For most of us, it’s just a morbid but fascinating conversation starter: What would you do if you knew when you were going to die? But for Vivian, the heroine of this play by Margaret Edson, it’s hardly a hypothetical consideration — she’s got vicious ovarian cancer. We join her at her deathbed as she reflects on her rapidly vanishing existence.
Nov. 11 and 12, First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough St., Boston, Pay-what-you-can
“How Soft the Lining”
This play by Kirsten Greenidge imagines Mary Todd Lincoln’s experience following Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Mrs. Lincoln had a reputation a bothersome, hyperemotional hypochondriac — she was actually committed to an asylum a decade after her husband’s murder — but Greenidge presents a sympathetic vision of the Civil War’s first lady, exploring her close relationship with her freed black seamstress, Elizabeth Keckly.
Through Nov. 20, Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston, $21, bostontheatrescene.com/The-Silver-Lining
“Out of the Woods: Fairy Tales Re-imagined”
This multimedia exhibition features artists reflecting on fairy tales, using the stories that so often begin with “Once upon a time” to reflect on present day realities. The feminist critique of gender roles in fairy tales, for instance, is well established, and the artists here explore many other dimensions in realms both personal and political.
Through Dec. 17, Nave Annex, 53 Chester St. Somerville, Free, navegallery.org
“A Public Display of Deception”
Humans may be this planet’s most intelligent species, but it’s pretty easy to fool them, whether perceptually or intellectually. One can use that knowledge for evil or for good, but magicians just use it for fun. In this show, magician Evan Northrup present an interactive exploration of the art of deception, showing the variety of ways one’s goat can be got.
Nov. 11-13, StoveFactory Gallery, 523 Medford St., Free, bit.ly/2fdBxqm
Something Big presents this local comedian, who’s performed at several comedy festivals in America and Europe, and recently performed on “Conan,” spending a good portion of his spot telling stories about his precomedy career as a class monitor for suspended kids, a job that sounds closer to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” than “Stand and Deliver.”
Nov. 10, 8 p.m., The Rockwell, 255 Elm St. Somerville, $13-$15, 21+, sbcomedy.bpt.me
Super Gay Comedy Fun Time
ImprovBoston presents two nights of LGBTQ+ comedians, this Friday and next Friday. This weekend’s lineup includes Reece Cotton, Dylan Uscher, Oliver Harley, Lorelei Erisis, George Civeris, The Rekcus, Laura Clark, Nonye Brown-West, Mister Bismuth, Brett Johnson and Kamden T. Rage. The showcases are co-hosted by Laura Clark, Lauren Walleser and Dan Strom, and produced by Kevin Quigly.
Nov. 11 and 18, ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St. Cambridge, $18, bit.ly/2fzYmoE
This Californian skate punk band, whose name is an abbreviation for the skater motto “F— it dog, life’s a risk,” is still riding on their 2015 album “Too,” released last September, which found frontman Zac Carper singing about going sober — a move that, the straight edge contingent aside, is kind of unusual for a punk. The music, however, partied just as hard.
Nov. 14, 7 p.m., The Paradise, 967 Comm. Ave. Boston, $20, all ages, bit.ly/2fzTLTm
The Harvard Film Archive closes out its series on actress Pam Grier with this comic book adaptation in which she starred as the titular fashion model-turned-photojournalist, who teams up with a P.I. played by Yaphet Kotto to get to the bottom of a plot to assassinate the country’s black political leaders.
Nov. 11, 9 p.m., Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge, $7-$9, bit.ly/2fA2hBT
We’ve seen definitive documentaries on the Sex Pistols (“The Filth and the Fury”) and the Ramones (“The End of the Century”), and yet the Stooges, without whom neither of those bands would have formed, didn’t get theirs until 2016. Well here it is, from director Jim Jarmusch, whose participation in the early New York punk scene gives him choice credentials.
Opens Nov. 11, Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard St., Brookline, $12, coolidge.org
This novelist will read from and discuss his latest novel, “The Boat Rocker,” which tells the story of Feng Danlin, an expatriate Chinese journalist living in New York, celebrated — and hated by the communists — for his hard-hitting pieces on his homeland. But his latest assignment will be most difficult: investigating his ex-wife, a fellow writer in bed with the party.
Nov. 15, 7 p.m., Brookline Brooksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline, Free, brooklinebooksmith.com