You are reading

Forest Hills native Ray Romano makes directorial debut with ‘Somewhere in Queens’

Mar. 8, 2023 By Julia Moro

Forest Hills native Ray Romano will be releasing his comedy drama, “Somewhere in Queens,” April 21, 2023, after directing, writing and starring in the film.

“Somewhere in Queens” follows a simple, blue-collar family, deeply rooted in their Italian American heritage — similar to many Queens natives. Leo Russo, played by Romano, finds himself tearing his family apart trying to turn his son’s successful high school basketball career into a scholarship.

Romano’s son in the movie, “Sticks,” portrayed by Jacob Ward, planned to work for the family construction business until a scout offers the young basketball star options.

“Sticks” portrayed by Jacob Ward, wearing a Glendale basketball jersey. (Screenshot via Rotten Tomatoes Trailers/YouTube)

When girlfriend Dani from Forest Hills, played by Sadie Stanley, breaks up with Sticks, he loses his motivation. Romano’s character attempts to keep his son on track by asking Dani to continue going out with him — a move that inevitably backfires on the well-meaning father.

It’s fair to say that many viewers will resonate with this film — whether it’s someone with Italian American roots, a Queens resident who recognizes their neighborhood, or anyone with an overbearing family that cares just a little too much.

Romano’s family has deep roots in Forest Hills. His mother, Luciana Fortini, grew up and lived on Exeter Street. She graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1945 at the age of 16.

In 1953, she married Albert Romano, a successful engineer and real estate agent. They rented for a brief time on Burns Street. In 1956, while many young families were moving to brand-new homes in suburban Nassau County, they decided to buy a humble 1,590-square-foot house at 70-17 Nansen St.

Romano, born in 1957, went to Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood for his freshman and sophomore years. He transferred to Hillcrest High.

Ironically, a few scenes in “Somewhere in Queens” were filmed at one of Molloy’s rival Catholic high schools: Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village.

In the early 1980s, while studying to be an accountant at Queens College and holding down a series of part-time jobs, Romano started performing stand-up comedy in New York clubs, according to Britannica.

Romano went on to win a citywide comedy contest in 1989, which brought him valuable exposure. In 1990 Romano made his first national television appearance on MTV’s “Half-Hour Comedy Hour,” but it wasn’t until his appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” in 1995 that he got his big break.

Letterman had his production company, Worldwide Pants Inc., develop the sit-com “Everybody Loves Raymond” around Romano’s comedy. The first episode aired on Sept. 13, 1996, and a year later it became among the most-watched shows on American television.

Recent News

Urgent manhunt underway for ‘animal’ who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Flushing park on Thursday: NYPD

The NYPD announced a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a Hispanic man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area of Kissena Corridor Park on Thursday afternoon.

More than sixty investigators were at the crime scene late into the night. During a press briefing by NYPD brass on Friday, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the manhunt was expanded city-wide and that the department would spare no expense until the suspect was apprehended.

Southeast Queens man arraigned on weapons charges after cops search his ‘ghost car’ near LaGuardia Airport: DA

A Hollis man was criminally charged after police discovered a cache of weapons in his vehicle during a traffic stop. He was pulled over for driving a “ghost car” with obscured license plates in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia Airport during the early morning hours of June 12.

Judd Sanson, 27, of Jamaica Avenue, was ordered held without bail after he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging him with multiple counts of weapons possession, unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition, and unlawful use of a police uniform or emblem and other crimes after the arsenal was found in his SUV.

Man sought for raping 13-year-old girl in Flushing park in broad daylight Thursday: NYPD

An urgent manhunt is underway in Northeast Queens after a Hispanic man allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint in Kissena Corridor Park in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing reported that the youngster was with a 13-year-old boy in the park near Kalmia Avenue and Colden Street at around 3:30 p.m. when a stranger approached and threatened them with a knife, forcing them both into a wooded section where he tied them up. The perpetrator proceeded to forcibly remove their cell phones before sexually assaulting the girl, police said, adding that he fled in an unknown direction.