Paul Vogel takes on porn and family violence; Critic's choice: Theater


Playwright Paula Vogel embraces tough subject matter. The former Marylander tackled AIDS in "The Baltimore Waltz" and pedophilia in her Pulitzer Prize-winning "How I Learned to Drive." In "Hot 'n' Throbbing" she takes on pornography and domestic violence. On Thursday, this provocative family drama opens the season at Washington's Arena Stage, where Vogel is writer in residence.

Described by Vogel as "maybe one of the most painful and difficult plays I'll ever write, and ... also dangerously funny," the script has been substantially revised for this production. She calls the new version "more daring and more biting." Direction is by her longtime collaborator, Molly Smith, artistic director at Arena.

Currently in previews, "Hot 'n' Throbbing" will continue at Arena's Kreeger Theater, 1101 Sixth St. S.W., Washington, through Oct. 17. Tickets are $27-$45. Call 202-488-3300.

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