Thanks to Sheridan Whiteside, the famous critic, celebrity lecturer and self-proclaimed "intimate friend of the great and near-great" (and also, by some accounts, "the world's rudest man"), the holidays promise to be anything but ordinary at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest W. Stanley of Mesalia, Ohio. When a nasty spill on the ice during a winter lecture tour forces Whiteside to convalesce in Middle America, his extended family of luminaries, mad visionaries and assorted oddballs threatens the provincial values and rectitude of the Stanley home. You may have already seen the 1941 film adaptation of this Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman comedy, starring Bette Davis, Jimmy Durante and Ann Sheridan. Now see it performed as it was originally written, when Playmakers Repertory Company puts on their staging at the Center for Dramatic Art in Chapel Hill, through Dec. 16. Call 962-7529 for details.