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By June Wulff
Globe Staff / September 29, 2011

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PICK OF THE DAY

From generation to generation Bedtime stories in the Lithgow home influenced little Johnny, as did his father’s acting. Arthur Lithgow’s passion kept the family on the move, and in John Lithgow’s memoir, ‘‘Drama: An Actor’s Education,’’ we learn that he attended eight secondary schools before arriving at Harvard. The actor and author returns to Cambridge to discuss his memoir. Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. $5. First Parish Church, corner of Church Street and Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. 617-661-1515. www.harvard.com/event/john_lithgow

TODAY

Thriller Get in Halloween mode with Salem Theatre Company’s production of “The Woman in Black,’’ Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation of the novel by Susan Hill. Legend has it that the title character haunts the neighborhood where her child was killed, and anyone who sees the woman dies. Tonight at 7:30 (through Oct. 15). $22, $18 seniors, $12 students. Salem Theatre Company Theater, 90 Lafayette St., Salem. 978-790-8546. www.salemtheatre.com

Without Old MacDonald Spies are spied on and the old guard squares off against the new guard in Walt McGough’s “The Farm.’’ Tonight at 7:30 (through Oct. 23; talk with playwright and cast after Oct. 1 evening performance). $30, $25 seniors, $10 students. Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. 866-811-4111. www.bostonplaywrights.org

Being Black in 2011 The success of black politicians like Barack Obama, Deval Patrick, and Cory Booker lies in the fact that they are not threatening to white voters. Learn more from “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now’’ by cultural critic Touré. Hear Randall Kennedy and Touré in conversation with Henry Louis Gates Jr. In “The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency,’’ law scholar Kennedy explores whether Obama has a singular responsibility to African-Americans and tackles issues of black patriotism and cultural chauvinism. 6 p.m. $5. Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge. 617-661-1515. www.harvard.com

TOMORROW

Silly Mel The show’s song titles make us giggle; Mel Brooks makes us guffaw. Giggle and guffaw at “Young Frankenstein,’’ the award-winning musical with “Transylvania Mania,’’ “He Vas My Boyfriend,’’ and “Puttin’ on the Ritz.’’ Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. (through Oct. 2). $32-$62. Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 877-571-7469. www.thehanovertheatre.org

SATURDAY

Mini models You might feel like Gulliver when you see more than 150 tiny vehicles, dinosaurs, figures, and more at “Fantastic Model Miniatures.’’ History and popular culture are represented by a World War II British fighter plane, the surface of the moon, Sir Edmond Hillary on Mount Everest, and more. Oct. 1 from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Oct. 2 from noon-4:30 p.m. $7 per family, $5 per individual. National Heritage Museum, 33 Marrett Road, Lexington. 781-861-6559. ww.nationalheritagemuseum.org

Brought to you by the letter C Is it just a coincidence that food served at Cape Cod Cranberry Day begins with the letter “c’’? Cranberry crisp, clam chowder, and chili are waiting for you in the historic jam kitchen. Oct. 1 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free ($4 for dessert, chowder, or chili). Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen, 6 Discovery Hill Road, East Sandwich. 508-888-6870. www.thorntonburgess.org


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