Corona (an act of God?) put a dent in our production. Stay tuned for new performance dates!
A comedy about what happens when we begin to question miracles
by the playwright who brought you Off the Derech Dolorosa,
Miracle on South Division Street
by Tom Dudzick
direction by Yael Valier
production consultation: John Krug
Fresh from its off-Broadway run at St. Luke's Theatre, Miracle on South Division Street is the story of the Nowak family, living amidst the urban rubble of Buffalo, NY’s East Side. Maybe the neighborhood is depressed, but not Clara, the family matriarch. She happily runs her soup kitchen and tends to the family heirloom – a twenty-foot shrine to the Blessed Mother which adjoins the house. This neighborhood beacon of faith commemorates the day in 1942 when the Blessed Virgin Mary materialized in her father’s barber shop! When the play opens, a family meeting is in progress. Daughter Ruth divulges her plan to finally “go public” with the family miracle by creating a one-woman play about the sacred event. But during the course of the meeting, the entire family’s faith is shaken when hitherto hidden information causes the family legend to begin to unravel. The results are thought-provoking, heartfelt, and hilarious. Will family members reject their faith as their beloved myth crumbles? Will they strive to grasp more tightly at the literal reading of the story that has shaped them? Or will they come up with a path that allows them to maintain faith with integrity? We will be discussing these questions as they pertain to Judaism and to our own faith after each performance.
Before Corona hit, Theater and Theology was poised to present this story to Jerusalem audiences with discussion by R' Nechama Goldman Barash, R' Dr. Joshua Berman, Dr. R' Zev Farber, Ittay Flescher, R' Dr. Yehuda Gellman, R' Batya Hefter, R' Herzl Hefter, R' Yael Leibowitz, R' Shani Taragin, and Dr. Tamar Ross. I greatly look forward to bringing Tom Dudzick's wonderful play soon to the Jerusalem stage and to inviting audiences to join me and my guest scholars in debating the issues after every performance.
I chose to produce Tom Dudzick's deceptively naive Miracle on South Division Street because, with
humor and mercy, it gently unearths issues that all religions and religious people have to deal with. What happens when science, or academia, or our own curiosity holds a magnifying glass to our beliefs and forces us to pay attention? Can we maintain both belief and intellectual honesty? If so, how?
Mordechai has been acting in the English-speaking community theater in Jerusalem since 2008, beginning with an appearance in Israel Musicals' 1776 most recently as the antagonistic, Dovid, in Theater and Theology's In a Stranger's Grave. He played comic baritone roles in the Encore ETC Gilbert & Sullivan productions Ruddigore, The Sorcerer, Iolanthe and The Mikado. He also performed in the musicals Merrily We Roll Along, Ordinary Days and Free To Be... You and Me for J-Town Playhouse, and played Jaffar in Encore ETC's Aladdin. Mordechai played the lead in the plays The Importance of Being Earnest and The Man From Earth for J-Town Playhouse and The Tenth Man with JEST. He also composed and performed original backing music for J-Town Playhouse's Kindertransport. He is married to the brilliant director of Pygmalion and Irena's Vow, Yardena Buxner.
Devorah has trained for most of her life as a dancer and singer. She later went on to train in acting at the Aspaklaria School of Performing Arts, where she studied for two years. In 2017, Devorah directed Hannah Senesh with J-Town Playhouse. Previous roles include Chana in Theater and Theology's In a Stranger's Grave, Mary in Theater and Theology's Off the Derech Dolorosa, Mary in From Door to Door, Inga Johanson in Number the Stars and support roles in Raise Your Spirits productions of Noah! Ride the Wave, Ruth and Naomi in the Fields of Bethlehem and In Search of Courage.
Shlomit is a classically trained singer as well as an actor. She is appearing in March 2020 as Mama in Starcatcher's Chicago, and in an original opera at Jerusalem's Music Academy. This is Shlomit's second appearance in an opera after her award winning performance in the Academy's classical competition in 2019 and subsequent radio appearances. Her recent stage appearances include Ilona Ritter in She Loves Me and Sister Felicia in Tom Dudzick's Off the Derech Dolorosa, originally produced as Hail Mary!
PETER FILICHIA, Theatremania.com:
"Utterly delightful while delivering a solid message on faith, the lack of it, why we believe what we believe, and how we can, or must, adjust to life's surprises."
DANIEL M. GOLD, The New York Times:
"Relatives who are a little too close; a suffocating sense of limits; secrets that, once shared, undo the precepts that defined a way of life: If these sound like elements in a family's deconstruction - the stuff, say, of a Sam Shepard play - they certainly could be.
But Tom Dudzick's "Miracle on South Division Street," at St. Luke's Theater, is a sprightly, gentle comedy, where revelations that might remake a family's sense of itself are each rolled out in service of laughter."
LARRY HARBISON, On the Aisle with Larry:
"A well-constructed and most endearing play. I loved it."
JOANNE GRECO ROCHMAN, NewsTimes.com:
"You will quickly fall in love with the characters."