The play “Miracle on South Division Street” holds a special meaning for its author, playwright Tom Dudzick. The story centers on a Catholic working-class family living in a deteriorating Buffalo, N.Y., neighborhood whose lives are upended upon a deathbed revelation from a family member.
Dudzick is from Buffalo, and the play's characters and a central figure — a statue of the Virgin Mary — are based on real people and a real-life statue.
In the play, which opens Nov. 9 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank, mother Clara (Ellen Crawford, best known for her role in television's “ER”), has maintained the faith of her father, an immigrant from war-torn Poland. The father experienced a “miraculous vision in his barbershop,” and erected a statue of the Virgin.
Dudzick, whose autobiographical play “Over the Tavern” launched his successful drama career, grew up in a Buffalo neighborhood much like the one in “Miracle.” And “directly across the street [from my house], in real life, was a shrine of the Blessed Mother,” Dudzick said.