“American Idol” Finalist Katharine McPhee Co-Producing Fringe Play

By Andrew Gans
July 21, 2006

Katharine McPhee, who was the runner-up in the recent season of FOX-TV’s “American Idol,” will co-produce a play that will be seen during the 10th annual New York International Fringe Festival.

McPhee, Nicholas Cokas, Robert Hawk, Angelina Bruno and Jeff Kasal are presenting Red Herring, a new play by Michael Albanese. Jonathan Silverstein will direct the production, which will run at the Connelly Theatre Aug. 12-26.

About her decision to co-produce Red Herring, Katharine McPhee said in a statement, "As soon as I read this play, I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of. Audiences know me best from 'American Idol,' but my passion has always been theatre. So much quality work comes out of the Fringe Festival. Artists can take real risks and challenge convention. Michael has written a beautiful play that is thought provoking, entertaining and fresh. I am thrilled to bring this incredible play to this year’s Fringe Festival."

Thomas Jefferson Byrd, a Tony nominee for the 2003 production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be featured in a cast that also includes Take Me Out’s Shane McRae. The creative team comprises Matt Hodges (scenic design), Tara Hawks (costume design), Lucrecia Briceno (lighting design) and Emily Wright (sound design).

Red Herring, according to press notes, is set in Death Row where two men are separated by a wall. The play seeks to answer the question "Can an unlikely friendship defy limitations while also exploring levels of forgiveness, fear and compassion?"

Performance dates are Aug. 12 at 9:30 PM, Aug. 18 at 3 PM, Aug. 19 at 12 PM, Aug. 23 at 7:45 PM and Aug. 26 at 2:45 PM.

The Connelly Theatre is located in Manhattan at 220 East 4th Street. Tickets, priced at $15, are available by calling (212) 279-4488 or by logging on to www.FringeNYC.org. Visit www.redherringplay.com for more information.