September has been a momentous month in Washington, with the African American Museum debut and the National Gallery of Art’s East Building reopening. But October also brings several great happenings, even for those who didn’t score tickets to such sold-out gigs as Adele, Green Day or the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor honoring Bill Murray.
Crafty Bastards at Union Market, Oct. 1-2
If you think it’s too soon to talk about holiday shopping, that’s fine. Consider Crafty Bastards a chance to spend some time outside, sipping a beer and enjoying something to eat from a local food truck, while perhaps stumbling upon something unique and handmade that will make its way into a wrapped box come December. The annual craft fair returns to Union Market with 50 first-time vendors among the 150 spaces, selling jewelry, toys, prints, clothes and much more. $6, $10 for two days.
Sure, hype around the upcoming D.C. stop of “Hamilton” reached fever pitch earlier this year. But “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” isn’t a shabby in-the-meantime diversion. The play, based on Mark Haddon’s bestselling novel, took home five Tony Awards in 2015, including best play. It’s about an intelligent but socially challenged teenage boy who’s suspected of killing his neighbor’s dog and resolves to find out who really did it. $39-$149.
Chance the Rapper — whose real name is Chancelor Bennett — is one of the most buzzed-about rappers in the music industry. A master of the mix tape, the 23-year-old rapper has yet to release an album for profit, opting for streaming releases. Much of the music on his latest mix tape, “The Coloring Book,” which features contributions from the likes of Lil Wayne, Kirk Franklin and Kanye West, is infused with Christian ideology. West recently surprised fans during Chance the Rapper’s Magnificent Coloring Book Day Festival in Chicago. In D.C., the headliner will be joined by Francis and the Lights. Sold out. Tickets available on the secondary market.
Now in its eighth year, VelocityDC Dance Festival brings a combination of accessible and eccentric entertainment to Washington audiences, offering dance performances from tap to flamenco that can suit just about everyone’s taste. Plus, it’s affordable: Ticket prices range from $18 to $30.
For the third iteration of its annual Fall Classic festival, the local music blog All Things Go is moving from Union Market to Yards Park. The new location should offer more room to dance to Passion Pit, Empire of the Sun and a solid undercard of up-and-comers, including Christine and the Queens and local Ace Cosgrove. Beyond the music, look for food from Shake Shack, Timber Pizza Co., Buredo and other vendors. $75 in advance, $99 at the door, $150 VIP.
Beginning around 1915, more than 6 million African Americans left the rural South to find work in the urban centers of the North. The Great Migration, as it came to be known, inspired a series of 60 tempera paintings by 23-year-old artist Jacob Lawrence in 1941, which are now considered some of the most important works in American modern art. Half of these panels were purchased by the Phillips Collection, while the other 30 went to New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Last year, MoMA reunited the 60 images for a major exhibition, and now they’ll all be on display at the Phillips for three months.
Ragnar Kjartansson at the Hirshhorn Museum, Oct. 14-Jan. 8
If you’ve never heard of Ragnar Kjartansson, this is a great way to introduce yourself to the Icelandic performance artist. This solo exhibition includes several of his most famous works, including “The Visitors,” a video installation in which the artist joins other performers in song, as well as a live performance of “Woman in E,” showcasing local musicians as they play an E-minor chord on guitar.
Sia and Miguel at the Verizon Center, Oct. 19
Australian singer-songwriter Sia began her music career in the 1990s as a member of the Adelaide-based jazz group Crisp. From there, she went on to write songs for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Britney Spears and Lea Michele. Her most recent album, “This is Acting,” came out in January and features the tracks “Bird Set Free” and “Cheap Thrills.” For her first arena tour, Nostalgic: For the Present, the mysterious musician will be joined by special guests: R&B singer-songwriter Miguel and the electronic music duo Alunageorge.
Middleburg Film Festival, Oct. 20-23
Virginia’s wine and horse country gets a heavy dose of Hollywood when this annual event takes over this tony town, with screenings at Boxwood Winery, the Hill School and festival founder Sheila Johnson’s sprawling Salamander Resort & Spa. “Lion,” starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman, opens the festival, and the Saturday night centerpiece will feature director Damien Chazelle and his film “La La Land,” starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, who won the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival for her portrayal of an actress. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will deliver the keynote address. Saturday pass $100, other passes $500-$2,000.
The story of Cinderella is well-known, but this production offers a new take on the classic tale. “Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon has redefined dazzle,” Post dance critic Sarah Kaufman recently declared, setting high expectations for the West Coast company’s eastern landing at the Kennedy Center. With imaginative staging by Julian Crouch, strong choreography by Wheeldon and engaging puppetry by Basil Twist, it turns out you can teach an old Cinderella new tricks. $29-$139.
When viewers last saw Anthony Bourdain, he was in Vietnam, seated in a tiny restaurant at an even tinier table swapping stories over bun cha (grilled pork and noodles) and Hanoi beer with President Obama on his CNN show, “Parts Unknown.” But the chef-turned-television host has been busy back home, too: Bourdain has a book, “Appetites: A Cookbook,” hitting shelves this month, and he’s bringing his tour, “The Hunger,” to 15 cities across North America, including D.C., for the first time since his 2013 “Guts and Glory” romp. $61-$81.
Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival, Oct. 27-30
The comedy festival curated by Tig Notaro and produced by Brightest Young Things returns to Washington with a variety of shows, including appearances by Weird Al Yankovic, Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Ian Black and Jon Dore, among others. One performance — a live rendition of Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark’s podcast “Stuff You Should Know” — has already sold out, so it’s a good idea to grab tickets early.
Smoked and Stacked, now open
The city fell into a collective swoon when chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley opened this sandwich shop at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. That’s largely because of the pastrami, which starts with brisket that’s long-brined then smoked. Go traditional with the Messy, Meek-Bradley’s riff on the Reuben, or try her signature Stacked with slaw and Dijon mustard on house-baked milk bread. The smoked chicken and portobello mushrooms are worth trying, too. 1239 Ninth St. NW.
— Emily Codik, Macy Freeman, Fritz Hahn, Becky Krystal, Savannah Stephens, John Taylor