Russ is an original character created for the 2008 musical Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas.
On a Christmas Eve, Russ wishes to spend some time going through some old things with his daughter Jane. Having recently lost his wife, he's feeling lonely around the holidays while his daughter would seemingly rather spend what she calls a "meaningless" holiday with her friends.
He's able to convince Jane to stick around just to listen to him read one chapter of what used to be her favorite book when she was a little girl: Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas. As the night wanes on, Jane becomes interested in the story again, and ultimately falls asleep.
When she wakes, she decides to forego meeting her friends and spends Christmas Eve with her dad, finishing the book together.