‘Red Herring’ a Communist spy farce
DeKALB – Stage Coach Players presents “Red Herring,” the zany spy farce by award-winning playwright Michael Hollinger, July 18-21.
Directed by Bernie Schuneman with stage manager Jan Booth, the play spoofs Red Scare-era politics and culture, sending up everything from the H-bomb to Joseph McCarthy’s daughter. It uses the standard cliches of the noir detective story – a hard-boiled, hard-drinking detective, down on his luck; a sadder-but-wiser love interest, beautiful but hard-bitten; a fiendish criminal; and an indifferent bureaucratic police force.
Set in 1952, in the days leading up to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s election, the play focuses on three couples: FBI agent Frank Keller (Mike Scorzo) and detective Maggie Pelletier (Shela Lahey); nuclear-weapons expert James Appel (Jim Hendricks) and Sen. Joe McCarthy’s daughter Lynn McCarthy (Ellen Pudney); and Russian spy Andrei Borchevsky (Richard Christensen) and kooky landlady Mrs. Kravitz (D’Ann Hamilton). All three couples struggle to get through a series of tumultuous relationship issues amid a murder mystery and an espionage drama. Lynn McCarthy struggles through her relationship with very little help from Mrs. McCarthy (Gina Palmer).
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