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WEEKENDER: Dragonette plays Babylon, Houston Ballet performs at the NAC, and the NFL Experience tour comes to town

The Houston Ballet brings the life of Marie-Antoinette to the stage. Photo by Pam Francis.

The Houston Ballet brings the fascinating life of Marie Antoinette to the stage at the National Arts Centre for its Canadian premiere. From child bride to spoiled socialite to eventual victim of a revolution, this majestic performance charts the story of the infamous French queen, complete with a score by Shostakovich and sumptuous sets and costumes by Kandis Cook that embody the decadence and high fashion of Louis XVI’s court. On Friday, join former Royal Winnipeg Ballet instructor Kathryn Jones for a pre-show chat about ballet before the Revolution at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 18, to Saturday, October 20, 8 p.m. $45-$105. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., www.nac-cna.ca.

The Canadian Film Institute presents the first installment of an ongoing screening and guest artist series, which will profile leading Canadian independent filmmakers. This weekend will showcase six feature length films by Calgary filmmaker Gary Burns including The Suburbanators, waydowntown, and The Future Is Now! Burns is known for his quirky, imaginative films that are often described as bringing a whole new meaning to the term “western alienation.” Thursday, October 18, to Saturday, October 20. $12. The Auditorium, 395 Wellington St., see website for schedule, www.cfi-icf.ca.

Join the Ottawa StoryTellers for a zany murder-mystery comedy. Murder at Westmere takes place in autumn 1916, when the world is at war and spies are everywhere. The only sanctuary is Westmere House, an upscale inn located just outside Ottawa. Lady Pamela Ashcroft, of Downtrodden Abbey, has booked herself a vacation, but the evening she arrives a dead body carrying plans for firebombs is found. Soon everyone from the butler to the Governor General gets involved. Thursday, October 18, to Saturday, October 20, 7 p.m. $15. Billings Estate National Historic Site, 2100 Cabot St., www.ottawastorytellers.ca.

On the hunt for nearly new, retro threads, vintage jewellery, and antiques? Look no further than Ottawa’s popular antique shopping event, which takes place at Carleton’s Fieldhouse. The event is known for its one-of-a-kind gems, with jewellery by the likes of Tiffany, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels alongside practically new designer bags from Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and Fendi. Friday, October 19, to Sunday October 21, hours vary by day. $10. Field House, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Dr., www.asinter.com.

With a year on the Ottawa music scene under his belt, Yanis Khamsi has discovered some fine local talent. Khamsi has been writing songs since his high school days, but recently began performing as well. An arts student at the University of Ottawa, he’s an avid supporter of singer-songwriter music and organized this event in which 10 local songwriters will take to the stage this Saturday at Avant-Garde Bar. With an eclectic range of genres, this event will feature local up-and-comers (and maybe inspire you to add some new tunes to your iPod!). The talented 10 include Alex Harea, Chris Angel, Dynamite Motel, Jim Corcoran, Karim Charih, Karolinka Kaminska, Katie Bourque, Milana Zilnik, Phil Kesler, Santhosh Chris. Saturday, October 20, 5 p.m., $10. Avant-Garde Bar, 135 1/2 Besserer St., see Facebook event page.

Taking place in various Canadian cities, NFL Experience on Tour hits Ottawa this weekend. This free exhibit consists of fun activities and prize giveaways for NHL diehards and those eager to join in on the excitement. Football basics are brought to life through interactive stations such as the TSN Media Room, Bridgestone Skills Challenge, Samsung Hope For Children Kids Zone, Quiznos Chalk Talk, and much more. Fans will also have the opportunity to meet NFL alumni Jevon Kearse who played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tennessee Titans. Saturday, October 20, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, October 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 55 ByWard Market Square, www.nfl.com/qs/nflxontour/index.jsp.

As the days get shorter, and the nights get colder, let’s savour the harvest season with the unbeatable combo of food and music. Chamber choir the Ewashko Singers are putting on a benefit concert for Just Food to commemorate the harvest, having selected a range of songs all surrounding the theme of food. Songs to Savour will celebrate local farmers with pre-and post-concert receptions that serve up local cheeses, apples, pies, and more. The event will surely be a feast — ha ha — for your senses. Saturday, October 20, 7 p.m. $40, students/seniors $35. First Unitarian Congregation, 30 Cleary Ave., www.ewashkosingers.com.

Toronto electronic heavyweight Dragonette has recently released their third album, Body Parts. Claiming fans across Canada and internationally, Dragonette has been steadily touring Canada, along with winning a Juno for Best New Group in 2008, and blowing up radio stations with hits “Big in Japan,” “Live in this City,” and “Boys & Girls” with Martin Solveig. Young Empires and Data Romance open the show. It’s no wonder then that there’s a limited number of tickets at the door, so line up early. Saturday, October 20, 9 p.m., $25. Babylon Nightclub, 317 Bank St., www.babylonclub.ca.

Why not drop in for an afternoon of Halloween-themed activities for the little ones? Hosted by local designers and businesses, these workshops are a family affair where you can help your kid make their very own handmade costume, and create a mask with Liebchen or a cape with Twiss & Weber. You can also bring a pillowcase and decorate a loot bag with the peeps from Wabi Sabi. Open to parents and kids two to 12. Sunday, October 21, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Donations to the Snowsuit Fund are encouraged. Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St., www.twissandweber.com.