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Marisha Pessl wasn’t meant to be an office worker. In fact, while working at PricewaterhouseCoopers after college, she started drafting her debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which earned popular and critical acclaim when it was released in 2006. Seven years later, she’s returned with an even darker pulp mystery, Night FilmRead more >>> Marisha Pessl reads at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. politics-prose.com(Jordan Larson)


Shaktoberfest—Shake Shake‘s celebration of Oktoberfest—begins tomorrow and runs through Oct. 21. What does this mean? The burger chain will give away souvenir glass bier steins when you fill them up with Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest or ShackMeister for $10. (Refills are $7.) There are also plenty of Oktoberfest-themed foods on the menu, including a cheddar brat burger, spicy brat, currywurst, Bavarian brat, and Apfelstrudel shake. Shake Shack, all locations except ballparks, shakeshack.com. (Jessica Sidman)


Tonight: Head to the D.C. Labor Film Festival at the AFI Silver Theatre for screenings of The Waiting Room, a documentary about life in an Oakland emergency room, and Brooklyn Castle, a film about young New Yorkers who play chess. 5 p.m. at 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $7–$9.

Tonight: Arena Stage debuts Love in Afghanistan, a new work by resident playwright Charles Randolph-Wright about a hip-hop artist and an Afghan interpreter who find love in a hopeless place. 8 p.m. at 1101 6th St. SW. $40–$105.

Saturday: Artisphere is determined to squeeze every bit of family fun out its exhibition of Andy Warhol’s “Silver Clouds.” Nearly in time for Halloween, Rosslyn is hosting “Night of 1,000 Andys”—a big ol’ costume dance party hosting (the hope is) 1,000 of you (or several hundred, anyway). Read more >>> The event begins at 8 p.m. at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $15–$25. (703) 875-1100. artisphere.com(Kriston Capps)

Saturday: Playwright Stephen Spotswood’s new thriller, In the Forest, She Grew Fangs, is the spawn of the Twitterverse. Spotswood, Washington Rogues Artistic Director Ryan S. Taylor, and theater artist Karen Lange bit into rumors of a Twilight musical that were flying through the ether. But Fangs is not all moonstruck teens and bestial lust. Spotswood’s story tackles the serious and timely themes of bullying and emotional violence through the eyes of two high school outcasts. Read more in our Fall Arts Guide. 8 p.m. at Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW. $10–$15(Sophia Bushong)

Saturday: Dan Savage, everyone’s favorite syndicated sex columnist, discusses his latest book, American Savage, as part of the D.C. JCC’s Literary Festival. 8 p.m. at Foundry United Methodist Church, 1500 16th St. NW. $15–$100.

Saturday: This year, the Washington National Opera devotes the first part of its new season to two defining—and overperformed—opera composers of the Romantic era, Wagner and Verdi. Tristan and Isolde kicks things off in September, but it’s an original production of The Force of Destiny by still-new artistic director Francesca Zambello that’s most intriguing. Read more in out Fall Arts Guide. 7 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $25–$300(Mike Paarlberg)

Sunday: This American Life isn’t the most obvious place for host Ira Glass to sharpen his comedy chops, credit-reel jabs at one-time boss Torey Malatia aside. But Glass may give it a shot anyway at Sunday’s Bentzen Ball closing ceremonies. Read more >>> The show begins at 7 p.m. at Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $30. (202) 328-6000.  brightestyoungthings.com(Will Sommer)

Sunday: Liverpool native and indie rocker Dan Croll performs at Sixth & I Synagogue with Freeform Radio. 9 p.m. at 600 I St. NW. $10–$12.

Sunday: Electronic duo The Helio Sequence plays the Black Cat mainstage; beloved indie group Menomena also performs. 8 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $15–$17.

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