“Ubuntu Holiday” Continues at Pittsburgh Playwrights; Off the Wall Running Fun “Or” (CPs Sun., 12/28/14)

L-R Sundiata Rice, Melessie Clark, LaMar Darnell Fields, and Nia Washington Photo: Mark C. Southers

L-R Sundiata Rice, Melessie Clark, LaMar Darnell Fields, and Nia Washington
Photo: Mark C. Southers

1) For a seasonal play that’s out of the ordinary, try Ubuntu Holiday by Kim El, now on stage at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co. “Ubuntu” is a southern African word that has been translated as “kindness,” “goodness,” or—in one broad definition—the notion that we can only be fully human through loving relations with others. Ubuntu Holiday, set in the modern U.S., is billed as a “gentle but thought-provoking comedy” about a Kwanzaa celebration. A guest who doesn’t buy into the holiday becomes grouchy and disruptive, but in the end, ubuntu carries the day. Playwright Kim El has long made her mark as an actor, director, and spoken-word artist in Pittsburgh. Directed by Mils James. 2 p.m. Through Dec. 30. 937 Liberty Ave., Cultural District.

2) Or is a play set in the wild and crazy Sixties. The 1660s, that is, when King Charles II of England (a.k.a. the Merry Monarch) presided over a country busting loose after decades of Puritan rule. Or focuses on a most unusual woman who lived at that time. Aphra Behn (a.k.a. Agent 160) was a prolific author and playwright—often, of scandalously bawdy works—who also served as a spy for the king, a notorious philanderer. Written by Liz Duffy Adams, the play is a fictional comedy that imagines a hectic day in Behn’s extremely multitasked life. It’s gotten rave reviews in New York and San Francisco; now Off the Wall brings Or to our town. 3 p.m. Runs through Jan. 10. 25 W. Main St., Carnegie.

3) The Steelers, having beaten the Kansas City Chiefs, are set to enter the playoffs as a wildcard team. If they beat the Cincinnati Bengals tonight, they will enter with more gravitas and privilege as the AFC North Division champion. Let’s hope the wins keep coming. 8:30 p.m. 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore.