Here are this Columbus Day Weekend's best bets in comedy, nightlife, festivals, music and much more around the Washington area. Worried about the rain? It should clear up on Sunday, but keep an eye on the Capital Weather Gang.
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Friday: In an era when jokes that sound funny to some can feel offensive or demeaning to others, a comedian’s every move can prove tricky. At the Strathmore, Mike Birbiglia wades into that minefield with “Thank God for Jokes,” his latest one-man show, which he’s developing for a Netflix special. The actor, writer and comedian presents his stories in front of a big stained-glass window as he weaves religion, politics and his own encounters into tales of jokes gone wrong. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20-$60.
Through Saturday: Part art show, part shopping experience, the annual Smithsonian Craft2Wear event at the National Building Museum features jewelry, clothing and other wearable items and accessories crafted by artists from some of the country’s top institutes. Eighty artists will display and sell their wares in the National Building Museum’s Great Hall, in an event that benefits Smithsonian programs. The Meet the Artists Preview Night is Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. ($100); the main event runs Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and tickets are $15.
Through Saturday: You'll know Judah Friedlander, playing the DC Improv this weekend, when you see him: Big trucker hat, big glasses, big hair, bigger beard. The Montgomery County native has a new stand-up album coming out this year called "America Is the Greatest Country in the United States," which gives you an idea of where the actor and comedian's mind is at these days. Shows are Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., and tickets are $20.
Friday-Saturday: Postseason baseball returns to D.C. this weekend, with the Los Angeles Dodgers (91-71) facing the Washington Nationals (95-67) at Nationals Park in the first two games of the National League Division Series. Game 1, featuring pitchers Max Scherzer for the Nationals and Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers, starts Friday at 5:30 p.m., and Game 2 starts Saturday at 4 p.m. Tickets are available for both games (more on Saturday, as of this typing), $50-$300.
Friday-Saturday: The VelocityDC Dance Festival at Sidney Harman Hall, now in its eighth year, is tweaking its schedule this time around by expanding to two days. It offers dance performances from tap to flamenco that can suit just about everyone’s taste. Performances start at 6:30 p.m. each day and tickets are $18-$30.
Friday: The outdoor movie season wraps up with "Ghostbusters," the last Union Market Drive-In of the season. (And this is the original, 1984 film, so leave your torches at home.) The film starts at 7 p.m. Parking costs $10, but the screening is free for those who arrive on foot or on a bike.
Friday-Sunday: It's a rare treat for Jacob Lawrence's "The Migration Series" from 1941 to be united as one piece, because the Phillips Collection and New York's Museum of Modern Art each owns 30 panels. But after last year's MoMA exhibition of all 60, "People on the Move: Beauty and Struggle in Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series" brings the paintings together at the Phillips Collection. The exhibition runs through Jan. 8 (and the museum is closed on Mondays). Admission is $10-$12, free for visitors 18 and younger.
Friday-Sunday: Kathleen Turner is a Hollywood star, but with her frequent appearances at Arena Stage, the actress is becoming a regular Washingtonian. After lead roles in “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins” (2012) and “Mother Courage and Her Children” (2014), Turner, 62, has the intimate Kogod Cradle stage to herself for “The Year of Magical Thinking,” based on Joan Didion’s memoir that dealt with her husband’s death. The play, which runs through Nov. 20, starts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, and tickets are $70-$90.
Saturday: The latest Heritage Family Day at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in D.C. is Hispanic Heritage Day: Innovators in Air and Space. There will be docent tours in Spanish, upon request, as well as an opportunity to learn about the observatory in Puerto Rico. There also will be hands-on activities throughout the day, and a chance to meet experts Pablo de Leon, who is working on a space suit for use on Mars, and Harvard's Erika Wright. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free.
Saturday: Washington’s homegrown electronic fall music festival, All Things Go, has new digs in its third year, leaving Union Market for Yards Park on the District’s Southeast waterfront. The headliners are Australian duo Empire of the Sun, above, whose third album, “Two Vines,” comes out this month; Passion Pit, an indie-pop group out of Cambridge, Mass.; and Sylvan Esso, an electro-folk duo out of Durham, N.C., that just released the single “Radio.” A local name to watch: Ace Cosgrove, a Maryland rapper who had a breakout performance at last year’s Landmark Music Festival. The show runs from noon to 10 p.m. and tickets are $75-$150.
Saturday: Twenty-five Maryland breweries and cideries pour their products at the new Hops and Harvest Festival at the Columbia Lakefront. There’s a good mix of newbreweries (Mad Science, Black Flag) and old favorites (Heavy Seas, Brewers Art), plus several farm breweries (Manor Hill, Brookville Beer Farm). Choose one of two sessions: Both offer live music, games and food from local restaurants. The sessions run from noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. and admission is $40, which includes unlimited beer.
Saturday-Sunday: Taste of D.C. packs four blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue with restaurant booths, a beer garden and a wine walk and two music stages, with new bands playing every hour. Also on the main stage on Saturday: The Ben’s Chili Bowl’s World Chili Eating Championship, featuring defending champion Joey Chestnut. As for what you can eat, more than 60 D.C. restaurants and food trucks will fill restaurant row, including Capitol Hill Crab Cakes, Mastro's Steakhouse, Pizzeria Vetri and SKWR, just to name a few. The food festival, which takes place along Pennsylvania Avenue between Third and Seventh streets NW., runs Saturday from 1 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and admission is $10 for children, $20-$80 for adults.
Sunday: Washington and Baltimore are less than an hour apart, but the rivalry between the Redskins and Ravens rarely reaches the same intensity as games between Washington and Dallas or Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Still, there are local bragging rights at stake on Sunday. Show your support and pick a side at City Tap House's Beltway Battle, which pits $5 draft beers from D.C. against $5 draft beers from Maryland for the duration of the game. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. and bar admission is free.
Sunday: There’s still a month to go before we finish casting our votes for president, so it’s important to find entertaining ways to make that time pass quickly. One idea from the Black Cat: a watch party for the second televised debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, paired with a book-release event featuring trivia, prizes and more. “The Donald: How Trump Turned Presidential Politics Into Pro Wrestling,” by Washingtonians Chris Kelly and Brandon Wetherbee, focuses on the Republican candidate’s longtime interest in and involvement with Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment, and how that time in the squared circle informs Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail. The event starts at 8 p.m. (with the debate starting at 9 p.m.) and admission is free.
Sunday: For a decade, Solly's has been one of the most reliable bars on U Street, slinging cold, affordable tallboys of PBR and Schlitz in an unpretentious atmosphere. It's a neighborhood place for drinking, eating Sloppy Mama's barbecue, watching football (Ohio State and the Miami Dolphins) and singing along during Kostume Karaoke. Solly's marks its 10th anniversary by hosting a fundraiser for two D.C. charities: The Washington Jesuit Academy in Brookland and Hoops Sagrado, which sends at-risk teenagers to Guatemala to teach them leadership and life skills through basketball. All bar sales go to the nonprofits, as do proceeds from T-shirt sales and a silent auction. What better excuse to throw back a few drinks and listen to the DJ stylings of Tony Tomelden of the Pug and Brookland's Finest? The party starts at 8:30 p.m. and admission is free.