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Janeane Garofalo and Russian Transport: Disturbing Message

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By Brittney R. Villalva, Christian Post Reporter
January 30, 2012|12:31 pm

Janeane Garofalo, known mostly for her stand up comedy routines, will be the newest member to hit Broadway in the new show "Russian Transports." However, some users have described the play as disturbing as some of her comedy acts.

"Russian Transport" will be a family centered drama set in the Russian Jewish community of Brooklyn. The off-Broadway play is the newest written by Erika Sheffer who has written other short pieces that include Engaging Dynamic Guest Experience, Likes to Scratch, and Something in Your Stomach.

The play, which had special showings in January, will have its first official debut Monday, Jan. 30. Garofalo spoke of her fears about being able to cover a Russian character. "The character is a Russian immigrant who speaks Russian," Garofalo told the Times' ArtsBeat blog, "so I double-checked that that was the part I was supposed to do."

The comedian was born in Newton, N.J., as if of mixed Italian and Irish descent. She said that she feared whether or not her performance would be believable. "I am terrified about seeming like the biggest fraud in the world," she said.

One off-Broadway fan who caught an early showing seemed to think that Garofalo did just fine. "Five minutes in I felt as if I was in the house with the family. The characters are so believable and the excellent acting provided great energy. Wonderful set. My heart was pounding for an hour afterwards!"

Lloyd Targer, a Manhattan resident gave his breakdown of the play. "An ensemble piece with a talented and very hard-working cast. A family of Russian Jewish emigres runs a car service in Brooklyn. The parents, Misha and Diana, speak accented English, but their kids, Alex, 17, and Mira, 14, know some Russian, but speak like American teenagers," he begins.

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"They all work in the business which is ostensibly run by Misha, but the domineering Diana is the real boss. We meet them as they await the arrival of Boris, Diana's younger brother, who is coming from Russia to start a new life. Boris is a charismatic figure, a sexy charmer, who is also an entrepreneur, but of a more shady sort. You know when you first see him that the family won't be the same after Boris insinuates his way into their lives."

With his description he had a four out of five rating on the New York Times Theater blog. Mathew Rowland of Edison, N.J. warned that the play may not be suitable for all. "Russian Transport is billed as a family drama, and while that is true it is about a much more disturbing topic," he wrote.

"This play has some compelling scenes, and I wasn't bored, but ultimately I left the theater feeling disgusted and disturbed."

 

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