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.
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."