1) Pittsburgh Opera presents a modern chamber opera based on a wrenching true story. Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied dramatizes the wartime and homecoming ordeals of U.S. Army Colonel Jim Thompson, America’s longest-held prisoner of war. Thompson, a career officer, went to Vietnam just as U.S. involvement there was escalating. Captured in 1964, he survived nine grueling years in prison camps. Released in 1973, he returned home to find his wife and children living with another man—they had thought Thompson was dead—and an American society so changed that it felt foreign to him. Glory Denied is drawn from a nonfiction book of the same title by Tom Philpott. The opera uses an unusual device: Two singers play “young” Col. Thompson and his wife Alyce, as they lived until and during the soldier’s POW years, and two others play the older postwar couple, with all four interacting. Pittsburgh Opera has tenor Terrence Chin-Loy and soprano Ashley Fabian as the younger couple, joined by baritone Benjamin Taylor and soprano Caitlin Gotimer. 2 p.m. Ends today. At Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Ave., Strip District. (MV)
2) You’ve heard of physical comedy and physical theater; now meet physical circus. The U.S. company Cirque Mechanics creates shows that don’t rely much on multimedia or special effects. Rather, they combine the performers’ “raw” physical virtuosity with acts that involve using a wide array of mechanical gear—such as specially designed aerial rigs, and all sorts of wheeled devices and hoops. Cirque Mechanics visits Pittsburgh with a show titled 42 ft—A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels. The “42 ft” refers to the diameter of the ring in a traditional one-ring circus. A matinee performance only, 2 p.m. at the Byham Theater, 101 6th St., Cultural District. (MV)
3) The Duquesne Light Home & Garden Show continues today through March 10. Billed as the “largest home event in Pennsylvania,” the show is held every year at the David Lawrence Convention Center. The Home and Garden show features over 1,600 exhibitors. Today you can see former Pittsburgh Penguin Tyler Kennedy from noon to 2 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Garage Booth. Gardening expert Doug Oster will be giving gardening demonstrations. There’s also a cooking stage with demonstrations and children’s activities. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Continues through next Sunday. 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown.