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    PICK OF THE DAY

    Universal appeal

    Carl Laemmle

    wasn’t interested in owning a chain of movie theaters. The film producer supplied independent cinemas under the name Universal Film and Manufacturing Company — now known as Universal Pictures. “Universal Pictures: Celebrating 100 Years” pays tribute with more than 50 screenings including (pictured, from left) “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “Repo Man” (10 p.m.). Nov. 2 at 4, 7,
    and 10 p.m. (through Dec. 2). $9.75, $7.75 students, $6.75 seniors and under 12. The Brattle Theatre,
    40 Brattle St., Cambridge. 617-876-6837. www.brattlefilm.org

    THURSDAY

    Wide-ranging exhibit

    We’re jealous of John Superti, who has visited Italy more than we ever will. The Somerville artist documents his trips in “Three Paths to Italy,” a three-course feast of photographs and collages, a book about decorated horse hitches adorning Florence palaces, and his family’s genealogy. Thursday hours are 2-7 p.m. (through Nov. 10). Free (donations welcome). Somerville Museum, 1 Westwood Road, Somerville. 617-666-9810. www.somervillemuseum.org

    Admissions and admitting

    Put a teenage daughter and her mother in the same room and chances are there will be drama, lots of it. In Kathleen Tolan’s “Memory House,” while the daughter finishes her college admission essay, family secrets wiggle in. 7:30 p.m. (post-show discussion; through Nov. 18). $20 and up, $15 students, 10 percent senior discount. Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 50 E. Merrimack St., Lowell. 978-654-4678. www.mrt.org

    It varies

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    Another college essay surfaces in Richard Schotter’s “The Sussman Variations” about a successful Broadway composer, the second wife his grown kids resent, the son struggling with his kid’s essay, and the son’s daughter who has a secret. Needless to say, no one is interested in hearing the 75-year-old’s new songs. 7:30 p.m. (through Nov. 18). $30, $25 seniors, $10
    students under 26. Boston Playwrights’ Theatre ,
    949 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. 866-811-4111.
    www.bostonplaywrights.org

    Think globally

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    Will we have another mild winter and head to the beach in March, or will we spend a lot of time hunched over a shovel? That’s climate change on a small scale, but it’s the big picture you’ll hear about at “Predicting Climate in a Chaotic World: How Certain Can We Be?” Oxford University’s Timothy Palmer will talk about global climate change and the challenges of predicting weather. 6:30 p.m. Free. New England Aquarium Simons IMAX Theatre, Central Wharf, Boston. 617-973-6596. www.neaq.org

    FRIDAY

    Houses for sale

    Little houses lead to bigger houses at the Boston Christmas Festival, where you can purchase entries from the Gingerbread House Competition (proceeds from the gingerbread houses go to Housing Families Inc., a nonprofit that works to end family homelessness in Massachusetts). You can also purchase jewelry, clothing, gourmet food, and more, thanks to the handiwork of more than 350 artisans. Nov. 2 noon-7 p.m. (through Nov. 4). $12, $10 seniors, free under 14. Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd., Boston. 617-385-5000. www.bostonchristmasfestival.com

    SATURDAY

    In the middle

    If you need help enduring middle age (other than anti-wrinkle cream), the foursome of Sally Figerett, Deirdre Flint, Marcy Marxer, and Debi Smith are here for you. The Four Bitchin’ Babes offer stageside assistance with their musical revue “Mid Life Vices,” an evening of “Whine, Women, and Song.” Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. $35, $39.50. CityStage, 1 Columbus Center, Springfield. 413-788-7033. www.citystage.symphonyhall.com