Paula Vogel's 1992 play about Charlene, a single mother and writer of "feminist erotica," doesn't walk the tightrope between desire and terror that Vogel negotiated so ably in 1997's Pulitzer-winning How I Learned to Drive. This script is bogged down by tricks, such as having Charlene's in-progress James Ellroy-ish tale performed by actors called "Voice Over" and "The Voice." The play's central story--Charlene's conflicted relationship with her estranged alcoholic husband, Clyde, and two rebellious teenagers--feels equally contrived, which deflates the requisite tension in the troubled marriage. Despite unfussy direction by Anne Adams and Vincent Teninty's sometimes riveting performance as Clyde, this Pine Box Theatre Company production mostly jerks along to an unsatisfying climax. --Kerry Reid a Through 2/18: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Athenaeum Theatre, second-floor studio, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500, $20, $10 Sun for those donating new toiletries to Family Rescue Inc.