Full casting has been announced for Joe Gilford's Finks, a fictionalized account of the life of his parents, actors Jack Gilford and Madeline Lee Gilford, which will begin performances March 28 at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Giovanna Sardelli will direct the production, which will open officially on April 6.
The show's cast will include Michael Cullen (Bus Stop), Ned Eisenberg (Golden Boy), Leo Ash Evens (Yank), Aaron Serotsky (August: Osage County), Miriam Silverman (The Witch of Edmonton), Jason Liebman, Ian Lowe, and Thomas Lyons. The creative team includes Jason Simms (sets), Gina Scherr (lighting), Sydney Maresca (costumes), Jill BC DuBoff (sound), and Greg Graham (choreography).
Jack Gilford was a well-known nightclub entertainer and comic, as well as a social activist. In the 1950s, Gilford and his wife testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee after being named by choreographer Jerome Robbins. The couple later had difficulty finding work during much of the rest of the 1950s due to the Hollywood blacklist.
Jack Gilford received Tony Award nominations for his work as Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and as Herr Schultz in Cabaret. He appeared in numerous other Broadway shows, including Once Upon a Mattress, Sly Fox, No, No, Nanette, and The Sunshine Boys, as well as in the Metropolitan Opera production of Die Fledermaus. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Phil Green in Save the Tiger and received a Daytime Emmy Award for The Big Blue Marble.
Madeline was a radio and stage performer. She later became a theater producer, whose Broadway credits included The World of Sholom Aleichem and Rags.