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Leave it to Synetic Theater’s team to breathe new life into Twelfth Night while removing the play’s dialogue—and reimagining it as a 1920s silent picture. The company will channel Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel, and Hardy (and do the Charleston) as it tells the story of Viola, a devastated maiden who disguises herself as a man and becomes a servant to Duke Orsino after losing her twin brother in a shipwreck. Read more >>> The play runs Jan. 9 to Feb. 16 at Synetic Theater, 1800 S. Bell St., Arlington. $20–$75. (703) 824-8060. synetictheater.org. (Caroline Jones)
Mexican beer garden El Rey opens today on U Street NW serving plenty of tacos, margaritas, and Mexican beer. The restaurant, from the same team behind The Brixton, Marvin, and Chez Billy, is constructed out of refurbished shipping containers with an outdoor patio that has a retractable roof. There’s also a takeout window facing the street, so you can grab some tacos to-go. El Rey, 919 U St. NW. (202) 506-6418. elreydc.com. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
Tonight: Head to the D.C. Arts Center for a new photography exhibit and a pulpy reading. Local photog Michael Horsley—-also known for his photos of old D.C.—- opens “At the Crossroad,” a collection of landscape photographs. 7 p.m. at 2438 18th St. NW. Free. Elsewhere in the building, Naked Girls Reading present selections of erotica. 7:30 p.m. at 2438 18th St. NW. $20–$25.
Tonight: Local indie rockers Troll Tax play Rock & Roll Hotel with The Crash Takeoff, Brenda (a recent “One Track Mind” subject), and Short Lives. 9 p.m. at 1333 H St. NE. $12.
Tonight: Arena Stage opens The Tallest Tree in the Forest, the story of vocalist Paul Robeson. Moisés Kaufman, a creator of The Laramie Project, directs. 8 p.m. at 1101 6th St. SW. $85–$100.
Saturday: In a rap landscape currently ruled by a moody warlord in leather jogging pants and a variety of stoned oddballs, Pusha T’s coke rap can feel a little dated. He’s still working the mischievous menace of previous albums, which allows for songs with titles like “Nosestalgia.” Sure, it’s stuff that hasn’t been cutting edge in decades, but if his self-awareness and clever storytelling are things of the past, let’s start the VH1 revival series now. Read more >>> Pusha T performs at 9 p.m. at Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. $29. (202) 503-2330. echostage.com. (Will Sommer)
Saturday: Mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen and violinist Martha Morrison Muehleisen perform Gyorgy Kurtag’s “Kafka Fragments,” a musical rumination on the life of the Czech author, at Atlas Performing Arts Center. 8 p.m. at 1333 H St. NE. $20–$33.50.
Saturday: Rare Essence celebrates Killa Cal‘s second anniversary with the go-go group at Cafe Asia. Find more information on Facebook. 11 p.m. at 1720 I St. NW. $5–$20.
Saturday: Alt-folk act Stranger in the Alps celebrates his debut LP, Honey If You’re Lucky, with a house show in Mount Pleasant. Kitchen Noise also performs. 8 p.m. at 1732 Kenyon St. NW. Free, donations accepted.
Sunday: For all Charlie Chaplin’s ubiquity, Buster Keaton is the silent film star whose face leaves a stronger impression: It’s always frozen, even when his characters are in grave, real-life danger. Keaton made several great movies during his heyday, yet his masterpiece is The General, a racing comedy about a young Confederate railway engineer who gets involved in an unlikely chase between Union forces on the train tracks. Read more >>> The film shows at 6:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art East Building Auditorium, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. nga.gov. (Alan Zilberman)
Sunday: Andrew Grossman celebrates the end of his tour with a homecoming show at The Dunes featuring Philadelphia’s My Son Bison and D.C.’s Johnny Fantastic. 7 p.m. at 1402 Meridian Place NW. $10.
Sunday: Performance artist (and Washington City Paper art writer) Jeffry Cudlin gives an afternoon talk in the Luce Center at the American Art Museum. Here’s hoping he speaks at length about a recent performance that found him crawling on his hands and knees through a cold, rainy Rosslyn. 1:30 p.m. at 8th and F streets NW. Free.
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Due to a reporting error, the original version of this post misidentified the name of a character in Twelfth Night. She is named Viola, not Violet.