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The first quarto of William Shakespeare‘s Hamlet is half as long and half as poetic as the version most recite today, so naturally, it’s stumped scholars and actors for centuries. The thrilling thespians from Taffety Punk Theatre Company aren’t ones to be dissuaded from a challenging text, so they’ve decided to stage a full production of the so-called “bad quarto.” In order to properly elevate the production, director Joel David Santner recruited local electro-pop act Beauty Pill to create original music for the production. Read more >>> The play runs April 30 to May 23 at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. $15. (202) 355-9441. taffetypunk.com. (Caroline Jones)


Kolaches—Czech pastries popular in Texas—are making their way to D.C. thanks to Republic Kolache Co. founders and Lone Star State natives Chris Svetlik and Brian Stanford will give away half-smoke and cream-cheese pecan kolaches for free on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. at Bardo Brewpub. There will also be beer and live folk music. Read more on Young & HungryRepublic Kolache Co. at Bardo Brewpub, 1200 Bladensburg Road NE .(Jessica Sidman)


Friday: Self-described “cowpunk” band the Surreal McCoys help raise money for the anti-violence nonprofit Guitars Not Guns with a performance at Blind Whino. Brazilian drum ensemble Batala also appears. 8 p.m. at 700 Delaware St. SW. $25.

Friday: Five women from different backgrounds share all the lessons they learned about sex and relationships in the new devised theater piece Goldie Patrick’s Feminine Folklore, opening tonight at Atlas Performing Arts Center. 8 p.m. at 1333 H St. NE. $20.

Friday: Mexican singer Lila Downs, known for her smoky vocals and enchanting live performances, takes the stage at the GW Lisner Auditorium. 8 p.m. at 730 21st St. NW. $40–$60.

Saturday: After the Funk Parade winds its way down U Street NW, afterparty events will fill most clubs in the neighborhood. The most celebratory one takes place at the Howard Theatre, where Lee Fields and the Expressions join the local go-go veterans of Trouble Funk to honor member Big Tony’s birthday. Big Tony has led the group since 1978, when it started filling area dance floors with its signature blend of synths, horns, and percussion, and tracks like the much-sampled “Pump Me Up.” Often compared to James Brown, Fields has used his yearning, gospel-inflected timbre to impart stories about lost relationships and wail over Hammond organs, stirring the souls of his listeners. Read more >>> Lee Fields and the Expressions performs with Trouble Funk at 10 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $30. (202) 803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com. (Steve Kiviat)

Saturday: Tropicalia celebrates the Funk Parade all night long with performances by Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang, Backbeat Underground, and Joe Keyes and the Late Bloomer Band. Find more details on Facebook. 7 p.m. at 2001 14th St. NW. Free.

Saturday: If you’re more interested in fiction than funk, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation hosts its annual gala and awards ceremony at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Read more in our Spring Arts Guide. 7 p.m. at 201 East Capitol St. SE. $100.

Sunday: Let’s say that Stephin Merritt has a firm grasp on his ABCs. This spring, he tours with a set of 26 songs from this extensive repertoire, one title for every letter of the alphabet, played in order. It’s an expansion of sorts on the Magnetic Fields’ 2004 album, i, which featured songs beginning with only one letter—guess which. Read more >>> Stephin Merritt performs with Sam Davol and Amy Bezunartea at 8 p.m. at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. $30–$35. (202) 408-3100. sixthandi.org. (Anya van Wagtendonk)

Sunday: Head to the Paperhaus for an intimate performance and brunch with synth legend Charles Cohen, local electronic act Br’er, and Philadelphia-based synth band Hallowed Bells. 5 p.m. at 4912 3rd St. NW. Free.

Sunday: Danish electronic pop singer Oh Land closes out the weekend with a headlining show at U Street Music Hall. California-based vocalist I Am Strikes opens the show. 7 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $18.

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