Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-11-25
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Red Herring Playwright: Michael Hollinger
by Mary Shen Barnidge

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

A "red herring," in literature, is a device employed by fugitives to misdirect pursuers. The decoy in Michael Hollinger's award-winning play of the same name is a ring of communist spies...RED herring, get it? of whom is, in fact, an industrial angler for Ogilby's ( "Put a fish in your pocket" ) Kippers. But don't be fooled by the microfilm in the velveeta, the bomb tests in the South Pacific or the corpse with too many names. These Cold War shenanigans are merely the obstacles in what is, ultimately, a love story.

Three love stories, actually. Gumshoe Maggie Pelletier and G-Man Frank Keller are ready to tie the knot, just as soon as they stop squabbling over the identity of the dead man washed up on a Boston pier. Lynn McCarthy, daughter of right-wing Sen. Joseph McCarthy, is delighted to marry government scientist James Appel...until he confesses that his principles have led him to become a Soviet agent. And Andrei Borchevsky smuggles secret documents in his fishing boat for the Kremlin in order to protect his imprisoned wife, although he and Mrs. Kravitz, his American landlady, have grown fond of one another. The path of true love never ran smooth, but these are speed-bumps to stall even the most stalwart sweethearts.

This type of comedy, as many a playwright has discovered, is likewise more difficult to write than it appears. Not only must we puzzle over the plot without ever losing track of its course, but the characters must be sufficiently sympathetic and complications intriguing to sustain suspense until all the questions have been answered to our satisfaction. But Hollinger wisely resists the impulse to clutter his story with extraneous embellishments, instead keeping his film-noir dialogue subdued and its speakers no quirkier than necessary to showcase his whodunwhat's artfully crafted structure.

The company assembled by Breakdown Theatre director Elise Aliberti for this midwest premiere also rejects actorly excess, maintaining a firm but never ham-handed approach to their small task for seven actors playing 17 roles...resulting in clean, intelligent performances that navigate the text's intricacies with nary a misstep. Suburban theaters still mired down in revivals of Sleuth and Deathtrap would do well to check out this Philadelphia import.

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


New shows in New York 2015-11-25
Remy presenting 'Fallen Angels' 2015-11-25
THEATER REVIEW You Can't Take It with You 2015-11-25
THEATER REVIEW Pocatello 2015-11-25
THEATER REVIEW No More Sad Things 2015-11-25
Theater Spotlight; Critics' Picks 2015-11-25
Jess Godwin show Dec. 4 at Athenaeum Theater 2015-11-24
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER David Arquette: No place like 'Holmes' 2015-11-19
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Terrence McNally in Chicago 2015-11-18
Theatre School at DePaul U names award winners 2015-11-18
Theater Spotlight; Critics' Picks 2015-11-18
DOUBLE REVIEW The Long Christmas Ride Home; The Lisbon Traviata 2015-11-18
THEATER REVIEW The Raid 2015-11-18
THEATER REVIEW Fulfillment 2015-11-18
THEATER REVIEW Pilgrim's Progress 2015-11-18
About Face Theatre presents benefit reading of The Homosexuals 2015-11-17
Janet at the Chicago Theater; Big Chicks 2015-11-11
THEATER REVIEW Spill 2015-11-11
THEATER REVIEW Chapter Two 2015-11-11
THEATER REVIEW Belladonna Luna Sonata 2015-11-11
THEATER REVIEW Hershey Fielder as Irving Berlin 2015-11-11
Theater Spotlight; Critics Picks 2015-11-11
Entertainment: Anderson Cooper; Michelle Rodriguez; debuts; J.Lo vs. Mariah 2015-11-10
Season of Concern marks 30 years 2015-11-04
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Desperately seeking ... HIV? 2015-11-04
Theater Spotlight; Critics' Picks 2015-11-04
THEATER REVIEW Design for Living 2015-11-04
THEATER REVIEW R&J: The Vineyard 2015-11-04
THEATER REVIEW The Firestorm 2015-11-04
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Michael Black: Mastering many styles 2015-10-28
CHF's 'Four Women' Nov. 2 in Lincoln Park 2015-10-28
THEATER REVIEW Charm 2015-10-28
THEATER REVIEW Treasure Island 2015-10-28
THEATER REVIEW Lawd, the CVS Is Burning 2015-10-28
About Face's 'Club' raises $70K 2015-10-28
THEATER REVIEW Knocking Up the Mob 2015-10-26
Theater Spotlight: New Stages festival; Critics' Picks 2015-10-26
THEATER David Zak talks theater, film, upcoming benefit 2015-10-24
Night of 100 Drag Queens begins 2015-10-22
"Chicago" razzle-dazzle returns to Broadway In Chicago 2015-10-21

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.