Remember our pre-summertime write-up about the play, Russian Transport, set “in the Russian-Jewish enclave of Sheepshead Bay,” and written by Sheepshead Bay-native playwright Erika Sheffer?
Production dates, cast and additional creative team members had not then been announced, but now we are informed that the actress, writer, political activist and all-around supah-star Janeane Garofalo will play the role of a Russian mother of two living in the Bay.
From The New York Times:
In a telephone interview, she said she was “as surprised as anyone” about the casting. But it wasn’t any kind of comedy-to-drama genre barrier that caught her off guard. “I don’t speak Russian,” she said. “The character is a Russian immigrant who speaks Russian so I double-checked that that was the part I was supposed to do.” Nonetheless, Ms. Garofalo was drawn to the production by the strength of the script and was convinced by Mr. Elliott that she could play the part. “I could probably fake my way through using broken English with a Russian accent, but he has this way of convincing you that you can do anything,” she said. “It’s an exciting challenge, but at the same time I am terrified about seeming like the biggest fraud in the world.”
Call me a cynic, call me a hater, but I find the casting of Garofalo as a middle-age Russian woman living on Voorhies Avenue, or Dooley Street, or wherever, only slightly more believable than would be the casting of our venerable editor as the Good Witch Glinda in a local production of The Wizard of Oz.
Clearly, they cast this Irish-Italian Catholic from New Jersey because there’s a shortage of Russian-American Jewish mothers in New York City. I guess they didn’t hear that there are a few Russian Dolls looking for work…
We can see for ourselves if the casting works beginning January 17 at the Acorn Theater in Theater Row, 410 West 42nd Street between Ninth Avenue and 10th Avenue, where performances will be held. Tickets go on sale December 5. For more, click here.