“Christmas Star” Shines Bright at Pittsburgh Playwrights; “L’Hotel” Continues at The Public (CPs Sun., 12/14/14)

1) Christmas Star by Ray Werner is now playing at the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co. What does a family Christmas gathering mean for a war veteran? If dad is a Vietnam vet and his sonChristmas Star Image Art 2 was in the Iraq war, the interchange that they have leads into a deeper question: What does life itself mean for a war veteran? Christmas Star’s playwright, Ray Werner, was once a well-known creative director at a Pittsburgh ad agency and is currently embarked on a range of second careers. Werner first wrote the play as a one-act for PPTCO’s 2013 Theatre Festival in Black and White. Now fleshed out to full length, Christmas Star runs through Dec. 28. 2 p.m. today. 937 Liberty Ave., Cultural District.


Brent Harris is Wilde in "L'Hotel'."

Brent Harris is Wilde in “L’Hotel’.”

2) What do Oscar Wilde and Isadora Duncan have in common with Jim Morrison of The Doors and opera composer Gioacchino Rossini? Though none were French, all are buried in the historic Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. And, along with two natively French yet equally dead icons—Victor Hugo and Sarah Bernhardt—they are characters in L’Hotel, a play that resurrects these strange grave-fellows for a few rounds of high-spirited bickering about life, art, and the meanings thereof. The Public’s production is a world premiere and you can read our review. Playwright Ed Dixon promises some entertaining intellectual fisticuffs but no resolution, noting that the residents of L’Hotel are doomed to “duke it out in eternity.” 7 p.m. Continues through Dec. 14. Pittsburgh Public Theater at the O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Cultural District.


3) Exodus: Gods & Kings is Ridley Scott’s version of what happened when Moses said to Pharaoh “Let my people go!” and Pharaoh said “I’m on the other line, can I you call back?” With Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley. Check Fandango.com for screens and times.