12 Things to Do This Week
Celebrate Lebanese Taverna Market's 30th year, take a walking tour of 'Little Saigon,' rock out to 'RENT' at Signature Theatre and savor the sounds of Gladys Knight.
There’s a lot going on as we enter a new month and the unofficial start of the holiday season. Sample Thanksgiving bites from an Arlington institution, learn how a local artist makes mind-blowing art with a smartphone app, revisit a significant piece of Clarendon’s heritage and catch Signature Theatre’s rockin’ rendition of RENT.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1
Musical Monday: Fight that case of the Mondays with a Día de los Muertos celebration at the Arlington Arts Center, featuring dancing by Ballet Folklorico Mi Herencia Mexicana and mariachi from Grupo Fénix. Grab a spot on the lawn for this evening Day of the Dead affair and have dinner while you’re there; Northern Virginia-based food trucks La Tingeria and 7Moltin will be on site. // 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2
Small Bites: Lebanese Taverna Market, an Arlington staple for the past 30 years, is commemorating its anniversary with a series of tasting events. On Tuesday, join the Abi-Najm family for a sampler of the Thanksgiving fare they’ll be serving up this season—which includes leg of lamb and spiced rice with beef and nuts—paired with small pours of Lebanese wines. // 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Lebanese Taverna Market, 4400 Old Dominion Drive, Arlington. Free.
Rock the House: Signature Theatre stages a triumphant return to live stage performances with a reimagined take on RENT, the iconic rock musical by Jonathan Larson—which itself was a modern-day riff on Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme. The riveting tale finds a group of bohemians in New York’s East Village struggling with gentrification, love, loss and legacies in the shadow of the HIV/AIDS crisis. RENT debuts on Nov. 2 and runs through Jan. 2 with a special Pride Night performance on Nov. 19. // 7:30 p.m. Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Tickets $40-$108.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3
Give a Little: Make an impact in your community by donating blood, platelets or plasma to the American Red Cross, which is currently experiencing a blood shortage. Make an appointment to donate locally prior to Nov. 23 and receive a $10 Amazon gift card. If you donate by Nov. 12, you’ll also have the chance to win a Hawaii trip for two. // 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Little Falls Presbyterian Church, 6025 Little Falls Road, Arlington. Free.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4
Zooming Out: Arlington artist Jason Horowitz dabbles in a little bit of everything when it comes to photography, from still lifes of frozen food to a project that assembles X-ray “stacks” of Instagram snapshots. Join him for a discussion of his innovative panoramic works, created using the Google Street View app. “Instead of depicting the world in a realistic documentary fashion, the finished images playfully bend space and time to create immersive abstract views that reinterpret reality and are filled with a dizzying sense of beauty and mystery,” he writes of his process. // 5 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington. Masks required for all attendees 2+, regardless of vaccination status. Free.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5
Looking at Language: Local glass artist Steena Fullmer and painter Sandi Parker collaborate in a new show at Gallery Underground, Words Matter. The exhibit focuses on the “power of words,” especially as they relate to female empowerment and the ability to change one’s mindset. Meet the artists at an opening reception Friday. // 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Gallery Underground Main Gallery, 2120-A Crystal Plaza Arcade, Arlington. Free.
Spiffed-Up Stories: Creative Cauldron’s live season continues with Aesop’s Fables, a show geared toward youngsters that puts a contemporary spin on well-worn folktales (e.g. “What if the Boy Who Cried Wolf had access to a smart phone?”). Catch these tweaked tales, performed by the organization’s Learning Theater Ensemble, with music by Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith. The show runs Nov. 5-21. // 7:30 p.m. Creative Cauldron, 410 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church. Masks and social distancing is required, as well proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test for everyone 12+. Adults $20, students $18.
Living Legend: Iconic vocalist Gladys Knight, who recently released a collab with country quintet Old Dominion, hits MGM National Harbor for a one-night-only show. // 8 p.m. The Theater at MGM National Harbor, 101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill, MD. Masks required, regardless of vaccination status. Tickets start at $103.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6
Natural Stage: Backyard concerts became de rigueur during the pandemic. Even though vaccines and masks have made it safer to patronize indoor shows, it’s still hard to beat songs under the stars. Catch Celtic Americana quartet Ardmore at this Saturday night house show. // 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. 1616 S. Pollard St., Arlington. Vaccination required and no smoking permitted. Suggested donation $20.
Classics in Concert: The National Chamber Ensemble returns to live performances with a season-opening concert celebrating British Romantic composer Edward Elgar. And for those who’d prefer to attend from home, a virtual ticket option lets patrons watch a video of the performance after the show. // 7:30 p.m. Gunston Arts Center, Theater 1, 2700 South Lang St., Arlington. Masks and vaccination required. Adults $36, students $18.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7
Sans Steve: The Steep Canyon Rangers—the North Carolina-based bluegrass and Americana outfit that sometimes shares a stage with a banjo master Steve Martin—hits the stage at The Birchmere. // 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Masks recommended when guests not seated and proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within prior 72 hours required. $39.50.