rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 05/04/2007
Murder, Romance and Spies, Oh My!
by Press Release

The year is 1952. Maggie is a homicide cop with a killer to catch. Frank is a federal agent on the track of a commie spy ring. Who has time for love?

Red Herring, a noir comedy that mixes sex, murder, spies and, um, cheese, runs May 11-27 as the final production of Artists' Ensemble Theater's third season. The Michael Hollinger play deftly combines three love stories, a murder mystery, and atomic secrets smuggled inside a box of Velveeta. Add in a password involving pelicans and you begin to get a feel for this spy spoof.

"It seems to be all about corpses and spies, but really, the play is about love, marriage, and other explosive devices," says director Richard Raether.

This witty look at love and all the pitfalls involved in tying (and untying) the knot showcases six actors playing 19 characters. Stephen F. Vrtol III plays a Russian  fisherman in Boston who has a passion for Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals and also for his amorous landlady, played by Linda Abronski.

Katie Maringer-Corirossi plays Detective Maggie Pelletier and Lance A. Retallick joins AE from Chicago to play Frank, Maggie's FBI boyfriend. Lydia Berger, last seen in AE's Jeeves & the Greensleeves Disaster, plays the daughter of Senator Joseph McCarthy who has just gotten engaged to a young scientist and part-time Soviet spy, played by David Gingerich.

Red Herring runs in the Cheek Theatre at Rockford College May 11 - 27, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 4 and 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets may be purchased through the Rockford College box office, 815-226-4100. Tickets are $25, $23 for Seniors and $10 for students. AE is on the web at

For further information, call:
Richard Raether, Artistic Director (815) 540-4717
Ken Staaf, Marketing Director (815) 877-0022

artists' ensemble theater
p.o. box 1684
rockford, illinois 61110 

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