9 Things to Do This Week

Catch an open mic night, Veterans Day observances, a Billy Joel tribute, and an irreverent play by the creator of 'True Blood.' And lace up those ice skates!
13 Nazareth Crop

Hip-hop poet and spoken-word artist 13 of Nazareth hosts open mic night at Busboys and Poets Shirlington (press photo)

This week we’ve got cooking classes, an open mic night, a book signing for history buffs, a Billy Joel tribute, outdoor ice skating and a wickedly funny play by the creator of Six Feet Under and True Blood. Veterans Day brings a family-friendly block party and a powerful operatic performance honoring our nation’s service members.


Slam Session: Poets, musicians and spoken-word artists—rookies and seasoned performers alike—can grab a moment in the spotlight at Busboys and Poets’ Open Mic Night in Shirlington. This month’s revue is hosted by hip-hop poet 13 of Nazareth, whose spoken-word performances draw on various spiritual traditions to express themes around healing and his own experiences living with epilepsy. // 8-10 p.m. Busboys and Poets Shirlington, 4251 S. Campbell Ave., Arlington. Tickets $6.27 each.

Birria Taco

Take your taco-making skills up a notch with a cooking class at Cookology in Ballston. Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash.


Taco Tuesday: Learn to make birria like a pro with 90 minutes of culinary instruction on the art of braised meat. The menu for this Cookology class includes traditional birria tacos, birria beef stew, queso birria and a craft cocktail—a cherry lime tequila fizz. Participants will leave with new cooking skills, full bellies and recipes to make at home. // 6:30-8:30 p.m. Cookology Ballston, 4238 Wilson Blvd., Suite 3110 (third floor), Arlington. Fee is $85 per person.


Urban Arias presents Unknown, a performance honoring our nation’s veterans and the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (press image)


Soldiering On: On Veteran’s Day, join opera company UrbanArias for its world premiere of Unknown, a performance recorded live at The Barns at Wolf Trap, to be aired cinematically at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in National Landing. Commissioned to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Unknown explores ideas of war, honor, and memory through the eyes of soldiers, family members and cemetery guards connected by mutual service and sacrifice. // 5 p.m. Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Richmond Highway, Arlington. Register online for this free event. Donations are welcome.

Custis Tale: Raised at Mount Vernon, George Washington Parke Custis earned acclaim as an agricultural reformer, author, playwright and orator. The father-in-law of Robert E. Lee also enslaved some 200 people and built Arlington House, the plantation home depicted in Arlington County’s logo and seal until a new design was unveiled this year. Local author and historian Charlie Clark will discuss his new book about Custis at this free event and book signing in the Reinsch Library Auditorium on Marymount University’s main campus. Sponsored by the Arlington Historical Society and Marymount’s Dept. of History and Politics. Masks required. // 7-8:30 p.m. Marymount University Reinsch Library, 2807 N. Glebe Road, Arlington

Bourbon Cocktail

November 12 is National Happy Hour Day. Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash.


Get Happy: November 12 is National Happy Hour Day, which seems like a good excuse to visit to your favorite watering hole or perhaps gather with friends and neighbors around a fire pit. Here’s one of our favorite neighborhood happy hour stories from 2021. Cheers!

Bridesmaids Unite: Five Women Wearing the Same Dress finds five identically clad but wildly different bridesmaids hiding out in an upstairs bedroom during an ostentatious wedding reception at a Tennesee estate, each with her own reasons for ditching the party. Dominion Stage brings to life this wickedly irreverent comedy by Alan Ball (American Beauty, Six Feet Under, True Blood), a story of unlikely sisterhood and female bonding peppered with edgy dialog. Masks required. // 8 p.m. performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday, through Nov. 20, Gunston Theater 2, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington. Tickets $25.



Mike Santoro embodies the piano man in The Stranger: A Tribute to Billy Joel, at the State Theatre (press photo)


Well Vetted: Everyone loves a block party. Join veteran-owned Falls Church Distillers for its 4th Annual Veterans Day “Vets Fest” Salute, featuring live music (four bands!), along with beer, wine and spirits tastings, food trucks and a handful of artisan vendors. Staged in partnership with the Northern Virginia Veterans Association (NoVA Vets) and George Mason University’s Veteran Initiatives, this fundraising event is family- and pet-friendly. // 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Falls Church Distillers, 442 S. Washington St. Falls Church. Tickets ($5 each; $5 for 20; $50 for 12: $100 for $25, available for presale online) required for food and alcohol.

Sing Us a Song: Didn’t make it to see the piano man at Madison Square Garden this season? You can still hear favorites like “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” performed live at The Stranger: A Tribute to Billy Joel at The State Theatre in The Little City. Proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test required for entry. // 9 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) The State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. Tickets $17 in advance; $20 day of show.


Westpost Ice Rink

The ice rink at Westpost is now open for the holiday season (press photo)

SUNDAY, NOV. 14 (or any day)

Skate This Way: The outdoor ice rink at Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) is officially open for the season—and with 6,840 square feet of ice, it’s the second largest al fresco rink in the state of Virginia. The plaza has a double-sided outdoor fireplace for warming up, and skating lessons are available. Timed tickets must be purchased in advance online and all skaters must wear masks. // Open daily, noon-10 p.m. Monday to Thursday; noon-11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, at 1201 S. Joyce St. Arlington. Tickets $10 for senior citizens and kids 12 and under; $11 for skaters age 13 and older. Skate rentals $5.


Categories: Arts & Entertainment