‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’ at Quantum; CLO Staging ‘The Toxic Avenger’ (Wed., 11/30/16)

1) Before The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was made into an opera, it was the title case in a book by the neurologist Oliver Sacks. In his 1985 collection of “clinical tales,” Sacks wrote of patients with various brain disorders that had affected them in unusual ways. The man of the title suffered from visual agnosia: he could see quite well but was losing the ability to recognize what he saw. He’d confuse objects with people—trying to shake hands with a grandfather clock, thinking a fire hydrant was a small child—and one day, wanting his hat, he grabbed his wife’s head and tried to put it on. The man could still identify things and people by sound, in fact with great acuity, as he was a perfect-pitch classical singer. So not surprisingly, composer Michael Nyman and librettists Christopher Rawlence and Michael Morris wrote a chamber opera based on the story. It’s said to be moving and thought-provoking. Quantum Theatre, which blew away audiences last year with an operatic remake of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, is staging The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. 8 p.m. Ladies Night. Continues through December 11. 200 N. Highland Ave., East Liberty. (MV)

Climate-change skeptics beware: The Toxic Avenger (Evan Ruggiero) will not be denied.

Climate-change skeptics beware: The Toxic Avenger (Evan Ruggiero) will not be denied. photo: Archie Carpenter.

2) For those who enjoy mutations, a cult horror-comedy movie from 1984 has been turned into a stage musical. The Toxic Avenger tells the story of a pollution-fighting nerd named Melvin Ferd the Third who is transformed to a slimy superhero after being soaked in toxic waste. Using his newfound superpowers, mutant Melvin wins the love of a blind librarian, and together they wage war on the nefarious characters responsible for corrupting the environment. The musical, which premiered off-Broadway in 2009, has a rock score with songs like “All Men Are Freaks” and “Who Will Save New Jersey?” 7:30 p.m. Continues through January 15. Pittsburgh CLO is performing The Toxic Avenger in the friendly confines of the Cabaret at Theater Square. (MV)

 

 

3) Do you fancy yourself a rock star? Then the place for you tonight is Rock Star Karaoke at the South Side’s Smiling Moose. In addition to pleasing everyone with your great renditions of famous rock songs you’ll enjoy $3 Captain cocktails and half off all Troegs beer from 9-11 p.m. Karaoke starts at 9:30 p.m. DJ T-Money cues the music for you the rock star. 1306 E. Carson St.