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While many of the programs for the 10th annual Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival are already sold out, enjoy a free showcase of local stand-up comics on Saturday, October 27. (Image: Courtesy Brightest Young Things)
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Weekend Report: 13 spooktacular events for your pre-Halloween weekend

Thursday, October 25

African American Film Festival: The National Museum of African American History and Culture has officially kicked off their inaugural African American Film Festival, showcasing more than 80 films produced by and/or highlighting African Americans. Whether you are looking to catch the premieres of narrative features such as "Cane River" or Netflix's new documentary "Quincy," or learn a new skill at one of the master workshops, there is something for everyone to explore at this inaugural festival. See the full schedule here. Film screening tickets are $10, master classes are $50 and the closing night party tickets are $50.

Hocus Pocus Film Screening: The Smithsonian Theaters is celebrating Halloween with viewings of some seasonal favorites. Enjoy this classic tale of a curious youngster who moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for kids.

NSO Pops Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back: The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar®-nominated score from The Empire Strikes Back performed live along with the full feature film. Tickets start at $34.

Friday, October 26

Taste of D.C.: Celebrate the 29th annual Taste of D.C., featuring more than 50 local restaurants, two stages of live music and an artisan market featuring local wares perfect for holiday gifts. Tickets start at $14.99.

Día de los Muertos After Hours: The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian will stay open late for a family-friendly evening during the Day of the Dead Festival. Dance to Mariachis Los Amigos with the Mexican folk dance group Bailes de Mi Tierra. Enjoy festive food and drink, including tacos, tamales, mezcal cocktails, desserts and agua fresca from local vendors. Help create an interactive mural or learn to make paper marigolds, while you enjoy exclusive access to the galleries. Free to attend.

Dacha Fear Garden: Dacha is transforming their beloved beer garden into a Halloween haunting ground October 26-31. Bring your costume A game (prizes for the best ones!) and have a beer with your fellow freaks, ghouls, ghosts, goblins and gargoyles of Dacha. Free to attend.

#ADULTING: As part of the 10th Annual Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival, join Michelle Buteau and Jordan Carlos (with special guests Tig Notaro, Sheng Wang and Amanda Seales) as they break down the what, the how and the where of the topic we all love to hate: adulting! Tickets are $25.

Broadway Center Stage Little Shop of Horrors: Starring Megan Hilty and Josh Radnor, this semi-staged concert performance is all about a floral shop assistant who discovers a strange plant, which he affectionately names “Audrey II” after his crush. Little does he know that his plant will develop a soulful R&B voice and an unquenchable thirst for human flesh. Tickets start at $89.

Saturday, October 27

Emerging Voices Stand Up Showcase: As part of the 10th Annual Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival, enjoy a free showcase of local comics you (maybe) haven't even heard of yet! The lineup includes Brittany Carney, Elizabeth Norman, Denise Taylor, Naomi Karavani and more. Free to attend.

Not Your Grandmother's Chardonnay: Flight Wine Bar offers a wine tasting class on the last Saturday of every month, and October is all about stripping away the myths and stereotypes surrounding chardonnay. Taste five different chardonnaay wines, while you learn all about the varietal from trained sommeliers. Complimentary bites included. Tickets are $65.

Handmaid's Tale The Musical: This cathartic parody of Margaret Atwood's novel and the subsequent Hulu series is set in 2028 Brooklyn. The show depicts modern millennials in a dystopian future and the phone-less perils they must endure. A campy romp that finally gives the Handmaids some power and a voice, starring such characters as "Extremely Hot Nick," "Aunt Betsy DeVos," "Rory Gilmore," "Janine the One Eyed Bitch," and more. Tickets are $35.

Sunday, October 28

Coffee & Cats: Crumbs & Whiskers will be offering free 30-minute walk-in experiences and free coffee in honor of National Cat Day. Free to attend.

Crafty Bastards: Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair returns for its 15th year in D.C. bringing the best local and independent vendors to The Yards Park this weekend. Crafty Bastards is a great chance to get your holiday shopping out of the way or just pick something up for yourself. Check out our roundup of favorites here. Tickets are $6.

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