PICK OF THE DAY
Hanging around the Common
In the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, to avoid a public hanging in Boston Common you avoided the “Terrible Twenty-Five” list of capital crimes. More stories of our city’s past will be told at Boston Charter Day, the annual commemoration of the 1630 naming of Boston, Dorchester, and Watertown. Thursday’s topic is “Puritans and the Death Penalty.” 6:30 p.m. (through Sept. 30 at several locations). Free (RSVP required for some events). John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Boston. 617-971-1614. www.historicbostons.org
Urban phantom Head back to 1980s Washington, D.C., racial tensions, crack, sensationalist media, and graffiti at “The Legend of Cool ‘Disco’ Dan.” This documentary about graffiti artist Cool “Disco” Dan (called the “urban phantom” by The Washington Post) is your window to the decade. Thursday’s screening is followed by a discussion with director Joseph Pattisall and associate producer Caleb Neelon. 8 p.m. (through Oct. 5). $11, $9 students and seniors (matinee prices available). Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 800-440-6975. www.mfa.org/film
Take your seat A Puritan story is presented in Hub Theatre Company of Boston’s production of William Gibson’s “Goodly Creatures.” The Tony-winning playwright’s drama set in Boston looks at dissident Anne Hutchinson, who upset Governor Winthrop’s utopic vision of a “City on a Hill.” Your seat might even be one used by Hutchinson or Winthrop, who were members of First Church. 7:30 p.m. (through Oct. 6). Pay-what-you-can performances. First Church of Boston, 66 Marlborough St., Boston. 877-849-5327. www.hubtheatreboston.ticketleap.com
The wire Until the election determines who will replace Thomas Menino, how about a look at the Mayor’s five-term legacy, its impact on the race, and the city’s future. Paul Grogan moderates “The Menino Legacy: Down to the Wire” with Lawrence S. DiCara, Joan Vennochi, Mary Anne Marsh, and John Nucci. 6:30-8 p.m. Free. C. Walsh Theatre at Suffolk University, 55 Temple St., Boston. 617-557-2007. www.fordhallforum.org
With a trace From 1769 to 1820, members of the DeWolf family sailed from Bristol, R.I., to West Africa to trade rum for African slaves. Producer/director Katrina Browne tells the story of her northern ancestors, the largest slave-trading family in US history, in the PBS documentary “Traces of the Trade: A Story From the Deep North.” James DeWolf Perry, executive director of the Tracing Center and Emmy-nominated historical consultant to the film, will be in attendance. 6-8 p.m. Free. Shirley-Eustis House, 33 Shirley St., Roxbury.
Escape? In a lovely country house lives a wife who is making plans to off her hubby. There’s also a lover in “Accomplice,” the comic thriller by Rupert Holmes — yes, the guy who penned “Escape (The Piña Colada Song).” Be on the lookout for nods to “The Mouse Trap,” “Death Trap,” soap operas, and Arthur Murray. Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. (through Nov. 10). $15-$50 (discounts available). Shakespeare & Company, 70 Kemble St.,
Lenox. 413-637-3353. www.shakespeare.org
Quite a spectacle Every regatta needs a celebration, and you can oblige at the Boston Harbor Islands Regatta Party on the “Voyager III.” More than 100 sailboats in a variety of classes are expected to join in, followed by the awards ceremony and party (1-4:30 p.m.). Proceeds support the Boston Harbor Island Alliance.
Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. $25, $35 (includes ferry from Long Wharf). Spectacle Island, Boston Harbor. 617-223-8672. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/440704