Friday, Oct. 5
Vikings at the Wharf: Centuries before Christopher Columbus was born, Viking warriors sailed across the ocean, eventually reaching and establishing a settlement in Newfoundland, Canada. In 2010, researchers began building a Viking great ship capable of replicating the voyage. The result is the Draken Harald Harfagre, which stretches 115 feet from its carved dragon head to its stern. Get a firsthand look at the ship during its 11-day stay at the Wharf, where it will be open for daily tours, and then visit “Draken Village,” which includes an exhibit about the ship, lectures, a documentary screening, whiskey tastings and other events. Horned helmets are optional. Open daily. Tours are $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 5 to 15, and free for children 4 and younger.
All Things Go: Classic Conversations at Eaton Hotel: While the music portion of the annual All Things Go festival starts Saturday, Friday brings panel discussions on a key theme of this year’s event: promoting innovative women. Artists Maggie Rogers and Lizzy Plapinger (who performs under the moniker LPX), who co-curated the first night’s all-female lineup, will take part in a discussion along with female journalists and music industry representatives about women in music. A second session will focus on female entrepreneurship and features Tamika D. Mallory, co-president of the Women’s March, and Rose Previte, the owner of Compass Rose and Maydan. 5 to 8 p.m. Free with RSVP.
‘House’ at Suns Cinema: It’s hard to explain to what to expect if you go see this surreal 1977 Japanese horror comedy. But there are few better ways to start the spooky slate of films for October in local theaters than this cult classic. The film follows the story of a group of seven girls who travel to the country home of one member’s ailing relative; there they learn it is possessed by supernatural spirits and objects with a taste for flesh. 8 p.m. $8.
Brewers Chili Throwdown at Tysons Biergarten: The owners of the 2-year-old Tysons Biergarten are preparing to move their beer garden to a new location near the McLean Metro station early next year, while also opening a restaurant called Hops N Shine in Del Ray. Fittingly, they’re going out with a bang for Oktoberfest. This month is packed with events: Friday will be the second annual chili cook-off among local brewers at the Tysons watering hole. Expect selections of beer and chili from the likes of D.C.’s 3 Stars and Alexandria's Port City. 5 to 8 p.m. $20 gets you 10 beer tasting tickets and 10 chili tasting tickets.
Saturday, Oct. 6
Mary J. Blige at Entertainment and Sports Arena: Dozens of music venues have cropped up in the Washington area in the past several years, and there’s about to be one more: the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Congress Heights. The new venue will be christened this weekend by music royalty, Mary J. Blige, who coincidentally helped open the Fillmore in Silver Spring in 2011. The generically named Entertainment and Sports Arena doesn’t have a connection to a storied venue like the Fillmore, but it is a 4,000-seat arena in an underserved part of town where fans can hear Blige belt out such R&B favorites as “Family Affair” and “Real Love.” 8 p.m. $59-$119.
All Things Go Fall Classic at Union Market: The festival is in its fifth iteration, and this year’s bill is headlined by pop sprite Carly Rae Jepsen, Maryland indie chanteuse Maggie Rogers and electropop wunderkind Billie Eilish. The All Things Go lineup has morphed over the years from rap-heavy bookings to an eclectic playlist that could have been sent your way from a close friend. This year’s festival skews toward the latter, with a unifying thread throughout. Night One, on Saturday, is a direct response to the call from discerning fans of the all too common trend of festivals’ bias toward male artists. Rogers and Lizzy Plapinger (who performs as LPX) were tasked with assembling the schedule; it will be female artists, top to bottom. Through Sunday. Noon to 11 p.m. $65-$95.
Hillfest at Garfield Park: The Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation’s annual Hillfest is targeted at professional musicians, with panel discussions and a trade show, but everyone can enjoy the day-long festival and concert in Garfield Park. Grammy-nominated vibraphonist Stefon Harris and his Blackout project, which updates the classic Blue Note sound, headline a bill featuring R&B singer Cheryl Pepsii Riley and a raft of D.C. jazz artists, including the jazz-meets-go-go JoGo Project; Akua Allrich and the Tribe; and Herb Scott. A second stage in the park features tap-dancing performances, African fitness classes, storytellers and a brass band. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free.
12-Hour Comedy Marathon at Dojo Comedy: Consider this the improv-comedy version of a Netflix binge. Park View comedy club and performance space Dojo Comedy are hosting their first 12-hour comedy marathon, which is exactly how it sounds. More than 40 performers, improv troupes, sketch teams and stand-up comedians from Washington and Baltimore will take the stage over half a day. The marathon is divided into six blocks of an hour and 45 minutes each, so those who try to watch it all will still have a few 15-minute stretch breaks. Noon to midnight. $10 for walk-up tickets to specific shows and $40 for an all-access pass.
Maddie and Tae at Jiffy Lube Live: Although waiting to get a radio hit is a common conundrum for artists in Nashville, Maddie & Tae had an unusually quick rise when they exploded out of the gate in 2014. The brash, funny “Girl in a Country Song” became a No. 1 smash as it took down popular “bro country” cliches and mocked the party songs about dudes drinking beer in trucks while tan girls in cutoff jeans sit in the passenger seat. As they worked on their second album with Universal last year, the duo — who will perform at WMZQ Fall Fest on Saturday — threw themselves into writing as many songs as possible. The result was a “concept record,” on track to be released in early 2019, that tells the story of a relationship from beginning to end — the good, the bad and the ugly. 4 p.m. $35-$100.
Sunday, Oct. 7
Susan Alcorn at NYU Washington’s Abramson Family Auditorium: Susan Alcorn first learned her way around the pedal steel guitar by playing the usual stuff — country songs where the pedal steel’s glissando was meant to evoke the viscosity of teardrops. Now, residing in Baltimore decades later, Alcorn sits down at her instrument with clearer eyes and wider ears. During a solo performance, she might drift from an Olivier Messiaen melody, to an Ornette Coleman phrase, into an Astor Piazzolla tango, then off to a cosmos of her own improvisation. That untethered approach must be an extension of the pedal steel’s melodic fluidity, right? “I don’t know if it has to do with mechanics of the instrument,” Alcorn says. “It probably has to do with the mechanics of my brain.” 7 p.m. $10-$15.
Boardwalk Block Party at the Yards Park: If you haven’t checked out the spots around Yards Park, this weekend is the perfect chance to eat, drink and listen to live music on the water all for a good cause — and before the cold weather strikes. Enjoy some Italian food from Osteria Morini, oysters and other seafood from Whaley’s and grab a scoop from Ice Cream Jubilee. All proceeds will go to Project Sunshine, which helps out pediatric patients. Noon to 5 p.m. $35.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Chris Kelly, Chris Richards and Emily Yahr