With Dance of the Vampires changing its opening from Nov. 21 to Dec. 9, Januz Glowacki's The Fourth Sister has decided to take an extra preview and open on the vacated day. The black comedy, which stars Jessica Hecht, Marin Hinkle and Alicia Goranson as three Russian sisters looking for happiness beyond Moscow, began previews Oct. 31 at the Vineyard Theatre. A U.S premiere, The Fourth Sister is directed by Lisa Peterson (The Batting Cage).
With a knowing wink at Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters and the classic fairy tale Cinderella, Glowacki's Fourth Sister finds three Muscovite sisters yearning for the products of post-Communist Russia with Hollywood-style dreams of freedom in the U.S. Daughters of an alcoholic old General, each woman has her own means of escape — Wiera through her nationalistic (and anti-Semitic) politician lover, Tania through her mob affiliated upstairs neighbor and Katia through an American filmmaker making a documentary about Russian prostitutes. But when Cinderella's slipper arrives, it's a surprise whom the shoe fits. Glowacki is the author of Antigone in New York and Hunting Cockroaches.
Hecht (Wiera) starred as Layla in Broadway's Last Night of Ballyhoo and in Off-Broadway's Stop Kiss, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and Lobster Alice. Hinkle (Katia), whose Broadway credits include The Tempest, Electra and A Thousand Clowns, was most recently featured on TV's "Once and Again." Goranson (Tania), a vet of TV's "Roseanne," also appeared in the films "How to Make an American Quilt" and "Boys Don't Cry." Her stage credits include The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek and Lydie Breeze.
Also in the cast are Bill Buell (Urinetown, Titanic) as the General), Suzanne Shepard (Edie Falco's mother on "The Sopranos," "Requiem for a Dream") as Babushka, Lee Pace (The Credeaux Canvas) as the gangster Kostia, Jase Blankfort as the orphan boy Sonia, Daniel Oreskes as the politician Ivan and a Brighton Beach relative Yuri, Steven Ratazzi as the filmmaker John, Misza and Policeman and Louis Tucci as a Policeman and the accordian-playing Afghan veteran.
Designing the show are Rachel Hauck (sets), Mattie Ullrich (costumes), Kevin Adams (lighting) and Jill Duboff (sound). The original score is by Gina Leishman. For ticket information, call (212) 353-0303. The Vineyard is located at 108 E. 15th Street. The Vineyard Theatre is on-line at http://www.vineyardtheatre.org.
— By Christine Ehren