Here are this weekend's best bets in nightlife, music, museums and much more around the Washington area. And if you're looking for more weekend beer events, check out this list from my colleague Fritz Hahn.
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Through Sunday: The D.C. Shorts Film Festival returns this weekend, featuring 131 films — including "Taking Flight," previewed above — from 33 countries shared in 18 showcases at three D.C. venues (in addition to public libraries: Landmark's e Street Cinema, the U.S. Navy Memorial Burke Theater and the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Most showcases are 90 minutes long. The festival runs through Sept. 18. Most showcase screenings are $12, and an all-access pass is $125.00.
Through Monday: The Washington Nationals play host to the Phillies this weekend, and let's just say there's a fair bit of doom and gloom hanging over the franchise, despite a comfortable lead in the National League East. But a couple of giveaways may lift your spirits: On Friday, the first 25,000 fans through the gates get the Nationals Fan Choice Bobblehead, which is Michael A. Taylor; and on Saturday, the team is giving away Oktoberfest beer steins to the first 20,000 fans through the gates. Games are at 7 p.m. through Saturday and at 1:35 p.m. on Sunday, and tickets are $11-$372.
Through Sunday: Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center are partnering to present the much lauded, Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Angels in America" at Round House. The play delves into the AIDS crisis in the 1980s in two parts: “Millennium Approaches” and “Perestroika.” The play debuted on Broadway in 1993 and went on to become an HBO miniseries. The play runs through Oct. 30, and tickets are $36-$75.
Friday: This Brightest Young Things’ after-hours event Freaks & Greeks! takes over the National Geographic Museum, where “The Greeks” is on exhibit through Oct. 10. The party features DJ sets from Dan Deacon, French Horn Rebellion and a talented team of locals, plus DIY crown making, drag performances and drinking games. You might learn something, too, with talks about marine biology and paleoanthropology and admission to all of the museum’s exhibitions. The party runs from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and tickets are $25-$30.
Saturday: The waterfront 202 Arts & Music Festival at Canal Park promises a full day of music, dance, art exhibitions, workshops and more. But let’s not bury the lede any farther: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic perform late in the afternoon, which means you’re getting free P-Funk. Also on the bill: Sugar Bear and Experience Unlimited, Black Alley and, for the end-of-the-night dance party, DJ D-Mac. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and admission is free.
Saturday: Atlas Brew Works is holding a 3-Year Anniversary Party with $5 flagship beers, snacks from local food trucks (Dirty South Deli, D.C. Slices) and live music by Drive TFC and Scott Slay and the Rail. There's also such family-friendly activities as face painting. The party runs from noon to 7 p.m. (and the music starts at 2 p.m.), and admission is $15, which includes a beer and a donation to the Living Classrooms Foundation.
Saturday: At least 20 Maryland breweries and meaderies will pour their products at the Hyattsville Arts and Ales Festival, while 120 artists and artisans sell their wares. A dozen food trucks and restaurants provide the food, and six bands perform zydeco, jazz and roots rock. Tasting passes, which allow unlimited samples of all beers, cost $30 in advance and $35 at the gate. Growlers of beer will be available for purchase. The event, at Farragut and Gallatin streets in Hyattsville, runs from noon to 6 p.m., and admission is free.
Saturday: Now in its 26th year, the Rosslyn Jazz Fest at Gateway Park is expected to draw thousands of fans with a lineup of locals and big national names. Washington’s own Akua Allrich, a jazz vocalist, kicks things off, followed by Vieux Farka Touré, New Orleans’s Glen David Andrews Band and Grupo Fantasma, which won the Grammy Award for best Latin rock album in 2011. New this year: A Kids’ Jazz Zone, which will feature games and a chance to create your own instrument. The festival runs from 1 to 7 p.m. and admission is free.
Saturday: The Tomato Fest at North Bethesda Market goes all-in on the theme, starting with a VIT (Very Imporant Tomato) Brunch from 10:30 a.m. to noon, a "Tomato Toss Up" chef competition and a tomato sauce tasting competition, and a spaghetti eating contest. There's also a vodka station, because you may want a bloody mary. (There are also two concerts, featuring Scott Kurt & Memphis 59 and Durham Station.) The main festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. and admission is free; the brunch is $25, and it benefits VisArts, Rockville’s non-profit arts center.
Saturday: A presidential election less than two months away. Two polarizing major party candidates candidates. The U.S. Senate seemingly up for grabs. So if you go to see Bill Maher at Constitution Hall, you'll see a comedian in his element. While taking a break from his weekly HBO show, "Real Time," which resumes live episodes next weekend, the politically minded comedian will hold court in the nation's capital and surely make a few jokes at Donald Trump's expense. The show starts at 8 p.m. and it's sold out, but you can find tickets on the secondary market.
Sunday: The official Takoma Park Folk Festival is "taking a break" this year. In its place, Takoma Folk will take over the gazebo and the Takoma Park Community Center for a full day of free music, starting with the Devil's Tailors and ending with the Washington Revels Maritime Voices. The street in front of the gazebo will be closed, and there will be pop-ups from local merchants Republic, Old Town Food Co. and La Mano Coffee Bar. There also will be games, face painting and other family activities. The music runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the gazebo, then moves to the community center until 9 p.m., and admission is free. (For a full lineup of musicians, go to mainstreettakoma.org.)