Red Herring, a Hilarious Black Comedy, at Laguna Playhouse
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The last date listed for Red Herring was Saturday March 15, 2008 / 2:00pm.
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Over the course of one sultry evening, a prominent Southern family is pushed to the brink when tender memories are relived and life-altering secrets are revealed. Wealthy plantation owner Big Daddy's family has gathered to celebrate his 65th birthday, while sparing him the news that he's dying of cancer. As one son, a former football hero, mysteriously retreats from his desirable but sexually frustrated wife, his money-hungry brother and sister-in-law plot to secure more than their fair share of the family fortune. This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by American icon Tennessee Williams sizzles with passion and greed. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Quotes & Highlights
“But the greatest pleasures of this production are found in the details and the way the performers deliver them.” —Orange County Register
“Red Herring has much fun with the Soviet-obsessed 1950s in a snappy staging at Laguna Playhouse” --Los Angeles Times
“Red Herring looks and sounds terrific; there’s never a dull moment onstage…wildly funny and thoroughly crafty performances.” —OC Weekly
“Red Herring is a fable about marriage, but I didn’t know that when I started. I thought I was writing a comic noir detective story,” says playwright Michael Hollinger. “Red Herring began years ago as a class exercise for one of my playwriting classes. I wrote a scene about a hard-boiled detective interviewing a belligerent landlady about one of her tenants, whose naked legs stuck out of the bathtub before them. I really liked this image, and the comic noir style, and they kept coming back over the years until I was ready to start the play in earnest. Since my detective character evoked the noir sensibility that burgeoned (at least in film) between the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, I decided to set my play in that period. Somehow, the title Red Herring came to mind. Since “red” evoked the Red Scares of the McCarthy era and “herring” evoked New England fisheries, I narrowed the period to the early 1950’s and the setting to Boston.”
“This play defies categorization in the ordinary way,” notes director Andrew Barnicle. “You could call it a political thriller farcical romantic drama—it has qualities from just about every genre. I like the idea that it is so unique. Parts of the play are hilarious and depend on the notion of people bumping into each other at the perfect time. This play progresses like a movie, it’s constantly moving with very little time between scenes for a transition. The actors play multiple roles, so they’ll go out through one door and come in through another in a completely different costume as a different character. While this is certainly challenging to stage, it’s also part of the fun.”
Red Herring features six southern California-based actors: Traci L. Crouch, Brendan Ford, Kirsten Potter, DeeDee Rescher, Brett Ryback, and Tom Shelton.