Review: ‘Hot ‘n’ Throbbing’ not for prudes

Nov. 8, 2011 | 0 Comments
<em>D'neka Patten, left, plays Voice-Over and Michael Hardy is the Voice in the Late Night production of "Hot 'n' Throbbing" at the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre. (Courtesy Jason Taglianetti)</em>

D'neka Patten, left, plays Voice-Over and Michael Hardy is the Voice in the Late Night production of "Hot 'n' Throbbing" at the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre. (Courtesy Jason Taglianetti)

REVIEW BY JOHN BERGER / jberger@staradvertiser.com

Charlene supports herself and her two teenage children by writing scripts for female-oriented sex films. One night while she’s battling writer’s block, stuck on the phrase “hot and throbbing,” her estranged husband, Clyde, stops by. She tells him to go away. He breaks the door down. She shoots him, he recovers from the bullet wound with a speed that would do credit to John Rambo, and they start talking. Clyde eventually tells her that he came over because he doesn’t have enough money for a prostitute.

‘Hot ‘N’ Thobbing’

Presented by the Actors Group

» Where: Where: Earle Ernst Lab Theatre, UH-Manoa
» When: 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, and Saturday, Nov. 12
» Cost: $10 general admission; $8 for seniors, military, UH faculty/staff and students; $5 for UHM students w/validated 2011 UHM photo ID (tickets sold at the door from 10 p.m.)
» Info: 956-7655 or www.hawaii.edu/kennedy

Welcome to director Troy M. Apostol’s Late Night production of Paula Vogel’s long one-act play, “Hot ‘N’ Throbbing.” The language is raw, the situations raunchy, and the line between reality and fantasy uncertain. There is also enough partial male nudity that a woman in the front row was visibly and loudly embarrassed on opening night.

The production is a marvelous vehicle for Chris McGahan (Clyde) who revels in the role of the alcoholic, down on his luck husband; the husband is despicable but with McGahan’s performance we feel his pain. Sharon Garcia (Charlene) gives the show a solid foundation with her portrayal of woman struggling to connect with her rebellious children and dangerously susceptible to her husband’s pleas for forgiveness, a second chance and a quick hook-up.

Josephine Calvo (Leslie Ann) and Alexander Munro (Calvin) give memorable performances as the at-risk teens. Calvo evokes memories of Christina Applegate/Kelly Bundy as she plays a sexually precocious 15-year-old who loves her daddy and who may be working illegally at a local strip club. Munro exudes a creepy vulnerability as the son, a quiet voyeuristic loner who enjoys hiding outside his sister’s bedroom window.

The dysfunctional family is observed by the characters in the script Charlene is trying to finish. As they wait impatiently for Charlene to write the last 15 pages of the script they begin commenting on the action in her living room — and also on subjects that have no apparent relationship to it.

The action in the living room is clear and straight-forward. Any intersection or causative relationship between “porn,” however we choose to define it, and domestic violence remains conjectural.
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John Berger has been a mainstay in the local entertainment scene for nearly 40 years. Contact him via email at jberger@staradvertiser.com.

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