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Jane Smiley is the unique novelist who can take centuries-old characters, set them in a new location, and get readers to perceive them completely differently. When she turned King Lear’s wicked daughters Cordelia, Regan, and Goneril into Iowa farm sisters Caroline, Rose, and Ginny in A Thousand Acres, she painted them with enough sympathy to win the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Smiley continues to experiment with settings both historical and Midwestern, returning to Iowa for her latest novel, Golden Age. Read more >>> Jane Smiley reads at 7:30 p.m. at the Folger Elizabethan Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $15. (202) 544-4600. folger.edu. (Caroline Jones)
It’s a good day for cider. The Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is hosting a hard cider and popcorn pairing tonight from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Beer historian Mike Stein of Lost Lagers will talk about five different ciders, including Poire de Normandie Sparkling Perry and Zeffer Hopped Up Pippin. Tickets, $25, are available here. Meanwhile, D.C.’s first cidery, ANXO, will be selling “growlettes” of a collaboration cider made with Maryland’s Millstone Cellars today at D’Vines in Columbia Heights. Only 40 bottles will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m. for $26 each. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Big Dance Theater, the downtown New York dance company known for its experimental work, brings short pieces inspired by other concise art forms, like novellas and pencil drawings, to the stage at American Dance Institute. 8 p.m. at 1570 East Jefferson St., Rockville. $15–$30.
Friday: ’80s pop diva Jody Watley performs at Blues Alley with Shalamar Reloaded, a relaunched version of the ’70s funk group behind hits like “Make That Move.” Read more in our Fall Arts Guide. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $48–$50.
Friday: If you’re feeling the need to jam, head to Verizon Center for a performance by Dead & Company, the tribute act featuring Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann, along with pretty boy guitarist John Mayer, at Verizon Center. 7:30 p.m. at 601 F St. NW. $50–$99.
Saturday: In the summer and fall of 2006, Kandahar, Afghanistan was torn apart by fighting between Taliban and NATO forces. Back in North America, in the years before the financial crisis, money flooded the pockets of wealthy residents. Canadian photojournalist Louie Palu witnessed this disparity when he first visited Afghanistan to cover a suicide bombing. His documentary, Kandahar Journals, illustrates the opposing narratives Palu experienced: the chaos he saw in war-stricken Afghanistan and the ordinary life back home. Read more >>> The film shows at 3 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art East Building Auditorium, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 437-4215. nga.gov. (Freddy Rodriguez)
Saturday: The National Museum of the American Indian opens a new exhibition of work by Kay WalkingStick, a member of the Cherokee Nation and a celebrated Native American artist. 10 a.m. at 4th Street and Independence Ave. SW. Free.
Saturday: Shoegaze rockers DIIV, newly inspired by arrest and a struggle with addiction, plays the Black Cat with No Joy and Sunflower Bean. Read more in our Fall Arts Guide. 9 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $18–$20.
Saturday: Czech dancer Miřenka Čechová incorporates music and spoken text into her work to tell the story of the young World War II diarist in The Voice of Anne Frank. 8 p.m. at 1333 H St. NE. $20–$28.
Sunday: Formed in 1996 with an eccentric, hippie-ish sensibility that felt more ’60s and ’70s, Istanbul-based BaBa ZuLa plays Turkish psychedelic rock with some Middle Eastern and Balkan beats thrown in for good measure. Using electronic versions of traditional Anatolian stringed instruments like the saz (a kind of lute), along with guitars, keyboards, darbuka drums, and spoons, the band creates an eclectic sound that layers electronic drones and twangy strings with folk vocals and more traditional rhythms. Read more >>> Baba Zula performs at 7:30 p.m. at Bossa Bistro, 2463 18th St. NW. $20. (202) 667-0088. bossadc.com. (Vanessa H. Larson)
Sunday: At George Mason’s Center for the Arts, the Art of Time Ensemble, a Canadian group that blends high art with pop music, performs the Beatles‘ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety. 7 p.m. at 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. $29–$48.
Sunday: Local indie folk act Luray performs an intimate house show in Bloomingdale with ambient duo Fellow Creatures. Find more details on Facebook. 7 p.m. at 2206 First St. NW. Free.
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