago, Anderson Cooper was on a stage in Las Vegas lobbing rapid-fire questions at candidates for the Democratic Party nomination for president. This weekend, the questions won't be quite so pointed, as he takes the stage with longtime pal and Bravo TV gabber Andy Cohen when their monthly "AC2" live show comes to the Warner Theatre. (It should be plenty funny, though, hopefully with some debate outtakes.) The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $75-$125.