Red Herring | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Michael Hollinger's dark-comedy thriller, set in the McCarthy era, has little to say about the political issues that underlie the story. A satire without teeth, all it essentially does is speculate about what would happen if the McCarthys' daughter fell in love with a Jewish communist spy. Still, the play can be funny, as Jessica Thebus and her able cast demonstrate in this well-crafted production. Hollinger has a flair for the sort of wisecracks that pepper film noir--or maybe the leads, Scott Jaeck and Tracy Michelle Arnold, have a flair for making wisecracks sound brilliant. And the intentionally complicated but essentially unchallenging script is a fine match for Northlight's less-than-adventurous subscriber base. Even when Hollinger gets preachy--one character tells another that the secret to a long marriage is to work at it--the message isn't likely to make anyone stalk out of the theater in a huff. Through 4/24: Tue 7:30 PM, Wed 1 and 8 PM, Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 2:30 PM. Sun 4/10, 2:30 and 7 PM. Wed 4/6, 8 PM only. Sat 4/9, 8 PM only. No show Tue 4/19. Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-673-6300. $32-$48.

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