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. 7 p.m. with a Q&A session. Continues through December 11. 200 N. Highland Ave., East Liberty.
2) We’re all familiar with what the Thanksgiving holiday means. Family gatherings, food, football … and the full-bore, comin’-at-you kickoff of the Christmas season. Those who desire a more pleasant experience than Black Friday shopping may wish to take the family to the touring production of A Christmas Story: The Musical. Based on the 1983 movie, which was based on stories by storyteller/writer Jean Shepherd—hey, after thousands of years of recorded human history, it’s getting hard to come up with new plots, so no complaints about adaptations, please!—based on the movie A Christmas Story, this musical relates the humorous and heartwarming tale of a little boy in 1940s Indiana who wants a BB gun for Christmas. Indiana in the 1940s? You’d have to do a lot of shopping to find anything that’s more vintage Americana. 1 and 6:30 p.m. Ends today. Benedum Center, 237 7th Ave., Cultural District. (MV)
3) Some of the hardest-core literature fans are the people who get deeply into reading “the Russians,” i.e. the great Russian novelists of the 1800s and early 1900s. If you are such a fan you know Ivan Turgenev as the author of the stunning 1862 novel Fathers and Sons. Turgenev’s plays are much less known, though one has endured: his comedy A Month in the Country. It’s the story of a woman who is bored with her marriage and struggles to keep a passionate suitor at arm’s length while scheming to snare a handsome younger man. A Month in the Country was banned in Russia for years as being entirely too naughty. We don’t sweat that stuff any more, and Pittsburgh’s Kinetic Theatre is presenting a modern adaptation by the English playwright Patrick Marber. This version is called Three Days in the Country—a faster title for faster times—but do not fear that Marber has turned Turgenev’s piece into a riff on Internet-based speed dating; the 1800s setting and flavor are preserved. 2 p.m. Continues through December 4. At the New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. (MV)
4) 1999’s Human Clay, Creed’s sophomore album, achieved a diamond certification by the RIAA—that’s over 10 million copies sold in the U.S. alone. Worldwide, sales reached an estimated 20 million. A single off that album, “With Arms Wide Open,” also earned a Grammy for Best Rock Song. In 2004, Creed split (they’d reunite in 2009), and frontman Scott Stapp went solo, releasing The Great Divide in 2005 and Proof of Life in 2013. With acts 7 Aurelius and The Tea Party, Stapp contributed a song to The Passion of the Christ soundtrack. With the Florida (now Miami) Marlins, he adapted his song “You Will Soar” into a theme for the ballclub—“Marlins Will Soar.” These days, after struggling with bipolar disorder in 2014, Stapp is soaring once again with a new tour, one which took him to South Africa for the first time. He is back stateside for a solo show at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. Adelitas Way and Citizen Zero open. 8 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale. (CM)
5) The “Reverend” is in town. The Reverend Horton Heat, that is. The Reverend is Dallas-based musician Jim Heath and his band. Their music has been described as “psychobilly,” with influences of surf, rock, big band, punk, country, and several other genres, making for an eclectic, energetic fusion of sound. Heath formed his band in 1985; the name “Horton” nods to country music and rockabilly singer Johnny Horton, who is known for his version of “The Battle of New Orleans.” The Reverend Horton Heat have released 11 albums since 1990, most recently 2014’s Rev. It peaked at 111 on the U.S. Billboard 200, their highest charting LP yet. Their song “Psychobilly Freakout,” from 1990’s Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, has been used in a variety of media, including “Beavis and Butt-head” and in a commercial for Buell Motorcycle Company. The Reverend’s service is at the Rex Theater. Assisting in the service are Unknown Hinson, Nashville Pussy, and Lucky Tubb. 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson Street, South Side. (RH/CM)