September-October 2021

Best bets

Things to see and do in the Bethesda area in September and October

share this

Family matters

Sept. 2 - 4

National Players, an ensemble based at Olney Theatre, presents A Raisin in the Sun. The play, which debuted in 1959, tells the story of a Black family on Chicago’s South Side and the clash among family members over how to improve their financial situation and achieve their dreams. In addition to nightly shows, the group will perform a matinee of the production on Sept. 4 during SummerFest, an event marking the end of Olney’s outdoor season. SummerFest is a free, all-day open house featuring performances, tours, workshops, a used costume sale and food trucks.

7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, pay what you can, Olney Theatre Center, olneytheatre.org


Photo courtesy of Strathmore

Back to the future

Sept. 10

Latin American folk music meets futuristic electronica in Sofia Rei’s songs. A trip to Chile’s Elqui Valley inspired the latest album by the songwriter, who is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but now based in New York City, where she is also a professor at New York University. The beauty of the valley’s landscape, the words of poet Gabriela Mistral (who was born there) and the traditions of the people and musicians Rei met on her journey all contributed to the jazz-infused world music she creates using vocal loops and ambient and soul music influences.

6:30 and 8:30 p.m., $144 or $176 per table, seats up to four, Patio Stage, Strathmore, strathmore.org


Creative competition

Sept. 8 through Oct. 2

Now in its 19th year, The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards perennially brings exciting and thought-provoking works of art to Bethesda’s Gallery B for the Trawick Prize Exhibition. Past finalists have created mixed media pieces, video art, large-scale sculptures, and site-specific installations that have incorporated the gallery’s walls and windows. The juried contest is open to artists in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and the grand prize is $10,000. Artwork by this year’s finalists will be on display.

Noon-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, free, Gallery B, Bethesda, bethesda.org


 

Photo by Sonny Odom

A movable feast

Oct. 2

Whether it’s pizza, sushi, tacos or dumplings you crave, chances are you can get it at Taste of Bethesda. The long-running food festival returns this year after a COVID-19 hiatus. During the event, streets in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle are closed to traffic and lined with tents where dozens of downtown Bethesda eateries offer selections from their menus. Along with the bites, the festival presents five stages of live entertainment, including cultural dance performances and music by local bands.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Woodmont Triangle, free admission, food/drink tickets are four for $5, bethesda.org


Beatbox and beyond

Oct. 9

Christylez Bacon takes beatboxing to the next level. Using just his mouth, lips, tongue and voice, the Grammy-nominated rapper and musician mimics drums, drum machines, turntables and other percussive sounds to create complex rhythms. A former teacher, Bacon is also an engaging storyteller and has performed for school groups around the D.C. region. During this free, family-friendly performance, expect to hear dazzling beatboxing demonstrations, rhymes about growing up in Southeast D.C., and freestyle improvisations using crowd participation. The concert is part of Strathmore’s Bloom community events series, an outreach effort to increase access to the arts in the eastern part of Montgomery County.

5 p.m., free, RSVP required, Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center, Silver Spring, strathmore.org


Photo courtesy of Bethesda Row Arts Festival

Art mart

Oct. 9-10

Casual browsers and serious buyers flock to the Bethesda Row Arts Festival. The event—typically one of the largest outdoor art shows in the area—will bring together nearly 130 artists and artisans from around the country to show and sell their creations. The festival is juried, and prizes are awarded. But with so much art on display in so many artistic disciplines, including painting, ceramics, metal, glass, wood, fiber, jewelry, digital art and sculpture, the real winners are the crowds of art lovers who get to experience it all.

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, free, Bethesda Row, bethesdarowarts.org


Photo courtesy of Strathmore

It’s a fall world after all

Oct. 10

Is your idea of an October festival more beer and bratwurst, or apple cider and pumpkins? Gaithersburg’s family-friendly Oktoberfest has it all. The event features Bavarian music and dancers, traditional festival fare and a beer garden offering drinks from local microbreweries and Maryland wineries. It also celebrates all things fall with professional pumpkin carvers, apple cider pressing demonstrations and horse-drawn wagon rides. Kids can paint pumpkins and make crafts, while live bands and community groups perform on four stages.

Noon to 5 p.m., Kentlands Mansion, Kentlands Village Green, Main Street and Market Square, free admission, small fees for some activities, gaithersburgmd.gov