A new show has opened at St. Luke’s Theater, conveniently located on 46th Street in New York City, also known as restaurant row. It’s called Miracle on South Division Street and it’s written by Tom Dudzick. (Full disclosure: Mr. Dudzick is my husband.)
Miracle premiered a few years ago at the Penguin Repertory Theater in Stony Point, under the direction of Joe Brancato. It was an immediate smash hit. It then transferred to 7 Angels Theatre in Waterbury, Connecticut, for a sort of “out-of-town tryout” before attempting New York. It was instantly embraced as “the best comedy of the year in Connecticut” (examiner.com). Now in New York the original cast returns—Peggy Cosgrave, Andrea Maulella, Liz Zazzi, and Rusty Ross—but the intermission does not. Dudzick’s editing created a neat, trim, totally entertaining 85 minutes.
If you saw the play at Penguin, you undoubtedly will remember the Nowak family headed by matriarch Clara, and her three grown kids, actress and writer Ruth, bowling obsessed Beverly, and garbageman Jimmy. I worked on the show, in the back tech booth, so I saw every performance.
I loved watching the backs of the audience, reacting to this average family coping with life’s not-so-little surprises. Audience members laughed so much their shoulders shook, or they were so quiet, so intensely involved with the show, that you could hear a pin drop.
The New York audience has already embraced the play. The comments I heard afterward in the lobby—“moving, hilarious, heartfelt, touching, a riot”—make me hope we have a hit on our hands.
Holly Caster has lived in Nyack with her playwright husband, two kids, and two cats for over 10 years. She is by trade a writer and by nature a fan of theater, movies, books, history, & art.