Janeane Garofalo's transformation from edgy stand-up comic to serious stage actress has been well received by the New York Times. The opening night of 'Russian Transport' at the Acorn Theatre in New York on Monday night (January 30, 2012) saw Garofalo "drop her shtick," according to the NYT critic Charles Isherwood and Garofalo delivered a solid performance, playing the role of a strict Russian mother in this family-based play, written by Erika Sheffer.
Isherwood notes that, occasionally, the script allows Janeane to slip back into her familiar comic delivery. When her character, Diana, tells her teenage daughter to start wearing a bra, she uses a "sitcom-ready" insult, "You look like a gorilla, swinging from tree to tree." Mostly, though, the role requires Garofalo to "play it straight" in the play that tells the story of Diana's brother, Boris, arriving from Russia for an extended stay and exerting a "sinister influence" on Diana's children. Overall, Isherwood praises the play and its actors, branding their performances as "uniformly fine" and praising the "evocative two-tiered set."
Janeane Garofalo is better known as a stand-up comedian. She began working the comedy circuit in the late 1980s and made her TV debut on the short-lived Ben Stiller Show after befriending Ben Stiller and bonding over a love of Saturday Night Live and ALBERT BROOKS.